Friday, February 7, 2014

Guayaquil/Salinas Scam Alert!


Real estate market is unregulated- be very careful.
A common scam is for realtor to tack $20K or more onto the price of a house price, give the buyer his asking price, and pocket the difference plus the 5% he charges.
NEVER EVER pay realtors for tours of the city- EVER!
Watch for vertically integrated schemes- realtor recommends friends and they all kick back to each other.
If you bring pets into the country, all paperwork needs to be done in advance.  This involves vet visits etc., months in advance.  Following the simple rules of immigration make it easy.  I will also post later some helpful factoids about this.  That said, PATRICIA SANCHEZ informed me that she provides a costly service of helping get pets through customs.  DO NOT PAY FOR THIS SERVICE- IT IS NOT A SERVICE, IT IS A WASTE OF YOUR MONEY, AND I WILL PROVIDE DETAILS LATER.

Unfortunately, when we travel abroad, or think of relocating abroad, we must place our trust in people.  Here is my experience with the following individuals.  You decide if you want to deal with them after reading this, however, you have the benefit of my experience.  Here are the individuals:

Hector G. Quintana, COO

EscapeArtist Ecuador

+001.786.220.4987 (Global)

098.522.9631 (Within Ecuador)


Noelia Roldan
Ecuador +593.99290.7522
Global +001.786.220.4987

Patricia Sanchez (CHEF)
Gourmet Cuisine
Servicio Personalizado
Urb Puerto Azul
MZ.ME Villa 6
Guayaquil Ecuador
Telephono: 2870-816
Cell: 094801727

I first met Noelia through the expat web site Internations, which is excellent, but like the web, it is the wild west, so be careful.

Noelia was charming and responsive, but in short order, I was shunted off to her partner Hector.  Long story short: after weeks of planning, Hector took the lead and assured me that he is a professional, he understood my needs and would ensure that everything would be taken are of in Ecuador.

On arriving in Guayaquil Ecuador Hector’s promises fell apart.  The one good thing I must say is that he arranged for transportation from airport to hotel, which I did not request, but I greatly appreciate- thank you Hector.

On arriving to hotel, Hector called and said, “I have some bad news and some worse news”.  Basically, he and Noelia were “stuck in Quito”, but would have his friend, Patricia Sanchez, show me around the city instead, and we would meet up in Salinas as scheduled.

Patricia gave a long tour.  This included a very long walk along the malecon (walkway next to the Guayas River) that was completely deserted or vacant.  She took us on a tour to pick up her cell phone that she forgot outside of Guayaquil.  She took me on a tour of an expensive restaurant, and was all too happy to have me pay for her meal.  At the end, she told me it would be $30/hour X 8 hours as per Hector.   My policy is not to argue, as it could be a visit to a foreign jail.  Thank you for referring your good friend Hector.

Hector then arranged for cab fare with one of his preferred cabbie friends.  The trip to Salinas costs $10-15 USD more than if I had gotten a cab off the streets.  Again, thank you Hector.

Once in Salinas, neither Hector, nor Noeilia ever showed up.  I guess they are STILL in Quito.  They did try to call after 4 or 5 PM a day after we arrived, and we had already wasted more than a day on the coast- seeing no property.  Hector told me- “Don’t go to Cuenca because the transportation isn’t safe”.  I decided to brave it because I could not waste anymore precious time.  Guess what- it was not only a safe ride that is mad many times a day by hundreds of people, in many types of vehicles, it was a totally delightful ride with great scenery.  This was a flat out lie for obvious reasons.

Hector left us abandoned in a foreign country, and a different continent  in which I do not speak the language.  Few people here speak English.  He did not send anyone to take his place.  He lied.  He wasted my time and money.  He sent me on wild goose chases.  He “hooked” me up with his “amigos” who overcharged or charged for services that should be free.

Finally, while I was in Salinas with nothing to do (again, thank you so much Hector and Noelia), I spoke with several people.  When I mentioned Hector and Noelia, all seemed to either know them or know of them.  From what I heard, their reputation is in keeping with my experience.  Since what I heard is all second hand, I won’t repeat it, only what I know to be true.

Hector- I put a challenge out to you.  You wasted my time and wasted a lot of money.  Repay the money that you directly cost me.