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Watchout for excessive "late" fees!!!

Discussion in 'Wyndham Vacation Resorts' started by Updoc Brown, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Updoc Brown

    Updoc Brown Guest

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    I am a longtime Wyndham owner. Overall I am pleased with their operations.

    However, missing an annual maintenance fee payment can get you saddled with a $400+ collections fee ... when perhaps you did not even know you had missed your payment. It happened to me!!

    I am over-zealous about always paying my bills on time and my credit is impeccable. But, my Wyndham maintenance fee bill got lost in the mail and did not get paid on time. I did not get a notification about this missed bill/payment until AFTER the 30 days "late period" and at that time my account had already been charged huge amounts for "collection fees"!!

    Even if you have auto-pay set up on a credit card, look out!! If the card expired or is replaced (e.g. fraud victim), Wyndham will not alert you that the card failed to pay. They will only alert you AFTER the 30 day "late limit" has expired and AFTER you have been charged collection fees.

    And, since they do not send you a bill if you are signed up for auto pay, you do not have an "alert" to remind you to check about what card they have on file.

    I have talked with Financial Services and they are very nice to work with. However, they say they cannot do anything to alert us to missed payments before the BIG COLLECTIONS CHARGE hits. I am baffled that in the age of computers, why a simple reminder can't be sent. I would happily pay $10 bucks for a reminder that the payment is overdue in order to avoid a $400 charge for collections.

    Does anyone else feel this frustration?

    At least BE AWARE.

    Updoc Brown
     
  2. Rob&Carol Q

    Rob&Carol Q Guest

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    Interesting first post...you got an ax to grind?

    not that I want to doubt you but.....

    $400 in collection fees to cover ONE(1) late annual MF that is only late by 30+ days?

    Or are you telling us that you ignored it for a year or so? I have a hard time seeing a $400 fee being added. $35-50 sure. Maybe even each month the bill doesn't get paid. So give us a little more to work with. Honestly, your experience as you describe it doesn't track with Wyndham policies that I am aware of and it certainly doesn't track with my experiences when I missed my MF a couple of years ago. Don't get me wrong, I had a lot of "splaining to do but, in the end, it was my fault that I missed the due date.

    So, ball back in your court.
     
  3. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I had a situation where I paid my fee by mail, and then Wyndham closed up the PO Box and had the mail forwarded to some other addresss and the check I mailed got misplaced in the shuffle.

    They cut off my access to my Wynd account, which I noticed, so I called about it and found out that had non-payment. I put a stop payment on the check they had yet to cash, paid the fee by credit card and was happy again, until about another 2 months later they "found" the original check, tried to cash it (but stop payment prevented that), I got my Wynd account closed again and got charged an NSF fee. Even though I paid the bill and was up todate on payments.

    I did get the NSF charged removed and my account unfrozen, but it just goes to show you how STUPID Wyndham Financial is. They would freeze an account of someone who has NO outstanding fees due.

    So try accessing you online account regularly, as far as I can tell that is the only way you will notice if wyndham thinks something is amiss. You never get an email or call, just a frozen account. Call as soon as you notice you access is revoked.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  4. paxsarah

    paxsarah TUG Member

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    I'll say that this post was a timely reminder for me, as I recently got a new card with a new expiration date on the account I use for MFs - but I hadn't yet updated it with Wyndham. Now it's done!
     
  5. Updoc Brown

    Updoc Brown Guest

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    You are thinking exactly what I thought!!

    @Rob and Carol Q

    Actually I do not have an AX. I was astonished at what happened and the way it happened. Financial Services was nice but they basically said "Our hands are tied." The collection fee was based on the amount of my missed payment which was around $1400.

    NO, it was not months or years or anything of the sort.
    This big fee is charged on day 31.
    The fine print about late payments says something about a small (maybe $20) late fee... but then it says something like an other fees which may be added.

    I called to find out what the deal was and Financial Services said it was a Standard Charge that was added by the Collections Department/Agency and was based on a percentage of the missed payment.

    Again, no ax to grind. I went looking for a user group so that I could warn other Wyndham customers who might get caught in a similar situation.

    As I said, it was enough to make me run to auto-pay. I think you can avoid the problems with credit card miscues if you set up an auto-pay directly from you checking account. But be careful about using the credit card auto-pay option.

    BTW, Financial Services told me to just make a mental note to call them or to check with my credit card statements to be sure that the auto-pay actually happened. She cautioned, but be sure you check on this BEFORE the 30 day late period expires. At that point the collection fee will be added.

    Call Financial Services yourself and ask what happens if a payment is late by more than 30 days!! What she might say is that if you are paying monthly the payment is only 1/12 so in my case it would only be around $100 for my monthly MF. If a percentage is added for collections, it would only be about $40 and no big scare. But watch out for a missed yearly payment. OUCH!!
     
  6. Updoc Brown

    Updoc Brown Guest

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    Yes, it was my fault.

    I agree totally that a missed payment is MY fault @Bob&Carol.

    This was the very first thing I said when I called Financial Services. Even if the mailed bill had been lost or never arrived, it should be my responsibility to realize that the bill was due and PROACTIVELY check to be sure it got paid.

    My beef is that the FIRST warning is such a huge penalty!!

    And, with Wyndham's otherwise great customer service, I am amazed that instead of turning it over to collections as a first response, why can't they send a letter with an understandable $20 charge and a proper warning for about the BIG charge that is coming next if the bill is not properly paid.

    Their current policy tends to make me think that they slap on these big charges without warning as a money-making-gig, much the way some speed trap places give tickets to meet municipal budgets.
     
  7. rrlongwell

    rrlongwell Guest

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    .

    Call Wyndham and ask to speak to the escalation department. They probably can help out.
     
  8. Joan-OH

    Joan-OH TUG Member

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    The exact same thing happened to me! The bill got lost on my desk. They called on aug 15 and took my payment over the phone. On aug 17 I started to get automated collection calls and the late fee was $200! They said I owed them the late fee that had been assessed aug 17. It took several calls but with my credit card records and phone records showing they called and I paid on the 15th they really had to remove it.

    I know I was in the wrong not paying this bill on time, but there has to be something illegal about charging a $200 late fee on a $700 assessment and if they had not backed it off I would have followed up with my states dept of finance or consumer protection office. Wyndham collections basically told me they wouldn't charge it if it wasn't legal.

    Again, I know this was my fault and I would have gladly paid a REASONABLE late fee.
     
  9. antjmar

    antjmar Guest

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    Thank you! :) Just marked my calendar so that they dont get me in May when my credit card expires!:wave:
     
  10. timeos2

    timeos2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    What once was great is now to be avoided

    One of the reasons I decided to leave the Wyndham system was the cavalier way they treated payments. For over 7 YEARS we never got a bill from Wyndham. We got the stupid magazine & weekend offers - but no bills! I'd end up calling and trying to get the address corrected (why they used one for billing an another for the junk mail they love so much is another unknown). Fortunately we did manage - before they became so aggressive with fees - to get that issue corrected.

    Then the past few years we started to see the incredibly large fee added on dealing strictly with annual dues (ignoring the other negative changes such as escalating guest fees). We never gave them a cc or checking account as once they have those on an on demand use basis it can be virtually impossible to cut it off without closing the account(s). We saw a very troubling pattern of large fees tacked on even if an amount was clearly in dispute and an all too easy move to cut off reservation rights or cancel existing reservations at the drop of a hat.

    That last part was the kicker. They were in complete control over our reservations and seemingly we as "owners" had zero ability to protest or get an arbitrary decision reversed. That, along with the fact that it is far easier now to rent exactly what you want for far less than the annual fees and with much more control - led us to sell off our holding in Wyndham we had greatly enjoyed for nearly 20 years.

    It is a very troubling sign when systems such as Wyndham, Marriott, DVC, DRI and others become the sole judge and jury for what YOU can do with your ownership and as they control access can unilaterally choose to cut you off. In some cases even throw you out of the system for what they say is a transgression. Not good. Yet another reason to hold a deed, voting rights and own at Owner - not developer - controlled resorts/systems. We now make sure that anything we own is either owner controlled or the cost was so low that if it was lost tomorrow we would feel we got our value out & wouldn't begrudge the loss of that service.

    Unfortunately we can no longer endorse Wyndham ownership despite the great resorts/locations and flexible system it used to be. It is now fraught with excessive fees, poor availability, atrocious "customer service" and some of the worst sales tactics - second only to Wastegate and closing fast. We now have to say enjoy that system by rental and avoid any ownership commitment.
     
  11. joestein

    joestein TUG Member

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    I also wanted to add to this discussion that Wyndham sends out the bills a very short time before they are due.

    We usually take the last week or two of August to go on vacation. It is the time between the end of summer camp and the begining of school for our daughters.

    The Wyndham fees are due at very begining of September, but they will print them on 8/19 and not arrive to my home until 8/25 or so. Whenever I take my two week vacation, the bill payment is always late as arrives when I am away and is due before I am back.

    Most companies send me a bill with almost a month to pay while Wyndham provides a week at most. You would think they could send out an annual bill a little earlier. Plus is it crazy to think they should cross-check the due against the reservations in their system?

    Joe
     
  12. Updoc Brown

    Updoc Brown Guest

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    Escalation Department

    Yes, @rrlongwell.

    In general, as you see from several of the other posts here. IF you escalate, and IF you persist in raising a stink about being unfairly treated by these unreasonable late/collection fees, you are likely to get some help, and you may even feel RELIEVED if they decrease these penalties a bit for you.

    I am glad to hear that there are ways to appeal these outrageous penalty fees.

    BUT, I am standing in the gap for those fellow members who get treated like this and often feel they have no recourse... particularly when they call Financial Services and are told, "Sorry, you have to pay. There is nothing we can do about it."
     
  13. AwayWeGo

    AwayWeGo TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I Resemble That Remark.

    Same here.

    We are now down to 1 EEY timeshare & 1 every-3-years points timeshare.

    The EEY is owner controlled.

    The points triennial is a throw-away, if it ever comes to that.

    We have not yet puzzled out how to snag bargain rentals from individual owners, but we are heavy users of RCI Last Call & Instant Exchange.

    -- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA. ​
     
  14. Rob&Carol Q

    Rob&Carol Q Guest

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  15. Updoc Brown

    Updoc Brown Guest

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    No apology necessary. We are all about the same thing here. Helping each other get the best bang for the buck. My thanks go out to TUG and all the guys and girls that share info.

    One last time: It is the ridiculously excessive "collections" charge that gets slapped in your face for a late payment that is ONLY 31 DAYS LATE that this post is trying to make everyone knowledgeable about.

    'Nuff said.

    Have joyous, love-filled days as we round out this year.

    ... and to all a good night!!
     

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