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[2017] Why NOT to make a voluntary ARDA financial contribution this year, with your maintenance fee payment

WBP

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The stories of how ARDA, a trade association that represents the interests of timeshare developers, and alleges to represent the interests of timeshare owners, increase in number and magnitude every year. It is clear, ARDA'S most influential constituency are timeshare developers, who are one of the vehicles that ARDA uses to solicit contributions from timeshare owners, on the basis that ARDA is looking after the best interests of timeshare owners. If that is not ripe with conflict, suspect, and toxic odors, I don't know what is.

Social Media attention on Diamond's business practices, described by many using terms such as deception, fraud, theft, etc., seem to be on the increase, as is attention on ARDA's alleged blatant disregard of Diamonds' business integrity and ethics, and alleged violations by Diamond of ARDA's Code of Ethics. It is reported that ARDA has looked the other way, and intentionally avoided eye to eye contact with Diamond, and their business practices, for years. This phenomena is well described in a variety of medium, including direct customer accounts of the alleged behaviors.

As Marriott Owners know, there is a line item on our maintenance fee bill, for a voluntary contribution to ARDA. Based, perhaps, on the (seemingly false) premise that ARDA is good for timeshare owners (remember, ARDA represents the many devils in timesharing). In so far, I think the time is long overdue, that we Marriott Owners take a strong stand, and vigorously discourage voluntary contributions by timeshare owners to ARDA.

Over the past few years, there have been numerous examples of large scale, bad practices by timeshare developers, not the least of which was the case of the Wyndham timeshare salesperson, which resulted in a very large financial award to that salesperson (and, it is argued, the departure of Wyndham timeshare division's President, who presided over that mess (and held a leadership position at ARDA)), the perennial, vial descriptions of Diamond's business practices, and the widespread deceptions by the developers of The Manhattan Club, to name but just a few.

On ARDA's Board of Directors, are some of the timeshare industry's most notorious leaders, including an attorney who has stated that he and his firm represent Diamond Resorts.

The 2018 maintenance fee bills are only a few months away. It would be nice to get the ball rolling now, and to send ARDA a message about their antics, and the antics of some of the developers, and the industry that they represent.
 
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rickandcindy23

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At least Marriott doesn't make it seem like a mandatory charge, as Starwood does. They add it into the total, and when you pay your fees without the ARDA charge of $5.00, you have a balance due of $5.00. It's absolutely how it is. You have to call and tell them you won't pay that fee, so they will take it off.
 

Dean

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I skip if for the very reasons mentioned. It's not that we don't garner any benefit but the benefit we get is second hand on the shirt tails of the developers. Plus I am suspicious that the developers are donating the money gathered and acting like it's their contribution, I wonder if they even deduct it and/or if they receive any additional benefits/perks based not he amount or % they do collect?
 

RX8

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A couple years ago a scammer upfront listing company proudly listed their ARDA membership on their website. I confirmed with the ARDA member listing that they were indeed a member. When I sent an email to ARDA advising that this business was scamming people they replied to me that they had recently became aware of their business practices. Yet, it still took months before the scammer was removed.

I'll never give them my $5.00.
 

Sugarcubesea

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At least Marriott doesn't make it seem like a mandatory charge, as Starwood does. They add it into the total, and when you pay your fees without the ARDA charge of $5.00, you have a balance due of $5.00. It's absolutely how it is. You have to call and tell them you won't pay that fee, so they will take it off.
Every Year, I have to call multiple times to get that $5.00 taken off my SDO account... It's maddening...
 

dougp26364

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I've refused to contribute for years. Unfortunately, I'm reasonably certain the average timeshare owner has no idea and pays the fee without question.
 

taffy19

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Cindy, is it still mandatory with VSE?

It was mandatory too with the one single Hyatt week that we own in Maui and is also owned by ILG like your resort.

It also took several calls to have them remove that tiny little charge,out of principal, and they finally did.

The $5.00 charge was no longer mandatory this year. How strange that they bill differently for different brands that ILG owns. I wonder why?
 

BocaBoy

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Unfortunately, I have to comment. I am not a gung-ho supporter of these contributions and would never fault someone for not contributing, but you are all missing a VERY IMPORTANT distinction. Our contributions are not to ARDA, but to ARDA-ROC. Many here will say is the same thing, but it is not by any means. The ARDA-ROC agenda (ROC = Resort Owners Coalition) is pretty much pro-owner AND pro-developer on issues where the interests coincide, which are many, such as taxation of timeshares.
 
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Panina

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Our contributions are not to ARDA, but to ARDA-ROC. Many here will say is the same thing, but it is not by any means. The ARDA-ROC agenda (ROC = Resort Owners Coalition) is pretty much pro-owner AND pro-developer on issues where the interests coincide, which are many, such as taxation of timeshares.
I didn't know that. I will have to call my resorts that list it to find out as I have only seen ARDA on my bill without the ROC. I never have paid it in the past.
 

WBP

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http://thetimesharecrusader.blogspot.com/2017/08/a-code-of-ethicsgood-only-if-enforeced.html?m=1
Unfortunately, I have to comment. I am not a gung-ho supporter of these contributions and would never fault someone for not contributing, but you are all missing a VERY IMPORTANT distinction. Our contributions are not to ARDA, but to ARDA-ROC. Many here will say is the same thing, but it is not by any means. The ARDA-ROC agenda (ROC = Resort Owners Coalition) is pretty much pro-owner AND pro-developer on issues where the interests coincide, which are many, such as taxation of timeshares.


Here is the latest membership list of the ARDA-ROC from their very own website. While it is difficult to distinguish the Industry Insider members, vs. non-industry or consumer members, one clue is the designation "RRP" that follows the names of 16 of the 24 members (2/3). RRP is an acronym for "Registered Resort Professional," a designation created by none other than the "ARDA" international Foundation. It is conceivable that other members of the ARDA-ROC Board are, in fact, Industry Insiders, who have not "earned" the RRP designation, in which the case, the ARDA-ROC Board would be more heavily weighted with Industry Insiders.

Yes, BocaBoy, is correct, we owners are asked to contribute to the ARDA-ROC. I maintain that you can change the wrapper, but the contents remain the same.

http://www.arda.org/arprrp/

NOTE: Robert Webb, Esq, RRP, a Partner in the law firm, Baker and Hostetler (and a member of the ARDA-ROC Board), writes here that he and his firm represents Diamond Resorts (I'd vigorously encourage you to read Attorney Webb's letter of January 16, 2015, referenced in the link, immediately below):

http://tug2.net/timeshare_advice/Diamond-Resorts-Lawsuit/Diamond Resort Complaint I.pdf


ARDA-ROC Board

Ken McKelvey CPA, RRP, ARDA-ROC Chairman, Defender Resorts, Inc.

John Albert, Marriott Vacations Worldwide

John Burlingame, RRP, Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc.

Dale Curtin, Vistana Signature Experiences

Janice Feirstein RRP
, Daily Management, Inc.

Paul Goodrich, SPM Resorts, Inc.

Don Harrill RRP, Holiday Inn Club Vacations

Neil Hutchinson RRP, Hilton Grand Vacations Company

William Ingersoll RRP, Holland & Knight

Kimberly Tramontana RRP, Breckenridge Grand Vacations

Tom Nelson, Holiday Inn Club Vacations

Howard Nusbaum RRP, ARDA

Ron Naves, Welk Resorts

David Pontius RRP, Bluegreen Resorts

Geoff Richards, Wyndham Vacation Ownership

Chris Van Ruiten RRP, Comerica Securities, Inc.

Lisa Siegert-Free RRP, Christie Lodge

Sverre Thomassen, Marriott Desert Springs Villas

Robert Webb Esq., RRP, Baker & Hostetler

Stephen Weisz, RRP, Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Robert Miller, RRP, Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Jon Fredericks, RRP,
Welk Resorts

Mark Wang, Hilton Grand Vacations

Richard Muller, RRP, VRI Resorts
 
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WBP

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http://thetimesharecrusader.blogspot.com/2017/08/a-code-of-ethicsgood-only-if-enforeced.html?m=1



Here is the latest membership list of the ARDA-ROC from their very own website. While it is difficult to distinguish the Industry Insider members, vs. non-industry or consumer members, one clue is the designation "RRP" that follows the names of 16 of the 24 members (2/3). RRP is an acronym for "Registered Resort Professional," a designation created by none other than the "ARDA" international Foundation. It is conceivable that other members of the ARDA-ROC Board are, in fact, Industry Insiders, who have not "earned" the RRP designation, in which the case, the ARDA-ROC Board would be more heavily weighted with Industry Insiders.

Yes, BocaBoy, is correct, we owners are asked to contribute to the ARDA-ROC. I maintain that you can change the wrapper, but the contents remain the same.

http://www.arda.org/arprrp/

NOTE: Robert Webb, Esq, RRP, a Partner in the law firm, Baker and Hostetler (and a member of the ARDA-ROC Board), writes here that he and his firm represents Diamond Resorts (I'd vigorously encourage you to read Attorney Webb's letter of January 16, 2015, referenced in the link, immediately below):

http://tug2.net/timeshare_advice/Diamond-Resorts-Lawsuit/Diamond Resort Complaint I.pdf


ARDA-ROC Board

Ken McKelvey CPA, RRP, ARDA-ROC Chairman, Defender Resorts, Inc.

John Albert, Marriott Vacations Worldwide

John Burlingame, RRP, Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc.

Dale Curtin, Vistana Signature Experiences

Janice Feirstein RRP
, Daily Management, Inc.

Paul Goodrich, SPM Resorts, Inc.

Don Harrill RRP, Holiday Inn Club Vacations

Neil Hutchinson RRP, Hilton Grand Vacations Company

William Ingersoll RRP, Holland & Knight

Kimberly Tramontana RRP, Breckenridge Grand Vacations

Tom Nelson, Holiday Inn Club Vacations

Howard Nusbaum RRP, ARDA

Ron Naves, Welk Resorts

David Pontius RRP, Bluegreen Resorts

Geoff Richards, Wyndham Vacation Ownership

Chris Van Ruiten RRP, Comerica Securities, Inc.

Lisa Siegert-Free RRP, Christie Lodge

Sverre Thomassen, Marriott Desert Springs Villas

Robert Webb Esq., RRP, Baker & Hostetler

Stephen Weisz, RRP, Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Robert Miller, RRP, Marriott Vacations Worldwide

Jon Fredericks, RRP,
Welk Resorts

Mark Wang, Hilton Grand Vacations

Richard Muller, RRP, VRI Resorts


For those who have had a chance to read this:

http://tug2.net/timeshare_advice/Diamond-Resorts-Lawsuit/Diamond Resort Complaint I.pdf

I wonder what conclusions you draw of ARDA-ROC Board Member, Robert Webb, Esq, RRP's writings?


Back to my original point, ARDA can call the ARDA-ROC whatever they want (Whitey Bulger disguised himself as "Charlie Gasko" for more than 15 years, and called himself "Charlie Gasko"), but at the end of the day, in my opinion a contribution to the ARDA-ROC, is a contribution to ARDA, and sustaining ARDA's mission, and the notorious work of ARDA's members, viewed by many as "anti-consumer." I propose, therefore, that this is the year for timeshare owners to mobilize, and NOT CONTRIBUTE TO ARDA-ROC.
 

rickandcindy23

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Cindy, is it still mandatory with VSE?

It was mandatory too with the one single Hyatt week that we own in Maui and is also owned by ILG like your resort.

It also took several calls to have them remove that tiny little charge,out of principal, and they finally did.

The $5.00 charge was no longer mandatory this year. How strange that they bill differently for different brands that ILG owns. I wonder why?
We will know in a few months, when MF bills come due for 2018. I already paid the estimate fees, which I do every year to book 2018 weeks.

It's been a fight for me personally, I can tell you that. I am frustrated because one year, our fees went down because they had been high for several years to update the SBP units. I had to pay ahead to book my weeks the next year. Well, I had a credit of around $100 per week, but MINUS the $5 ARDA fee for each week, so they took the ARDA fee from the credit on each week. I had to call to have them credit that $5 back to my account. We own multiple weeks, so it was a long time before I saw that $5 credited per week.
 

bazzap

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We will know in a few months, when MF bills come due for 2018. I already paid the estimate fees, which I do every year to book 2018 weeks.

I am confused, why do you need to have paid any fees (even estimated fees) already to book 2018 weeks?
I have booked many of my 2018 weeks, but I won't pay any MFs until Jan/Feb 2018 when they are due.
 

SueDonJ

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I am confused, why do you need to have paid any fees (even estimated fees) already to book 2018 weeks?
I have booked many of my 2018 weeks, but I won't pay any MFs until Jan/Feb 2018 when they are due.

Pretty sure Cindy meant that for her Vistana and other non-Marriott timeshares. There are some companies that, unlike Marriott, require pre-payment of estimated fees before anything can be booked for that use year.
 

vacationtime1

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Pretty sure Cindy meant that for her Vistana and other non-Marriott timeshares. There are some companies that, unlike Marriott, require pre-payment of estimated fees before anything can be booked for that use year.

Sheraton Broadway Plantation (of which Cindy owns several) requires that MF's be paid before a unit can be deposited into Interval for trading. For whatever reason, Sheraton Desert Oasis (another good trader, also managed by Vistana) does not require advance payment. Who said Vistana is consistent?
 

rickandcindy23

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Yes, Vistana requires fees before making reservations for the following year.

You could deduct the $5.00, but when you are paying ahead of time, like we do, and fees are estimated (based on the current year), sometimes you have to watch closely because if fees go down, that $5 is absorbed into a credit, so you pay anyway.

I like that Marriott doesn't require payments ahead of time. That is a rare thing in the timeshare universe.
 

SueDonJ

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... I like that Marriott doesn't require payments ahead of time. That is a rare thing in the timeshare universe.

I also like that Marriott's MF invoices list the ARDA-ROC fees as a separate line item that requires opting in instead of out. :)
 

bazzap

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I understand now.
A benefit MVC offers which others don't that I didn't even know about.
Thank you all.
 

taffy19

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I also like that Marriott's MF invoices list the ARDA-ROC fees as a separate line item that requires opting in instead of out. :)
Wasn't it ALWAYS voluntarily with the Marriott? I can't remember that it was not.

It was mandatory with the Hyatt Ka'anapali first but not this year. They gave us an option now to pay it or not. Why not for the VSE resorts that are managed also by ILG or does it depend on each resort by the HOA?
 

WBP

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Tis the season, ARDA's got there hand out.
 
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