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First, I see a lot of complaints about the sales process - yes it is sometimes frustrating, and sometimes the sales folks are not as honest as I would like - but hey you were the one wanting free stuff... So buyer beware and don't let them push you into anything. Never fall for the "...you have to buy today to get this deal" trick - there is always another deal another day. But remember the sales process does not really have much to do with the resort experience.
We have about 3 weeks worth of points (almost all bought on the resale market and then transferred in when Pacific Shores went belly up) and we have found VI resorts timeshare program to be excellent. Their resorts range in quality from middling to good and the value is always excellent. If you are content to work within their system, and you get up to the platinum level of their prestige program, the value can't be beat.
When we used to be RCI members - it seemed like we were always paying too many extra fees - A typical holiday might cost $300-600 to book (RCI membership, transfer points, extend points, high booking fees etc.) so we quit that entirely. Now at VI we pay $20 for each booking - that's it. If there is a change, they are usually very keen to make things work. If you cancel more than 30 days out, you get your points back (or 24 hours if you choose to pay for last minute cancelation insurance). If you have another timeshare that you don't want to use one year, you can deposit it and get a fair return in points. Been a VI owner for about 10 years and very happy with the product value and service.
I have been a member of VI since 1980 (purchased in Puerto Vallarta). I have always enjoyed using it, units reliably clean and in excellent condition, problems addressed immediately. I like the way the point system works, but it is true that the most popular resorts must be booked a year in advance (Puerto Vallarta, Leavenworth, Ocean Shores and some of the Hawaii locations). It is absolutely NOT true that the more points you have the more benefits you get. The only way to get to reserve more than a year out is to pay to get on an advanced reservation list. We do have the ability to “bank” points for three years, and after that they are gone.
There is a legitimate third-party (Anderson, retired gentleman’s hobby) site that is free that sends a newsletter out listing points for sale and usually needs odds and ends that are unused for other people who don’t quite have enough. Think family reunion. In my years of experience, both the resort staff and VI phone staff are wonderful, courteous and respectful. Part of my enjoyment is seeing the same staff at the resorts time after time. Management finally put restrictions in place to keep other other timeshares (Diamond, etc.) from claiming all of our locations were in their system and disallowing block advance reservations. I feel like we have our timeshare back, to some extent.
Virtually all of the negative reviews are from people who thought they could get something for nothing, then when the third party sales people did not provide all that was promised and were rude, they blame VI. The reason they can’t tell you what company they are calling from is that they are calling for so many different ones. We do not have a property in Cabo, or several others that were mentioned. Additionally, the owners own all of the properties in trust. When another company TRIED to take us over and stole lots of Torres Mazatlan property, it cost us quite a bit to get it all back.
We now no longer farm out to another management company and strictly keep it under our control. Part of the reason it is hard to get into some of our original resorts is that we have bailed out so many small failing timeshares to keep them out of bankruptcy. Consequently, we have lots more run down properties, or otherwise not prime, with many more members. Additionally, management has finally put restrictions in place to stop other timeshares (Diamond, etc.) from claiming our properties as part of their inventory.
They also stopped “block” advance reservations from these same companies. So, please do not blame VI for scammers using our name to get you in to these horrible time-wasting presentations. Not that I want more members - I just take it personally to see all these negative reviews from mostly people that have never used the program, whereas you will note that nearly all of us owners give VI 5 stars.
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My wife and I have belonged to V.I. for years. We have had to learn to pre-plan vacations and have some flexibility. That said, we have never regretted our membership and definitely take more vacations than we would otherwise. Over the years there have been a couple issues which have arisen. V.I. has always responded and we have found their customer care to be, actually, caring. We have learned our timeshare membership becomes more valuable the more we use it. While, by planning ahead, we usually get the location and time we want, being willing to sometimes change plans to utilize existing vacancies rather than what might have been initially the plan, has on occasion, proved very enjoyable and we have seen locations we might not otherwise have considered.
My fiance's name was pulled from a drawing that our kids entered us in at the mall. The drawing was for a free car which is how these clowns got his name. Long story short, we knew what this was about but my fiance thought he'd give this a try. I told him before going that I wasn't about it...I've been through timeshare pitches before and I'm not about being pressured into purchasing something. Anyhow, the person who contacted him of course said that he had won prizes, that he'd get the prizes with no purchase necessary yada, yada, yada. So, hey in the spirit of just going to listen to the pitch, I decided to go along for the ride.
When we arrived, the establishment was hardcore about practicing social distancing precautions (which is good, right?). You had to wear your mask, they were checking temperatures, they wiped the pens down after people touched them etc. However... As soon as our names were called, we were greeted by the infamous Chris who did not have a mask on and was very vocal about his right to "Not be told what to do with his body." Okay... That is already strange but whatever, we kept it pushing.
As soon as we sat down with Chris, he gave us zero information. We were both very vocal about the fact that we were skeptical about the whole operation so he knew that we were already on the fence but nonetheless willing to listen. He proceeded to ask us personal questions and because I told him I was just there to support my fiance, he kept asking us questions about how long we've been together, where we met, if we had kids together. Oddly, the conversation reared in the direction of covid and social distancing. He then proceeded to tell us that he didn't believe in social distancing and that he doesn't feel like anyone can tell him what to do with is body...Which was all fine besides the fact that we spent 10 minutes in the lobby upon arrival being screen, poked, and prodded for social distancing purposes. It made no sense that he was clearly anti-social distancing. Anyhow....Another red flag we noted but ignored.
While he proceeded to talk about nothing related to why we were there, I was on my phone texting with my son. Chris then proceeds to ask me to put my phone down and "Participate." First of all Chris, I'm not 5 years old and perhaps if your pitch was convincing, I would have been more engaged. Secondly, he had no business telling me to put my phone down. Longer story short...Chris and this entire establishment are a joke. When my fiance asked him if all prizes outlined in the email he received would be honored, Chris' response was "Well I don't know...I don't know what was in the email." So basically, whoever gets you in their door is a completely separate entity and they clearly do not communicate with one another.
I ended up telling Chris that he was way out of line and we got up and left before having to sit through the 90 minute presentation which basically suckers you into purchasing timeshare through them. Chris was so flustered after I told him that he was way out of line that he stood up and said "I'm going to get my manager." Why? For what? Because you have no responses for people who aren't naive and gullible? Save yourself the time and don't waste 90 minutes of your life on this nonsense that you will never get back again. I'd rather watch paint dry for 90 minutes!! Not today VI...Not today or ever, lol.
I am actually quite upset by my treatment by VI Resorts. They cold called me and told me I was "selected" as a winner in their raffle. I said, "I won a free trip" and she said yes! No obligation but they wanted me to come watch a 90 minute video. I am not married but in a long term relationship and I referred to my partner as my husband. She then said, "Come down. Bring your husband and watch this video and we will give you free tickets". I could not find child care and they were relentless in calling me and I said, "Well can't I just come pick up the free trip" and she said, "No, you have to bring your husband and you have to watch this 90 minute video." I said, "Wait. You said I "won" a trip with no obligation" and she starts arguing with me that she never said "won". She said I was "selected". I then went on to tell her I was not really married and she replied, "Doesn't matter. You have to come with him or you won't get anything."
THIS IS A SCAM. THEY WERE RUDE, DISRESPECTFUL AND DISCRIMINATORY. The tactics of this business are disgusting and if I ever see or speak to anyone in relation to this business I will give them a piece of my mind. I think I will also write a letter to their corporate executives about my treatment. What a SCAM. They are not legit, and who would want to engage in with such disgusting business? THERE IS NO FREE ANYTHING.
I booked a resort in Kona. The views were fabulous, many amenities, but no AC, which would have been fine had there been adequate ventilation. There were fans, but it was so hot in the condo, it made trying to sleep unbearable or nonexistent. The tv did not work, nor did the remote. Some lights were missing bulbs, and some lights did not work at all. The front desk was notified, but repair service was not readily available, so we had no tv during evening hours, and limited lighting. Areas around the sliding door had not been cleaned.
Considering that Hawaii should be a destination highly sought, I was frustrated to have traveled so far to find such inadequate accommodations. I had the feeling that the front desk staff was there to check-in clients, then the staff became unavailable. Myself and family have stayed at other VI resorts; found similar issues, not updated, missing lights, or damaged items inside the condo. I recommend a walk through after each client checks -out of the condo.
Rented 3 Units at VI Homestead in Lynden Washington. Two where points were used and one paid with cash by person travelling with us. Person travelling with us had I emergency heart surgery and couldn't come. Contacted VI Internationale 15 days in advance and was told no refund as needed 30 days in advance. Agent then asked if wanted to cancel. I said no as there was no refund so why cancel? She said so someone else could book the room. So essentially they could receive two payments for same room. Ask if we could cancel one of rooms booked with points but told no because we hadn't purchased points cancellation insurance. Why couldn't I just lose the points? When our original timeshare went bankrupt VI Internationale purchased it and then encouraged us to become points owners with them. Big Mistake. Should have just walked away.
We started off in this timeshare with every other year and worked our way up to prestige with perpetual program. Our salesman Steve ** is awesome and always look forward to talking when we visit there. Always experienced a no pressure sales. Our favorite destination is Torres Mazatlan and excited to see the nearly completed renovations in March 2020. Our daughter and son in law was married there 5 years ago and they went above and beyond to make that occasion exceptional. This is a legitimate timeshare and have nothing but positive experiences.
It was interesting to see VI with low ratings. As I read them I noticed very split reviews. It appears that poor reviews came from the early promotions offered. It appears the great reviews were from seasoned veterans that have actually used the system. My wife’s parents used VI for approximately 20 years. We took over their contracts and I have used them for 12. Bottom line great people, deliver what they promise, great destinations and I have continued to increase my points. My wife and I as well as her parents total to over 30 years with VI. No complaints! That is amazing track record.
Can't speak on the point system they sell as we didn't purchase but seems expensive for what it is. They advertise a free trip but really it's not free and has lots of criteria to meet. For example 100 deposit but refundable and $150.00 for taxes per couple and you can only fly out on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday with tons of rules you have to follow. Scam in my book.
I am in sales and then Byron the sales guy pretty much said people with no money come here for a free trip. So other words people that can't afford it do and they convince them to buy into into something they shouldn't. Not to mention it was a turn off that the sales guy said we didn't have the money to buy, We could've cashed out without any payments on the most expensive one but bottom line is we weren't SOLD on it because we felt it wasn't worth it. Little disappointed in the attitude we got when we said no. Also at the very end they tried to shoo us out of there without giving us our 40. Deposited that we gave. Bad experience overall. Bottom line we have plenty of money to make any decision and cash out but your people ruined it.
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