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Las Olas thread completely deleted - new investors beware

A long running, eight page, 4 year old thread here about the [lack of] development at Las Olas has been nuked. Deleted, removed, it's gone.

Apparently expat.com wishes potential investors to be deprived of a range of useful information and the many pro and con discussions over the years of this expat-aimed development.

Future expat investors who come here looking for information and experiences with Las Olas will leave empty handed. The many experiences and discussions of Las Olas are no more.

Freedom of speech, opinion, and experience will not be tolerated on expat.com.

Expat.com, which professes to facilitate international movement and conversation, apparently has little regard for the expats it claims to assist and empower through knowledge and exchange.

gardener1 :

Apparently expat.com wishes potential investors to be deprived of a range of useful information and the many pro and con discussions over the years of this expat-aimed development..

I don't believe you.
Threads don't go because they attract expats to a place, they go for other reasons, usually arguments, defamation, advertising, or something else that either breaks the rules or is bad news for members.

You comment about 'freedom of speech' makes me wonder what you've been posting. That comment usually comes from people who knowing post something that breaks the rules.

Check my post history Fred, it's easy to find.

If you don't believe me I can PM you the URL of the missing thread, minus the most recent comments which were obliterated (none of them mine).

If you want proof, I've got what's left to find of the original thread. Happy to send it your way.

Apparently expat.com wishes potential investors to be deprived of a range of useful information

I don't dispute the thread has gone, but the reason you gave is unlikely.

Caveat emptor.  A fool and his money, etc. etc.  I think that says it all about Las Olas, you don't have to read the whole thread as I had done. 

To delete the thread was not the best course of action, IMO.

Very unfortunate that the thread was deleted.  As gardener1 stated, this was a pro and con discussion.  I myself read it in its' entirety, having an interest in investing in the Las Olas development.  My husband and I both traveled to Bahia and the development last year to get an up close and personal look, gather information and made a rational decision whether or not we would be buying in.  I made my opinions known on the original thread.  If anyone is interested in my research, you are more than welcome to pm me.

There may be a reason of defamation as to why the pages were removed.

In Ecuador, the law of defamation is quite extensive and truth is not a defense.  Therefore many sites are reticent to allow negative posts. 

We did lose  expats during the April 16, 106 earthquake.  This included the wife and son of the of Pascal Laflamme

"According to Pascal’s LinkedIn page, he started working last October as head of marketing for the Las Olas resort community, a beach-side development project near the town of Bahia de Caraquez, about 150 kilometres southwest of the capital, Quito."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/wor … e29655818/

That being said, the Las Olas facebook page is still up and running and the business is still building homes: https://www.facebook.com/LasOlas.ecu/

Do keep in mind that much is "puffed" in the matter of sales of housing in Ecuador.  Recently the government took action to change laws making it illegal to sell an urbanization without proper changes of title and to ensure that basic utilities were covered before beginning sales, but this is still new territory.

Bottom line it is and always will be caveat emptor in purchasing in Ecuador.  But you would do better, always, in a location where the project is as complete as it will be and the builders have left.  You will find the best sales, prices, and will not be shocked that things are not finished as promised in the glossy brochure because you actually see what you are purchasing. 

Basically, never buy vapor-ware in Ecuador.

Why did the whole thread/topic have to be shut down? There have been plenty of times where certain posts have been placed under review until further investigation. Why not just red flag the post, investigate that post, and leave the rest of the thread going?

Perhaps you'd like to use the 'contact us' button and ask.
The teams don't remove threads without reason, so ask what it was.

Hi everybody,

@ gardener >

I think that there is a misunderstanding here.
No thread has been removed from the forum but only four posts have been removed from this one long thread : http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … 42&p=8 .

Indeed, these four posts were not appropriate as they contained a lot of defamatory information and unfounded accusations. Therefore, we had no choice, we removed them from the thread as Expat.com could face legal problems.
Also note that we contacted the persons whose posts have been removed.

If all misunderstandings have been cleared, can i now close this thread please?

Waiting for your feedback ;)

Priscilla

Is it the case that expat.com which is an internet entity and which has no physical presence in every country of the world, must comply with the (many conflicting and contradictory) laws of each and every country represented in the forums?  If the truth is no defense, how can any free speech opinions or facts even be stated without running the risk of legal action by someone, somewhere?

I agree OsageArcher.  If the truth, along with supporting documentation, stands for nothing, we are not allowed any free speech whatsoever.

Priscilla :

Hi everybody,

@ gardener >

Indeed, these four posts were not appropriate as they contained a lot of defamatory information and unfounded accusations. Therefore, we had no choice, we removed them from the thread

Priscilla

Defamatory accusations regarding the poster's inability to retrieve her $75,000 after her husband died and Las Olas' refusal to account for their money, or return it? Her explanation that Las Olas does not in fact hold purchasers money in escrow, but takes that money which disappears into the 'development' funds?

How is that defamatory? And what does it have to do with expat.com? You never even gave her a chance to follow up with more information. The posts were simply deleted as though the problem didn't exist.

Of course you have the wherewithal to close this thread any time it suits you. That doesn't change the fact that expat.com is censoring useful information being posted by expats with first hand experience of losing a lot of money and being silenced with excuses of "defamatory",  "we had no choice."


:blink:

In fact, Ecuador does not have "escrow".

Not as it is meant in North America, where a disinterested party takes on a fiduciary duty  through a contract to hold funds until a condition subsequent occurs.

Whatever funds a person puts towards a purchase can and often is co-mingled, and if the buyer entered into the agreement prior to the start of the new real estate protection laws, then that buyer probably has no standing to bring a case.  They are held to a level of knowledge, ie buyer beware, or the classic caveat emptor.

As for a person's ability to say anything, which people refer to as "free speech", well, there isn´t.  That is actually a matter of freedom of expression (within certain limits) and is, in fact, a right guaranteed by only certain countries in certain ways and then only within its borders.

In other countries, the right to a person to remain free of the injury of gossip is a greater right, the right to their unsullied name takes greater precedence, and protecting one´s name is very important as it reflects on the entire extended family. 

One right does not delete the other right, they are separate, but they do overlap in Ecuador, a place with a cultural history different than that of North America, and that is often reflected in the manner in which its judicial thought process is carried out.

As a cyber-business, expat.com must act in the best interests of its website to present the most information to the greatest number. To secure that, threads do need to be moderated. It´s part of participating in the global marketplace that is the internet.  Still, the moderator may want to consider leaving this thread open as an educational example of what and why may be removed from a thread.

And remember, there is always private messaging here so you can discuss sensitive matters in a more discrete location.

Susan

Leave it alone.

I will continue to post my experiences with this company. If not here, that's fine. There are many social media sites who welcome the truth and are not afraid of letting the conversation continue. My experience with the company is true and valid. How they choose to respond to repayment (when the concern is honest and supported) is vitally important information for all other potential and active investors. There are thousands of web-sites dedicated to 'customer reviews'. These reviews are public and not defamatory, because they allow and even encourage perspectives of several individuals' experiences with the Same company. One perspective is not more correct, or more accurate. Different experiences are just that; different experiences. I believe we all refer to balanced web-sites when investigating potential purchases on-line. Its extremely important to see a broader perspective. My experience is valid. It is not defamatory. It is not unsupported. Its not how a company treats you when they are in the 'wine and dine' stage. It's how they treat you, or in my case, mistreat me, when the lights go out and the pretty party is over, that is also worthy of explanation, exposure, and discussion. I encourage all interested parties to please educate yourselves as to the definition of defamation." I have a strong voice... I intend to use it. Again, if not here, it does not matter.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men[women] to do nothing.”― Burke

I lived in Bahia prior to the earthquake.  I have met the person who posted about her factual experience with Las Olas who is seeking the return of her money.  I know her and her husband to be people of high integrity.  I also know others who have purchased property at LO.  I believe that this public forum should allow comments about anyone’s experience with Las Olas as long as they have the facts to back up their statements. 
I agree with Susan’s and Gardener 1 comments that everyone considering a purchase of real estate in Ecuador, or anywhere else, should ask specific questions about how the developer has handled all types of customer situations.  It would be helpful to know the process for having money returned if a buyer has a change in circumstances.  Many events can change a person’s ability or desire to complete a real estate purchase.  Most companies have such a policy and it is good to know whether or not the company treats these situations with integrity and that they follow their written contractual agreements.
Best practice in customer service is really demonstrated by how a company treats satisfied customers as well as those who desire to terminate their agreements. Why wouldn’t Las Olas or any other company want potential and current buyers to know that they are treating people with respect and integrity?

The forum has a very strict policy on defamation.
You can post it here if it's been proven in court; if that has not been done, it's defamation.

Take them to court and prove it, or just link to the previous court ruling and all is fine.

Hi everybody,

Please note that Expat.com is a friendly website where members are allowed to share their expat experience.

As such, Psychodave experience is the most welcomed but actually there were no back up information and only unfounded accusations. We had no choice and we removed the posts so as to avoid legal problems.

However, if Psychodave have facts to prove that his information is true, he is free to share it again on the forum but it is best if giving names of people could be avoided.

And i agree with Fred, Psychodave can post if its proven to court but if its not, it can be considered as defamation and can be harmful to Expat.com.

I think that everything has been said now. If you still have some doubts, feel free to contact me in private or to click on the contact us button. We will be happy to help. :)

Thanks all,

Priscilla

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