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RCI hikes Weeks fees...highway robbery!

Discussion in 'Exchanging' started by Carol C, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Carol C

    Carol C TUG Lifetime Member

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    Did I blink and miss the latest exchange fee hike ? It's gone up so much that I consider it extortion at this point! No more deposits for that greedy bunch!
     
    Egret1986 and mpumilia like this.
  2. LisaH

    LisaH TUG Lifetime Member

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    I will not renew my RCI membership once it expires in 2020.
     
  3. tschwa2

    tschwa2 TUG Member

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    RCI weeks is at $239. II is doing there best to keep up and has gone up $20 in the last 18 months and are at $199 for exchanges
     
    mpumilia likes this.
  4. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I'm a 34-year RCI Member. I will not renew my RCI membership once it expires in mid-2019. The fees (and number of potential fees) have become outrageous. I started setting myself up last year for the end of my membership. The last deposit was made in 2016. No more deposits left. Just have exchanges to complete before the membership expires. It's a good feeling! :banana:
     
    theo, silentg, mpumilia and 2 others like this.
  5. Cheapseater

    Cheapseater TUG Member

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    It appears that RCI has discreetly raised the number of points necessary for weeks members to perform an exchange. It is a fact that they have raised the number of points necessary for a few weeks that I am watching and for a completed exchange.

    This is an unannounced fee increase by decreasing the value of member deposits. This must be necessary to pay the tech companies for the new and wonderful website!

    I was so frustrated by the new website that I am considering non-renewal. This sneak increase has me considering other options. I would welcome information and thoughts on other options to RCI.
     
    mpumilia and silentg like this.
  6. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Fishermen's Village
    Try exchanging with other TUG members. We have done a few. Just swap not extra fee. Check the exchange section in Marketplace.
    Silentg
     
    mpumilia likes this.
  7. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I’m also seeing extra resort fees. In addition to exchange fees...why is that?
     
    happymum likes this.
  8. dougp26364

    dougp26364 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We dropped RCI several years ago. Our II personal membership won’t be renewed. At this point we’re set up to either use what we own or do internal exchanges within the the Marriott or Hilton systems we own.
     
    GrayFal and silentg like this.
  9. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We haven't belonged in years. We just use what we own and occasionally use Trading Places International, DAE and Platinum Interchange and RTX if we decide to exchange. We have free memberships with all of them and never deposit first. I search and then if I see something I call and give them our week for what we want. If it were to happen that I wouldn't find anything, I would just use what I own anyway. No stress or hassle. If I couldn't use it for some reason I would give it to someone to use or maybe rent it. I also always take out travel insurance with Generali so that if we couldn't use our timeshares for a "covered" reason, we would be reimbursed the maintenance fees.

    The exchange fees are less. But- they have nowhere near the inventory of RCI or II.
     
    chellej and Panina like this.
  10. WalnutBaron

    WalnutBaron TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    +1. Direct exchanges through TUG are a great but underused resource. I have done a couple of them and it has been a great experience. The nice thing about exchanging with fellow TUGgers is that they're educated, understand the relative value of what they own so that fair exchanges can be made, and--if they own a floating weeks ownership--are able to accommodate your request in most cases to meet the general timeframe you're looking to vacation.
     
    Panina and mpumilia like this.
  11. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes that is true.
     
    Panina likes this.
  12. bobby

    bobby TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I just used up my banked week points. I may keep the RCI membership because last minute deals are good.
     
    silentg likes this.
  13. dominidude

    dominidude TUG Member

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    While I agree that direct exchanges with other TUGgers seem underused, my take is that this is typical of services that are *perceived to be* hard to access.

    For example, most people do not want to bank with a bank that is a thousand miles away, even if it offers them 100X the interest in savings and charges them lower debt interest .
    Why?
    Because it's perceived to be easy to walk into a local branch. Never mind that 95% of customers never do walk into a branch in a given month. And when those customers do walk in, they find themselves with staff that is both overworked and underpaid.

    Likewise, direct exchanges between fellow TUG members is perceived to be difficult. You first have to contact the person you want to exchange with, then, if you are lucky, a ton of communication follows (which consumes precious time). Finally, after spending all that time, one of the party usually decides they dont want to go ahead anyway. Whether this is reality of not, it doesnt matter. The point is that TUG exchanges are perceived to be more like a dating website (i.e., a hassle), and less like a true timeshare exchange website (e.g., something quick and easy).

    TUG should really invest into changing the perception that exchanging between tuggers is difficult.

    For starters, there are simple ways exchanges with other TUG members could be made easier:
    1)checking that exchange requests are still good every so often
    2) allowing users to report when someone is non-responsive
    3) Allowing tuggers to rate each other on the ease with which the exchange happens

    etc.
     
  14. WalnutBaron

    WalnutBaron TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Great post. All excellent points.
     
  15. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Remember, you can use Trip Beat for last minute RCI rentals and not belong to RCI.
     
  16. silentg

    silentg TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Why complicate an easy thing?
    Post a exchange request, tell what you want, and what you have to offer.
    If a TUG member is interested. They contact you. No money changes hands. You pay your fees they pay theirs.
    We have done a few successful exchanges. No complaints from anyone( none that I heard).
    If someone doesn’t want to do this, no fowl, no money lost.
    We don’t do this with every timeshare vacation. But it has been easy for us.
    Silentg
     
    mpumilia likes this.
  17. Egret1986

    Egret1986 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Good to know. After June 2019, I will be using other options instead of RCI and I believe I will be just fine. We've had a very long relationship, and I feel that I benefited from my membership all those years. But the times, they are a' changing!
     
    silentg and mpumilia like this.
  18. mdurette

    mdurette TUG Member

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    I just ran a quick comparison of tripbeat vs RCI weeks:
    InnSeason Pollard Brook - these are all in prices after tax for both:
    3/25 1BR: Tripbeat $711.21 - RCI $564.27 (regular) or $512.07 (platinum)

    Ocean Sands at New Smyrna (FL)
    2/17 2BR: Tripbeat $1670.71 - RCI $1321.64 (regular) or $1202.84 (platinum)

    Yes, RCI Extra Vacation inventory is there, but at a premium that exceeds the cost of an annual RCI membership.
     
  19. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I think it just depends- because I signed up for email offers from them and I am getting offers for various resorts that are like $300-$400 per week.
     
  20. flybefree

    flybefree TUG Member

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    I don't do direct exchanges on TUG because I can get 3-4 trips out of my deposits with RCI. I ran the numbers and the price is about equal to Airbnb when I factor in RCI membership fees, exchange fees, my MF, and what it cost me to get both of them (very cheap). But I am done with Airbnb and the useless, misleading reviews. My problem is with the extra fees and reduced services, like increasing the cost to combine deposits while reducing it from 24 months to 12 months. THAT ticked off so many people, they had to start offering 24 months again as a promo. RCI has sent me a few email surveys recently, and I have blasted them for the fees every time they send me one.

    My husband changed jobs and can't travel as much now, and most of my friends can't pick up and go with me, so our points are piling up in the points system. I'm going to have to pay to extend them again if a friend can't use them before 9/30, although I might just sell those. I haven't even touched the 2017 weeks deposit (EOY odd) and doubt I'll get through all of those by 12/2019.

    I go back and forth on selling both TSes, which have a low MF and high trading power, and then just booking periodic extra vacations and not telling RCI I've sold my units. I've started acquiring hotel credit cards for the free stays!! I suspect Airbnb has made a big dent in RCI, II and timeshare resorts, because now it's easy to get a place with a kitchen and sometimes laundry facilities. RCI needs to offer more, not less.
     
    klpca likes this.
  21. flybefree

    flybefree TUG Member

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    Oh, and to the OP...the exchange fee has been $239 for a while now. When I first started using my BIL's timeshare before we got our own, it was $159. What is the DEAL?! It is often cheaper to book it as an extra vacation, except that I have my points to use!
     
  22. kukenan

    kukenan TUG Member

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    Nobody speak of it, but there is an increasing devaluation / inflation (increasing every year) on the US Dollar and US economy. Large corporations knows it and try to keep safe from it, normal people seems be unaware of it, until it's too late.

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    Check the money creation tab.

    I'm not defending RCI, but it's an increasing problem for everyone. Some people says it's 5% per year (losing in value), I feel it's close to 10% per year.
     
  23. benthayer

    benthayer Guest

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    Any business that continues to charge more and more and offer less and less will eventually lose it's clients.
     
  24. dominidude

    dominidude TUG Member

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    Sorry mate, but are you an economist?
    If you are, please provide more detail on what you are saying.
    If you are NOT, please understand that economics is VERY VERY complicated.

    For example, Japan has, I believe, FIVE times the debt levels of the US, and their problem is prices DECREASING, not increasing.
    By the same token, having low debt levels is not all good, just ask Nigeria, Botswana, and Russia.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/wef-countries-with-lowest-levels-of-public-debt-2017-12
     
  25. dominidude

    dominidude TUG Member

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    I agree with this statement only for big cities, but not for small resort towns.

    I find that in big cities the economics of Airbnb and sites like it are much better. No matter how many tourists come to a big city like New York or LA, I find there is always ample supply to meet the demand, especially if one is open to making a booking in an out of the way area (for example, making a booking in NJ when visiting NYC).

    For small resort towns, I find that there was already a culture of catering to tourists before Airbnb. That means that when Airbnb (and sites like it) came along, they did not really increase the availability of bookings. Without increased booking availability, there is no downward pressure on booking prices.

    For all those of you souring on timeshare exchanges, all I have to say is that around 2007-2009 there were a lot more options. For those of you who dont know what those dates represent, that was right about the time of the "Great Recession".

    Right now it's the exact opposite, the general market is hot, and the travel industry seems to be cashing in on that by increasing prices. Hang on for a little while longer and in the next downturn you'll be glad oh so glad that you own timeshares.

    Additionally, we timeshare owners have an "ACE" up our sleeve, we can weather this market up turn by simply using our timeshares and not exchanging. Most people I know do not have that option, and pay RIDICULOUS prices to go on vacay.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
    vacationhopeful likes this.

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