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VIDANTA AMBASSADOR PROGRAM AND OTHER QUESTIONS (2017)

Discussion in 'Mexico Timesharing' started by travs2, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. travs2

    travs2 TUG Member

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    I have a few questions I would like to ask my fellow TUGGERS concerning some of VIDANTA's so called " incentives". My sister is in Nuevo Vallarta right now. She is in her late seventies and tends to believe everything the sales people tell her. Yesterday she told me that the lady she was dealing with said that VIDANTA has changed their sales tactics and they are much more honest and straight forward with their clients. She went to the presentation and told me that she " gave back" four of her weeks to VIDANTA ( but told me that she could still use the weeks if she wanted to......which I find kind of a contradiction). She told me that she has the Ambassador Program now......what exactly is that? She said that she could give a week to a charity eg NHL, NFL etc ( like she is ever going to do that ) and was told that she would get several thousand dollars in return. What? She told me that she was being taken to the restaurant on top of the 5th Grand Luxxe building for dinner and the sales lady was joining her and her friend who is travelling with her. I told her to be careful because the sales lady isn't going with her just because she likes her or something......she is going to try to sell her something and I am worried that my sister may fall for it. She already owns the Grand Luxxe Villa two bedroom and that is plenty for her needs.
    So my question are about the Ambassador Program and what is the giving back four weeks all about????? Thanks everyone....
    Merry Christmas
     
  2. rboesl

    rboesl TUG Member

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    The "give back" tactic is a negotiating tactic that's not new. It gives you the impression that you're getting some value for a timeshare you no longer want. Hyatt has used this tactic as well. It short circuits the typical negotiating that goes on during a sales presentation. Vidanta will turn the week over to a transfer agent to dispose of it. And your sister will receive a call from the transfer agent after a couple of weeks offering the resort week back. All she'll have to do is pay the "transfer fee" they would have received to transfer the property to someone else. I know some people have done this so they can use the same property as "leverage" with Vidanta again for another upgrade/sale.

    The Ambassador Program is an interesting one. It is legit. They will give your sister 10 certificates that she can give to friends, family, or charities. The certificate is good for a stay at a Vidanta property without the requirement of attending a sales presentation. Although they will try hard to get the guest to attend. When a certificate is used your sister will receive Vidanta Dollars that can be used to reduce maintenance fees or to pay for local excursions on her next trip. If you give them to charity you're trusting that Vidanta is honest in their accounting of the certificates. If you give them to friends you can easily find out if they were used.
     
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  3. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Can you post : a rough idea of what your sister owns

    Ambassador is legit - but can end if it no longer works for Vidanta .( unlike certain addendums - that are negotiated for the life of the contract)

    If she gives an Ambassador certificate to xx and they go ( no presentation requirement ) she will get a " kick back " of a couple hundred dollars that comes on ( I believe) a prepaid visa card next year .
    Certificates are only usable once per " person " I believe . ie You can give them to 10 people / but next year must be 10 different people .

    My concern is that if she has an older contract with lower MF - she just reset it ( without understanding this.)

    PS - Vidanta in NV has a separate sales force for owners . Since owners sometimes "know more " the presentation is " cleaner in falsehoods " . It is often still high pressure
    and IMO it would be imperative that the existing and "NEW" contract be compared .

    She has 5 days
     
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  4. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    0A311935-3CF3-411D-B7A6-DD399C3AAB3E.jpeg 7BBFAED2-F3BB-4534-BB55-4E6504A1309E.jpeg 8F7F5541-8A58-495F-AA43-06A866594DB9.jpeg

    Here are the actual terms of the Ambassador program. It's not Vida dollars they provide; instead it's either a debit card loaded with the rewards or credit towards a stay there when you return. The reward scale is sliding with $300 for each booking and additional based on whether or not a guest actually purchases something from Vedanta.

    We were told that the entry level Grand Luxxe only gets one set of ten certificates; after upgrades you are able to get additional ones. I've seen quite a few ads on eBay for the certificates; with them someone can reserve up to your level of membership for the usage fee plus $50.
     
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  5. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    The answer covers one possibility that isn't too clear from the original posting. I got the impression OP was saying she "gave back" four Vidanta weeks, but it could have been four other TS weeks as rboesi says. If it is other TS, they're exactly right; I've posted a few comments on my opinions on the validity of TS trade in agreements. On the other hand, the last time I was there, one of the things they were proposing to me was to sell me a certain number of weeks and have me cede use of some of them back in exchange for a lower price. I think it was a contract for 6 weeks for the first 10 years, going down to 4 weeks after the renewals, but they wanted me to give them back 2 weeks per year for the first 10 years. I think it may have been just what it sounds like, a bargaining tactic for the sales staff to gain control over the extra weeks to use depositing in exchanges to get more customers. On the other hand, it might have been just puffery. They are doing the sales in two stages now, by the way, with sales staff for the Cirque park getting a shot at you after the Vidanta sales staff. During the latter, they offered to take a couple thousand off the price of one of the entertainment tiers in exchange for not using my privilege weeks for that year; I think that was pure puffery to make it sound like they were getting something for lowering the price (giving the impression of quid pro quo bargaining). Just my thoughts of course.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2017
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  6. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    Actually, they signed an agreement with us with regards to the Ambassador program that laid out the terms in a bit more detail than I posted, so I think it will stay in place at least in some form. The terms of the certificates might change because they weren't incorporated in the agreement. It's a separate agreement rather than an addendum to the contract; not sure what the reason is for the difference, but it probably has to do with whether the agreement is between the hotel and you or between the sales force and you.
     
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  7. travs2

    travs2 TUG Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. My sister owns at the Grand Luxxe Villa level. She " gave back" four of her extra Grand Luxxe Villa weeks to VIDANTA for what I don't know????.....Ambassador Program I guess. Would a charity or individual really pay the MF for a Grand Luxxe Villa week and use it for a raffle? Has anyone ever done that?

    Anyway, I will learn more when she gets home but hope she didn't sign anything that would mess up what she has. Thanks again
     
  8. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    That’s the spiel they gave me. I didn’t believe it, personally, but it could happen, I guess. Like I said, I see them on eBay and some seem to sell.

    If she gave up weeks for them, I think it was a mistake. How many does she own and was it just 4 or 4/year?
     
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  9. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    From what I understand - you can use them at all brand levels . And next year she gets/ should get - 10 more .

    I believe the cost for the person using works out to a " average MF "** for the brand level plus a $ 50 reservation / booking charge .
    Ambassador certificates have no ARP - so they are likely best for use between mid April and mid Dec ( ie non- snowbird season )

    When I saw them on ebay for $ 1 - I believe a Mayan Palace one bedroom suite was $ 850 ( this is about the same $$ as my MF + 1yr of 5 yr reno MF) + $ 50 reservation / booking fee .
    I spoke to Member Services last Feb & will try to find the "kick back" amount - By memory it was about $200 on the usage I listed .

    The main problem is : IF there is a contract change .
    - Ambassador Certificates are basically a "perk" that can be withdrawn in the future.

    .It is not sensible to change a contract for a (possibly) non permanent perk.

    < PS - just noticed Eric's detailed info - if my post differs from his information (because I was going by memory )- use what he posted >
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  10. Zib

    Zib TUG Member

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    I have been a member for many years and seen many presentations and heard all kinds of things. We stopped going to the presentations years ago after we up graded a few times and had what we wanted. We are now Grand Mayan members but have traded into Sea Garden Nuevo for the past 2 years and LOVE it there because we can "GET OUT" easily by walking across the street to the Marina or catch the bus to town. Vidanta has now made it impossible to do this from Grand Mayan. We are "old" now and can't do all the walking that is required at Grand Mayan. We just came back from Sea Garden 3 days ago. We did do the "owners update" because our grown granddaughter and grandson were with us and I wanted them to go through a presentation because they will soon be the ones who get
    what is left of our membership and I didn't want to get them into getting sucked into to upgrading the low maintenance fee ones we have to same thing that is 3 x the mt fees. They could see how misleading and confusing they were. Only thing different was at the end he said "Now I'm giving you your extra GIFT"and present us with The Vida Ambassador program! How smart of them and how dumb do they think we are? This is really a gift to THEM! We will be working for them! We will send all our friends down to them so they can sell to them. I know our friends don't have to be go to a presentation but if we send some unsuspecting persons down there, how likely will they resist the pressure to go to a presentation? This is not a gift to us or a "program" but a means to send them prospects to buy their product. I have exactly what Eric has posted above. I will probably might use some of the certificates because is really is a good deal for a wonderful vacation there, but there they go again, trying to convince me that it's a GIFT for ME when the benefit is all for VIDANTA! And you cannot use them for yourself and only one to a person. Get it? It's a sales pitch!
    BUT we have gone there every year since we first purchased more than 32 years ago when it was called VIDAFEL. So thank you VIDAFEL/VIDANTA for all the great vacations we have had over the years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  11. Zinjanthropus

    Zinjanthropus TUG Member

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    We just endured a Vidanta sales ordeal three weeks ago and they offered us the same thing.
    I don't think she's talking about TS trade in here. I could be wrong but the "Give Back" could be referring to the tactic of letting Vidanta use those 3 weeks for a short term (five years in our case) and getting a reduced price or some other financial gain. I think it was a reduction off of the MF you do pay. It seemed like a decent deal for us because we weren't planning on using four weeks per year for a while anyway. So the deal was we don't use three weeks for four years and they give us a specific $ amount off of our TS payments or MF or something. That was the deal on the contract we rescinded on. The new cheaper one doesn't have that feature.

    The ambassador program... I wonder how many charities accept and use those things. I'm hoping that I can give all of them to a charity and they will yield big bucks for us!! BTW, anybody know where I can buy the Brooklyn bridge? Seriously, I will give a few to friends who like to travel with stern warnings of what they will encounter from sales staff. I do think it can actually work, but not in the magnificent way they described.
     
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  12. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Dear Zib ,
    I enjoy reading your posts on TUG and I am so happy to hear you were able to travel to , and visit PV /NV again this fall . We will be at the NV Sea Garden in Feb 2018 and then a week at the PV Marina Mayan Palace .

    Taking your granddaughter and grandson to a Vidanta sales presentation was really smart planning . What you did is like having them get the inoculation to the measles so they never get the "virus " .
    One of our son's has been to 2 Mayan / Vidanta "presentations" and found how they use language quite interesting .

    Your analysis of the Ambassador Certificates is absolutely correct .
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  13. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    It is good value for friends (who know how to politely say "No thank you" to the presentation booking)
    I think it is a numbers game for the sales side - if 9 say no - one says yes / if 18 say no - 2 say yes.

    For the "hotel " side it fills rooms .
    Traditionally Vidanta has closed the NV Sea Garden after snowbird season , reopened in the summer and closed again from before Labor Day to early Nov .
    In 2017 it was only closed for the month of Sept .
    The NV Sea Garden's hotel manager was very happy that her staff was getting more months of work .

    Vidanta has also reopened the Acapulco Sea Garden / as I see TPU deals on RCI . I am happy for the hotel workers there as well

    Please remember to suggest to any friends who use a Ambassador Certificate - to tip restaurant & room cleaning staff as it is a important & significant
    part of their income .
     
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  14. travs2

    travs2 TUG Member

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    ZIB.......what a wonderful learning experience for your grandchildren in taking them to a sales presentation. They can really see now how it all works and will be amply prepared for future sales dealings. Good for you. So glad you have enjoyed your vacations throughout the years. We have been owners since 1988 ...... since the old Vidafel days as well and have seem many many changes.

    Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences here on TUG!
     
  15. pittle

    pittle Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I''ve been trying to follow this and it is somewhat confusing. When thinking about her "giving back" Vidanta weeks, I remember when we owned 6 MP & GM weeks, each had a Vacation Fair week. We told them that we really did not need 12 weeks because we also owned at other resorts that we did not want to let go of. So, when we upgraded to 2-GL weeks, they still gave us enough extra weeks that if we wanted to, we could book 12 weeks with our 2 GL weeks and the extra Residence weeks. Maybe those are what she gave back or they now call them the Bonus weeks she can use. They change the terminology all the time!

    Several years ago, the Ambassador weeks were certificates you could give to people for a free or highly discounted week. If they went and attended the sales presentation, you got cash or credit on your MF, if they bought, your MF for the next year would be considered paid. We never accepted these because we were not going to ask our friends to suffer through the sales deal. We told them that and they said it was our loss. We did not think so. :)

    When we made our first purchase in 1999, it was still Vidafel.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  16. Utsie

    Utsie Guest

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  17. Utsie

    Utsie Guest

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    We have 10 Ambassador certificates. We have never used them. We got them in 2017. We were told we could give them to charity auctions with a minimum bid of $3000. If someone bid on them and used it , we would get $300. They did not tell us if the donor had to also pay for the vacation. Also, we were told, if the person used the cert and bought, we would revive some amount of money from the sale. We didn’t give them to friends because we thought they would be charged.
     
  18. MoPops

    MoPops TUG Member

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    We’ve never given any of our certificates to anyone. I realize this in an old thread, but the info still seems relevant. Seeing that certificates are being sold on eBay for $1, tells me that’s about what they are worth.
    We upgraded two years ago. I paid it off. We went last year, and are going back this year. I really need to get my contract out and see what I actually bought. We were at NV when we upgraded (Luxxe Loft to Luxxe 1 BR) They included all kinds of Circ de Sole stuff. I have no idea if there’s any real value to that. I think we have two weeks, plus two additional weeks to trade? Does that make sense? I’ll be retired next year, so we are shooting for two weeks in Feb in NV. Going to RM this year.
     
  19. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    The 2 weeks to trade - are likely Vida- SFX weeks .These (bonus) weeks are for use outside Vidanta & you likely contact SFX & pay SFX and upon finding a vacation through them .

    Read the contract & all the details . If needed : post questions in this forum .

    If you want to be at Vidanta GL NV in Feb 2020- you should call and reserve on Feb 1 2019 (21 days from now) - I assume you have 12 month ARP - based on owning GL.(read the contract) .
    You can reserve any week in Feb . My Mayan Palace contract has 6 month ARP - / so Aug. 1 2019- I can book any Feb 2020 week .

    Cirque - Celebrate Park - may have value ; once they actually open the Park .
    Who knows . You paid something for it - so identify what the contract lists &
    find out when the Park opens . (Likely in 2020 / not 2018 - as originally suggested).
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019
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  20. chemteach

    chemteach TUG Member

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    Vidanta tried to sell me a timeshare last week with the, "We will give you $3000 a year if you just donate 10 Ambassador certificates to a charity" line. I don't mind hearing their lies. I tell them upfront that I am happy with my timeshares and have no interest in selling them. It's worth a few hours of my time to get $500 of activities, a nice breakfast for the family, and a tour of the place. The Ambassador program seems to be Vidanta's second line of attack when you say, "No," to the first salesperson.
     
  21. MoPops

    MoPops TUG Member

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    Thank you! Good info here. I went to the update to try and get a few questions answered. Ended up “upgrading” to the one BR unit. By the time we finally got out of there I was completely worn out. I don’t think I ever got my questions answered either..
    thanks again,
    Jeff
     
  22. David_In_PV

    David_In_PV Guest

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    Has anyone heard about changes to the Ambassador program?

    We signed up in September of 2018 and got our 10 certificates, and I am back here in April 2019 and was looking to get 10 more certificates. I was told the program has been modified (within their rights as Dot-T-Traveller mentions above). Old owners no longer get certificates and there is something new for folks who are signing new contracts.

    Does anyone have any more information on this?

    Thanks
     
  23. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    No - but please let us know .

    What source is your new information ?

    *****
    Welcome to TUG / first post .
     
  24. David_In_PV

    David_In_PV Guest

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    I am here now and was trying to get my next 10 certificates when the VLO told me this.

    She implied it wasn't working for them the way they had it, thus "modifying" it for new contracts, but not giving any new certificates for existing contracts.

    Given I had to get back to planned activities with my son, I did not press further.
     
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  25. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I wonder if they are adding resort fees to the cost to redeem the certificates.
     

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