Consumer Complaints and Reviews
The best way to book - Call with your vacation number (if possible). I usually don't! Know what and where you want to go. You have to call at least 3 months out, 6 is better. But I have called in two weeks out. Your dues have to be paid and your maintenance fees before your booking date. I usually pay them at the same time I'm making my reservation. I hated this company until I learned how to use it!
When you call go through your home base, that is where you own, not where you bought! Do your homework and it will work. We stayed in Florida close to Disneyworld for a week and it cost $100 fee and $25.00 cleaning fee. I got the $100. Back the day I left in cash. The week cost $25.00 for two condos connected! So stop bitching and do your homework. You can always cancel. Four days in Vegas for 7,000 points, That's almost free! I hated this company the first few years.
We are RCI vacation club members but have not used the club points yet. I tried to login to my account and could not login so I call customer service for help. I was told that my membership was canceled as of June 2013. I said how could that be because we were never notified of when the fee was due. They said they notified me via email several times. I asked for verification of the email address which does match my current email. I asked if they called or sent a letter, no they only use email. Notifying only via email is very unreliable. People do change email addresses from time to time. If in fact they did notify me via email I never received them. You would think they would send a letter or call. We also belong to Interval International and have never missed our dues because they send a bill once a year.
I know many people are not happy with their membership, RCI charges so many fees. When you transfer your points that are expiring from Wyndham to RCI there is a fee. If your membership allows less or more than 7 nights you pay a housekeeping fee. When you arrive at the resort, you pay an exchange fee, a protection fee that they don't mention to you, they just bundle at the end, and if you are allowing a guest or your son who is not on the deed, you pay a guest fee. If you book an all-inclusive resort YOU CAN NOT use your points towards it, you will be paying those nightly or weekly fees to the resort, and all-inclusive ONLY includes meals and drinks, it does not include your flight. Oh and if you make the reservation by phone there is an extra fee. It's cheaper booking online, I am not 100% if that has been changed but as of Dec. 2016 you paid $10 more when booking through the phone. As you see, there are fees for everything.
We found these scammers on Craigslist, offering a one night hotel stay with a bottle of wine, chocolates (from the Dollar Tree!) and a rose for attending a seminar. We have done these before so we knew what we walking into. (Just wanted the free gift.) Upon arrival we were asked if we could come back in the morning as there was probably a two-hour wait (because people weren't buying fast enough). Turns out it was less than a ten-minute wait. The first hour was entertaining as we just messed with the guy, but as the second hour commenced and all he could talk about was himself it got less and less fun. He kept referring to "points". As in we'd need 149000 points for such and such a stay. Then he'd look at us like we should be really impressed!! Wtf. We had no idea what a point was worth... he never did give us any actual dollar amounts.
He couldn't find any states on a map. He had no idea what was inside his sales booklet. He literally talked about himself and his "accomplishments" for 90% of the seminar. I had read reviews on this place so I knew they weren't any good and the reviews were accurate. As soon as he realized we weren't biting (it took over two hours for him to come to this decision) he turned into a jerk and "excused" us. He did give us a tour of the "resort" they wanted us to buy into. He kept telling us we'd see they were million dollar homes... they were not! More like $120,000 homes, if that. Ceilings were coming detached from walls. Inside of closet entire was cracked and falling apart. This place is a joke. A huge scam. Stay away! Unless like us, you have nothing better to do but screw with timeshare salesmen for free gifts! ;) Absolutely ridiculous!
Used our timeshare at Grandview at Las Vegas last week to find in addition to being charged an increased exchange fee, the RCI magazine (their advertising vessel), an upgrade in membership to get access to wider inventory, fee for non-owners to use the unit and a charge for not using points last year, they tacked on a charge for internet and room safe that we did not use. They truly seem to be nickel and diming us without any restrictions. This one-week of vacation that costs significantly on the onset now costs much more than can be gotten without being an owner. Where did the advantage go? The whole premise stinks.
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Spoke to Tracy in customer service. She is a "supervisor". She did not listen to anything I was saying but kept interrupting me in mid sentence. I guess she decided to get on the offensive before I could explain my problem with RCI. All Tracy did was get me on the defensive, I guess she is trained not to answer any questions. I eventually got tired of being interrupted and hanged up.
Flexibility is the key to successfully using RCI. If you want a specific place at a specific time you will likely be disappointed. If you are flexible it can work well. I have two weeks not points. I own at a specific resort in the Bluegreen system. I have flex time. I call 12 months in advance and pick a week. RCI has a calculator that shows me the value of each week so I get a week that has the most value. Originally you did not see properties more valuable than yours. RCI changed and assigns a value. You can for a fee combine points to get better and if the exchange is less you get to keep the excess points. I have been to Galveston, Santa Fe, Hawaii, Spain, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Carolinas, Utah, Sedona.
This place is literally filled by maggots of the Earth. I hope that anyone prior to buying into the vast amount of lies that everyone at this place spews reviews this. NOT only is the free cruise that is suppose to come whether you sign up or not FILLED with loads of excess fees which everyone in that place knows of and hides away from but their point system, availability, and fees for worldwide reservations far surpass the actual cost of the reservation from the direct resort/hotel. Me and my husband thankfully but still arrogantly signed up for a 1 year package at about $1K and we have both wiped our ** with it.
Anyone who works there should be ashamed of themselves for taking advantage of individuals looking to travel more and straight up LIE about this program. They have all inclusive resorts that range in points from 7,500 - 60,000 but they are going to sell you on the 7500 one and not show you that the resort fee will range from $120 - $ 750/ PER DAY PER PERSON!!!
We have been blessed in our ability to travel over the years and thought this was a great offer and very flexible. DO NOT BE FOOLED... from the fake faced, plastic surgery beast that presents on how she survived Jersey to the manager who acts like he wants to recruit you for a job and SAVE from a mistake these people are SCUM!!! They only travel because they take advantage and reap the commission off of feeding you lies. You are absolutely disgusting and the resorts they work with know it.
Give them a call - they know this program is so shady that when you call and ask the manager about why your membership is more expensive than having just booked directly with them they explain "how many people have fallen for that scheme." We want to know why everyone is so angry and there is a lack of trust in this society. It's because people who work for companies take your dreams, rap them in toilet paper, and flush it.
We had the unfortunate experience of taking a room at Vacation Village in Weston Florida. The room was offered by the Florida Visitor's Center and Royal Seas cruises, and was basically given to us for the cost of the room taxes only, provided we listened to a Timeshare presentation from them. This all came to us by phone after committing to a cruise on Royal Seas. The allure of the room and our boarding passes being given to us at the presentation was enough to make us commit to the presentation.
I have never been submitted to a more intense, intimidating, and outright bullying presentation in my life. I come from a lifelong career in sales and sales management and know a predatory presentation when I hear one. This was absolutely disgusting and very scheming. We were shown around the property for nearly two hours and then taken back to the sell center after demanding the rep take us there so we can get through the financials and get out of there. He was so ignorant of our time constraints. When we finally got back to the sales center, the costs were given to us. The costs started out at over $28,000, plus $700 for maintenance, plus taxes, for a one week timeshare at Vacation Village in Weston, in a condo we were told sold for $1.5M. No proof of this sales cost estimate was given. We immediately turned it down and asked for our boarding passes so we could get on our way.
We were turned over to an even higher pressure individual who found an amazing bargain for three different packages of three weeks each, at an Atlantic timeshare resort operated by Vacation Village, for an amazing $12,000 each, plus $1400 total for maintenance, plus taxes. Again we said no. They did not stop. They pushed and pushed beyond belief to get us to sign for one of the three, or why wouldn't we buy all three. We constantly told them timeshares, based on our lifestyle, time of life, and other residential property interests, was not for us. Give us our boarding passes and we will be on our way. We were now passed on to an even more intense, last gasp sales specialist, who came up with three weeks on the Atlantic coast for $5999, plus $199 maintenance. How could we refuse. We did and now demanded to get out of there and away from the scum that they are.
He finally, reluctantly relented and sent us to another desk where our "vouchers" for the cruise were given to us. We felt absolutely disgusted by this presentation and felt it is nothing more than predatory selling practices of the highest degree. Particularly considering when we arrived at the cruise departure port of West Palm Beach, we were never asked for the voucher from RCI as we were already confirmed in our dealings directly with Royal Seas cruises. Other than getting a room for minimum price from another marketing company, Royal Seas had nothing to do with the timeshare presentation and in no way was our boarding of the cruise dependent upon us attending a timeshare presentation. I will never again frequent a property, owned, managed, or affiliated with either Vacation Village, or RCI. Their sales practices are despicable to say the least.
I have experienced almost everything so many other people are experiencing. I am still paying for membership and loan payment but have not yet reserved a vacation. I am so frustrated and so angry that I didn't review sites like this before suckered into this scam. Please Please Please... I hope to get together and STOP this company from doing this to other people and at least get our money back by hiring a law firm as a group. Let's stand up for our loss.
When I checked into the Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, Mexico RCI did not tell me that there would be an additional all inclusive fees of $5000.00. There was only me and my daughter who is 11 and they would not check me in until I paid the $5000.00 all inclusive fees. I do not know where that came up with that figure. I would have booked Sunwing if I had known that I needed to pay an additional $5000.00. I had to then spend another few hours to find another resort that was not an all inclusive resort which meant I had to spend another $1400.00 for a another resort. When we flew we also did not fly direct to Cancun. We flew through Phoenix, which Sunwing flies direct. Do not book an all inclusive with RCI. They do not tell you that there additional fees. I found that very unprofessional. They are scam artists. This really put a damper on my vacation and was not a good start to my vacation.
My wife and I are long time owners of timeshares and deal with RCI. We have one reoccurring problem when depositing our week every year. There are 6 windows of trading power at time of deposit. 14 days 45.0%, 15-30 days 60.0%, 31-90 days 80.0%, 91-180 days 90.0%, 81-270 days 95.0%, 271+ days 100.0%. We always deposit in the last 2 categories 95 to 100%. Deposit trading power at the highest is 40 then they deduct for the time you deposit the week. Adjustments are made for type of unit you have, the week you own, how many bedrooms, etc. Our timeshares that we own are all 2 bedroom Gold Crowns that have great value, but we have never received more than 28 trading value at the time of deposit.
This year we are in the 270+ window and only received 21 trading power. It seems to be getting worse every year. Is anyone else having this problem? Other than this we have been able to use their system to our advantage and I am thinking they might be giving us less because they see we take advantage of the sales they have. I would like to know if anyone out there is getting the max trading power?
In Sept 2013 I purchased a foreclosed timeshare from TLC - San Diego. In the transaction I paid $373 towards RCI fees in Oct 2013. The sales agent informed me that it was RCI 39600 Points per year and I could use my points each year or save them and use up to 3 years of points at a time. Lie. Then I was told that the RCI Platinum membership was only $99 per year thereafter. Lie. I should have had at least 3 years of RCI for $373 at $99 per year. I was told that if I didn't use my RCI points for the year, I didn't need to pay the RCI membership. Lie.
I have yet to use my RCI points or membership since the membership fees I paid at purchase. Which was another issue as I had purchased my timeshare in Sept 2013, they lost the paperwork and didn't activate my timeshare until May 2014. Yet, the paid RCI year started in March 2014, not May 2014. So, my paid RCI Platinum membership expired March 2015, instead of May 2015 or based on $373 at $99 membership, it shouldn't expire until May 2017.
Now fast forward to 2016, I have had some financial difficulties in the last 3 years and couldn't use my timeshare. I was told by TLC timeshare sales that if I wasn't going to use my timeshare or points, I didn't need to pay for my RCI membership and to just reactivate/pay the account when you approach the year you want to use it. Lie. When I logged on to my RCI account, it states that I owe them an outstanding balance of $300 - $124 for 2016 membership and $26 for points saving fee, $124 for 2017 membership and $26 points saving fee. WHAT??
Essentially, I'm being charged for services I did not use and already paid for on top of the $500+ of maintenance fees for the timeshare. I asked RCI if there was a payment and I was told No. It would need to be paid in full prior to being able to use my timeshare. This doesn't seem right to me. I didn't use any points, yet I'm being charged for a membership that I have to maintain in order to use them in the future.
What is RCI really? You pay for a membership that does nothing for you other than charge you $150 per year to watch your points not get used, for them to hold your points, to let others use your timeshare because you don't. I just want to be able to use my timeshare without having to pay fees that I was told I didn't need to pay for or that I thought was already paid for in the $373 RCI fees I paid in advance.
Today I online chatted with Lisa ** for RCI asking why I had a $300 outstanding balance. Then she mentioned that this wasn't a scam when I never mentioned anything about a scam. She then told me that there is no payment plan and if I wanted to use my timeshare points I needed to pay the $300 outstanding balance first.
In February of 2016, I started a search for the Disney's Animal Kingdom resort for February of 2017 to celebrate my grandson's 9th Birthday. I had two units to trade and asked for two rooms. I was told that planning so far in advance, there should not be a problem. A couple of months later, after receiving notices that they were on it but nothing yet, I called and updated the search to any Disney properties in Florida and was told again there should be no problem. But they were only looking for one unit and I couldn't get two even though I paid the $229.00 fee for two with 128 trading power. What the heck? So having so many of us I asked for at least a 3 bedroom.
Fast forward several calls, many searches online (what a waste of time), nothing was happening so I again expanded the search to any Disney property in Florida or California. Again told there should be something coming up soon. My last call of which 4 were made before I got a friendly and knowledgeable person that told me I didn't have a chance and that there was nothing available for the next 5 years. That call was made the beginning of December and now it's too late to plan anything for February for my grandson's Birthday (very disappointed little boy). Why wouldn't they tell me that in the beginning so I could make other plans. Extremely disappointed in RCI! Do not let them talk you into joining, they are a complete rip off.
RCI is a scam. They take advantage of timeshare owners who pay exorbitant fees to have a timeshare and have limited choices. RCI promises to help by providing options to trade weeks and/or points to get a vacation that fits in with the needs of the member. Unfortunately, they charge hefty fees for the service and provide NO customer serve when it is needed. Timeshare owners deposit weeks in the bank at RCI, only to see the value depreciate and eventually expire. RCI will charge fees to trade deposited weeks, will give very limited options for trading power, and will not help the consumer who finds nothing to trade for.
RCI collects big fees for membership, travel window extensions, and for trading, but provides nothing to the consumer who may need some flexibility or accommodation when there is nothing available to trade for, or when deposited weeks expire. RCI is only there to collect fees and to take advantage of timeshare owners.
Timeshare ownership through RCI can be very good if you understand what you can and cannot do through RCI. When you go to a timeshare presentation, What you are told is 90% incorrect (lies). You cannot get what you want when you want it, most of the time (I do not care what they say). You also need to book early to get the better places when you exchange your points. There are great bargains through different sales and the "Last Chance" opportunities, but you need to understand that they are selling excess inventory weeks. There are many overbuilt areas (Orlando, Las Vegas, Massanutten, Poconos, etc.). You can get weeks here at very low costs ($200 to $300 per week) pretty much all year long. If you can vacation in June or September, you can get great places that will be totally booked during the summer.
I exchange my points for one week per year at places that do not go on sale. I am going to Sedona in October (prime time) this year. I then book 3 or 4 additional weeks through sales, etc. My total cost per year is about $1,800 (RCI fees plus my maintenance fee) for 5 weeks of vacation at 4 star places. No way I can get those prices anywhere else. If you buy a timeshare, you must buy a resale through eBay or other online sites. Your points to maintenance fee ratio must be above 100 or you will never be able to sell your unit. (Mine is 164, 61,000 points for a $370 yearly maintenance fee).
I went to put in a new search request today for my daughter's wedding present. Last month I paid my maintenance fees and upon advise of a RCI representative I deposited my 2 bedroom as two one bedroom units. Now I have been told that I need to combine my deposits for $119.00 in order to have enough trading power to search for a 2 bedroom. It used to be 2 years. I think they should let deposits be combined when and only when the search request is confirmed. Why spend the money and have no search be found and then you are stuck with using those deposits within one year instead of two years. Look very carefully before you deposit anything with RCI. I know I will not be using RCI anymore!
RCI's business practices include outbound cold calling without qualifying the recipient. When I and my colleagues answer phones at our business, RCI callers simply hang up after we identify ourselves as a business. This would be acceptable every 2-3 months, even every month. We receive these calls every day. I wish I were exaggerating. This is disruptive to the business day. I'm writing this from the perspective of my role, which is customer service. This review comes after more than two years of these calls. No attempt to remove ourselves from RCI contact lists has been successful. I write this with the slim hope that RCI will take notice and stop this business practice.
This company charges you $124 for an annual fee. If you do not renew it during the year that you cannot use your timeshare (even year in my case), they charge you a $300 reinstatement fee AND the $124! What a rip off! Their properties are marginal at best and their telephone customer service is horrendous. I will never do business with this company again and make sure anyone I know does the same.
Website is very slow at best; often just does not load. When it finally does and you spend time selecting resorts to search for, after filling out the form, it freezes. Hours of available tech help are very limited and if you manage to get someone on the phone, they look at the very same slow, cumbersome system you look at. They have no better search capabilities than the public and publicly admit that their website is horrible. Reps have also told me "not to bother" searching in some geographic areas because "You'll never" get an exchange there. Consequently, we never manage to exchange our week and if we cannot get to it, we just waste the week, while annual fees go up every year. Our resort, a Gold Crown has told us nobody will buy our unit and we shouldn't bother trying to sell it, because it won't sell. Worst purchase we ever made. Save your money and use an Airbnb or even a hotel.
RCI was very helpful and friendly at first. Since they sold the company to World, there have nothing but problems in getting a week booked, having the week available, and being able to use it before THEIR date ends. Every time I speak with a person from RCI the first thing out of their mouth is MORE MONEY. I will never recommend this company to anyone. When my membership expires, it will NOT be renewed. RCI IS A TERRIBLE COMPANY AND HARD TO DO BUSINESS WITH.
My aunt had a timeshare with RCI for years with a fixed week in the Poconos in PA. When she passed away a couple of years ago we found the paperwork. My mom had no interest and was going to call them and tell them they could have it. She mentioned it to me and eventually I was able to get ahold of a local rep who totally schmoozed me into believing this is fantastic. Long and the short of it... I transferred the account to a points account ($2000.00) and was told I could use it at any Wyndham hotels and all of the places listed on the website. Turns out there is a lot you can do on the RCI website but very little of it allows you to use points. So here I am paying two timeshares (oh yea icing on the cake the sales rep "gave me... for free" a 2nd timeshare that had just been foreclosed on so now I have to pay two annual fees and get twice the points that I can't use.)
I finally booked a trip last year and had to take friends along just to use the points on a 2nd room only to find out that the points don't cover the All-Inclusive aspect of the booking. I went on to the resorts website directly and went thru the booking and it was MUCH cheaper to book directly with the resort. Just to be clear, we are very seasoned travelers. We have been all over the world and I will tell you that this is hands down the biggest scam out there. Stay away from TIMESHARES especially RCI!
Oh and one more thing... everything costs extra money. In trying to use my points I was going to book a hotel for my mom for a business trip she was taking... the points that they took for the discount they gave on the room was a total joke. You couldn't use all points. You could only use your points for a discount. And then when they found out I wasn't going myself... they wanted to charge me some ridiculous amount of money to book it for my mom. So I said forget it and booked it for her thru Expedia for cheaper and definitely less hassle. As we approach the end of November I will have 72K points that are expiring to the tune of $1200 maintenance fee. However, if I would like to extend them for another year I can if I pay an additional $115! There is a fee for EVERYTHING with this company.
RCI IS A TERRIBLE company. All they care about is $$$$... Calls go unanswered or they will call you back (NOT). You have to leave your info and wallah... No calls returned. Tried to book my 2017 vacation with Divi Resorts in Aruba (we own a timeshare with DIVI) yet since I did not book it 12 to 13 months in advance we are only given points... This is such BS. Not one phone call to let us know in advance it's time to book it... Yet when I call Divi, they explain if we were NOT an RCI member, Divi will call us in advance. Never had issues with Marriott. Been with them for 20 years. Just a 30 minute call and boom... It's all a done deal. Vacation booked and no restrictions, no excuses and no garbage.
I have 156,000 useless points with RCI and cannot use them... Anybody want them? We tried to book airline tickets... More of the same excuses. My points can only be spent equaling $200.00... That's about useless as well. Can't fly anywhere in the Carib for $200.00. DO NOT JOIN RCI. YOU WILL BE WASTING YOUR HARD EARNED DOLLARS. If I could give this a ZERO STAR rating, I would have!
Purchased a timeshare "points" today from an RCI program. Came home, called RCI to confirm what we were told was true. Multiple things are very UNTRUE... confirms our suspicions that timeshare sales is corrupt. We were lead to believe the sales guy and his "manager" were truthful and respectable "people oriented" sales people. Very disappointed. Called a close relative who has timeshare... same basic stuff... It's never what you think it is. Just go use your money on something that you know is true. Regardless how sweet it all sounds... there's too many things that will not be true so as much as you want to believe you're getting a deal... you're not. Leave. Walk away. Cancel. I know... You might think we're being negative but if you don't trust us go trust them. Good luck.
PLEASE, PLEASE do not invest your hard earned money with this company! They are a complete rip-off! If you read the post from Ann of Vernon, NJ from late June... they did they same thing to my family except it was for Hilton Head Island... So yes Ann, they get away with it in the states. We cancelled our membership in writing, twice! Only to find out that they rented our DEEDED unit to someone else! The management company will not help us out, RCI needless to say no, says there's a form you have to fill out for cancellation, which we NEVER received! DO NOT PURCHASE ANYTHING FROM THIS COMPANY! And Ann if there is a way you can contact us we would be happy to join you in any lawsuit. We have also contacted Nina Pineda of Ch 7 news.
I have bought into the Cruise/Resort Stay package, yrs. ago. Took a wonderful ocean view cruise. Then just before my resort stay was about to expire, RCI called me and reminded me that if it wasn't used it would expire and did I want to book while they had me on the phone! That's great service I think! Could I have gotten a better deal, maybe? The 2nd time I went through the cruise line directly, and was pleased to find that I was giving the repeat passenger perks even though the 1st time I booked through RCI! Resort was at a Wyndham Patriots' (I believe) in Williamsburg, Virginia. Very nice, 2 connecting condos because the unit's accommodations were for 4 and I travel with 6. That was 5 to 6 yrs. ago. $1,996 I think.
Fast track to this year (2016) June. Wanted to take my grandchildren (1) graduation from high school, (2) graduation from elementary on a vacation. For 42,500 in points, plus $176 in fees spent a great week in Atlantic city, Wyndham Skyline Towers. I have learned that Wyndham has upgraded dinnerware, cookware and mattress on their pullouts! Yes it matters. I think RCI can do better for its customers and they are making changes to keep your points longer.
In February 2016, I called to book St. Maarten for 2017 and was told nothing was available, but they would put me on a search list for the exchange fee of $229 and that I would get monthly updates regarding my search. Updates never happened. A day after, I finally got an automated update that they still haven't found anything. I called a representative. I was told that RCI had Tradewinds in St. Maarten, but it would cost $279, plus $1000 per person for the all-inclusive.
I'm like "Can't I use the weeks that I have banked?" Answer was "NO, this is a special deal and you keep your weeks." But one of my weeks expire in March 2017, so I need to use my weeks. OK, there is nothing available then. Then he told me I wasn't on any search for St. Maarten, how about I put you in Venezuela or Trinidad. Ahhhhh NO... I let him hear an ear full. I was still on the search, but the next day he cancelled it!!!
I told him I'd never ever deposit with RCI again. They never get you where you want to go. when you want to go because they have too many subscribers to meet the demand and too many deals of their own to make themselves money rather than giving you the weeks you already have to use! They also use many rooms to book for the highest price, leaving the timeshare people out of LUCK! I finally spoke to a supervisor with the Pueblo Bonito RCI and told her everything, she re-instituted my search, but I am not at all hopeful I will get anywhere near the Virgin Islands in Feb 2017. When I went to St. Thomas with RCI a few years ago, we had a glorified hotel room with 2 double beds. I could have spent less booking through internet deals than using my weeks with RCI! Beyond mad and Wyndham will hear my story too.
A cost to pool and a cost to use points pooled - Sounded like RCI would provide the opportunity to literally see the world. Come to find out, the points that you pay dues on, will cost you more money to place in RCI and then money to use the points for your RCI stay. This means you can pay for your points two to three times over, just for a week long stay. Don't fall for the RCI scam!! Plus, they never stop calling. Best way to get rid of them is get a new phone number!
Please, please, save yourselves unnecessary headaches. Avoid RCI at all costs, no matter how slick their presentation is, how much pressure they apply, or how much they offer you. If it sounds too good to be true it's because it is. We bought into the travel points system. We spent over $2,000 to buy 50,000 points. Without email notification, a letter, or phone call, they cancelled our membership. When we called to ask why our membership is cancelled, we were told that we would have to pay an Account Reactivation fee of $500 and a renewal fee of $150. However, even if we did so, we would have no points. We're OK paying a renewal fee to get our points back. But they won't allow us. When asked for a refund on the unused points, they refused us, stating that our contract is not directly with RCI, but with the resort. The resort says its with RCI. It's a complete scam.
RCI sent out emails to my husband and me saying get a vacation for $249.00 to Mexico, Las Vegas and other places. I found a location that I was interested in (El Dorado Royale). I went online, found the place and dates and place a hold on the vacation for 24 hrs. It said there is a 3% State Fee, which I was okay with. The next day I called to book with an agent. I gave the agent my credit card number and booked it. I asked if there were any other fees. He said no. He reiterated that it was an all-inclusive.
Subsequently, I went ahead and booked a flight with Travelocity.com for my husband and me. The next day I get a bill from the El Dorado for $2,033. Well, RCI had lead me to believe the vacation was $249.00. They had sent me a confirmation, congratulated me and said, "enjoy your vacation." I thought an all-inclusive vacation for $249 was too good to be true, but I thought hey, I read the fine print and everything looked legitimate. When I called RCI to complain about the deception, they said they told me that I would have to pay all-inclusive fees. I thought the all-inclusive fees were the $249. At no time did they tell me I have to pay more let alone $2,033. To have to pay an amount such as it, the customer needs to know. They shouldn't take my $249.00 and I learn later what the additional money I have to pay is.
Then they accused me of booking online and said they weren't responsible for online booking - not to mention, they try to get you to book online when you call and get their animated service. If booking online is no good, then why encourage it? The rep said if I had spoken to an agent the agent would have explained everything to me fully. Well when I said I called and spoke with an agent. The representative accused me of lying. I let her know I spoke with an agent and gave the person my credit card number. She said the agent told me I'd have to pay the all-inclusive fee and that I was transferred to another dept. that said I need to understand it is an all-inclusive. Well, I didn't question whether it was an all-inclusive.
The bottom line is that RCI deceive people and lure them in with false advertising, leading people to believe they are getting a special vacation at a reduced rate, a rate of $249.00. RCI should be required to tell the customer what they must pay for the resort above the $249.00. RCI said the $249.00 was an exchange rate. Well, I didn't exchange anything. I didn't exchange weeks or points or anything, so what was the "exchange rate" for? The resort is an all-inclusive. The rep tried to tell me that the $249.00 was an exchange rate for the all-inclusive and I'd have to pay for the resort's all-inclusive fees. Well, what did I need RCI for? I could have just as easily contacted the El Dorado and purchased the vacation for $2,515.00 all inclusive, all fees with everything included, not to mention have gotten a better deal elsewhere online had I wasted more time online looking for cheap deals there.
I got nothing from RCI other than they took my $249.00 and I still don't know what I paid for. The resort - the El Dorado lets one know that if you book through RCI you can't get an upgrade on a room. It is so very wrong for RCI to take someone's money and then tell them without being clear that there are other fees and not say explicitly what those fees are. Those fees could be anything. It could be $10,000. They should encourage the people to call the resort and find out the resort fees before they take the person's $249.00. Then they say the refund policy is 24 hrs. to cancel. By time the person realizes she or he has been taken, bamboozled and booked the airfare the 24 hrs. are up.
The outcome was that RCI said nothing could be done. They said I needed to read all the fine print. Basically, they implied I was crap out of luck. This should not be allowed. It is wrong and entirely deceptive. They shouldn't take anyone's money without letting them know exactly what they'd have to pay even if it means booking with the resort and then giving a $249.00 refunded or something to that effect. I just don't want it to happen to anyone else when they get an email saying get your all-inclusive vacation for $249.00 and they say nothing more about the cost other than you're responsible for all inclusive fees when they said you owe nothing else. My husband and I own an all-inclusive vacation plan. We know all about all inclusive. We've booked all-inclusive before directly with resorts. We've never had a problem such as this one. RCI is wrong. They are ripping off people.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
RCI is one of the largest brokers of timeshare properties in the world. The company was founded in1974 by Christel DeHaan, and they offer a wide range of timeshare options, from resort stays to partial condo ownership.
- Part of Wyndham Worldwide Group: RCI is part of Wyndham Worldwide Group, which affords customers access to one of the largest networks of vacation properties to choose from, across six continents.
- Global presence: Travelers interested in owning a timeshare somewhere far from home can find a property through RCI, which has affiliated resorts in more than 100 countries.
- Guest certificates available: RCI members are allowed to let friends and family members enjoy their timeshare through an exchange, extra holiday or late deal.
- Members only personal protection: Members of RCI are afforded cancellation protection should they need to cancel their trip, and they are allowed to switch or keep their points should they not be able to use their allotted timeshare dates.
- Platinum Membership option: Customers who choose RCI have the Platinum Membership option, which gives them even more access to resort properties, better customer service and extra perks.
- Best for Large families, people who want a luxury vacation property, travelers with a favorite vacation destination and young professionals with disposable income.
RCI Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 9998 North Michigan Road
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- United States