When we bought our first MVCI property (Manor Club Platinum pre construction) the rewards program had no hotel categories. We were sold on the idea of a 7 day vacation package in ANY MARRIOTT IN THE WORLD after depositing for points twice and we began accruing points. These early packages also included airfare and car rental!!!
We then bought a second week (Seaview Platinum) to deposit weeks annually (by alternating years) to grow points faster. We foolishly believed we would use these wonderful weeks to travel the world with our children every few years once they were older.
We now know those promises were only empty sales pitches. As we looked forward to planning our first major adventure for 2010, we find our points so egregiously devalued and our desired destination values usuriously inflated that its clear Marriott has conned us as effectively as the slickest grifter (or fannie mae/freddie mac exec, wall street hedge fund manager, or fill in your favorite greed inspired low life).
As a result of these program changes, we will be changing our purchasing and vacation priorities. We will NEVER again recommend, or refer any friend or family member to purchase a MCVI timeshare. We cancelled one and have severely curtailed use of a second Marriott Rewards platinum visa card. We will purchase products online through other credit card/loyalty programs. We will book future hotel stays with another (as yet to be determined) hotelier (likely Starwood or Hyatt) and probably do our best to use up all rewards program points in the next two years. Look to sell our timeshare weeks at a financial loss to get out of the ever escalating maintenance fees (of which Marriotts management fee percentage continues to grow handsomely)
In spite of attaining more than a million accrued points, we have apparently not been a loyal enough customer to engender the Marriotts loyalty. We, and others like us, will vote with our pocketbooks and take our business elsewhere.
How sad to see such a promising relationship come to such a bitter end.
Given the sentiments expressed in your Jan 3rd note about defecting to another brand, it is highly unlikely that you will read this or even return to Marriott Insiders. But, for those who continue to participate in this online community, there are overzealous Marriott sales people who incorrectly position Marriott rewards points. Ghostrider appears to have encountered an abundance of them. Purchasing Marriott timeshare is about owning deeded property that can be passed onto your children and grandchildren*.
I bought into the dream too many years back (my last MVCI timeshare purchase was 2002) and ended up with six weeks. The one I bought in 2001 and 2002 came with a half million points each for platinum timeshares that sold for less than $18,000. Those days are done, but may return to regenerate MVCI sales again after the recession...but I must say that my family have very much enjoyed the MR program with a 'dream trip' every other year ... Paris, Hawaii, London, Rome, Vienna, Aruba - and some of those several times and all with business class air via the Marriott air+hotel pkgs. Each year I turn in two of my 6 weeks for 220,000 MR points to replenish what we use on those trips. Overall, I've had more than 6 million MR points that we've earned this way and mostly spent ... use em or lose em, I guess.
When Marriott announced changes (devaluation) of the MR point program they gave members an early warning so we booked 3 trips for 2009 to use up some points. Just got back from another great week in Paris -- business class air and the Paris CE hotel. Love it. Priced out on a cash basis it was a super benefit. But now that hotel is a Cat8 hotel so I'll scratch it off the MR list as there's still plenty of Cat 6&7 hotels I like.
Before the recession we all saw hotel rates jumping several percent each year...so it was only a matter of time before an adjustment to the MR redemption plan had to happen. Unfortunately, the 110,000 pts we get for trading in our TS weeks is fixed so as maint/taxes go up and MR point value goes down, it's harder to find anything near what we used to get but I'm confident that Marriott will find a way to enhance the program for their best customers when hotel business picks up.
Your confidence has an echo, thanks for voicing it! Just last year Marriott enhanced Marriott Rewards for MVCI Owners. As of June 30, 2008:
The decision to merge MVCI resorts into Category 5, 6, 7 resorts earlier this year was a positive move towards further brand integration.
But, Marriott wrote off $752 million from the timeshare sector in the Q3 2009. That's huge and raises concerns.
The rewards and MVCI is a JOKE. I just wrote a $1,400 check to MVCI for my Aruba Time Share. This has doubled in the last 8 years.
The main complaint is blackout for hotels using points. They say "rewards may not be used sometimes if an event is in the area." I travel so much for business that when I do want to travel for leisure it is often to an event. It seems i can not give away my 800,000 points I have.
When I learned they would not work with me, I cancelled the 5 reservations i have for the next 3 weeks. I will be joining another chain that has nicer timeshares in Orlando.
PS. The Marriott Charleston West Virginia rooms smell like Urine.
Hi Baddy, I'll take those 800k points if you want to send them to the UK.
I appreciate just how you feel. I own multiple weeks, my first purchase at Royal Palms FL in 1987 cost $200 a week in maintenance. It has now reached £850 a week. And still the points level they offer for my timeshare is still 110,000. It has never increased. So I guess you can see that the vacations I achieved back then were fabulous value and tremendous resorts.
Today the awards for 110 k don't add up to much, therefore I only vacation at timeshare resorts and never take the points. Surprisingly this becomes repetive and boring, for while Marriott claims to have 50 resorts, many of them are in duplicated cities. Effectively there is only about 20 that I can use.
I therefore don't feel to good about MVCI these days. I reckon they gouged me out! Took my money, and failed to deliver on the gentleman's handshake regarding the value of points.
Surprisingly, I believe that the awards are probably still good for guests that accumulate points from hotel stays, it's just the timeshare owners that have been kicked.
Interestingly, this bad feeling about MVCI does creep over to Marriott hotels. The stays there are not as enjoyable, and I do tend to critisize a lot - which I never did in the past.
Have agreat day!
Sir, I agree with you 100%. Marriott has become a very mean company. It truly is very sad that such a promising relationship should come to such a bitter end.
I note that you talk about selling at a financial loss. I have found that this loss is also driven by the low points value, so with that, and the maintenance, the loss is just too great for me to consider dumping my ownership ( CATCH 22 ?)
As for the ever escalating maintenance fees of which Marriotts management fee percentage continues to grow handsomely -you have once again identified a genuine complaint. I stayed recently at Desert Springs 2, and I found the condition of rhe furnishings and decorations to be abysmal. I spoke to an owner there and he said all the money goes to Marriott, and none is left to keep the accommoadations smart. (Home away from home it wasn't)
One of the things that I liked about Marriott is that they were always prepared to go that extra mile to help a guest/owner. That is not the case anymore. I took advantage of spending my accrued 1.5 mln points by booking several vacations before 15 Jan 09 and taking them before 15th Jan 10. However I made one small mistake with an hotel reservation-I reserved the week before the week that I wished to stay, and I only noticed this after the 15th Jan 09-Outside the 'time window' - I am sure that in the past Marriott would have just shifted this week. Not on this occasion though, they called it a new reservation and charged it at the new rates. that cost me an extra 40K points !!
Have they forgotten the meaning of 'Customer service.'
PICS: A filthy bung hole.
A knocked out kitchen door
Bill - Have you forgotten this promise ?