Glossary of Timeshare Acronyms

Timeshares can be confusing, especially if you are just becoming involved for the first time. To build upon our glossary of timesharing terms, we’ve complied another list of frequently used acronyms when talking about timeshare. We hope this will help you navigate the world of timesharing more easily!

timeshare acronyms

 

  • ARDA (The American Resort Development Association)  The main trade association in the United States for the timeshare industry.
  • ARP (Advance Registration Priority) – Internal booking period that gets you access to the highest demand inventory at your “home resort.”
  • BOD (Board of Directors) – The elected group of people who is responsible for establishing annual maintenance fees and dues, adopting, modifying and enforcing the HOA bylaws, and maintaining the day-to-day operations of running a timeshare resort (see HOA).
  • DAE (Dial An Exchange) – One of the largest independent timeshare exchange companies outside of RCI and Interval International.
  • EOY (Every Other Year) – Biennial use of a timeshare week.
  • EY (Every Year) – Annual use of a timeshare week.
  • FDI (First-Day Incentive) – An offer, often a substantial discount, to encourage you to immediately purchase a timeshare at the sales presentation.
  • FROR (First Right of Refusal) – A contractual right that gives its holder the option to enter a business transaction with the timeshare owner, according to specified terms, before the owner is entitled to enter into that transaction with a third party. Also called ROFR (Right of First Refusal).
  • HC or HK (Housekeeping Credit) – Credits given to timeshare owners to be used for housekeeping services.
  • HOA/POA (Home Owners Association/Property Owners Association) – A group of timeshare owners of a resort. In essence, every owner at a resort is a member of the HOA; however, in most situations a small group of elected individuals (see BOD) is actually responsible for specifically proposing and voting on decisions. In some cases, the HOA will choose to hire a third party company handle the day-to-day operations of the resort including housekeeping/groundskeeping, collection of fees/dues, accounts payable/receivable, etc.
  • II (Interval International) – The second largest timeshare exchange company in the world.
  • IPC (Internal Personal Contacts) Sales staff employed to sell to existing owners who are staying at the resort. This term is more commonly used in countries other than the U.S.
  • IVA (Impuesto al Valor Agregado) – The Spanish abbreviation for Value Added Tax (see VAT).
  • OPC (Off Premises Contact or Outside Public Contact) – The person, often an employee of the timeshare company or a temporary or a contract employee of the company, who sets up timeshare sales presentation appointments by connecting with prospective timeshare buyers in public venues.
  • OTE (Organization for Timeshare in Europe) A trade association in Europe comprised of resort owners and developers.
  • RCI (Resort Condominiums International) – The largest timeshare exchange organization in the world, owned by Wyndham Worldwide.
  • RTU (Right to Use) – Agreement granting use of a timeshare property for a given period of time. This type of ownership can not be passed on to heirs and expires after 20 to 99 years, depending on the deed.
  • SIV (Sales Inspection Visit) The term for prospective buyers that stay at a resort for a low cost, on the condition that they attend a sales presentation.
  • SPIFF (Special Performance Incentive Fund) – A bonus, paid in addition to a commission, to a salesperson for making a sale.
  • SVO (Starwood Vacation Owner) – Someone who owns a Starwood timeshare.
  • SVN (Starwood Vacation Network) – The exchange system for Starwood owners.
  • TATOC (The Association for Timeshare Owners Committees) – The largest consumer association for timeshare owners in Europe.
  • VAT (Value Added Tax) – A type of consumption tax that is placed on a product whenever value is added at a stage of production and at final sale. VAT is most often used in the European Union. Also called a goods and services tax (GST).
  • VPG (Value per Guest) – This is a measure of how well a sales force is doing. It is the dollar volume of the sales divided by the total number of guests toured.

Wyndham Points Credit Pool

If you are a Wyndham owner who doesn’t want to waste accumulated points, you may benefit from using the points credit pool. By putting your points into the credit pool, you are essentially banking them for later use – you can pull them from the pool as you need them over the subsequent 3 years. There are some specific regulations of the pool, however, so read on to find out how to use it and maximize your points.

The credit pool is a feature you might consider taking advantage of if you know in advance you won’t be traveling during the upcoming use year – the 12-month period during which you may vacation using the points allocated to you by Wyndham. For a $39 fee, you can deposit all or a portion of your points into the credit pool and pull them out as needed for a standard or express internal reservation. You can also use your points earlier by having access to what you put in the credit pool. For each 1,000 points placed in the pool, one housekeeping credit will also be deposited.

points credit poolWhile the credit pool can be helpful for certain people, there are several caveats you should be aware of before you use it. First, credit pool points cannot be used for Advance Reservation Priority (ARP) reservations. As we mentioned earlier, pool points can only be used for a standard or express reservation. They also can’t be used for other things, such as converting to pay maintenance fees, airline tickets, cruises, or the other programs of that type. Pooled credits cannot be used as a deposit with your exchange company and they cannot be converted to Club WyndhamSM Plus Assessment dollars.

It helps to be a VIP member in using this feature as well; if you haven’t purchased at least ½ million points from the developer, you cannot place points into the credit pool after the start date of your use year. Club Wyndham Plus and VIP members, however, can pool their points prior to the start of their use year. VIP Gold members can pool their points up to 6 months into their use year, and VIP Platinum members can pool their points up to 9 months into their use year.

So, if you typically take yearly vacations and use your Wyndham points throughout the year, the credit pool probably would not be beneficial for you. But if you know you won’t be able to use your points in the upcoming use year, it could be useful. Even if there is a slight possibility that you won’t be able to use your points in any given year, you might consider pooling them rather than letting them expire. Be certain that you want to pool your points, however, because once they are deposited, the process cannot be reversed.

What to Look for in a Timeshare Contract

If you’ve attended a timeshare presentation and have decided to make a purchase, it is wise to take your time to read and understand all of the timeshare contract documents you will be signing. In fact, you have the right to do so. This contract-signing scenario will likely be taking place after several hours of sitting through a sales pitch – when you’re tired and vulnerable – but remember how much money is at stake here. Don’t rush through the process and make a hasty decision just to get it over with. Take your time, read the documents, and make a well-informed decision. Here’s what to look out for in the contract itself:

  • Public offering statement – Along with your purchase contract you will receive a legal document called a public offering statement, which is a very detailed history of the project that contains extremely important information such as owner rights and maintenance fees. Do yourself a favor and read this document! It will outline everything you need to know about what exactly you’re purchasing so you aren’t surprised later. timeshare contract
  • Rescission or “cooling off” period – Each state has a different rescission period (usually around 5-7 days) that allows you to cancel a timeshare contract and (sometimes) get a refund. Rescission is dependent on the state laws where the timeshare property is purchased, which is not necessarily your home state. Each set of documents accompanying a timeshare sale will include a form explaining how to rescind. It will probably be titled something like “Notice of Mutual Right of Cancellation of Time Share Purchase.” More information about timeshare rescission here.
  • Verify verbal promises – If the salesperson made certain promises during the presentation, ask that it be included in your contract before you sign on the dotted line. If they refuse to put their verbal promises in writing, take this as a sign about what kind of company they are. Unless you’ve signed the purchase contract, you can still walk away at any time.
  • Obtain copies – Do not walk away without copies of ALL contract documents. Some salespeople at the resort might offer to mail copies to you later so you don’t have to worry about carrying them along the rest of your vacation…don’t fall for this! Take the documents and review them once again when you get home. If you decide to change your mind, you might still be within the legal rescission period.
  • For a list of further detailed questions you might want to ask yourself before purchasing a timeshare, see this article. Many answers to these questions will be found in the public offering statement document.

No matter where your head is at with purchasing a timeshare, beware of the pressure you will likely experience during and after the presentation. If you are at all unsure about signing the paperwork or have questions about what it is you’re purchasing, don’t sign! You have the legal right to take time to think about a decision that requires such a considerable financial commitment. If you feel uncomfortable or see any red flags, listen to your instincts and just walk away.