FYI, I copy a letter that I have recently sent to an associate in an MVCI office. Out of courtesy I have not identified him.
******, I know that I continue to complain about points and MVCI, but here is a good example of why I do so.
The Marriott Bournemouth hotel (A cat 5 in the English Riviera) will let me stay for 4 + 1 nights, for 100,000 points.
I can trade my MRP resort for 110,000 points
If both were in the same location, can you give me any reason as to why I should I trade my 7 nights in a 2 bed + kitchen at MRP, for a 5 night stay in an hotel room at Bournemouth ? ( Even if it is a beautiful 135 year old hotel which overlooks nothing but the sea.)
As it costs an admin charge of circa £75 to exchange my time for points the 'free' night is hardly 'free' (It's actually in this case 50% off)
Additionally Bournemouth rents for £150 a night in the period 6th August to 11th August (High summer and children's school holidays) making a total exchange value of £750 less £75 point exchange fee = £675.
From 25 Feb to 5th March (The week following President's Day) MRP rents for $1960.87 which I convert to £1225.54.
Should I exchange £1225 for £ 675 ? No deal!
******, Please listen when I say that there ain't any value in Reward points for MVCI members any longer. That loss of value can only mean that members will soon stop using points, they will get fed up of continually going to the limited locations where MVCI has a presence, (As opposed to the sales offers to be able to travel the world using Marriott Reward points!) And the prospects that attend sales presentations - if they have any sense - will see through the scam, take their tin of biscuits, say no thank you, and leave.
This can only mean that MVCI is heading for a big crash!
They must increase by a great percentage (300-400 %) the points given to owners that wish to consider that exchange option.
Alternatively, they can admit that they got their homework wrong when they commenced sales in 1984. That is when they decided to market timeshares sales with the attraction of Rewards points. As there is now no value in that big hook that they used, they should consider returning a considerable percentage of the capital that I, and many others, invested with them in vacation ownership.
Or risk being identified by the press as timeshare sharks!!
Bless you for being so understanding.
I wonder if there is any Marriott Associate reading this page who can challenge my figures? I would be pleased to hear from such a person.
Good luck with this. Without a stated objective in the letter, it is difficult to extract a meaningful call-to-action.
Earlier this week, I was reminded that 3 Marriott Vacation Club resorts located at Streamside Vail do not participate in Marriott Rewards. Birch, Douglass and Evergreen resorts do not generate or accept Marriott Rewards points. Deeded nights are ineligible as Elite Qualifying Nights, here. Strangely, the 3 ski resorts coexist with a full-service Marriott. While some owners/guests voice complaint, the lion's share apparently do not.
In Orlando and several other markets, Marriott and Ritz-Carlton stand side-by-side and flourish. This year, Marriott Vacation Club will open the very upscale Grand Lakes Reserve Villas. Various sales collateral clearly state a recreational license agreement between MVC and the JW, but not the Ritz-Carlton.
Intermingling the 3 brands on the same property where 2 accept Marriott Rewards and the 3rd does not raises questions about the efficacy of selling timeshare with a usage option joined to the hip with Marriott Rewards.
As vacation ownership at Vail Streamside may illustrate, retaining exclusivity in a prime location may have more value than points?
TJ, Streamside at Vail was one of the resorts that Marriott 'bought into' circa 1990. Douglas and Birch were existing timeshares. Marriott built Evergreen. As an Mvci member exchanging to Streamside I was accommodated in Evergreen, where apparently all Mvci members are located. I do believe that all three resorts have different maintenance fees. I visited circa 1993 and whilst the accomodation in Evergreen was OK, the other buildings, reception area, swimming pool and lack of food outlets were, in my opinion, not up to Marriott standard.The web page states that these resorts do not deal in MR points. Is that that they don't accept MR awards, or that they don't give MR members qualifying night during their stay? Either way do you know if that applies to all 3 buildings, or just Birch and Douglas?
At about this time Marriott also 'brought into' Paradise Island Bahamas, another small resort on the Gulf coast of FL, and a mountain resort in New Hampshire. I visted all three and they weren't worth writing home about. I understand that all the original owners complained about Marriott's stratosphereic fees that Marriott eventually backed out of these resorts. So far as I know Vail is the only 'second hand ' resort remaining.
I do believe that following this experience Marriott said they would only build their own resorts - with the exception of Newport Beach Ca, which was apparently taken over from Disney shortly after the first ground breaking.
Thank you for your comment about my mail not having a 'stated objective.' I have spoken to many owners, associates etc about the truly lousy deal we have with Reward points, all to no avail. So now I am adopting the drip-drip policy to help new owners and future prospects to be careful how they use their ownership or how they decide to purchase timeshare - or not! I need the assistance of an accountant and an investigative journalist to make Marriott sit up and smell the coffee - as thery say!
Incidentally the name of the resort at Grand Lakes is 'Lakeshore Reserve at GL' I stayed at JW hotel at GL in 2006, it suffered from some major design flaws, but otherwise it was OK. Last year I took a tour of the new MVCI properties at GL, they were really quite smart, and as the price was discounted by 25% (To celebrate MVCI's 25th Birthday) the price was rather attractive. However, the fact that they offered a lousy points deal, plus when a person has visited MRP, MIP, MCH, and MGV + 4 Marriott hotels in the area - why does one want to go to Orlando...AGAIN !!
P.S. Any news on having an MVCI forum on Insiders?
Is that that they don't accept MR awards, or that they don't give MR members qualifying night during their stay? Either way do you know if that applies to all 3 buildings, or just Birch and Douglas?
LesliePamel - Your question prompted a call, here's the skinny. Paid nights at the 3 resorts including Birch, Douglas and Evergreen do not generate Rewards points or Elite Qualifying Nights. However, a change is expected mid-year. Through combined efforts that include the owner boards, MVCI and Marriott International, there is an expectation that the 3 resorts will be integrated into Marriott Rewards for a "more seamless experience."
"I need the assistance of an accountant and an investigative journalist"
The integration of Vail Streamside is being implemented because it is in Marriott's best interests. Similarly, the integration of MVC properties into Hotel Categories last July facilitates brand integration. As we have already established, the usage option to trade for points delivers less value than staying at your home resort or trading through II. Even with the added admin fees, the value is retained. As more owners realize this, the highly lucrative rental inventory that MVCI and MR projects revenue from - will decrease. Will the assistance of an accountant and investigative journalist accelerate owner realization? Candidly, I doubt it. Spare yourself the agony. Enjoy your vacation ownership and use it as a platform to meet more owners and listen to their thinking as well as share yours. Remember it was not until mid-2008 that deeded nights were counted towards EQN. It's a very slow process.
"Incidentally the name of the resort at Grand Lakes is 'Lakeshore Reserve at GL'
Yes, thank you for the correction, I appreciate it.
"why does one want to go to Orlando...AGAIN !!"
I'd love to go back to the Custom House!!!!
"Any news on having an MVCI forum on Insiders?"
Quite frankly - I don't know. Earlier I expressed the thought that, "Insiders extended the guest experience online." And, I just said above, that Marriott will respond and implement following it's best interests. Is it in Marriott's best interests to extend the vacation ownership experience online through an MVCI forum on Insiders? I think so. Does Marriott think that way? If you're the wagering type, feel free to throw the dice! At the very least, I would like to see the forum, "Hotels" expanded to "Hotels, Resorts and Vacation Clubs" or "Hotels | Resorts | Vacation Clubs" Would that work?
Oh Boy, I wish I had read your posts BEFORE I traded my week for points. We got 90,000 points and wanted to use that for airline miles. Well it turns out, you need 70,000 points for ONE round trip ticket to Aruba (one ticket cost about $500) That is a terrible exchange! Thanks for the info!
I totally agree with your assessment of the situation. I bought my first timeshare at Royal Palms about the same time you did, and now own five MVC weeks per year. The points exchange option was a major reason for my purchases. Until MVC modifies this program to make it fair again, I plan to do the following:
1. Never recommend MVC ownership to friends and family (unless they buy resale at a property they plan to use)
2.Never exchange my week for MR points.
3.Always use, exchange, or rent my weeks.
4. Use MR points for one trip per year to use up my million points prior to the next devaluation.
Since I don't want to sell my timeshares in this down market and I only have 3 weeks vacation each year, I have been renting (at my costs) my unused weeks to other family members and coworkers. When I retire, I plan to use all of my weeks for my family.
I am an original MR rewards (I can't recall the name of the original program) member, and have been extremely loyal for over 30 years. However, over the past few years I have been increasingly disappointed in how MVC and Marriott have ignored their customers who have truly invested in the company. I hope they are listening, and don't become another Delta Airlines.
"Until MVC modifies this program to make it fair again, I plan to do the following:
1. Never recommend MVC ownership to friends and family (unless they buy resale at a property they plan to use)
2.Never exchange my week for MR points.
3.Always use, exchange, or rent my weeks.
4. Use MR points for one trip per year to use up my million points prior to the next devaluation."
Agreed on the soundness of this plan. Regards point #3, it's more cost-effective to buy Marriott Rewards points at $12.50 per one thousand points, so if points are needed to redeem, buy them every year to accrue the level needed. Oh, been there done that on point #4. When the new schedule was announced, we booked as many nights as we could on Pointsavers to maximize the remaining value.
TJ, thanks for the reply of the 29th Jan.
I appreciate the info on Streamside at Vail. However I visited in the summer - I'm not a skier - and I didn't think much of the resort then. As for EQN , they no longer have very much value for me. Having access to ten weeks of timeshare, plus other family weeks I qualify every year for platinum. But not being a 'road warrior' I rarely get to stay at Marriott hotels. I previously mainly stayed at the hotels for vacations on point awards, and I enjoyed the recognition.Points just don't have the value today, and MVCI resorts don't recognise Elite status when you check in at their resorts.
I stayed 11 weeks in MVCI resorts last year in Asia, Europe and the USA , I got to meet many owners, practically all who were furious with what Marriott has done with the points. I have remained in contact with several. We reckon that an investigative journalist could ball Marriott out in the press for the manner in which they have treated their owners. Marriott Rewards added high value to MVCI, and people paid over the odds for an otherwise ordinary 4 star timeshare resort. We want MVCI to seriously increase the points level for timeshare trade; or to remove the points connection, and refund some of our overpaid money.
As an ambassdor for Marriott (Is that just a voluntary position?) Do you know where I might obtain figures for the amount of money Marriott receives from credit cards etc for selling to them the points that the bank uses to reward credit card users ( $ per 1000). Also how much does Marriott hotels pay Marriott Rewards for the points that they award to guests($ per 1000)
TJ, I always enjoy my vacations. I am fortunate that now I am retired I can use them for all ten weeks. However that was never my purchase plan. My plan was to acquire points for all the goodies they made available, and mix and match these with time at MVCI resorts. I.E. 4 resorts, 3 hotels, 4 flights and maybe a cruise- or whatever way they presented best value.
That's what Marriott promised, and because of their current mean-minded behaviour, that is what they are failing to deliver.
I am pleased to hear that you enjoy the Custom House. I thought the accommodation there was one bedroom and an efficiency. If you get time I would be pleased to hear why you recommend it - you might just tempt me to visit. I've been to Boston twice, I stayed at Palmer House and Copley Marriott.
Superchief, It would be a shame, but I guess they are most definateley heading the way of Delta Airlines.
If all owners could sign up to the below proposals then I think the demise would come quite fast.......UNLESS they started treating owners as they promised to do in the sales galleries! In which case the company would return to it's former glory.
1.NEVER exchange timeshare weeks for Reward points.
2.Never recommend MVCI ownership to anyone
3.Always use, home resort, exchange, or villa rental.
4. Do your best to disaude prospects from purchasing MVCI timeshare, and falling into the trap that Marriott led us into
Incidentally, the forerunner to Rewards was "Honored Guest Awards." A far more appropriate name I think.
"MVCI resorts don't recognise Elite status when you check in at their resorts"
Across MVC, priority is based upon ownership. I've heard of 2 owners that top the charts with 52 weeks! Now, that's a retirement package.
"many owners, practically all who were furious with what Marriott has done with the points. We reckon that an investigative journalist could ball Marriott out in the press for the manner in which they have treated their owners."
Vitriolic approaches tend to be extremely risky and historically yield unexpected results. There are owners who are suspicious of efforts that might undermine the value of their vacation ownership further, and corrode their relationship with Marriott.
"We want MVCI to seriously increase the points level for timeshare trade; or to remove the points connection, and refund some of our overpaid money."
And the group seriously thinks that an accountant teamed up with an investigative reporter is the winning strategy?
Do you know where I might obtain figures for the amount of money Marriott receives from credit cards etc
Not a clue. In the US, statement of corporate earnings are subject to public disclosure by statute. Perhaps the information may be contained in the quarterly Earnings Reports?
"I am pleased to hear that you enjoy the Custom House. If you get time I would be pleased to hear why you recommend it - you might just tempt me to visit."
Above: Breathtaking view of Marriott's Custom House, the iconic clock tower overlooking Boston Harbor as seen from the Harvard Club's Downtown Club dining room on December 29, 2009
Below: Photos of our 1 bedroom suite at Marriott's Custom House taken during our Week 52 visit in 2009. Left to right, living room, dining area, kitchenette, bath, king bedroom.
For more, see the earlier post: Marriott's Custom House
TJ "There are owners who are suspicious of efforts that might undermine the value of their vacation ownership further, and corrode their relationship with Marriott."
I can understand the context in which you are saying this, and I can see how some owners might be alarmed at any further loss of value in their timeshare.
However, that is exactly the point that I am trying to make. Marriott timeshare has been seriously reduced in re-sale value because Marriott has completely eroded the value of Reward points. ( How low are they going in the next 2 - 4 years?)
I am sure many owners like myself walked into the sales room several years ago being very cautious - timeshare had a bad name 26 or more years ago* - When they saw what Marriott was selling, together with the ability to get a complete vacation package of hotel/flights/car rental/cruises and meals, they decided to purchase.
Because of this big attraction they paid well over the odds for their timeshare. Many sales people faced with the query regarding the high price for a slightly above average timeshare, explained that if and when an owner wished to sell the apartment, the vacation package was so good that it would command an equally high resale price. (They should have been slapped around the face by the lie detecting robot!) Actually they probably thought that sales line was true.
The only people who knew it wasn't true was the directors of Marriott. They had clearly identified an excellent profit stream.
So I, like, like many others are in a catch 22 position. I want to sell as Marriott is no longer delivering vacation value, but as Marriott has so devalued the trade for Rewards, there is very little demand in the market, and re-sale prices have been forced to rock-bottom levels.
I believe that it is only by continually complaining to and about Marriott that they might just offer a realistic Reward point rise (current times 3 or 4)
If they do this, resales will be in demand and the price will once again be good. However, I wouldn't want to sell then, as I would be having a 1986 style ball vacation on Reward points!!
If they don't??
Well owners will have to take action to secure a deal, where when they are forced to sell at low prices, they must be compensated by Marriott with several thousand dollars refund, because of the company's unethical and dishonest trading practices.
* I guess many owners view Marriott timeshare in that category today!
Ps. Thanks for the pics of the Custom House. I guess it only sleeps 4 adults though?
TJ, I have just been looking at my stock of Marriott timeshares. In the year 2000 I purchased my fourth week at MRP. This was purchased soley as a 'points farm' (110,000 points every year)(At that time it produced a good crop of vacations.)
THIS WEEK COST ME $16,900 . I could have brought it on the re-sale market, but then the saleman said I would not allowed to trade for points
IT CURRENTLY SELLS FOR $3200
That is a difference of $13,700 or $1370 per annum to date.
As there is no longer any value in trading it for points, and the maintenance is $1035 each year, that makes my one week vacation cost at MRP $2405. I could stay 7 nights at the Marriott World Centre for about $ 1120!
If you were in my shoes ( I'm not sure if you are?) Surely you would see that if I sold my time for $3200, then Marriott should be forced to compensate me by at least $6850. (Because of their dishonest management - They should have told prospects that point value will seriously reduce, and not that it may be 'amended') Although to be honest I would be happy if they just seriously raised the point value at a similar rate to the admin for points charge ($ 35 -$139 = 325%) or in line with the maintenance rise ($260 - $1035 = $775 = 2.98%)
"THIS WEEK COST ME $16,900 . I could have brought it on the re-sale market, but then the saleman said I would not allowed to trade for points. IT CURRENTLY SELLS FOR $3200"
$3200 sounds like a highly distressed price. Real estate is cyclical, perhaps waiting until the market rebounds might be sensible?
" Well owners will have to take action to secure a deal, where when they are forced to sell at low prices, they must be compensated by Marriott with several thousand dollars refund, because of the company's unethical and dishonest trading practices."
It's with unhappiness and disappointment that I must agree. MVCI management has not been transparent and upfront. Deceptive and misleading sales practices is unethical and eroding owner trust and confidence in the Marriott vacation brand. The proof is in the pudding, see Marriott Dropped | 2010 Most Ethical Companies
Hopefully, Marriott International will do the right thing and rethink the timeshare business, do the right thing and rethink the MVCI division from the ground up.