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Exchangers treated different or is there Problem/MERGED

FlyKaesan

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I decided to exchange into a resort since I was interested in purchasing their TS but after staying within the resort and presentation, it seems like they are not as impressive as you thought.
I don't think I will buy into that resort since staying at their resort changed my mind.
Do you think there is problems at that resort or do you think they are treating you badly since you are not the owner? How can you tell?
It seems like there were other upset TS users.
 

LAX Mom

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Could you be more specific about your complaints?

As an exchanger I don't expect to receive the best room or view. I'm happy to be there and realize that in many situations the owners pay more in MF than I have paid to exchange in. As an owner I would expect to receive the view I purchased.

I don't expect customer service at the resort to be any different for exchangers than owners. The resort should treat everyone well so others will be inclined to buy.

After many exchanges to prime Marriott, Westin, Four Seasons & Fairmont weeks I have never felt like a second class citizen. Sometimes I've received a great view, other times it was just okay. But other than the unit, the staff has always been wonderful!!
 

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I traded into a resort in Europe through DAE on which I had read reviews of people who traded in through RCI. Those reviews mentioned lots of extra fees on the RCI exchanges. Apparently DAE exchanges came through the developer in such a way that we were treated as owners rather than exchangers and did not have to pay those fees. I also recall posts from a Tugger who exchanged into a different European resort through DAE and did not have to pay the utility fee that RCI exchangers pay.

I also saw a mention of a resort in the Canary Islands which blatantly charged an exchanger fee of several hundred dollars, which seemed to apply both to DAE and RCI exchangers.

The only OBX timeshare I can think of that is different on anything for exchangers is Seascape which has golf privelegs at the adjacent golf course for members, with fees for some things completed waived and for others hgihly reduced. Exchangers however pay full freight at the golf course, from any exchange company.
 

DeniseM

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Since you either just left the WKORV, or you're still there, I'm guessing that's the resort you are talking about. Can you tell us more about the things you didn't like? Since there are a lot of WKORV owners, and exchangers on TUG, there are lots of people who can comment on your experience. Although your question would probably get more response on the Starwood board.
 

FlyKaesan

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I have requested same room for 2 weeks since we reserved 2 weeks in the same location and we had a baby so it was very difficult to pack and unpack again. We had full groceries in the frige and had so much baby stuff we had in the room. When I talked to the receptionist, they said to me the assignment is done in few days before check in so I need to wait but as of now, I might be able to stay in the same unit.
After few days later I went back and this was not a great view room or anything so they told me you are in an exchanger section and category, which I understand and fully comply. I know owners should get great rooms and I was fine with it. When I talked to one of the receptionist later on, one told me it seems like one of the lock off unit is taken today for someone. I was like, you told me it wasn't assigned to anyone and this was lower category. So I ask, is my room number assigned? No, come back tomorrow. So I went the next day, to my surprise, they told me I need to check out by 10am. Then need to check in again at 4pm or when a unit comes available. Now, I thought they assigned rooms few days before. I called few weeks before arriving and during the days I was staying. When they called me to check in a new room, the room was full of smoke. I didn't know Westin had smoking sections. I went to the desk and asked nicely if they can reassign the unit to non smoking section and a different receptionist told me nothing was available. The unit I was staying was requested 365 days ago from an owner for both sides. He and I both knew he was BS ing. I laughed it off and he then told me exchangers can not have choice but needs to stay where they are told. If I was an owner, I could have stayed in the same unit. The whole week was going great until I noticed they are trying to make it difficult for us since we are not owners.
I am kind of new to TS and that is why I have started this thread. Being naive and new, I want to see why they need to lie about things like this. If I was in exchanger category room, why would an owner requested it 365 days ago and receptionist didn't know about it until the check in date.
 

DeniseM

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I have requested same room for 2 weeks since we reserved 2 weeks in the same location and we had a baby so it was very difficult to pack and unpack again.

I haven't stayed in the same room for 2 weeks at the WKORV, because we own a 2 bdm. lock-off which is a 1 bdm. + a studio, but I don't think owners are guaranteed 2 weeks in the same unit either.

When I talked to one of the receptionist later on, one told me it seems like one of the lock off unit is taken today for someone. I was like, you told me it wasn't assigned to anyone and this was lower category. So I ask, is my room number assigned? No, come back tomorrow.
We have never been able to get our unit number before check-in either.

So I went the next day, to my surprise, they told me I need to check out by 10am. Then need to check in again at 4pm or when a unit comes available.

That's the norm for owners too - they need that time for cleaning.

When they called me to check in a new room, the room was full of smoke. I didn't know Westin had smoking sections.
They don't - it's supposed to be smoke free - that was not OK.

The unit I was staying was requested 365 days ago from an owner for both sides.
Did you tell them you were willing to take any other room or just that one?

He and I both knew he was BS ing. I laughed it off and he then told me exchangers can not have choice but needs to stay where they are told.
Unfortunate, but true.
If I was an owner, I could have stayed in the same unit. The whole week was going great until I noticed they are trying to make it difficult for us since we are not owners.
Owners do get priority and that is pretty much every where - not just Starwood.

Except for the smoking room, nothing you said surprises me. Owners do get priority over exchangers for just about everything. I know that's painful - but remember owners paid $45K or more for a 2 bdm. at the WKORV. Look at your other options in Hawaii, my friend.
 
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middleoforchid

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Hi FlyKaesan,kinda feel sorry for you and your baby with all that moving around.Starwood is a classy chain of hotels and resorts.My company has a special arrangement w/ the chain for "discounted" rooms and we were always upgraded to view rooms,corner rooms or high floor--never were we made to feel like 2nd class citizens! Do you think maybe it's the staff that happens to be on shift that particular week? It's just like getting a grumpy flight attendant vs a considerate one on a particular flight.......
 

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Starwood hotels and Starwood timeshares are not in the same system, and the OP had no standing for an upgrade.
 

vacationtime1

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What bothers me about it is that the family (and baby) was without any room from 10am to 4pm. Yes, they have to clean the rooms, but no, they don't clean all of them at the same time and it doesn't take six hours to do a room.

Starwood could and should accommodate that need for an owner or an exchanger by allowing you to move directly from one room to another without a wait. The snide comment from the check-in person that your "exchanger's" room had been specifically requested by an owner 365 days in advance suggests that the rudeness (and yes, that was rudeness) was from one specific person.
 

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the family (and baby) was without any room from 10am to 4pm
But, that's the deal---you don't get any promises that you get to keep the same room, and if you can't keep the same room, then you have to check out and check back in. Check out time is 10. Check in time is 4. That's the way this works. Sometimes they can help you out. Other times, well, they can't.

If you want to make absolutely sure you have a space to stay, overlap your reservations by a day. That makes the move much simpler. I own back-to-back summer weeks in the Dells, but they are not in the same unit, and they overlap by a Friday and Saturday night. That lets us have friends join us for the weekend, and makes it easy for us to move from one unit to the other.
 

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Owners do get priority and that is pretty much every where - not just Starwood.

While that is probably the norm for floating or points resorts, it is contrary to the norm for fixed week resorts, so it is not true pretty much everywhere. RCI does allow the resort even in the fixed week situation to switch units on you, but with the overwhelming majority of fixed week / fixed unit resort whatever unit it was that was deposited is the one you get on an exchange. RCI will often even give you the unit number so you can call the resort and get the details on it. You might want to consider buying at a fixed week resort and trying to trade into fixed week resorts
 

DeniseM

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What bothers me about it is that the family (and baby) was without any room from 10am to 4pm. Yes, they have to clean the rooms, but no, they don't clean all of them at the same time and it doesn't take six hours to do a room.

As WKORV owners, when we've stayed 2 weeks, and moved from a studio to a 1 bdm., or moved from our timeshare unit, to a rented unit, we've had to check out at 10 a.m. and pack up all our stuff, and check back in at 4 pm. WKORV will help you and store your stuff if you want. We travel light so we just put our stuff in the car and spend the day at the pool or beach. There is also an owner's lounge that you can use during this time to relax, shower, etc.

Yes, it's a pain in the butt, but FlyKaesan was not treated differently than an owner at WKORV, as far as moving rooms.

BTW - WKORV is a fixed week resort, but this was a II exchange, not an RCI exchange. Starwood does bulk space banking, so they pick the weeks that are deposited, and room assignment is not divulged in advance, even to owners. Because this is an ocean front resort and owners paid big bucks for a deeded view, Starwood guarantees owners that they will get their view, as it should be.
 
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Carolinian

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BTW - WKORV is a fixed week resort, but this was a II exchange, not an RCI exchange. Starwood does bulk space banking, so they pick the weeks that are deposited, and room assignment is not divulged in advance, even to owners. Because this is an ocean front resort and owners paid big bucks for a deeded view, Starwood guarantees owners that they will get their view, as it should be.

An owner should always have what they bought, whether it is a deeded view or deeded non-view. Are you saying that no owner was deeded a non-oceanview unit? If so how are they in the exchange system? If an owner deposits an oceanview unit, that is what should be availible in the exchange pool.

Also, how can a developer bulkbank fixed week / fixed unit weeks? An owner owns what he owns and Starwood cannot change that at a fixed week / fixed unit resort. If I owned an July 4th week there, for example, and deposited it for exchange, I would not sit still for managment trying to substitute something with less trading power, because that would be supressing my trading power as the owner of that specific week. If management is playing this sort of games, they are undermining the trading power of their owners.
 

DeniseM

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An owner should always have what they bought, whether it is a deeded view or deeded non-view. Are you saying that no owner was deeded a non-oceanview unit? If so how are they in the exchange system? If an owner deposits an oceanview unit, that is what should be availible in the exchange pool.

Yes - approximately 1/3 of the units at the resort are deeded Island View. However, since I don't know what units FlyKasean stayed in, I'm not sure what the view was. Under the purchase agreement that all buyers sign, Starwood does not have to deposit the same view that the owner owns.

Also, how can a developer bulkbank fixed week / fixed unit weeks?

They can do it because when you buy a TS from Starwood you agree to it in the contract you sign.

An owner owns what he owns and Starwood cannot change that at a fixed week / fixed unit resort. If I owned an July 4th week there, for example, and deposited it for exchange, I would not sit still for managment trying to substitute something with less trading power, because that would be supressing my trading power as the owner of that specific week. If management is playing this sort of games, they are undermining the trading power of their owners.

Well...believe it or not, that is exactly how it's done. In fact, Starwood doesn't even have to deposit a week from the resort where you own. They can deposit a week from another resort and the season they choose. They usually bulk space bank off-season weeks. There is a whole article about it in the Owner Resources sticky at the top of the Starwood board if you'd like to know more...

FlyKaesan - For clarification, can you tell us the unit numbers of the 2 units you got at WKORV?
 
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LLW

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As WKORV owners, when we've stayed 2 weeks, and moved from a studio to a 1 bdm., or moved from our timeshare unit, to a rented unit, we've had to check out at 10 a.m. and pack up all our stuff, and check back in at 4 pm. WKORV will help you and store your stuff if you want. We travel light so we just put our stuff in the car and spend the day at the pool or beach. There is also an owner's lounge that you can use during this time to relax, shower, etc.

Yes, it's a pain in the butt, but FlyKaesan was not treated differently than an owner at WKORV, as far as moving rooms.

BTW - WKORV is a fixed week resort, but this was a II exchange, not an RCI exchange. Starwood does bulk space banking, so they pick the weeks that are deposited, and room assignment is not divulged in advance, even to owners. Because this is an ocean front resort and owners paid big bucks for a deeded view, Starwood guarantees owners that they will get their view, as it should be.

There might be other details in this case that affected what happened, but does Starwood make any attempt to clean the unit in the class (OF, view, owners, exchangers, etc.) that experienced the earliest check-out that day as soon as possible (with 2 or more housekeepers) and give it to the occupants who have to change rooms that day? It seems with 6 hours of cleaning time, and just a percentage of people would be there for 2 weeks consecutively, even with no early check-outs (in the same class) that day most people who are carrying over should be able to not have to leave the first unit until the new unit is ready, much before scheduled check-in time, if that's management's policy. This is what some other timeshares do even with 4 hours of cleaning time (with check out at noon and check-in at 4). :shrug:

Of course there can never be any guarantee, but in practice it seems surprising that a premier resort like WKORV would not more often work out something more accomodating to owners than have them put stuff in the car or the lounge. :shrug: Especially if room numbers are not divulged in advance to owners until check-in, and they can change room assignment for anybody at any time, as long as class rules are followed.
 

DeniseM

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There might be other details in this case that affected what happened, but does Starwood make any attempt to clean the unit in the class (OF, view, owners, exchangers, etc.) that experienced the earliest check-out that day as soon as possible (with 2 or more housekeepers) and give it to the occupants who have to change rooms that day?

That hasn't been my experience - we've had to be out of our rooms at 10:00 am and couldn't check back in until 3:00 or 4:00 - as owners. Remember that Saturday is the biggest check-out day, so they probably had to clean 70-80% of the rooms the day FlyKaesan checked out.

I'm not saying it's good, but I don't think FlyKaesan got treated any differently than an owner.
 

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That hasn't been my experience - we've had to be out of our rooms at 10:00 am and couldn't check back in until 3:00 or 4:00 - as owners. Remember that Saturday is the biggest check-out day, so they probably had to clean 70-80% of the rooms the day FlyKaesan checked out.
Thanks Denise. They really didn't have to finish cleaning all 70-80% early. Just as many as the number of people who were staying over that day, if management had wanted them to. In fact, if they had to clean 70-80% that day, there were bound to be some that they finished early. :D

I'm not saying it's good, but I don't think FlyKaesan got treated any differently than an owner.

I have been lucky enough to exchange into WKORV a couple of times. I have to say that both times I didn't feel discriminated against as an exchanger, as far as customer service. In fact I felt they did listen to my requests for room assignment (that I made both beforehand and at check-in, nicely) and tried to do whatever they could. :whoopie: But I have not had the experience of staying for 2 weeks. :)
 

DeniseM

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Here is another possible explanation: Starwood has a tiered ownership system based on the number of timeshare weeks someone owns:

5 Star Elite
4 Star Elite
3 Star Elite
Everybody Else

I'm in the "everybody else" category - I bet that Elite Owners get priority for rooms that are available early.

I hope FlyKaesan will let us know what his unit numbers were.

BTW - I'm not defending Starwood - I'm just saying that owners don't get treated much better! :D
 
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Well that is certainly a resort I would NEVER buy to exchange, as they shortchange their exchange-oriented owners in multiple ways. That is an extremely unusual way to do business in the timeshare world, by hosing their exchangers to coddle their own-to-use people. Why is the world would someone who intends to exchange want to buy at a resort that is likely to deposit a week with a lot less trading power than what he actually owns?

I can see why people might want to stay within the system with Starwood. They screw you to the wall if you try to exchange outside of it.


Yes - approximately 1/3 of the units at the resort are deeded Island View. However, since I don't know what units FlyKasean stayed in, I'm not sure what the view was. Under the purchase agreement that all buyers sign, Starwood does not have to deposit the same view that the owner owns.



They can do it because when you buy a TS from Starwood you agree to it in the contract you sign.



Well...believe it or not, that is exactly how it's done. In fact, Starwood doesn't even have to deposit a week from the resort where you own. They can deposit a week from another resort and the season they choose. They usually bulk space bank off-season weeks. There is a whole article about it in the Owner Resources sticky at the top of the Starwood board if you'd like to know more...

FlyKaesan - For clarification, can you tell us the unit numbers of the 2 units you got at WKORV?
 

DeniseM

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Well that is certainly a resort I would NEVER buy to exchange, as they shortchange their exchange-oriented owners in multiple ways.

Actually, I'm amazed that anyone deposits a unit from WKORV. Even if you buy resale, an Ocean View unit sells for about $30K and the MF is about $1,700. There are much less expensive Starwood resorts that are good exchangers. My guess is that the people who deposit a WKORV unit are not TUG members!
 

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That is an extremely unusual way to do business in the timeshare world, by hosing their exchangers to coddle their own-to-use people.
It's less unusual all the time. Wyndham FSP and DVC are also squarely in this camp. Neither allows owners to choose the week to deposit, and both tend to deposit things that are the "leftovers". This is even true for the Wyn FSP owners who own fixed weeks that have been converted to points---you lose the ability to deposit "your" week.
 

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That hasn't been my experience - we've had to be out of our rooms at 10:00 am and couldn't check back in until 3:00 or 4:00 - as owners. Remember that Saturday is the biggest check-out day, so they probably had to clean 70-80% of the rooms the day FlyKaesan checked out.

I'm not saying it's good, but I don't think FlyKaesan got treated any differently than an owner.

When I called a week before check in, I requested we have 2 weeks and would like to stay in the same room. They said no request of room numbers but we will try to accommodate you and make a note.
I asked do we need to check out if we don't want it cleaned and the answer was yes, you can stay in the same unit if you don't want to get it cleaned.
That wasn't the case when I stayed a week and asked if we will be staying in the same unit. Weird thing was that said no room was available and i said what about after 1 night we can move to another unit on Sunday. They said it was booked. I think that is a lie because I took a tour and people can check out on Sunday also meaning there will be switching rooms on Sunday. I just wanted smoke free room and that was all I asked and they said NO rooms. You are stuck with what you got.
Even til today I smell smoke and service people came by once to spray flower fragrant. Bell boy smelled it so much when I was checking in he went to the service manager and flower fragrant was all they can do. I still smell smoke even after opening all the windows all day. I am on 1st floor unit and I can walk out of the balcony. People walk by every minute here and it's annoying people can see you inside when you have light on. How do I know? I went outside. If we close the curtain, no smell goes out.
 

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I would have a problem with the smoke, too! What were the numbers of the units you got?
 

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FlyKaesan - For clarification, can you tell us the unit numbers of the 2 units you got at WKORV?

I am not comfortable telling you exact unit but here is the location.

1st week - building 2 and second floor. Not swimming pool view but opposite side and far away from ocean views.

2 nd week. - building 3 first floor. Swimming pool side and I can hear people talk and walk all day.

Can not leave the window and curtain open cause they can see us. Can not close the window and curtain cause Smoke smells bad. I can smell smoke even with full air condition, ceiling fan, and windows opened wide. I left 5 messages and talked to 3 representative with service / front desk, no help. No switching room since it's all booked. I guess no one checked out and checked in on Sunday.
 

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Those are both Ocean View category rooms, so while the smoke problem is definitely not acceptable, you got upgraded rooms for both weeks. So for an exchanger you got decent rooms. Maybe not the best view, but as an exchanger you aren't ever going to get the best view. The worst view at WKORV would be in building 4 facing the highway.

I don't know what to think about the previous guest smoking in the room - it violates Hawaii smoking laws. It is totally unacceptable that they didn't move you to a smoke free room.

I am not comfortable telling you exact unit but here is the location.

1st week - building 2 and second floor. Not swimming pool view but opposite side and far away from ocean views.

2 nd week. - building 3 first floor. Swimming pool side and I can hear people talk and walk all day.

Can not leave the window and curtain open cause they can see us. Can not close the window and curtain cause Smoke smells bad. I can smell smoke even with full air condition, ceiling fan, and windows opened wide. I left 5 messages and talked to 3 representative with service / front desk, no help. No switching room since it's all booked. I guess no one checked out and checked in on Sunday.
 
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