RCI Customer Service Experience

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.

RCI customer serviceSo 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.”

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.