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STAY AWAY from any Starwood/Marriott vacation timeshare programs. They charge a lot of real-dollar money/very expensive and then it becomes IMPOSSIBLE to book a vacation with them or use the point system you get in return. There is very limited availability, so resorts are overbooked and they won't be able to accommodate you. Next, the point system is very complicated, the points (that you paid $$$ for) expire and you're out a lot of real money. Save your money and just go on vacation without the time share - it's a total rip-off and a "no can do" attitude will leave you sitting at home and out a lot of very real expenses $$$!
I’m a pretty smart girl and buy a lot of rental properties. I got sucked into a Vistana Sheraton Marriott sell to the sucker session when I was at Universal Studios in Florida. I bought into a timeshare, mind you this is not physical property. Sheraton/Marriott sells you “time” in their condo units. I was blatantly lied to about use of property. I paid close to 11k upfront and bought the deed to invisible property. I was told I had to pay an annual $549.00 fee per year to get one week at a owner Vistana resort. I’ve paid the fee, to date three times and have NOT received any vacation time at the properties.
When I called to book my vacation the first two years I was able (oh and mind you I was under the impression I got a vacation every year turns out it’s ever other year) not what they explained to me. Why would I spend 11k upfront and nearly 1200 in 2 years to get a week? Well, when I went to book a vacation I was told they only had 2 nights available at the resort, but I could purchase their hotel rooms at full price for the remainder of the week. This happened the two times each when I tried to book a vacation. I’m expected to pay hundreds in airfare to fly to my destination to get 2 days, of which I’ve paid 11k and 549. Annual fees for and I conveniently can pay full price at their hotel for the remainder of the week. Really?! So now grabbing at straws I’m asking for any hotel available at any of the resort locations, even places I don’t want to go to. Surprise all booked. They sign up more people than they can accommodate.
I’m writing to the Attorney General of Florida state and recommend you all do the same if you were not guaranteed your fare timeshare time. I will NEVER do a timeshare again. Also, I read online that your next of kin inherits this when you die and they literally have to fill out paperwork to fight inheriting it. They want to transfer the annual fees to your family when you die. How they are allowed to operate is amazing? Why are we not federally protected from this sort “business”. Why does Universal Studios support companies like this selling their “deals” at the theme parks.? Disgusting.
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Attempting to make reservations at a resort using the owners online Dashboard and noticed availability at a 2 room resort. I was locked from reserving at the resort thru to December until a specified open date. On that day, I went to the site to make my reservations and there were only one room villas available for the dates we requested. I went directly to the hotel site to see if a 2 room villa was available and there were several 2 rooms available for the dates I needed. Was not sure why the 2 room villa was not available to me as an owner. This prompted me to call customer service.
I called from my work phone (which I had no issues with all day) and was on hold for over 50 minutes! A representative finally answered and acted as if she could not hear me (I think it was time for her to go home for the day) and it appeared that she thought she disconnected the call but, instead she placed me back on hold! I was furious when I heard the hold music playing again. I could not believe she put me back on hold.
A half an hour later, another representative answered and was able to reserve the 2 room villa I needed that was not available on my dashboard. I received a survey and shared my negative experience. A resolution representative called me back and left a messenger with a number to share my experience. I called her back and was on hold another 50 minutes! She told me that they were experiencing long hold times and she would report my concerns to leadership and address the employee who initially answered the call. I am very disappointed in my experience. I don't call often and when I do need to, this is the professionalism or lack thereof of I received. Starwood, you really need to do better. I would not recommend you to anyone else.
We were almost paid off and have limited physical abilities to travel. We were targeted during a complimentary dinner. We were promised more time and more flexibility and talked into a American Express credit card to accrue points. Turns out the credit card has $450.00 annual fee and 28% interest after 6 mos. No extra time is added.
My husband is a disabled veteran who has worked hard all of his life. We are so upset. Vacation is now ruined. We don' have the means to pay for this added $7,000.00. Extra loan. Our credit score has p,I meted in a very vulnerable time in our lives. We have to hire an attorney now to get out of this which is something we would rather do than pay for this not so appealing upgrade. Any help or suggestions would be helpful. We were also told that with the new flexible contract we could use Marriott hotels in place of villas. Now we are told we have to pay an additional $145.00 in order to convert to a point system to use the hotels option. Nothing but a horrible scam. We were happy with the original purchase that was almost paid in full.
I was wondering if anyone else is irritated with the additional fees Vistana is now adding onto those who own their resorts. These fees are not part of the annual charges, but per reservation! We purchased a timeshare in 2007 because they said it would be investing in a wonderful way to share our vacation experiences together and with our family.
Fast forward to 2017 and now they want to charge us $59 per reservation if my husband or I do not accompany our family to a reservation destination. Considering it takes approximately 3 minutes or less to change the name with our permission, that equates to paying folks $1,180/hr to accommodate the people who purchased timeshares within their network. They sold on one premise (share with your family) but turned around and are now charging for that privilege. When asked, no one even knows WHY they made this change other than the obvious...revenue flow. Why were we not grand-fathered in?
The sales reps do not provide full disclosure. In fact, they flat out lie. I received a great offer in the mail to stay at the Vistana Villages--$149 for nights; great deal. Went to the required ownership meeting and was sold on this place and the offer. Sheraton--SPG and Marriott have merged and it's not a good deal for owners. Option conversion to points is less bang for your $$$ and the Marriott Vacation Club and Hotels do not have many reservations available for Sheraton Flex members. I was told over and over; the dates are not available for points conversion owners. The amount of mortgage I've paid in one years does not add up to the stays I'm allowed.
After I'm a flat out owner, maybe it's worth it. However, the maintenance fees are also very expensive. I pay over $1,100 a year for two units; crazy. And, they fee you for EVERYTHING! I have to pay $145 to convert options to points! Sheraton Vistana Villages is a nice place. I was also told that the Myrtle Beach property in my package was on the beach. The Sheraton Broadway Plantation Resort is not on the beach! The sales rep lied. I may sale my ownership only after one year.
No points rewarded for 2 week st at St. Regis Bal Harbour: They changed the SPG and consolidation have turned SPG into the worst rewards program I deal with. Stayed 2 weeks in a suite and 2 rooms. Got some points for the rooms and 0 for the 1400 a night suite? Justification - 3 party reservation??? Wtf? I used my SPG credit card too. Ripoff. With Ritz-Carlton I get credit for every stay regardless of reservations even made by a trade organization.
I've called Marriott/Starwood Hotel customer service at least 4 times concerning the same issue and have been on the phone for over 4 hours. Finally I asked to speak with a supervisor and the supervisor was worse than the actually agents. I spoke with Dawn and she basically told me I was SOL. She seemed lazy and unprofessional.
I'm a travel agent and booked a room starting on 9/2. I was going to be late checking in. I called ahead of time and informed that my cousin would arrive before me. When my cousin arrived they would not let her check in! She drove 2 hours to come and was denied. Why treat your travel agent partners like this! I will never book The Spectrum ever again.
Made reservations at the St. Regis in Kauai for my wife's 40th birthday explaining that I was trying to get tickets to the Ritz in Bali and might have to cancel if we're able to book a flight there. Made my reservations at the St. Regis past the refund deadline, but didn't hear any issues about that being a problem. When I was able to get tickets to Bali I called to explain that I was going there instead and was told I'd be paying a $1700 cancellation fee. It shouldn't be an issue if I decide to stay at the Ritz instead of St. Regis. The fact I outright said it was what I was intending to do when making the reservations made it that much more frustrating.
Spent two hours on the phone while medical systems were crashing at the hospital network I work for all because they were telling me, "Tough luck. We're keeping your money." And I had to spend hours trying to get them to be reasonable about something that never should have been an issue. I've spent tens of thousands of dollars at Marriott hotels including my wedding at the Ritz in Laguna Niguel only to be treated this way. NEVER STAYING AT ANOTHER STARWOOD HOTEL AGAIN!!!
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