first, I am a HUGE marriott fan and have bought into their destinations program big time. Recently, we visited Ko Olina beach club and attended the normal presentation to see what we could learn and/or maybe being missing out on. We didn't purchase any more destination points because the timing wasn't right but I am thinking that another "chunk" could be useful. After the presentation, the Encore sales rep came out and gave her pitch talking repeatedly how we could buy two weeks for the price one and apply the $$ paid for the weeks toward the purchase of the future points. It was also discussed that these two weeks (14 days) would jump my gold elite status to platinum. It seemed like a good deal AT THE TIME!
I Now find out that the 14 days will not count toward my advanced reward status and that the two week deal was not the truth (it's 8 days/7 nights). I know that I should have paid more attention before signing the paper - that's my fault.
I have called the rep only to not have my calls returned and seem to hit dead ends when I go elsewhere. In short, I WAS DUPPED! This experience has left a bad taste in my mouth towards a program that I am very fond of. Probably, the kicker is not that I didn't buy two weeks of time it is that those days do not count as days toward my advanced reward status. Fool me once, shame on me! It will be an interesting discussion when we attend our point retrieval meeting.
Thank you for being a Marriott fan. We are very happy to have you part of the Marriott Rewards family!
We also appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us. We understand that how you may be certainly frustrated in a situation like this. We have sent your comments and information to the Marriott Vacation Club Customer Care team. They should be in direct contact with you shortly to help resolve this issue.
Best wishes toward a decent outcome dexterdog, it's somewhat disconcerting that there is an exact same post over to the side in the More Like This Column (along with several threads of complaints). Even prior to the spinoff there were issues with changes and misrepresentations and it seems to be continuing. Here's hoping you can salvage some value approximate to what was represented. Good luck. Please keep us posted. Thanks for sharing.
It's been a little better than a week since my last post regarding the ENCORE program. As I previously stated, I signed the contract after listening to the presentation and did not totally read what I signed. I short, even though we were told that we were buying two weeks we were not. The marriott folks are holding us to the contract.
The Marriott Vacation Club rep handled my complaint professionally and to my satisfaction even though he could not get the ENCORE folk
to cancel the contract and refund the $s paid. he did agree to upgrade my status to Platinum (this is what the "14" purchased days would have done).
So, we go to Hawaii for three weeks next year instead of two.
I know this post is a little old but I have to add my experience in case others are thinking about doing this too. First, I may not be the smartest person around (i.e. can't spell worth a damn) but I do consider myself pretty to be fairly intelligent ( 4 degrees, CPA, adjunct professor at two colleges in addition to my day job) especially when it comes to finance/numbers and I would never be duped into purchasing something that did not make sound financial sense. For example, we went to Aruba and loved it there. We decided to sit through a 90 minute timeshare presentation for the gift and of course I did not purchase directly from Marriott. However, we do love Aruba so I did purchase an aftermarket timeshare at a significant savings ( $3,000 vs $24,000) and have no regrets.
My wife and I just went to Vegas and for part of our trip we stayed at the Marriott Grand Chateau. A great place by the way. Anyway, on the day of arrival we we early and I knew our room would not be ready so after receiving an invit for another 90 minute presentation for 30,000 Marriott points I said yes but only if they could make the appointment for when we first arrived while we were waiting for our room. They did and it worked out great. I declined to purchase into the Marriott points system but before they would let us go the supervisor came out and asked if we would be interested in their "encore" program. For $1,195 we could book a 4 night 2 bedroom room within the US at various resorts or a 1 bedroom at various Caribbean resorts and I would receive 50,000 Marriott points for sitting through another presentation. Of course I would normally walk away except I noticed that the St Thomas Frenchman's Reef was on the list and my wife and I already decided we wanted to go there for our next vacation (we usually take about 3 vacations a year). So I quickly looked up the room rates on my cell phone while the supervisor was sitting there and decided that it was not a great deal but with the 50,000 points, it was an okay deal and since the $1,195 was all in ( no resort or taxes) I said yes.
Came back home and made my reservations. At first, they were not sure if they could get me a room during the dates I wanted. I had to wait 2 days for the MVC to hear back from the hotel. I already knew I would not receive points or credit for the nights toward my elite status but we are going to extend the trip anyway.
I did hear back and they were able to reserve a room during the dates I requested which I was happy about.
However, the room you get at this hotel, because it is not one of the Vacation Club resorts, is just the basic island view room. I am very disappointed at this since we were told that for the price we were paying we would receive either a 2 bedroom if we stayed at one of the resorts on the list within the US or a 1 bedroom for a resort listed in the Caribbean. I dont' necessarily need a one bedroom but I do want a better room then just the island view room. At least a room with a view would be nice. Since the reservations are not through my Marriott account I do not think my Platinum status will have any benefit meaning I probably will not be upgraded. Had I known this was just going to be an island view room for $1,195 (granted I will receive 50,000 points) I would not have done it and instead just used my points or pay for the room myself.
Our trip is not until May 2015 so we will see what happens. I am hoping I can convince someone at the hotel to combine my extended nights with the Encore nights and get a better room even if I have to pay an upgrade fee. What I learned is that Marriott hotels are not going to go out of their way for rooms reserved for this encore program since they receive little benefit from it. All of he other hotels on the list within the US would not be worth the $1,195 for 4 nights unless you really needed a 2 bedroom and even then, this price is only for non-winter months. There are only two Caribbean hotels on the list, Aruba (which we go every year and use our timeshare room) and St. Thomas. If St. Thomas had not been on the list, I would never have purchased this package but seeing St. Thomas and knowing we did not want to go during the winter months anyway, it seemed like it would be an acceptable deal with the bonus of receiving 50,000 points. Where I made my mistake was not to read the fine print and see that for St. Thomas (and Marco Island in Florida ) you only receive a basic room and not a one bedroom or even a room with a view. My mistake and embarrassment for not looking at the fine print which I normally always do. Now that I have fully analyzed it, the loss of point and night credit for the rooms, the 90 minute presentation I have to sit through again and the fact that we will only receive an island view room makes this deal not a very good one in my opinion. If the room was one of the better rooms I would have been happier.
Anyway, we will see how it turns out and will let you know after our trip in May. Maybe my Platinum status and the additional nights of paid reservations will get us a better room. Keeping my fingers crossed. For the rest of you ......buyer be ware.
Agree. Be careful with Encore contract. I thought it was a good way to " experience the Vacation Club" as a test. Just good to convince me I am not for a vacation club. Just hate the fact I need to pick one of the 20 properties. I am the kind of person that choose the location first then look for a hotel - that leaves you with no or probably single choises. And internet nowadays gives you all the best prices. I will probably use the encore package I paid $1000 for 4 nights to stay in a hotel during what they call "high season" in december so +$700 high season fee. So I am paying $425/night. Internet for the exact same room and dates period/hotel is at $215/night. So just practically paid 2x for the room and option to get points IF i join. Needless to say I will not join. Not for me. Waist of money and energy on my view. Just overpaying in anticipation and applying for restrictions.