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Extra Vacation Hurricane policy frightening

merc

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A week before the hurricane happened we puchased an extra vacation at FAVC for midFeb in Cancun . (This purchase has a cancellation fee of 30% up until 60 days before, and then a 50% fee, so any kind of insurance wasn't really considered nor even suggested/offered.) So today I could cancel and lose 30% and rebook my air, etc.

But, currently there does not appear to be any need to cancel as according to an RCI rep this morning the resort is supposed to be reopened by Dec 31 , and indeed as confirmation RCI is selling this resort as early as Jan 14 as an extra vacation right now--today. But I also have been told today by the same rep that if the resort does not reopen as they state after all, not letting us know even until very late in the game, that I would eventually lose my entire $1100 fee paid and get nothing.

Can this be the case? Is it feasible that someone could buy an extra vacation now operating on faith in RCI info and two months later be told sorry you've lost it all?

Who gets the money in such a case? The resort doesn't provide a service so I can't imagine them getting it. Does RCI just keep it?

This seems very unreasonable if true. How is an RCI member supposed to make a decision based on these probabilities?
 

merc

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I have had no feedback on this policy since my original posting. Checking things out online and by phone today, RCI is selling at the moment extra vacations in Cancun from Jan. onward in several resorts currently closed. The RCI rep I called today said that nothing had changed since a week ago: the resort is still on file as re-opening Dec 31, but he acknowledged that this is old information at this point and no one appears to be talking openly about the state of things. And he reconfirmed that if FAVC doesn't reopen in time, even announcing as late as just before we go that they are not ready after all, we would lose our entire fee to RCI.

I have never in my life come up against such a one-sided mechanism. No matter what RCI provides, including nothing, they can get paid the full whack?!?! What other vacation retailer could even conceive of such a position where the customer carries the whole burden when the trip or accommodation is not available for whatever reason? With exchanges I can understand matters are more complicated, but an extra vacation is really no different than renting a hotel. RCI should just acknowledge the risk of their not reopening and confirm that if the resort doesn't open in time a refund will be made. Without this assurance I should probably cancel right now, but how will the resort be better off if do, deciding to take the current 30% penalty and not going there at all? I will be happy to take my chances on still going there if I know that I am not going to lose 100% at the last minute.

A well managed business has insurance for recovery and business interruption. Customers are not expected to go out and insure their purchases against non-delivery. Businesses are supposed to be in a position to insure clients get goods or services for their money, not rather to rely on using unforeseen events as a reason to keep or charge fees when nothing is provided. We did what we were supposed to as far as due diligence. We booked a vacation at the large hotel group (Posadas Group), a premier spot, through the largest timeshare company in the world, RCI. We did not book at some independent small place now in bankruptcy. And the RCI rep at time of booking did not even mention that insurance might be a good idea or even mention it was an option. (The call was recorded.) Why would I think ever of taking out insurance on a what is essentially a hotel booking? Exchangers might want to insure their deposited weeks, but this isn't an exchange. In this case the cancellation policy was clear and reasonable, so long as the vacationer is doing the cancelling.

On this logic, Sears could take your money for a nice new appliance, have its delivery truck destroyed enroute to your house in a tornado, and then say, sorry, we don't give replacement goods or refunds when what you paid for is damaged because of a storm.

I hope that somewhere in RCI someone is reconsidering the situation. They should simply state that refunds will be made if resorts fail to provide the service. A reasonable processing fee would be acceptable. I know they have done something more than their stated policy for exchanges to Cancun or Florida affected by Wilma. They should also be offering total or near total refunds or even rescheduling credits for any extra vacations that may be in jeopardy. Even the worst airline offers rescheduling credits.
 

Dave M

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Since you have posted on this "Ask RCI" forum, you are seeking a response from Madge, RCI's rep here. She doesn't visit TUG every day and often is unable to answer all open posts when she does visit. She responds to posts based on oldest threads first, based on the last post. Thus, adding additional posts will extend the time before she is able to respond.

Also, we discourage others from responding to posts here, since the purpose of this forum is for dialogue between those who have questions of RCI and the RCI rep. If you would like discussion on the topic rather than a response from RCI, please so indicate here and post an appropriate message on the Exchanging forum.
 

merc

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There's been nothing entered on the thread "here" takes you to for some time. I guess there is no answer other than the obvious: avoid buying extra vacations from RCI.
 

bogey21

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Madge - If I understand your response, this one is a little tough to handle. An RCI Member RENTS a Week from RCI (via Extra Vacations or Last Call) but RCI can't deliver it when the time comes. I can understand it (although I may not like it with an Exchange) but not with a rental. You guys ought to rethink this one.

GEORGE
 
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