Comments on Review #500: Deciding if a Timeshare is Right For You and Getting the Best Deal" (30 total) View all
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by bob411
Add more to your review on your next one.
Jan 28, 2011
9:12 pm PST

uvc timeshare at villa del palmar puerto vallarta -what a ripoff!
by bfhunt
In July 2009 I visited Villa del Palmar in Puerto Vallarta. At the airport I tried to get a taxi and I ended up signed up to look at the Universal Vacation Club timeshare. At first the presentation was low pressure;however, once you show any interest then the pressure is on. I was newly divorced and told them I could not afford it - I just showed up to get the free tour tickets. They finally convinced me. They told me that for $10000 /- I could get a package that gave me one free week at the hotel or an alternate location in the winter every other year for 30 years. In addition the package would include two weeks during the summer of every year and the company would automatically buy one week back at $2000 a week every summer for 5 years. That paid for the whole package! In addition they were going to give me 12 FREE weeks every year at "getaway" locations through another program called Interval International. They told me that the ONLY money I would have to pay besides the $10,000 was a maintenance fee of $500 every other year. After several hours they talked me into it. With the terms that they outlined the package was essentially paid for with the 5 year buy back and then I would get 15 free weeks a year for thirty years (14 on the years when I did not get the winter week). They rush you through the paperwork and if you try to take the time to read it they tell you that you have several days to read it and cancel if you want. I did just that and the contract did not reflect the terms we had agreed on. I called my sales person, Israel Cuni, the day I signed and told him that it did not say that I got the two weeks in the summer or anything about the buy back and it said that the Getaway weeks were discounted not free. I told him that I needed a letter outlining exactly what we had agreed. He told me that he would bring it to my hotel the next morning. I did not receive it. After that I asked for the letter every day that I was in Puerto Vallarta and did not get it. I called and called after I got home and spoke to him on more than seven occasions. Every time I spoke to him he told me that he would send the letter that corrected the terms of the contract. He was very friendly and said that of course we needed to get the correct terms in writing and that he would get it out right away. I told him that I kept the original notes where he outlined every thing on several pieces of paper. I never received anything. That went on for about four months. Now he won't return my calls. The company is saying that all that my package gives me is one week at the Villa del Palmar or equivalent every other winter period for 30 years PERIOD. For that I have to pay over $10,000 and $500 /- in maintenance fees every other year. Who in their right mind would ever pay $10000 for 1 weeks vacation every other year with an obligation to pay another $15,000 in maintenance fees!!!!!They say that if I want a summer week I have to pay an additional maintenance fee and that there is no buyback of $2000 per week for 5 years. As far as the Getaway weeks they only pay for the first year enrollment fee so for the next 29 years you have to pay over $100 a year to even use the program. So much for only having to pay for the maintenance fee! They say that the Getaway weeks are not free but are just discounts on hotels that are only selling excess inventory. I have called the salesman, his supervisor, the contracts department and have even written to the board of directors. In the past two months I have placed more than 15 phone calls and I have not had a single return phone call. I regret the day that I walked into the Villa del Palmar hotel.
Jan 7, 2010
9:46 pm PST

Resale Market
by jcm181937
You can find great deal in the resale market from places like www.sellmytimeshareforfree.com. After seeing the resale market I will never buy from direct from the timeshare company again.
Jun 1, 2009
10:02 am PDT

Just Don't Do It
by blb84088
If you are tempted to buy a timeshare, just don't do it. I gave in to the high pressre sales pitch and my wife's emotional appeal to "do this for our family." Sales people lie. How can it be a good deal to pay $5,000 to $20,000 for the privilege of then paying $600 for a week's stay somewhere through annual maintenance fees, plus the $189 exchange fee if you want to go outside of your property? Just go online and buy the same thing at about half the cost when you decide to travel from some poor time share "owner" like me who is trying to dump his week. Ironically, you have more flexibility in the time and place you travel than the actual time share members. My wife regrets that we bought it too. Now we just have to make the best of it, since it would be worse to try to sell it.
May 20, 2009
3:47 pm PDT

Disney Vacation Club unfair in public offers to Members
by globewalker
Recently and probably because of the economic slump Disney has offered, the public, cruise packages where children under 12 go FREE! They also offer resort packages where you pay for 4 nights and get 3 FREE!
How sad for loyal paying DVC members who must still use points for children under 12 and those same points for the 3 Free nights given to the public.
They could at least extend the same offer, during the same time periods, to their Members.
Feb 20, 2009
3:36 am PST

Re: Vacation club versus Time Share
by juliemack
Which vacation club would you recommend?
Aug 20, 2007
12:09 pm PDT

Vacation club versus Time Share
by mrnyc84
I would highly reccomend a true vacation club over the purchase of a time share.With my vacation club i get resort weeks at time share properties unlimited all year for between 300-800 per week.I do not have to pay maintenance fees.The up front cost was 9,000 worth every penny.My vacation club is lifetime and can be used by my family,bothers sisters etc and it never expires and is inhertable .Time share to me is a rip-off vacation club is where the smart money is.
Mar 27, 2007
7:47 am PDT

Re: Westin Vacation Timeshares
by AliventiAsylum
Location doesn't matter except for trade value. I own in Orlando at a resort I will never visit. High value = high points. Westin is up and coming. I think Fairfield right now is the leader.

Patti
Jan 3, 2006
3:29 am PST

Re: timeshare overpriced ?
by AliventiAsylum
All RCI Points members have access to RCI's Bonus vacations inventory (now known as "extra Vacations" and "Last Call"). As far as I know, this is the only Bonus plans available. I could be wrong but I doubt it if the salesman said through RCI. I can have it too - your "bonus week" might just secure a lesser rate for the transaction than I would pay.

As long as you are a member of RCI you will have access to this inventory. It doesn't matter whether or not you deposit your weeks with them.

What resort did you buy at? I know Fairfield sometimes has their own program going of extra weeks for exchange.

Salesman lie - chances are you won't see the bonus beyond the three guaranteed by the developer. Depending on your vacation style and degree of flexibility, you might do all right anyway. I went to a sales pitch recently just for the free tickets and i couln't believe how he lied to me. I refuted him with FACTS and he couldn't argue and gave up.

You will probably end up very happy with it as long as you don't expect too much. We've enjoyed our vacations a great deal and given them to friends as well who enjoy the units over the traditional motel rooms.


Patti
Jan 3, 2006
3:28 am PST

timeshare overpriced ?
by justjohnny007
Your opinion was very informative. I succumbed to the sales pitch of the salesman I never do that without checking online opinions. I was on vacation and not able to access the internet. I bought a new timeshare at twice the going rate and the deakmaker was 2 extra weeks vacation with RCI per year for 3 years minimum for $149.00./week. If I bought the timeshare privately and decided to join RCI would I still be intitled to the 2 weeks extra for joining or is it an exclusive deal with the developers? Also, if I decide not to list my timeshare to trade am I considered a bad timeshare owner and RCI will not renew my extra 2 weeks per year beyond the 3 years gaurenteed by the developer? My salesman has his bonus weeks extended for 12 years so he says. Please respond with your opinion. John
Jan 2, 2006
5:18 pm PST

Westin Vacation Timeshares
by mp12
What do you think about purchasing a timeshare through Westin Vacation Club, and does it matter which location you purchase at. I purchased one in Arizona, but I have no intention of ever going back to Arizona. I just want to use the points to travel around. Please advise.
Sep 3, 2005
2:09 pm PDT

RCI - The Cruise Club - Anyone have experience with this ?
by lhousesoccer
Hello All :

I hope this gets seen. We were on vacation in St. Maarten when we ended up in this time share shpeel (I'll be honest - we just wanted the free $50) - but this one was a little different and it piqued our interest. Apparently it's a new venture by RCI called "The Cruise Club", where you buy a timeshare for a week sailing on a private catamaran yacht. The yacht's hold 3 couples, plus the crew, which is usually a husband (captain) and wife (cook) team.

The more we listened, the more it sounded good, but the $17,000 fee (for 12 years committment) scared us. Plus, I've always been wary of timeshares. On top of that, we're young (34) no kids, but planning to start a family in the next few years - so to commit that much time and money when we don't know where life is taking us scared us too. Anyways, the salesman made a deal with us to sell us just one week, to be used at any time in the next 3 years. The deal included airfare to St. Maarten from anywhere in the US, plus the catamaran cruise, all the food and drink while on board (including alcohol), fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving - all included. We try to take one nice vacation a year and the price he offered was less than what we had just paid for the vacation we were currently on.

So - we bought the one week, and put half down on our credit card. The other half he said would be billed a month later.

It's been a month now, and for reasons too complicated to explain here, we cancelled our old credit card and had the company issue a new one with a new account. So - obviously the second half of the charge won't go through for them. I tried to call them today to give them the new number, but the telephone number on the forms they gave me do not work. Now I'm getting worried they I've been taken, or scammed in some way. I don't know what to think.

Anyone ?
Apr 5, 2004
1:05 pm PDT

Great When Our Resort Didnt Close Down
by lila01
15 years ago my parents purchased a timeshare with RCI $150,000.. The Resort was in Sosua, Dominican Republic The Sandcastle it was beautiful they rand in to some problems & then sold it to Qualton Club in Puerto Plata. We do not know what is going on we can't exchange any weeks it has been a nightmare. My dad has the deed but that doesnt mean a thing. I now find out that the Resort is run down and closed down so we our out of luck.
Oct 6, 2003
11:57 am PDT

Re: We have...
by AliventiAsylum
We're right across the way from you at Vacation Village at Parkway. I don't think we'd ever use it as a 2 bedroom unit there means both sides of the lockout - that would be more if we went with another family as we could both have some privacy. I'm not sure if CWR works the same way or not - I have to check the points schedule.

I want to try Vistana in Orlano the next time we go. We've exchanged twice into Orange Lake and I love it, but I feel the need for a change.

Watch your maintenance on the beach resort - you might see it shoot up or end up with an "extra assessment".

Patti

Aug 8, 2003
6:16 pm PDT

BTW...
by jetbluefan1
Cocoa Beach is 1-bedroom and Celebration World is 3-bedroom. We use the Celebration 3-bedroom when we bring family members with us.
Aug 7, 2003
5:22 pm PDT

We have...
by jetbluefan1
2 timeshares. One is Cocoa Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale. The other is Celebration World Resort in Orlando.

We got great deals. We paid $7,000 flat fee for Cocoa Beach and pay $500 yearly. Then we paid $12,000 flat fee for Celebration and pay $1,000 yearly. Our Celebration property is worth $28,000 now! That's a $16,000 profit if we sell it, but we have the peak weeks for it so there is no way we are selling it.

I can't believe we got Celebration for $12,000. We had a contract with Silver Lake for $12,000 and they knew that we were serious about buying the timeshare, but it had it beat Silver Lake's deal. Why should we have bought the resort? It wasn't yet built, and they understood that. At the beginning of the meeting, the worker told us that she'd knock off an addition $2,000 from the final price we came with.

So we negotiated down to $14,000 when my wife remembered the deal the worker had made with us. I was just about to sign the contract when my wife stopped me and reminded the worker of the deal. So we got the resort for $12,000 - that's good isn't it? It's also right next to Disney World.

Congratulations on your #500! Sorry for taking up so much space on this comment.

Anthony
Aug 7, 2003
5:19 pm PDT

Re: A better deal...
by AliventiAsylum
Yup, there are a lot of places that are moving to this, and the ones it's affecting are the trading companies like RCI. They are starting to have a problem with inventory for people who want to trade.

That's why if we add more time to our timeshare, it will probably be with Marriott (Fairfield) who has their own grouping of pretty nice resorts to choose from.

I'd say that ours will definitely pay for itself over the years. Right now with the points I managed to get four weeks vacation this year and four next year - all for around $200-$250 a week, averaging in maintenance fees with the exchange fees. That's not including the initial purchase, but that would be averaged in over the lifetime of our ownership.

The face of timesharing is definitely changing, which is what has pushed RCI into the points arena. Who knows what will change next?

Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you are enjoying it and getting a lot of use out of it!

Patti
Aug 5, 2003
3:36 am PDT

Re: ---------------
by AliventiAsylum
Thanks Jack :-)

Patti
Aug 4, 2003
3:09 am PDT

Re: Very Nicely done
by AliventiAsylum
I have one reserved for Gatlinburg next July 4th, but I think we'll have to cancel as we're planning a drive to Texas the end of the summer and I think the two trips would be too much.

Europe is one of those I am dying to go to. I have heard so much positive feedback about the timeshare resorts on Tenerife.

Thanks for the comment!

Patti
Aug 3, 2003
7:47 am PDT

Re: I'm not shopping for a timeshare.
by AliventiAsylum
The computer deciding to be a PITA this week slowed me down, but now I have a new one... and I'm about to go on vacation.

Oh well, I have tons of notes and eventually I'll get around to catching up ;-)

Timeshares can be fun, but a lot of people buy them and feel like they were taken.

Thanks as always Quinn!

Patti
Aug 3, 2003
7:45 am PDT

Re: Whew!
by AliventiAsylum
Thanks Don, I think it was almost as long as one of yours ;-)

Patti
Aug 3, 2003
7:44 am PDT

Re: Congratulations
by AliventiAsylum
Thanks Naomi!

Patti
Aug 3, 2003
7:43 am PDT

Re: We've owned.....
by AliventiAsylum
Thanks Melissa!

I definitely feel that we've gotten our money's worth from our unit, and we've only owned the bigger one two years and the smaller one for three years before it.

Patti
Aug 3, 2003
7:43 am PDT

Re: Congratulation
by AliventiAsylum
Thanks Letta.

Mexico is one of those places I would like to go to sometime.

Patti
Aug 3, 2003
7:42 am PDT

Re: Congrats Patti!
by AliventiAsylum
I'm glad to have helped in any way Melinda. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Thanks for the comment.

Patti
Aug 3, 2003
7:41 am PDT

Very Nicely done
by Granniemose
My son and family have a timeshare, and they have vacationed almost everywhere - even in Europe. I believe they have to pay a small amount, but with their family of four it is always great to have a pleasant apartment to come home to after a day of sight seeing, or vacation activities. I stayed with them once in Gatlinberg, and it was really a nice place, fully equipped with everything one would need, including cookware, blankets, TVs and DVDs.

Congratulations on your 500th review - a gold star for this girl please. Nice going, Patti.

Virginia
Aug 3, 2003
7:17 am PDT

I'm not shopping for a timeshare.
by JediKermit
I'm not shopping for a timeshare, so I just read all that for nothing. But I had to be supportive of your #500. I'm almost up to 600! Catch up, woman! So many Star Trek episodes to write about, so little time.

Very informative, by the way--if we ever are shopping for a timeshare, we'll have to read it all again.

:)

Happy 500!

Quinn

Aug 2, 2003
10:09 pm PDT

Whew!
by Don_Krider
Patti,

Great review, as always. Congratulations on # 500!

Don :)
Aug 2, 2003
9:02 pm PDT

Congratulations
by Naomi7835
What a great 500th review. Well done.

Hope to read many more of your reviews.

Naomi
Aug 2, 2003
10:18 am PDT

We've owned.....
by melissasrn
...our timeshare unit for almost 10 years now and have definitely got our money's worth out of it.

Great review, Patti!
Melissa
Aug 2, 2003
9:02 am PDT
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