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Final Straw- Selling our Marriott/Vistana Timeshares

Ken555

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If the goal is to buy starOptions, to me, it is far better to buy SVV when you can almost get it for free when WKV costs over 12k (let us say WKV won't depreciate over time). You can do a lot with 12k every year which easily can cover the difference in SO cost.
That's always an option mentioned in these discussions.
 

Ken555

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Since you can bank StarOptions, any leftovers from an "odd amount" can be banked and combined with StarOptions the next year. We have an 81K annual and 44K EOY SVV and have no problem using them all up and never letting any go to waste. There is of course a fee to bank, so that has to be taken into consideration, but if done correctly you really only have to bank every other year.
Eh, I don't like the idea of planning on banking as part of the justification for purchase.
 

BocaBoy

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The truth is the truth. I paid approximately $13,000 each for my Sabal Palms, Harbour Club and Heritage Weeks, all pre-construction. Almost immediately Marriott started tinkering big time with the benefits attached to my Weeks all to their benefit and all to my detriment. I finally got pissed and sold. Fortunately I sold before they destroyed all the value in my Weeks and I came out about whole. What would I own today if I hadn't sold? How much would I get if I had waited and sold today? What are the MFs today vs when I sold my Weeks? My point is that the prudent thing to do when a company (and I'm not only talking Marriott) starts down the path of devaluing what you bought for their benefit run as far away from them as fast as you can...

I acknowledge that Marriott has top of the line Resorts, maybe the best out there. My gripe is that over the years Marriott has made too many changes in their program, all to their benefit and to the detriment of their customers. In addition they have allowed their Customer Service, which once was excellent, to deteriorate dramatically...

George
I feel very much like you do. I have sold half of our weeks and plan to sell two of the remaining three at some point in the not too distant future. I have owned since 1987 and Marriott is very different now. I think it is hard for those who bought in the last 15 years to understand what it was like originally.
 

CPNY

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I feel very much like you do. I have sold half of our weeks and plan to sell two of the remaining three at some point in the not too distant future. I have owned since 1987 and Marriott is very different now. I think it is hard for those who bought in the last 15 years to understand what it was like originally.
It’s gotten worse? That was the initial “worry” for us “vistana people”. I know not much has changed but things seem ok so far. I do like the last minute VSN Escapes they added, which I hear DC program has with discounted stays last minute. That’s a change I can get behind.
 

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It’s gotten worse? That was the initial “worry” for us “vistana people”. I know not much has changed but things seem ok so far. I do like the last minute VSN Escapes they added, which I hear DC program has with discounted stays last minute. That’s a change I can get behind.
I haven't owned quite as long as those above, about 21 years. Things have changed with Marriott, DVC which I owned since 94 and with every other timeshare I own or have owned. Others can weigh in on what has changed from their perspective. From a contractual standpoint I'm not sure there have been that many changes on the weeks side. Fees have gone up and there have been changes on the rewards side. Frankly, I discount any rewards components as peripheral to the timeshare system no matter now important it was to some people's decisions and usage. The 13 month reservation window was added along with the DC system. Some resorts were removed from the system, no major loss to the system IMO. All in all I feel the changes within Marriott during the 24 years I've followed them from then to now are quite positive. I think they system overall is much better than when I bought in with a lot more resorts that interest me and a much more flexible system. While I haven't followed the other system, I'd be willing to bet they've changed over the years also and likely not all for the better. I don't think any of that gives us a good perspective on what to expect with any combination plans. It really depends on how much they want to keep the various systems intact vs having a combined program going forward. I know there are some hurdles to a more integrated program and it will be interesting how all this works out.
 

dioxide45

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I haven't owned quite as long as those above, about 21 years. Things have changed with Marriott, DVC which I owned since 94 and with every other timeshare I own or have owned. Others can weigh in on what has changed from their perspective. From a contractual standpoint I'm not sure there have been that many changes on the weeks side. Fees have gone up and there have been changes on the rewards side. Frankly, I discount any rewards components as peripheral to the timeshare system no matter now important it was to some people's decisions and usage. The 13 month reservation window was added along with the DC system. Some resorts were removed from the system, no major loss to the system IMO. All in all I feel the changes within Marriott during the 24 years I've followed them from then to now are quite positive. I think they system overall is much better than when I bought in with a lot more resorts that interest me and a much more flexible system. While I haven't followed the other system, I'd be willing to bet they've changed over the years also and likely not all for the better. I don't think any of that gives us a good perspective on what to expect with any combination plans. It really depends on how much they want to keep the various systems intact vs having a combined program going forward. I know there are some hurdles to a more integrated program and it will be interesting how all this works out.
I believe the 13 month reservation window on the weeks side predates DC. Many years in fact. When we bought in 2007, the 13 month weeks reservation window was already in place.

As for @bogey21, the biggest beef there seems to be the change in the rental and resale programs. At one time Marriott would take only a 20% commission from the sale of your week and also only 20% from the actual proceeds of what your week rented for. You wouldn't get paid until after they rented out your weeks and knew exactly how much they made. They later changed both to 40% commission, but again with rentals it was based on actual rental revenue. Now, the weeks rental program is that they just give you a number, take it or leave it. They could rent for huge profit or of course could also take a loss if you your week doesn't rent.
 

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.All in all I feel the changes within Marriott during the 24 years I've followed them from then to now are quite positive.
Some feel the changes are positive, some don't. That is life. The one thing that is not debatable is the erosion of value for those who bought directly from Marriott during the last 20 years or so. I was able to sell the 4 Weeks I bought back in the 80s for a profit 4 years or so later. Today it is a given that when the time comes to sell, those who buy directly from Marriott will more than likely suffer (a possibly large) loss...

George
 
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bogey21

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As for @bogey21, the biggest beef there seems to be the change in the rental and resale programs. At one time Marriott would take only a 20% commission from the sale of your week and also only 20% from the actual proceeds of what your week rented for.
One other thing that was massively devalued was the ability to convert your Week into enough Rewards Points to get a week at a nice Marriott hotel, airfare to get there and a rental car. Clearly you can't do that today....

George
 

CPNY

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One other thing that was massively devalued was the ability to convert your Week into enough Rewards Points to get a week at a nice Marriott hotel, airfare to get there and a rental car. Clearly you can't do that today....

George
That’s the truth. The conversion is so awful.
 

pianodinosaur

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COVID-19 has interfered with my II exchanges. I had to cancel a cruise and have used E-PLUS three times for my initial exchange. So, this last retrade will be the last. Therefore, we will visit Marrott’s Grand Chateau for the first time in late October, 2020. I wish E-plus was more flexible, but this is the first year in 20 years of timesharing that I have been forced to cancel timeshare reservations. HGVC has been much easier to work with than MVC, however, I am still pleased with MVC during these trying times.
 

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I believe the 13 month reservation window on the weeks side predates DC. Many years in fact. When we bought in 2007, the 13 month weeks reservation window was already in place.

As for @bogey21, the biggest beef there seems to be the change in the rental and resale programs. At one time Marriott would take only a 20% commission from the sale of your week and also only 20% from the actual proceeds of what your week rented for. You wouldn't get paid until after they rented out your weeks and knew exactly how much they made. They later changed both to 40% commission, but again with rentals it was based on actual rental revenue. Now, the weeks rental program is that they just give you a number, take it or leave it. They could rent for huge profit or of course could also take a loss if you your week doesn't rent.
Yes, it does predate the DC system. I'm not sure the exact time but I believe it was after I bought in 99.
Some feel the changes are positive, some don't. That is life. The one thing that is not debatable is the erosion of value for those who bought directly from Marriott during the last 20 years or so. I was able to sell the 4 Weeks I bought back in the 80s for a profit 4 years or so later. Today it is a given that when the time comes to sell, those who buy directly from Marriott will more than likely suffer (a possibly large) loss...

George
But that was part of my point. It seems you were relying on external options that were not contractual and from when I started looking around 95 or 96, I didn't see the rewards system as a great option and it's worse now and likely to continue to decline.
One other thing that was massively devalued was the ability to convert your Week into enough Rewards Points to get a week at a nice Marriott hotel, airfare to get there and a rental car. Clearly you can't do that today....

George
There are still potential reward points options and if one had that option previously, it's still there even though it's not the deal it once was. I would suggest that if owning MVC doesn't make sense without the points system, it really didn't make sense with it either. YMMV.
 

BocaBoy

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I sometimes get impatient with those who argue things have gotten better when they did not buy until 10-20 years or more after the product was launched. They do not remember the earlier years, when maintenance fees were well controlled (even going down more than once prior to 2000. They do not remember when owners were treated so much better than now. They do not remember the company sales themes focusing on MR points and rental opportunities, and the times when those points could buy so much. They do not remember how Marriott's hostility to weeks ownership after the DC introduction devalued our ownerships. I bought about the time Bogey did and agree with almost everything he says. They do not treat us as real owners any more. I could go on and on.

I think they have a good product now, although it is extraordinarily expensive, but those of us who bought in the early years still feel the pain.
 

BocaBoy

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I believe the 13 month reservation window on the weeks side predates DC. Many years in fact. When we bought in 2007, the 13 month weeks reservation window was already in place.
 

BocaBoy

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I believe the 13 month reservation window on the weeks side predates DC. Many years in fact. When we bought in 2007, the 13 month weeks reservation window was already in place.
I bought in 1987 and I believe the 13-week option was there from the start. If it wasn't, it was added very early on.
 

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I bought in 1987 and I believe the 13-week option was there from the start. If it wasn't, it was added very early on.
It was not there when Grande Ocean opened and I don't believe it was there when I bought late 90's.
 

Dean

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I sometimes get impatient with those who argue things have gotten better when they did not buy until 10-20 years or more after the product was launched. They do not remember the earlier years, when maintenance fees were well controlled (even going down more than once prior to 2000. They do not remember when owners were treated so much better than now. They do not remember the company sales themes focusing on MR points and rental opportunities, and the times when those points could buy so much. They do not remember how Marriott's hostility to weeks ownership after the DC introduction devalued our ownerships. I bought about the time Bogey did and agree with almost everything he says. They do not treat us as real owners any more. I could go on and on.

I think they have a good product now, although it is extraordinarily expensive, but those of us who bought in the early years still feel the pain.
I'm curious as to what contractual issues have gotten worse.
 

Fredflintstone

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I sometimes get impatient with those who argue things have gotten better when they did not buy until 10-20 years or more after the product was launched. They do not remember the earlier years, when maintenance fees were well controlled (even going down more than once prior to 2000. They do not remember when owners were treated so much better than now. They do not remember the company sales themes focusing on MR points and rental opportunities, and the times when those points could buy so much. They do not remember how Marriott's hostility to weeks ownership after the DC introduction devalued our ownerships. I bought about the time Bogey did and agree with almost everything he says. They do not treat us as real owners any more. I could go on and on.

I think they have a good product now, although it is extraordinarily expensive, but those of us who bought in the early years still feel the pain.
IMO, the reason why some people become dissatisfied is because they were promised a certain level of benefits at a certain price at the time they bought. The problem I see is the contract they signed states terms can change at anytime for any reason at the resorts sole decretion. This creates a power imbalance where resorts can change or do whatever they want leaving the owner simply as a ramp for expenses. In other words, who cares about the owner, we got them hooked with an open ended contract in our favour. They are here to pay and pay and pay.

Just my opinion but this opinion stills drives me to continue to rent timeshares.


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I sometimes get impatient with those who argue things have gotten better when they did not buy until 10-20 years or more after the product was launched. They do not remember the earlier years, when maintenance fees were well controlled (even going down more than once prior to 2000. They do not remember when owners were treated so much better than now.
Let me give you a concrete example. When I decided to sell my Sabal Palms Week I had Marriott do it for me. At the time they put Sellers in a queue as they wouldn't sell a Week for less than the price they established for Sabal Palms resales. They did, however, let you offer Incentives to prospective purchasers. They had a list you could choose from. During the 3 years I waited to get to the top of the queue (note that they would always tell you where you stood in the queue) Marriott rented my Week for me. They counseled me on what Week would rent the best and obtained that Week for me. Each time they rented it for the full 7 days and my rental income less their 20% commission always exceeded my MF. That was the Marriott Boca and I remember...

George
 

ski_sierra

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IMO, the reason why some people become dissatisfied is because they were promised a certain level of benefits at a certain price at the time they bought. The problem I see is the contract they signed states terms can change at anytime for any reason at the resorts sole decretion. This creates a power imbalance where resorts can change or do whatever they want leaving the owner simply as a ramp for expenses. In other words, who cares about the owner, we got them hooked with an open ended contract in our favour. They are here to pay and pay and pay.

Just my opinion but this opinion stills drives me to continue to rent timeshares.
yes. This is a great observation. I do wish timeshare were like credit card reward programs. If I no longer see value in the program, I can cancel it. It keeps the banks/travel providers on their toes and continue to provide value to customers.

If they don't, then we will cancel. I cancelled 4x Marriott credit cards this year.
 

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yes. This is a great observation. I do wish timeshare were like credit card reward programs. If I no longer see value in the program, I can cancel it. It keeps the banks/travel providers on their toes and continue to provide value to customers.

If they don't, then we will cancel. I cancelled 4x Marriott credit cards this year.
Totally agree. You see, competition keeps everyone on their toes. If they get out of line, they get punished by losing consumers. With timeshares, your contract eliminates the competitive factor and eliminates the need to remain fair, balanced and competitive. The result is erosion of services and increase in expense. Also, with timeshares, the resort does not get punished for increasing costs and reducing services, they simply pass the punishment on to the other owners through “bad debt expense”. That’s why they don’t care about losing owners through default. You better believe if it did affect their (versus the owners) bottom line, they would be much more geared to being responsible and providing the best services possible.

Renting gives that much needed competition. That’s why I find I pay less (most times than MF), demand more (I have been successful getting the best condo because they are trying to woo me to sign up) and can walk away or not return if I don’t like their terms, services or costs. Plus, I am not bound to others who take a hit if I walk away when I rent.


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SueDonJ

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I agree with both Bogey and BocaBoy about the loss/devaluation of the direct-purchase Marriott Rewards exchange benefit. In our very early years the number of MR Points we'd get for our 3BR SurfWatch Weeks was more than enough to exchange for one of the "Around The World" (or whatever they called it) packages that included airline tickets (not frequent-flyer miles,) 7 nights in a top-tier hotel and a car rental. Our biggest regret is that we didn't take advantage of that option before it disappeared. And of course as the years have gone on there's been increased continuing devaluation in the Bonvoy (formerly Marriott Rewards) program, BUT! consideration has to be given to the fact that there has always had to be reciprocity for MR/Bonvoy Points usage between MVC and Marriott, Int'l (both before and after MVC coming under the Marriott, Int'l umbrella.) It's always appeared to me that MI calls the shots and with them effectively holding the timeshare segment under its thumb, there's not much MVC could do before/after without US paying for it. Sure, I wish it was as valuable a benefit as when we first bought, but I don't necessarily fault MVC for the fact that it's not.

I never had experience with the Rental-By-Marriott program but do understand criticism of it more than that of the MR/Bonvoy program. Rentals by Marriott have become so devalued and such a cash grab for them that I don't think even the prime-est of prime inventory is worth giving to them. I think this devaluation did more to contribute to the disparity between direct-purchase and external resales because it forced owners to establish and use an external rental market, effectively forcing the online timeshare rental/resale market to explode.

On the whole, though, we are still very happy owners and like very much the way our ownership has been enhanced by the introduction of the Destination Club. That's not to say that every owner should feel the same as we do because every owner has their own reasons for purchasing in the first place. Still, I'm always saddened to read that longtime, knowledgeable owners have decided it's time for them to sell because they're unhappy with the company's direction. Always.
 
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Dean

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I agree with both Bogey and BocaBoy about the loss/devaluation of the direct-purchase Marriott Rewards exchange benefit. In our very early years the number of MR Points we'd get for our 3BR SurfWatch Weeks was more than enough to exchange for one of the "Around The World" (or whatever they called it) packages that included airline tickets (not frequent-flyer miles,) 7 nights in a top-tier hotel and a car rental. Our biggest regret is that we didn't take advantage of that option before it disappeared. And of course as the years have gone on there's been increased continuing devaluation in the Bonvoy (formerly Marriott Rewards) program, BUT! consideration has to be given to the fact that there has always had to be reciprocity for MR/Bonvoy Points usage between MVC and Marriott, Int'l (both before and after MVC coming under the Marriott, Int'l umbrella.) It's always appeared to me that MI calls the shots and with them effectively holding the timeshare segment under its thumb, there's not much MVC could do before/after without US paying for it. Sure, I wish it was as valuable a benefit as when we first bought, but I don't necessarily fault MVC for the fact that it's not.

I never had experience with the Rental-By-Marriott program but do understand criticism of it more than that of the MR/Bonvoy program. Rentals by Marriott have become so devalued and such a cash grab for them that I don't think even the prime-est of prime inventory is worth giving to them. I think this devaluation did more to contribute to the disparity between direct-purchase and external resales because it forced owners to establish and use an external rental market, effectively forcing the online timeshare rental/resale market to explode.

On the whole, though, we are still very happy owners and like very much the way our ownership has been enhanced by the introduction of the Destination Club. That's not to say that every owner should feel the same as we do because every owner has their own reasons for purchasing in the first place. Still, I'm always saddened to read that longtime, knowledgeable owners have decided it's time for them to sell because they're unhappy with the company's direction. Always.
Here's my thoughts though, things have changed over time and that was predictable. We've gone from fixed week/fixed units to floating seasons reserved largely by mail in early on at 12 months to the 13 month reservation option to DC/Trust and the reality is that some of these changes might be negative for some and positive for others. Over that time there have been 2 rounds of resorts exit the system and a ton of additional resorts come on board, what if one had bought spicebush or swallowtail from MVC for exchange priority and then they were pushed out? Since no one has mentioned any contractual changes, I'll assume those here don't have any concerns there. I think there are some arguments to be made for availability related to the 12/13 month reservation option and the Points system though these both benefit me personally.

No one can argue that the rewards system hasn't changed for the worse either internally or with it's MVC interaction. Change is inevitable. IMO no one should ever buy a timeshare where it doesn't make sense without including the peripheral non contractual components esp a FF miles type program or even then if it's so marginal that modest changes make it not workable for them. That doesn't mean they won't be missed though. Certainly life changes and sometimes the combination of the individual's situation and the system make them grow far enough apart such that they aren't compatible any more and we all take that risk up from whether we considered it or not. Thus IMO if rewards changes, rental program or sales program changes (or any combination) were the main reason it's now not a viable system for the individual it never was truly a good choice to buy in. Do we miss things that have change for the worse, certainly if we thought highly of them and they're worse now, I would think so.
 
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