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Banked with Westgate

pnappleprincess

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Hi Everyone

We have a couple of weeks that are banked with Westgate. We own Week 09 at Westgate Town Center in Orlando in a 3 Bedroom Lock Off.

Does anyone know if we can book a week at that location and then try to rent it out or exchange it? Or since it is banked with Westgate are we limited to using it?

We don't necessarily mind going to the resort, just trying to maximize our vacations as much as we can. Thanks in advance.

Deanna
 

sstug

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I own a floating week 4 BR at Westgate so if I don't make a reservation then my weeks are automatically banked with Westgate. I assume for a fixed week you have to tell them if you want to use it or bank it.

They allow you to reserve a week and do whatever you want with it such as rent it or offer it to friends/family. All you have to do when reserving is provide the guest's name, address, and phone and also pay the internal exchange fee. So if you have the full 3 BR from 2011 banked you could reserve the 2BR and 1BR separately (assuming the 1 BR lockoff has the 2nd living room - if not then you may only get a studio), but you would have to pay 2 exchange fees.

You can actually reserve at any of the Westgate locations, it doesn't have to be your home resort. Everything is based on availability and there are different rules per resort/location as to what weeks are blocked for exchange or what season rules apply (compared to the week you own). The only time I don't pay an internal exchange fee is to use my unit in the current year for the first exchange. So for 2012 if I reserve a 2BR + 1BR + 1BR I get the first reservation for free and pay an exchange fee for the other 2. There may be an exception if you book multiple units the same week you only pay one fee, but I don't remember for sure. And I do believe they have started charging upgrade fees for some resorts/weeks.

Also, WG has been very good about extending weeks that have expired and letting me use them in the following year at no extra cost (just the exchange fee as usual). I believe a week is only good for 3 years, so any 2009 banked week expired in 2011, but WG has offered to extend mine for me in the past. Again, this may be due to having a floating week that expires 12/31 and it may differ for a fixed week.

I find the reservation folks to be very helpful so call and ask questions; and if they don't seem to know the answers call back later and try to get someone else who does.

If it's banked with WG I don't think you can exchange it with any exchange companies. Only your current year can be exchanged as far as I know.

If you do rent or give to friends be sure to warn them to avoid the sales meeting at all cost. My niece used one of my weeks and they told her she couldn't have access to some of the amenities (maybe the paddle boats?)until after they had their meeting. That made me very angry.

I hope this helps.

Sheila
 

pnappleprincess

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Thanks!

Thanks so much Shelia! That was very helpful. The whole thing starts to get confusing once we startexploring possibilities outside of just staying at our home resort.

The slightly frustrating angle is unless we pay our mf almost a year early, we have to bank with wg instead of an exchange company. Perhaps we are just misunderstanding, but the mf have to be paid before you can exchange, and we have been told that we must exchange X amount of time before our week. With our week being so close to the beginning of the year, we hardly ever have time to bank w an exchange company and I just feel that THOSE membership fees are now being wasted.

We have had great times at the resort, and while I wished we had known not to have paid retail, we are definitely not jaded to the world of time sharing. It is a nice plus to know that I can at least try to rent some of those weeks.

Dmml
 

pnappleprincess

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And I do believe they have started charging upgrade fees for some resorts/weeks.

If you do rent or give to friends be sure to warn them to avoid the sales meeting at all cost. My niece used one of my weeks and they told her she couldn't have access to some of the amenities (maybe the paddle boats?)until after they had their meeting. That made me very angry.
Sheila
btw. Yes. Starting this year they upped the transfer fee if your booking week is considered a holiday or prime week! And... I was told a similar line when I used one of my parent's weeks as well. Rude and sneaky!
 

timeos2

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btw. Yes. Starting this year they upped the transfer fee if your booking week is considered a holiday or prime week! And... I was told a similar line when I used one of my parent's weeks as well. Rude and sneaky!
SOP for Wastegate. They always manage to find ways to screw over even owners that have been "happy" with them in the past. It's never a question of "if" an owner will become disillusioned with owning a Wastegate but when they will finally get pushed over the edge with one sided changes Wastsgate makes.

Your turn has arrived. Lots of luck tryin to dump this bad penny.
 

sstug

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I think you are understanding just fine, and they do make it difficult to use it to maximize your own personal benefit (same as every other TS company) - they want to maximize their fees. So I found I have to become the expert on all the rules and make them work for me, just like you are doing.

My suggestion would be to take a one year hit and pay the 2013 MF as early as possible (not sure when the statement is available) and immediately after paying deposit the week with II (that's who I use). You should do it as 2 separate deposits - 2BR + 1BR. If you do have a 3 BR with 2 living rooms watch very carefully to see that they get into II correctly (don't let them stick you with a studio - check the codes they use). Some of the reps don't really know the different unit types so I always ask lots of questions and confirm they are using the right week and depositing the right unit or portion of the unit. I have in the past deposited 2 1BR units into II and kept the 2 BR with WG - I watched them like a hawk and they had to cancel the deposits and re-deposit because they used studio instead of 1BR, etc. I have never felt they were being sneaky - just honest mistakes.

A question to ask is if you have to pay the MF before depositing with II or before using the deposit as an exchange with II. Maybe WG can do the deposit but you can't use it until you have paid. If not, then ask WG how to pay the MF early in order to deposit early.

Also be aware that the week they deposit in II may have nothing to do with your original week. They just reserve whatever week they have available and deposit that one. It may be a lower week than your fixed one. But honestly I have not had issues with trading power (I guess my expectations are low enough).

One other thing is to look back at your original purchase agreement and make sure they are not trying to make you pay upgrades for something that does not apply. They change the rules for newer owners and try to make the grandfathered owners follow them also. Look for the owners guide on their website if you don't already have it and it has a listing of all the resorts and their check in days/whether they do split weeks, etc.

I also wish I knew about 'not paying retail', but I have no real regrets and just enjoy my timeshares.
 
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