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My Experience With Maye Cortinas **LONG**

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#1 Ana


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Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:38 PM

I originally hired Maye Cortinas to coordinate my wedding because there were so many wonderful reviews of girls who had used her services in the past. Last month I had to let her go as my coordinator after a pretty awful experience with her and her business practices (or lack thereof). I debated for a while whether or not to post this, but I've had a few people approach me with the same concerns that I had and I feel that if I post my experience then at least its out there, and all the BDW brides and grooms can at least be aware of what's going on.

When I initially hired Maye I explained to her that I would need her services for the day-of coordinating as well as to provide some feedback and advice on vendors. I told her from the very begining that I wanted to not only be involved with acquiring the vendors myself but that I also wanted to be able to get many different quotes before deciding on whom I would ultimately use. She was fine with this at first but the more I questioned her vendor choices or acquired my own vendors the more annoyed she seemed to become. I also asked her whether or not she had any hidden fees or comissions per vendor that she charged, to which she replied that she most certainly didn't do that. Then a few weeks ago, I was made aware that some of the WC's in Cabo were inflating the prices so that they could get a cut of the deal. I thought about it and I realized it would be super easy for them to do that because most brides just trust that the person their hire to secure vendors are going to get them the best deal possible. Well it appears that is the case with Maye! I had the names of some of the vendors Maye was using so I contacted them myself, and lo and behold there was anywhere from a $75 to $110 difference in prices! That was for flowers, dj, transportation, horse rental etc... it would have cost me well over what it should have if I'd not realized this. When I confronted her about it she said nothing, and instead tried to beat around the bush and make it seem like she didn't even bother reading my concerns. I was stressed and upset for a few weeks about this, and really, the only reason I hired her was so that I wouldn't be stressed.

Finally I decided I couldn't work with her anymore and I sent her this email:
Hi Maye, I am writing this email because I am unhappy with the way that you have conducted your business with me so far. I hired you because you came recommended by some of the girls on the BDW forum. People vouched for how honest, hardworking and nice you were. I wanted to hire you as my wedding coordinator so that I wouldn't have to worry about the vendors, set up etc... on the day of the wedding, and also for you to provide me with THE BEST vendor prices. And I have to say that as of right now you have not provided either of these services. First of all, wedding coordinators are supposed to be able to get lower prices for their clients based on a business relationship that they have with their vendors. Your prices on the other hand, are substantially higher than the prices that I was able to obtain on my own. Not only that, but I have personally contacted the SAME VENDORS that you quoted me and their prices were lower than what you told me! I spoke with you last week and you assured me that you did not charge any hidden fees to your clients, and that you didn't up the price of the vendors for your own benefit. Again, I feel I have been deceived. I contacted the horse rental company from which you quoted me a price of $450 for two horses, and they told me that the price is actually $350! Where is the other $100 going to? Next you had quoted me $275 for DJ Ricardo, but he emailed me and said that the price was actually $225! where is the extra $50 going? Transportation, you quoted me $560 for the bus, but you failed to mention that we could have two mini-buses for $190 each?! For the limo you quoted me $500, yet another bride doing business with you right now, you quoted $350 and you're using the same transportation company! that's a $330 difference there that you're up-charging me. I could continue with the examples but I don't feel like I should have to. I don't even really need an answer as to where the extra money is coming from, because I know that its all hidden fees that you're pocketing. I have done my research and I know what's going on, please don't think that I'm naive. Honest coordinators state from the beginning of the contract that they charge a commission fee, and they make the bride aware of the exact amount that they are charging. This doesn't seem to be the case with you. You're charging whatever amount you feel like you can get away with, and I don't appreciate this. I need a wedding coordinator that is honest with me, that I can trust to make the most important day in my life - stress free and AT THE BEST PRICE. I do not wish to be lied to and stolen from. In effect you up-charging me on the vendor fees is stealing money from my pocket and that is not OK. Brides, like me, trust you and take your word at face value. You're job is to provide peace of mind and a trust-based service and it is not ok to take advantage of that. If you wish to continue to work with me on this wedding, I will need to be able to TRUST YOU. You have caused me alot of stress and anxiety and I have had to do ALOT OF WORK (work that you should have been doing) to try to find the best prices for vendors for my wedding. If you wish to continue to work with me on the wedding I expect a reduced rate for your services of $800 total because I am essentially getting my own vendors and you are doing less work. That means that we would only owe you $500 more since we already paid you $300 for the deposit - also the remainder of this fee will be paid to you after my wedding because I need to make sure that everything goes as planned, that the vendors are set up correctly, that they arrive in a timely fashion etc... The rate of $800 is the rate that you are charging another BDW bride who is also getting the majority of her own vendors for the wedding, so I know that this is legitimate. If you do not wish to continue working with me on this wedding, I understand. I will expect a return of the $300 deposit that we used to secure you, because you have not provided the services that you were hired to perform. Cheers,Ana-Maria Dinu

to this she replied the following:
Ana, The transportation company that I use does not have mini buses, therefore I do not have mini buses prices. The vans are for 13 people and the SUV are for 7 people. So I thought a bus was the best option for you. The price of the limo depends on the size of the limo. As you can see your limo is for 12 people and not for 6 people as probably the other bride is using. I gave you the DJ price for 2009 and he was telling me in fact that my price for 2009 was correct, but he gave you a lower price and like I said he will have to honor it now. See, if they make a mistake, is all right but if I make a mistake, I have to pay for it. I would never go back to the bride and ask for more money. If it is my mistake I pay for it. My regular price for the year 2009 is $1,250.00 usd + 10% tax Sometimes I make concessions to the brides depending on different situations of ceremonies. To me, each bride is a different event and I do not treat them all the same. Some brides are a lot more demanding and very high end, some are relax and it makes it easier for me. I do not think you are getting good prices for flowers, I feel your center pieces are expensive. Is she telling you how many flowers on each arrangement? Since you are doing all the vendors, I think is fair to reduce the price to $800.00 dlls + tax Let me know if you feel good about it and I will cancel all the vendors and just use yours. In that case, I will have the full list of vendors and will check on them to supervise all the event.

Again I felt like she didn't even acknowledge her behaviour, she just dismissed it like it was no big deal. I told her that I could no longer work with her in this email:

Hi Maye, We have not enjoyed this experience with you, nor have we enjoyed being given the run around from you, or the fact that you are trying to make excuses for you up-charging the prices without letting us know of the truth. We are not able to trust your services with our wedding, and this whole process has been very unplesant. I am very disappointed in how you've chosen to handle this and the fact that you make up excuse after excuse for your business practices. As such we are no longer able to work with you. I wish you luck with your business and hope that in the future you will be more honest with the clients that hire you. People hire you because they feel like they can trust you to make their wedding beautiful, and greed for more money is never a good excuse for lying to them. Since you did not perform the services that you were contracted to perform, please return the money order in the amount of $300 USD to:

To her credit she did infact reimburse me my deposit, but I experienced 2 months of wasted time because she not only did not help me, but infact, made my planning process worse. Its such a horrible feeling to know that someone is trying to take advantage of you, and that is how I felt having her as my coordinator. I hope that at least this provides some insight for some people on not only her, but perhaps how some of the other WC's in Cabo operate. I hope this helps

#2 *Heather*


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    Posted 03 July 2008 - 07:48 PM

    Thanks for posting this Ana, I'm sure everyone will take this into account when making a WC decision....

    #3 kristendotcom

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      Posted 03 July 2008 - 08:41 PM

      Wow that sucks. Sorry you had to go through all that and I'm glad that you got your deposit back!

      #4 Golden

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        Posted 03 July 2008 - 09:45 PM

        I am having the same issue with her , she failed to answer my ?? about the overage of 142.00. Since my wedding is next week, I have to let this go.
        When I arrive in Cabo , I will ask her again. Maybe she don't understand. I broke the price difference down in the email,so she could understand why I was asking her about the overage.

        #5 Kelly C

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          Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:38 PM

          That really sucks!!! Atleast you found out before it was too late.
          Kerrington Danielle was born 6/23/09 12:31 pm 7lbs 14oz.


          #6 Alyssa

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            Posted 03 July 2008 - 11:08 PM

            Wow Ana that is really dissapointing.

            i can't stand when Vendors are dishonest / sneaky!

            i moved this to the Cabo Vendor section so other brides can see it.

            #7 ashrose

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              Posted 03 July 2008 - 11:18 PM

              Oh man. That sucks. Way to stand up for yourself.

              #8 Cabo OR Bust

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                Posted 04 July 2008 - 12:30 AM

                Ana, thanks for the heads up, I'm experiencing the same issues with her. I pm'd you.

                #9 happyone

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                  Posted 04 July 2008 - 01:47 AM

                  I specifically didn't use a wedding coordinator to book my vendors because I had heard they take a cut for themselves. This forum and the wonderful people on it have given me enough good recommendations to book all my vendors on my own. Thanks everyone! I'm sorry that you had this experience and I'm glad you posted it because we should here all opinions both negative and positive.

                  #10 Ana


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                  Posted 04 July 2008 - 02:23 AM

                  Just to comment on this, the bride that I quoted actually was getting married after me in 2009, so her price should have been the same, and if you read Maye's response to me, she explicitly states that she subjectively chooses what prices to quote her clients. Secondly, her letter didn't explain anything. I contacted the same vendors she quoted me, for the same dates, and they informed me that her prices were actually incorrect and that they were charging something else. The price inflation came solely from her own inclanation to increase them. The reason I couldn't work with her is that her response to my email didn't touch upon any of the factors that I deemed important and instead she made excuses and found a round-about way of making light of a differnet matter altogether. Every time that I confronted her about a price (and these emails were not made public in this posting) she just emailed back excusing why they had quoted a different price. As far as the DJ is concerned, he is listed in the emails of the posting, he quoted me $225 for the same date and time in 2009 and she quoted me $275. He also stated to me that the price WOULD NOT CHANGE for 2009 for me, so her response doesn't even make sense. It was the same with every other vendor that she quoted me. There was at least a $50-$110+ price difference per vendor - the SAME VENDORS SHE QUOTED ME AND THE SAME DATE. She actually doesn't guarantee much, nor does she do much planning. I hope that she changes her ways in the future, or I believe that postings such as this one, might become more common and in the end it is her business that will suffer. Finally, as far as coordinators in the US/Canada vs Mexico, I asked her outright whether she charged hidden fees. I even went as far as to explain to her that coordinators here in Canada do charge a commission per vendor but that they make you aware of the percentage charged. She told me on the phone as well as in email that she did not charge a commission per vendor nor does she have any hidden fees. This was a blaintant lie, considering that when I inputed the vendor prices of the vendors she used, with the prices they QUOTED ME DIRECTLY, it came up to a $1450 difference. So not only does she charge $1250 per bride but then her fees can add up to well over $1000 - this might make a difference to someone who is on a budged. Oh but that's subjective as well, so if you're a difficult bride when you deal out your contract with her she can charge you as little as $600 or as much as she wants?! What I don't like is dishonesty and I don't think that's a facet of the United States, Canada or Mexico. Honesty is the same across the board, and for someone like myself, who values trust an experience like mine would make a difference in whether or not you hire a vendor. From what I've learned over the last few months all (or the broad majority of) WC's in Cabo do these hidden fees, some are worse than others. This was my experience. If you can't trust someone to provide you honest vendor information, can you really trust that they will recreate your dream wedding? For me, that question was ambiguous and as such I couldn't risk it.

                  Originally Posted by DreaW
                  ok I have to post and stand up for Maye a bit.....
                  I did have her as a wedding coordinator and thought she was very reasonable . You have to remember the quotes she gives you is for the timing (date) of your wedding. Your quote might be different then the other brides quote. You are in 2009 and the other bride might be in 2008....so there will be a major price difference. Since Cabo prices always change, daily. In her letter responding to you it did seem to me that she accepted her responsibilities and explained how vendors work. Vendors change their prices constantly.... Maye does work for you and does find good prices, maybe there are other WC that can find better prices because they have their own connections but she is using her connections.....
                  When I had a question about prices I confronted her with it and she would do a price comparison and show me the price I liked. No fuss about it.
                  I also wasn't asking for horse and buggy (not fighting so please don't take it that way).
                  If she does do a mistake just make a copy of EVERYTHING that she sends you and when you see her before your wedding ( I did this 5 days prior to my wedding day) I sat with her and showed her my copies and compared it to her copies. She saw what she did wrong and changed it immediately.
                  With regards to vendors.....if you don't like her prices (just like she stated) it is easy just not to use her vendors and pick your own instead. That's what I did for photographers and videographers, she (Maye) didn't mind at all she just made sure they were there on my wedding.

                  I'm sorry you didn't like working with her but you have to remember you are not working with WC from the US, you are working with WC from a different country.....all you have to do is make sure they are on task....yes a little more work but it is worth it in the end. There will be mistakes here and there but remember it is one day of a party and the person you are marrying is the most important thing.

                  Sorry my two cents.

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