I swear its enough to make me change my phone number and never darken another Marriott door again.
I took a tour trip to the St Kitts vacation club 5 almost 6 yrs ago. I have been hounded and still hounded by the (*&$(^&$^#ing time share vacation package place. If someone in the Marriott corporation is listening, for the love of anything you hold dear please get my name taken off whatever hellish list I'm on and for anyone considering one of these "try it" packages they offer, DO NOT DO IT. If you do register with some fake name and number.
OMG . Sorry had to vent. Anyone else have the same type of experience and actually managed to get off the list?
They are also super rude when they call and you say no.
It's been my experience that these folks are very aggressive, bordering on rudeness, zukracer. I took one of these tours in St. Thomas set up by the Concierge in the FS Marriott where we were staying. When I didn't buy-in, the salesperson was absolutely rude and told us if we weren't interested in buying why did we waste his time. I cannot repeat here what I told him. Never got any follow-up stuff, but Orlando is MVC headquarters (800-845-4226 main number). Good luck.
zukracer - regret your sad experience with MVC. We've been points holder for several years and every time we reserve a villa at different locations we always receive a call to solicit a 90-minute presentation for "villa updates", so they say. Their obvious intent is to sell more points, for which the sales person receives a commission. They usually offer several incentives - $ to spend while at the resort, additional Marriott points, free nights, etc. - but, then, in many ways this is just good salesmanship, marketing. Ever made a donation to a charity and not receive subsequent phone calls from same organization? Ever give your address to a magazine, or publication, and not receive multiple, similar magazines in the mail?
Hope you won't unduly penalize yourself on behalf of a few overly-aggressive sales folks.
This is 5+yrs down the road. When I say I'm not interested they hang up the call. I cant even tell them to take me off the list to not call back. Its pretty ridiculous and some of the worst run shops I've ever seen. It's actually against the law in some states for how they just hang up the call (I design call centers for a living, so I'm keenly aware of this stuff) and I just want them to stop.
As for the charity, etc they will stop if you tell them to do so. There are FCC laws that prohibit this type of behavior, I just need to get to the source to make them stop. Since Marriott was the place that it started, I'm starting here.
I use my points to stay at vacation clubs, I see their value and enjoy my stays there BUT I will NEVER EVER go on another "tour" of one in my life using my actual name or number. My family and I are considering buying in at the St Thomas location but again, I will only ever darken that door when I'm ready to complete a purchase.
I actually look forward to going on the tour in Aruba in a couple of weeks and collecting my 20,000 points. We still have not decided if we are going be the "shy silent" couple or the "over the top aggressive maniacs right back atcha" couple. Either way, it's always nice to pick the salespeople's brains.
wally3433, let us know how it goes. We are going to Aruba in Feb. and might do a presentation just to get the points. At some time in the future we may buy more MCVI interests as well, but probably not right now.
I Have taken so many timeshare vacations and have not been bothered once. I take advantage of the price. Make sure I am very corteous to the sales person. Listen and simply say I am not interested. I suggest to never go in with a negative attitude or be cocky. I can take 90 minutes to have a cheap stay. These people are doing their jobs and have to put food on the table so why make it miserable for them. if I am going to grab 20,000 points and grab some info it is worth it for me.
We own MVCI points in the land trust and have done the sales presentations/promos and also have declined them when staying at MVCI properties, including St. Kitts. Everyone was polite and respectful, and we have never been hounded. Sorry to hear you've had a bad experience.
MVCI is not owned by Marriott International, Inc. and only uses the Marriott name as a licensee. Of course the same is true for many Marriott hotel properties as well. So definitely contact MVCI directly and ask to be removed from the call/mailing list. And I agree that you should tell them up front that you are not buying but are only there for the points or cheap vacation package or whatever the incentive is.
I agree with the majority of the posts - keep a positive attitude. I am a former MVCI owner and really liked the program and properties we used (Marbella, Orlando, Palm Dessert, and Williamsburg). It is just a very expensive method of lodging.
My wife thought the presentation was work $100 on one visit to a swapped property and I went into the presentation with the attitude of "not gonna happen." We let the salesperson know that we were not interested, but would listen to his pitch anyway - more to see how they are trying to convince prospective buyers.
It became really interesting when after all was said and done, I gave him a very objective analysis, using he own data, on why a timeshare does not make economic sense. In the end, he agreed and wished us a happy remainder of our vacation.
Time to stick in my two cents; we bought in "08 Aruba SC after declining; couldn't sleep all nite (b/c we didn't buy-went back and purchased the next day) the rep and the closer were very nice and understood our not buying-we got same deal when we went back; we have gone to a presentation every year and have taken the MR points (we know people who took credits to eat at various restaurants instead). This past March we opted for an encore pkg. in Hawaii 20,000 MR points to listen in Aruba and 50,000 to listen in Hawaii, We are not going to purchase thru Marriott but would like to see how the presentation differs from Aruba's. Also we bought a second TS from a third party and paid substantially less than Marriott was offering. Again my two cents
coupons, what did you buy the second time around? More Aruba SC or points or something else? What broker or website did you use, if any? Also, any tips for Aruba SC? We are going in Feb. as a family with school aged kids.
I am going to answer several questions and responses here:
coupons, thank you! This is very helpful. Yes, we are going over President's Day. We usually buy some groceries and eat about 1/2 our meals in the villa and about 1/2 of them elsewhere. Any tips on where/how to get groceries and/or restaurants? We do not plan to rent a car. Should we? They drive on the right side of the road, correct? I purchased some large tubes with handles and will bring those as I've heard that tubes are not provided for the lazy river. Does that sound right? Any tips on reserving pool chairs? I am an early riser so I could probably tag chairs at 7am if I had to, but that sure seems like a nuisance on vacation. Palm Beach looks very developed/commercialized and crowded - is that true? If so, should we venture to other beaches if we want something more relaxing? Last year we stayed at St. Kitts which was great, but that island is not very commercialized so I imagine Aruba is going to be something completely different. We have 2 girls aged 7 and 9. They absolutely live for the pool and beach, so I am sure they will LOVE Aruba.
Thanks for your input and great information. I have looked many times at the resales but they just weren't for me. I would never buy a red resale week personally. Not at all interested in going to the islands in summer. I would want to go in winter because I live in a cold area. I own a Platinum lock off week in Fort Lauderdale and it is very valuable for me. I am a hybrid owner. I originally purchased in 2002 I believe at the Ft. Lauderdale property. Lock off. I received a Hawaiian vacation for two which included air fare and I got to go to Hawaii with tons of benefits. They don't do that any more. At the time I could have chosen any place in the world they had a time share but my daughter was graduating from college and she wanted to go. Glad I did. I also do not like to go to the same place year after year after year. I have never been back to my property since I purchased. As far as the 30% discount I also am not interested in going to a resort in the red season which is when I am sure they offer that discount. I am gold and I have to look because I have never even seen in in gold elite offerings. I better get cracking! I now have the option of checking into smaller units which works for me well. I can get a studio instead of having to get stuck with a week with two bedrooms. Write now I am a week owner and destination club point owner. I can go mid week when the airfares are low. I also can stay less than a full week if I want to. I am what is known as a hybrid owner. I can borrow points, rent points or carry over to the next year and not have to take the vacation. So, that also works for me. Obtaining gold status or platinum status is not hard really. You just have to work it right. I am very pleased to have gold status. The benefits are great. I like earning the 25% bonus points. They really add up. I like walking into a Marriott and being treating special. I have to think of what else I like about my ownership. I was dead set against it forever. I refused to go to destination but now with the way I can work the points I will be able to get about 6 weeks vacation out of it. So, for me who is always ready for the next vacation it works. Not to mention the deals I get from Interval. Right now I am headed to New Orleans which only cost 200 for the week and then 200 for airfare. Can't beat that one. I will be there during Christmas so it should be nice. I am a regular at Disneyworld. I was going two times a year. I went through Interval for that one.
Talk to you later. Gotta run to the store.
maddashin, that's what I'm worried about. Right now we have a deeded interest that our children will inherit. If you buy through a third party, do you just get usage rights, or how does that work? We don't want to buy as an investment but just as a way to have access to the MVCI properties and an excuse to vacation every year. But we do want the kids to be able to own these someday.
I owned the original weeks in the beginning I just purchased points to make me executive level. I know people don't like timeshares but it has worked out for me so far. My personal way of traveling is staying in one place and seeing the area. I am not big on tour buses. I don't mind cruises because you stay in one place. Nothing worse than packing and being on a tour bus everyday. Mostly driving around.
maddashin, I'm with ya on the tour bus thing. Those are ok, and I've done several. But life is easier at a MVCI villa, and since we've had kids, it's our preferred way to travel. I love having the kitchen and washer/dryer. It saves us time and hassle and money. Plus, the room to spread out is great. We are spoiled now and feel very cramped in traditional hotel rooms!
Well, let me think what I got for buying points. I got gold status for three years guaranteed. 30 percent off Marriott Vacation Club rates. 13 month reservation window. Being able to forward my club points to the next year. You can have the option of exchanging for points which is not as good a deal as it once was because of the devaluation. But, being gold you earn 25 % more points staying in marriotts.
One of my gripes with people that complain about the Marriott rewards program. There is no obligation for Marriott or any other hotel to offer any kind of incentive. So, I get a real kick out of the people that complain that Marriott should do this that and the other thing.
Sales make the world go around. Unfortunately, timeshare has had a bad stigma for many years. Marriott seems to work hard at providing an ultimate vacation experience. Their customer satisfaction rate usually reflects that. Instead of getting on the internet and whining, just say no. Say no to finding out how you can own something that you can pass down to your children. Say no to hearing about something that can provide you with a lifetime of vacations. Say no to paying Marriott a maintenance fee each year. Instead, tell the next person that asks you about timeshare, that you had rather give your rental money to a resort that you have no investment in. It's the same as throwing your money in the ocean. Then the next year come up with another pile of money to throw in the ocean. The next year do the same, and so on and so on. Timeshare is just a vehicle to travel just as a car is used to travel. You can't look at it as a real estate investment. It's only as good as you are at using it. It requires maintenance just as a car, hence maintenance fees. The value will depreciate just as a car's will. If you don't vacation stay home. If you do vacation, Marriott timeshare ownership is the way to go. Especially now, you are not tied to any particular resort, time of year, or even the same view type. You can do something different every year. The presentation is the only way to educate yourself. Say no if you want to stay home or if you choose to throw your money aimlessly away.
You missed the point. I've told them no. I've told them no so many times I need to borrow a bus load of people to count on their fingers and toes as well. I shouldn't, by law actually, need to tell them no so many times.
And as for buying in, with millions of points and continuing to earn points year over year, I choose not to invest now. It's not that I don't see value with the changed system BUT for me there's no sense in spending REAL money when I can spend POINTS that I've earned simply by going to work. When/if that changes I probably will buy into the program but my original point stands, when you tell people to stop calling you, you shouldn't need to answer the phone and say "I'm sorry he's dead, please don't call again" to get them to stop calling.
My wife and I had purchased a week in Palm Desert 20 years ago and still get good use out of the program, and we bought a week in St Thomas through a third party during the depths of the recession. We paid $2,000 for the St Thomas property (the seller was desperate to unload it) and never regretted it. We go there every year like clockwork and have a great time. Yes the maintenance fees are a pain, but we do get a very comfortable two bedroom unit with incredible views.
And now that we are empty-nester's and aren't confined to reserving during school holiday's, we have very little trouble exchanging for where we want, when we want. When the kids were in school and we could only travel during Christmas and summer vacation, we were shut out of nearly every exchange request we made and that resulted in a lot of frustration and resentment. But not any more.
mikiegfla, we have not tried the St. Thomas MVCI. Happy to hear you like it. Dumb question, but does your US cell phone (if you are from the US) work there since it's a US territory? Just curious as my Verizon plan worked in Puerto Rico without any roaming charges, so that was a big plus to me in determining where in the Caribbean to vacation next time.
The St Thomas vacation club is fantastic. We've been several years running, using points and love it. There is a great market down the road from the property where you can get most anything you want for food and it's easy to get around. Your cell phone working is sorta a carrier by carrier thing. I have Sprint and it works as part of my plan there for both cell and data. They have good coverage on St Thomas but not nearly as good as say AT&T on other islands there (St John for example). I believe AT&T includes the USVI as part of their coverage but not sure if Verizon does. I also think there are some plans out there that may not if you don't have "national" coverage. Their community forum seems to suggest mixed responses including paid use for voice. I'd call and ask to confirm.
The coverage gaps really are only a pain if you are using your phone for GPS/Navigation. Some apps out there don't need cellular coverage to work so just a thought if you were going to count on the phone for that function.
I was just in Portugal. My cousin has Verizon and they paid 40.00 to buy so many minutes to call home which is the US. I have sprint Sprint has the new WIFI Calling. I turned on the WIFI calling and turned off the roaming. I sent tons of text messages when I had service. I checked several times and I did not get any charges in addition to my regular plan. Will let you know if that changes but, so far so good. The ship had WIFI but,
we were in VERY remote areas most of the time and no one, not even the crew had service. When i go away, i turn my phone off. I don want to hear from anyone. I pretend it is the old days when we had no mobile phones. When we did gave service in the two major cities we were in the Sprint network popped up several times. I had Verizon but, they were too expensive and charged me through the nose. it is remarkable how far Sorint has come. I travel all the time and I now have zero problem with them and with my iPhone 6plus. Since the WIFI calling it is fantastic.