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Last August I decided to give back my timeshare at the end at the opera in San Francisco. I was told it could take up to eight weeks to complete all the paperwork and have a new deed recorded. In the last five months I have contacted them three times and have been told that the deed was sent to the word Recorders office but that office is so slow that it could take eight months to transfer a title out of my name.
I am a retired real estate attorney and have dealt with recording offices across the country. No office is that slow. I suspect the truth of the matter is that they did not send it because that would Incur recording fees and possibly transfer taxes. Furthermore I do not believe they have any intention of recording a new deed until they find a buyer for my timeshare. They are not going to transfer it from my name to their name and then to the name of a new buyer. That would double their costs. If it is not recorded in the next 10 days I intend to contact consumer affairs for the state of California.
The online reservations tool had a major bug for about six months starting in February 2019. Reservations made were not accounted for properly, thereby making the status of customer accounts inaccurate. Reservations made based on this inaccurate data led to significant problems after the bug was discovered, such as having customer accounts locked out due to negative balance. The Customer Care department made retroactive adjustments to my account that were erroneous in multiple respects in ways that had a negative effect.
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When you check in they always want you to attend a presentation. This time I declined. The same day of check out I get a call, "you didn’t attend the presentation. Come to room 3117. Show your license. We want to give you a gift just for being a client." I asked the girl at check out. She said, "wonder why they have you going there. You can get gifts right around the corner." I go there. I sit down. 2 ladies are conspiring to keep me there longer. "Don’t you have 10 minutes", after I said my sister was standing outside waiting on me at another casino. I said, "give me my license gift or no gift I’m out." They threw together some junk & gave it to me. I shook my head. Shady business practices get you nowhere. Wyndham is a big name with tons of money, be honest. Raising maintenance fees, shame on them. They have so many bad reviews. I hope people read them & don’t purchase.
Tim of Huntington Beach, CA. I would join that class action lawsuit. When Wyndham took over our maintenance fees went way up to $4.00.00 a year. They go up every year now. We can never get availability. We have 17.000 points and they are trash now. If anyone else reads this. Stay away from timeshare all together. They will dig deep in your pockets forever. Total junk.
Have tried to take care of splitting timeshares since death of our mother and for 8 months have made over 20 phone calls and have sent all documents required more than once. We are repeatedly told it will take 7-10 days for documents to be complete so that we can make reservations. We are never able to talk to the same representative and have gotten the run around continuously. We are now proceeding forward with the FTC and ARDA. This has been very time consuming and it solidifies that Shell Vacations took advantage of our elderly sweet mother.
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We purchased way back in 1998 and originally, Shell was a pretty shady organization. Still we did manage to have some decent vacations although we never truly used our points to our advantage. It seemed like a breath of fresh air when Shell was "taken over" by Wyndham. However, now that Shell is using RCI instead of Interval for booking it's like a step back in time. In the past few years, we became very accustomed to using Flextime as a way to book vacations. There were some great Interval properties that are not located terribly far from where we live and it was always nice to book (on reasonably short notice) and know we could put our points to good use for us. RCI does not have a feature like this and when I "spot-checked" some bookings I was looking at dates in 2020. Not very convenient for last minuters like we are. Sorry to say but I think I prefer Interval over RCI.
I have been an owner for 8 years now. I purchased the lowest package because my husband thought it was a steal of a price. After about 2 years we realize Shell does not have lots of great offers. Their internal resort selections is limited and it is always booked during the summer. Even with RCI and International Interval. It's difficult to find an available resort. Not the best timeshare. We always end up Airbnb a place when we travel so it's pointless to have a timeshare.
About 7 years ago my wife and I went on a vacation to Kauai. We were staying at a hotel just outside of the little town of Kapaa which is about 5 miles from Lihue. While there we stopped at a booth that was pushing a free whale watching tour for taking a short hour and a half out of our trip to talk to folks at the Kauai Coast Resort at The Beachboy. (Shell vacation club). That short time turned into about 5 hours or more and even though we told ourselves we would not get hooked into the timeshare racket, we were inundated with pressure and promises about how great timeshares are and how valuable they are. We bought enough points to allow us one week at the resort,
On future trips to the island we had the same pressure and promises of things that could be done with the timeshare. We upgraded three times so we had enough points to stay in an oceanfront room and one week was in a two bedroom. We tried to get family or friends to join up but not a single person could commit. The last time we upgraded was in January of 2017 which we were told about how great the company is that bought Shell, Wyndham. We kept hearing how they were going to upgrade the units each time we were there as the appliances were about 10 years old and the mattresses on the bed were way overdue for replacement. Each time we brought it up we were told that a different place had gotten the money to upgrade.
Our salesman told us on this last trip that Wyndham had a new thing they were doing which was a buyback program for people that wanted out of the timeshare. We even asked about maybe just cutting back on our time to only one week and were very quickly told we could do that but it was not a good idea. We were told also told that they have a part of the company called the Ovation Department. I called them and asked about what my salesman had said and I quote (call them and they will take it off of your hands). I called and inquired about what we were told and their response was we don’t qualify because our loan was not paid off. I was told that if we paid it off they would gladly take it off of our hands, but the loan had to be paid in full before we would qualify.
I also contacted the Vice President of Sales about our options and he said they have a department that helps with people that are having trouble keeping up financially. He claimed he would contact that unit for us and have them send us some paperwork to help us get out of the timeshare. That was over two weeks ago and have not heard anything from him or the place he referred to. We were also told that the solar panels on the roof of the parking lot would lower our maintenance fees as it more than provided the power to run the resort. Just one lie after another. We were paying counting the maintenance fees and the monthly loan amount almost $l,000 dollars a month and that does not include the money we had to put on a credit card to cover some of the outgo. Timeshares are a legal way to rob the unsuspecting vacationers.
I have owned Shell for about 12 years. The sales pitch was awful, I will admit. I didn't want to buy, but my partner did. Yes I feel stuck with something I don't want forever... and it cost me $20,000. But, I will say I truly have never had a bad experience at one of their properties. I have stayed in Anaheim and Las Vegas several times each - nice rooms and courteous staff - and the properties are pretty well located. Not right in the mix but close enough to walk to it.
I have used my points for a cruise (not a good deal in terms of getting a bang for a buck but I had no issues with booking or the Carnival cruise). I have also stayed at the Vino Bello in Napa - very nice rooms and a good bottle of complimentary wine in the room. I have exchanged and stayed in Orlando. I was even able to book a room for me and give one to my brother to stay at the timeshare in Anaheim last year (and I only own 3500 points). I have used my points for meal and hotel cards with no problems. Again not the best use of points financially, but at least you don't lose the points if they are about to expire. (You can roll over once but after two years they expire if you do not trade them in for gift cards.)
Since Shell joined Interval, I have never been able to trade to a place I wanted - have tried Lake Tahoe, no luck at all. I hate Interval. When Shell was part of RCI, I was able to book in Tahoe twice mid winter. That's when I traded for Orlando too. Cannot say much about their Wyndham partnership - have not tried to use the benefits. Yes, I get calls a few times a year to go to presentations and get hounded a bit when I visit properties. I have learned to just say no, or I go and get my free $100.00 gift card and mediocre breakfast.
I think my maintenance and annual club fee fees started at about 850 per year I think and this year they are about 1150. That's an annual increase of about 2.5%. That's not unreasonable. 1150 divided by 5 = 230 per night for a 1-2 bedroom condo; divided by 7 = 164.00. And the rooms are not posh but they are very nice and always clean. Remember, rich people do not buy timeshares - so adjust your expectations for what you will get. That being said, does not calculate in the initial 20,000 investment!
I think timeshares are a bad idea because they limit your choices, they cost a lot upfront, you can never be sure how much the annual fees will go up and you are locked in for life. I would never do again because I am also not a big vacationer. But, I have to say I just have not had any bad experiences with Shell outside of the original sales pitch. The salespeople are a bit slimy - think Rat Pack throwbacks. But not all. I had a great, honest salesperson in Anaheim one year. And if you travel mid week or in the off seasons you can get some great deals on rooms. Like Napa or Vegas for 50-100 points on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday during the low season. (Remember, I have 3500 points - so if I did that for all my bookings that's 35 night nights of vacation.) So, stay away from the salespeople and make it work for you.
My 16 year old son has already told me he does not want to inherit the timeshare. Can't say I blame him; so I am already investigating ways to make sure he is not stuck with it. My home club is actually Hawaii and I have never stayed there because cannot afford the airfare - praying no hurricanes blow through that damage any of those properties and make the maintenance fees go through the roof. [I have been able to book in the CA home club with no problems even though I have lower priority.] After reading the reviews I just have to give my honest experiences to balance things out. I do not work for Shell. I am a teacher, two kids, middle income and these are my honest experiences.
We have been members for about twelve years now and the experience has been horrible from the moment we bought. They are dishonest about running credit checks, dishonest about the availability of rooms and resorts, dishonest about payments, and dishonest about the ease of using this program. If you decide to have them take your monthly payments they may call and say that they did not receive payment (how this can happen if they are taking the payments out is beyond me).
Additionally, they sell available rooms to other timeshare members and have overbooked in the past, causing me and my family to have to find a different location at 11:00 at night. They run credit checks when they say that they haven't, and they are always booked despite the time of the year. In fact it is so impossible to find an available room that I just attempted to call and book something for my best friends funeral in three weeks and they once again have nothing. This whole process has been horrible and has lead us to the decision that we might need to sell this blasted burden and never look back.
Shell Vacations Club Company Information
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- Shell Vacations Club