In law, we have ethical rules on how we many handle a client’s funds. Among many things those funds may not be co-mingled with the lawyer’s funds.

What would you think if you prepaid a third party for a vacation in December, 2014 and showed up last week only to find that the third party never paid the resort? That’s what happened to us and I was shocked.

In December, 2014 we prepaid for a three day package at Secrets Puerto Los Cabos. We love the resort and highly recommend it.

On December 9, 2015 Nancy and I arrived at Secrets. The person checking us in found our reservation. After he had made keys for us, he asked for my credit card. I assumed it was for some type of incidentals since we had paid for an extensive package.

At that point, I sadly learned Secrets had never been paid.

I called the phone number from the website that remains unchanged to this day. When I finally spoke to a real person, I explained that our credit card had been charged $920 last December and we had a record of payment, but Secrets claimed that it had not been paid.

I had a strong sense this was not going to end well, when she told me she had to speak to her supervisor. When she got back on she told me that the new Luxury Link owner would not honor the payment I had made to the old Luxury Link owner.

After paying a second time for our three day vacation, albeit at a lower rate because Secrets Los Cabos, while not at fault does understand something about brand loyalty, I did some research.

First I found this on a Better Business Bureau site:

The BBB has been informed the following information:

Effective immediately, Luxury Link LLC aka Luxury Link Travel Group has ceased all operations and entered into a General Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (ABC), following which all of its assets will be sold. As a result, Luxury Link will not be able to honor the travel you have booked through it…

Luxury Link Management

Luxury Link went bankrupt in May, six full months after we paid them for our Secrets vacation.

Here is one of many articles I found, explaining why I was likely screwed: Luxury Link Ceases Operations: Customers Paid for Hotels, May Be Out of Luck.

Here is what I learned in my old age:

Hotels don’t get paid right away when you make a booking through a third party like Luxury Link. Luxury Link has your money, and will pay later. Only they aren’t going to do that in this case. They just have your money.

At least Nancy and weren’t going on our honeymoon. Here is an article about a couple that lost $1800 for their dream honeymoon trip. Engaged couple about to honeymoon in Nicaragua loses trip to apparent scam. This article gives out the former CEO’s email address. I suspect he has closed that email address by now.

There are many more articles and over 16 pages of comments on a Trip Advisor page: please help Luxury Link Secrets PM.

Having been burned, I’m not certain I will ever prepay and book through a third party again. I certainly will never use again.