We fell for the sales pitch to purchase timeshare for sole purpose of accumulating points rather than using the timeshare as GREAT WAY TO GET THAT trip around the world! Whoa, now that we have accumulated the points for our wonderful trip, it really isn't an option! I feel ripped off. ..and pretty stupid to have been so duped! I have been looking at little trips to use the points, but have not yet put in the dates. I've gotten the message from travel advisor that using travel packages including air miles may be the best return on your investment yet will necessitate a full week reservation per hotel and then the airline bookings may be impossible to obtain! Then looking at the blogs, I'm alerted to the possibility of a room charge on top of the points???!! This is extremely upsetting. I really felt good about Marriott and their trustworthiness but now I feel set up and used! Is Marriott reacting to the economic times and if we wait this out a year or two they will regroup to keep the sales promises they made? To pay more in maintenance fees (on top of purchase price) to get reward points that you can't exchange for similar accommodations is outrageous! If you've had good luck with timeshare resale, let me know what company or vehicle you used. I'm ready to sell at least this part of the portfolio! Thanks!
Don't fall for the advertisements to selll you timeshare. They are all a sham. You can try to list your timeshare on myresortnetwork.com. They only charge $15 to list. You will never get your money back, particularly in this economy.
You may want to just map out a trip yourself to travel to international destinations using points for each hotel stay. However with the new point schedule, this will take a lot of points. Also, the "no blackout policy" is not true. I found two destinationa last week that were blocked out. I called platinum rewards line and they just could not even help.
There is a huge disconnect going on here . . . the bean counters are winning, looking at how they can penalize the best customers not understanding the law of unintended consequences . . . Most of us have status with other chains (I'm Diamond w/Hilton, Gold w/Starwood, etc.) and can switch hotels at will . . .
However, I have to give credit where credit is due - we just redeemed 13 nights of points for the JW Guanacaste in Costa Rica - (we made two posts on TripAdvisor.com if you want details) - It totally restored my faith in Marriott's People (not their top management that makes these decisions - just the local folks that do the work to make our stays pleasant or unpleasant!)
When I think of how well we were treated, and how everyone at the JW Guanacaste cared about us, and look at the policies coming from Marriott HQ, it makes you wonder if they are really from the same company.
The unfortunate aspect is that two years from now the Marriott Honchos will wonder why are they spending more money on advertising and the loyal customers aren't responding like they used to . . . They'll explain it away to their shareholders that it's "the economy" . . . We all know it's because we vote with our dollars and our nights - and we're frustrated of being taken for granted . . .
My suggestion would be to have the team from the JW Guanacaste review all Marriott policies before they put them into place - it would make for superb long term loyalty of customers . . . the economy will turn back up . . . and some frequent travelers will not return to Marriott . . . The saddest thing is the impact these policy decisions have on the folks that work at the properties . . . Let's hope Marriott management sobers up and listens to both the beancounters and the marketing types . . . There has to be balance . . .
Is there anyone we can contact that can help us with loyalty/ ownership credit towards rewards levels? Shouldn't ownership in a Marriott property be counted towards a rewards level whether we physically stayed in it or not. Trading points for our week gets no credit at either end? Does anyone know if we get credit for nights that we trade into the Interval program? We get charged a cleaning fee for whoever stays in our week. Even when we rent out through Marriotts rental program only about 40% of what they receive in rents we actually get but again no credit towards nights for elite status? Haven't we prepaid for our weeks and so why don't they all count?
After reading the 636 replies posted to the "Welcome to our 2009 Program Changes Forum!" there were far too many Marriott Insiders than expected who simply over-reacted. "Sticker Shock" over-simplifies the outrage expressed.
In one brilliant disappearing act, the collective angst of one thousandth of one percent of Marriott Rewards member views are gone. The number wasn't as surprising as the depth of the exposed wound.
There are several Insiders who share the frustrations expressed in "frustration with new rewards policy", but exclude me. I'm in the camp of Insiders that purchased timeshare because vacation ownership has value beyond points. Marriott sales uses rewards points to create incentive and provide instant gratification. I can use points a lot of different ways. I can buy $1000 luggage with hundreds of thousands of points, and vacation at Motel 6 for $500. Or, I can set aside $1000 for the maintenance fee that can guarantees a memorable 7-night family vacation in a world-class vacation resort with Marriott Vacation Club. Let's get real. As an added benefit, since Marriott timeshare is deeded property, I can will it to my spouse and children. For those who don't know this, by terms of contract, Marriott Rewards points are transferrable to the owner's legal spouse. On-point, pardon the pun, Marriott Rewards are ~not~ useless as the other camp claims.
Insiders are entitled to their expectations and perceptions, but mine are very clear: Legendary service and exceptional quality has a price tag whether it comes in the form of the purchase price and the annual maintenance fees or the points that need to be redeemed.
Lesson learned. From Marriott Vacation Club to Towneplace Suites, the new Marriott price stickers require sharper thinking and clearer presentation ~prior~ to announcement.
Thank you, Marriott, the 50% Bonus for Platinum Elite is Great. And, thank you to the Insider who did the 50/30 bonus analysis. Very convincing. However late, that ~is~ the platform for Marriott marketing strategy to perfect.
Good questions, Meadowlark (Re: frustration with new rewards policy). With 64 MVCI resorts worldwide, millions of weeks sold, owners top 400,000 many of whom own multiple weeks. At an average maintenance fee of $1000 per owner per week, that's significant revenue.
With scant information online at Marriott Rewards.com and VacationClub.com, I contacted Marriott Owner Services [1-800-468-4089] to get answers. In response to owner feedback and suggestions, I am absolutely delighted to advise that MVCI and Marriott Rewards implemented the following changes as of June 30, 2008:
Interestingly, Marriott Owner Services was unable to provide any documentation showing that this change was communicated to owners. But, Marriott Rewards Activity on my account confirms that credit for the nights stayed was given.
With Marriott Vacation Club ownership topping 390,000 and the trading for points being the preferred option 70% of the time, timeshare is hardly a "sham." With Marriott Rewards Points being so popular among Marriott owners, the last thing an owner should do is resell their timeshare privately or through a 3rd party. Owners who go that route should be very cautious, because Marriott will not give incentive points to purchase or provide the option to exchange for points to the new owner unless Marriott Resales handles the transaction.
Marriott Rewards Points do not appreciate in value, but Marriott timeshare property most certainly does. As the owner of multiple weeks of Marriott timeshare, I keep track of the resale value of my units. Marriott Vacation Clubs are hot and in demand. Why would Marriott go to extensive effort to bring about a tighter integration with their reservations system at Marriott.com? If I were to give Marriott my weeks to sell today, they would not stay on the market for long - even in this economy.