We received the following submission from one of our users regarding their experience with Vidanta:
“A few months ago I went to Riviera Maya Vidanta. Sales people offered us a ride to see the facilities, includig a free breakfast but with an obligatory timeshare presentation. After that many people, a friend and I decided to buy a membership, without clearly reading what we were signing by the urgency of the matter. They asked to take out a credit card to cover the down payment. They took a long time to return my card, a comparison to my friend they charge very quick the hitch in her credit card. We were not given any contract. They said they would arrive 15 days after the signing of documents.
At home, a week after this, I still had not received my contract yet. I called the resort to make the timeshare cancellation contract that I still not had it but it would arrive and had to pay. There were many inconsistencies with what they told us at the timeshare pitch at the San Francisco exchange program. That is not what we were promised. The resort ignored me, they just passed me from one department to another and nobody gave us an answer.
We felt we needed help and wanted to cancel. So seeing the refusal of the hotel, we hired a company that that was able to cancel our timeshare contract. My friend and I lived with a lot of stress because at the time the hotel said we could not cancel and we had to pay, so we believed that we were engaged for 50 years to pay that! It is horrible and I do not wish it to anyone. Be very careful dont trust what they tell you, avoid timeshare presentations, read your contract carefully before acquiring something.”
We received the following submission from one of our users about their experience with RCI customer service:
“I booked a resort for 9/2-9/9 in Orlando, FL. On 9/1 FL issued a SOE for 51 counties due to the hurricane, and the storm was also headed to Georgia where I live. I contacted RCI and spoke with a supervisor who was very professional and helpful. He stated that they are still in the process of updating the cancellation policy (which states that in the event of a natural diaster RCI would issue a CREDIT in the amount of the fee to your acct and allow you to book another vacation, or UPON MY REQUEST refund the fee) to include the affected areas and to give them a little more time. He also said that they update the policy to cover areas where the I live in the event I was unable to leave my home to travel to my resort destination and that he was going to notate my account about our conversation.
So when I called back on 9/2 I never expected that I would have an issue getting a refund since GA issued a SOE because of the hurricane as well. I spoke to another supervisor who told me if she cancelled my reservation for the natural disaster I could be issued a voucher in for the purchase amount and I had until 9/30 to book another reservation to travel up to 2 years. I asked her for a refund instead, but she stated that the policy is to issue a voucher because she only showed Florida panhandle as an affected area. I then asked her where was this policy located because that was not what is written in section 16.1-16.3 and she could/would not tell me. I then stated that I could not possibly book another reservation for this year because I had just booked a resort in July for my vacation and this was the only other time I was able to travel this year. And the 2nd option to book a future trip would cost me a min $124.00 to renew my membership for 1 year (RCI only allows you to borrow 1 year of points) and borrow from future points which is 21,333 points which was not going to be nearly enough because a future reservation would require a min 42,000 points. So, basically I would lose my money.
She refused to adhere to the cancellation policy for natural disasters and was extremely unprofessional. I have never had such horrible customer service in my life for something that was out of my control! I have canceled my membership with RCI and I will never refer anyone to this company.”
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!
- 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.