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Best exchange companies for Europe

regatta333

TUG Review Crew: Expert
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I'm relatively new to the group and have been reading with interest the comments about the different exchange companies. I am a Fairfield points owner (without PlusPartners, so I can only exchange for weeks inventory) and was wondering what exchange companies would be mostly likely to be able to get me exchanges to the more popular destinations in Europe like London, Paris, central Italy.

I currently exchange through RCI and have had no success in making these types of exchanges, despite ongoing searches with one- and two-bedroom red weeks more than a year in advance. The RCI membership is included in the fees that I pay to Fairfield. Although I've enquired about paying for my own membership with II, I've been told that I am limited exchanging with RCI, the exchange company that was affiliated with the original deed I purchased,
so it sounds like exchanging through II is not a option for me.

I've contacted both DAE and SFX and they say I can make a reservation using my points and assign the week to them through the use of a guest certificate. However, I'm not really sure how successful they would be at getting me an exchange I would want. When I look at DAE's available European inventory, it appears to be mostly what I can already get through RCI and although I cannot look at the SFX inventory without joining, the only European location they list that would be of interest is London.

Has anyone successfully used either of these exchange companies to get good trades to Europe?

Eve
 

Carolinian

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Wow, you have picked three of the more difficult areas to exchange into in Europe. They will be tough with any exchange company. Your best bet is to cover as many bases as you can, by putting in requests with every exchange company open to you that does European exchanges.

For London, there is a former RCI resort that jumped ship to SFX a few years ago, so I would certainly put in a request there. Allen House with RCI is, from everything I've heard, better in both location and quality than Carlton Court with II. RCI also has Odessa Wharf, with all of the GC bells and whistles but remote from the main tourist attractions way out in the Docklands. DAE gets properties in London from time to time as well. I even saw a London week online at DAE once.

For Paris, Royal Regency with RCI is ''challenged'' on both location and quality.
II has more and better resorts in Paris. DAE also gets some inventory there from time to time. There was a Paris sighting at DAE posted on the TUG sightings board not too long ago. I'm not sure about SFX on Paris.

For central Italy, I have seen a fair number of weeks online at DAE for a resort in a 17th century building on the outskirts of Florence. Otherwise, most of the Italian inventory I have seen with them has been on Sardinia or in the Italian Alps. Both RCI and II have a number of resorts in central Italy, but it is not the easiest trade. Again, I am not certain about SFX.
 

regatta333

TUG Review Crew: Expert
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Thanks for the advice. I'm going to try making a deposit with DAE this week. My husband and I are pretty flexible about when we can travel, which is why I've been somewhat surprised and disappointed about our lack of success with RCI. At least with DAE, I got the impression that I'd get some customer service. I seldom get any meaningful feedback from RCI and often get the feeling that I know more than the vacation counselor.

The last time I called and asked the VC (who said she had worked there for 5 years) to do a search for any resorts in Italy without the VEP filter and she said there was no such thing. When I told her that this had been done for me in the past, she made no comment and did not even volunteer to find out how to do it. The two people I've spoken with so far at DAE have been very helpful and maybe since we can be flexible about dates, we'll have better luck than with RCI.

Eve
 

Loes

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Last week I posted two RCI sightings for Tuscany/Umbria October 2007. They were gone the other day. By that time there also was a Paris week available in the RCI spacebank, also October 2007. Don't know if you could see them online. Though your weeks are red and 1 and 2B you might not have enough tradingpower to get any of these weeks. In that case your chances are almost zero. You might ask RCI if your weeks have enough tradingpower to pull London, Paris or central Italy. Anyway, best is to start a search 24 months in advance.

Loes.
 

Loes

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For central Italy I just saw a lot of RCI-weeks available at the Carpediem Assisi Living club. I searched from 9-1-2007 to 12-31-2007. I know this resort isn't highly rated in the TUG reviews but the region might be exactly what you are looking for. If you cannot see any of these weeks online, you either don't have enough tradingpower or the VEP rating of your resort is too high.

Loes.
 

barto

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With DAE, you should also put in a verbal request with them for the areas and dates you're looking for. It'd be like an ongoing search with RCI - you *should* get access to units that come up and are taken before getting posted on the web site...theoretically, at least! :D Good luck.

Bart
 

Carolinian

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barto said:
With DAE, you should also put in a verbal request with them for the areas and dates you're looking for. It'd be like an ongoing search with RCI - you *should* get access to units that come up and are taken before getting posted on the web site...theoretically, at least! :D Good luck.

Bart

You can also email your request to the US office in California.
 
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