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Help! Bought Starwood, should we rescind?

clint

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Just bought today and were very excited. Bought 1 platinum floating week (week 13) per year for large 1 bedroom. Now we're having serious questions after reading more online. Any input those with Starwood might share would really be appreciated.

1. We were told that the home resort didnt matter. - getting in to any Starwood resort during any season would not be a problem. Thus we bought in Orlando where we have zero interest. Reading online it appears that the ability to book other Startwood properties that interest us - Hawaii, Bahamas, St. John, Cancun - might be limited by not having them as a home resort?

2. We were told specifically that a week in Starwoods equaled a week in II...that everything in Starwoods was considered red. Upon getting home we read that a week in Starwoods doesnt always equal at least a week in II. True or False?

3. We read that Starwoods assigns us a week when we want to trade into II....thus we might be assigned a low interest week in a low interest resort. Is this something to be concerned about?

4. We've just scratched the surface of reading about booking 8-12 months in advance. We never book vacations that far in advance - usually 3-4 months. Will our ability to use the program be compromised by not being able to pick a week 8-12 months in advance.

5. We were told that the price was always the price, that SVO cannot be resold except directly through them for a 7% fee. Thus the $17,900 we paid was the best possible price. Now I've seen other posts talking about a resale market and did a quick scan of redweek and see that they are listed there for much lower prices than we paid. (We were given 80,000 starwood points which has good value so maybe that offsets the higher purchase price)

Now we're wondering if Trendwest might not be a better option - on the surface it appears much more flexible? Now we're feeling that Starwood was portrayed very differently than it is. (we know the spg program is great) Any help?
 
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Dave M

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We've just scratched the surface of reading about [everything].
That's the very best reason for rescinding. You have so many questions, including a zillion that you haven't even thought of yet. Trust all of us here at TUG that if you eventually decide that the deal you signed up for is right for you, that deal or something close to it will still be available.

Meanwhile, after you rescind, spend a month or two reading here (forums, Advice section, etc.) before considering any purchase. Taking that time can get you a lifetime of wonderful vacations at significantly less cost.
 

DeniseM

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Welcome to TUG! Yes - Absolutely rescind - then take your time and do your homework. If you decide you still want to buy from Starwood, you can buy resale and save thousands. I'd like to recommend the following TUG article to you for a better understanding of Starwood.

Just bought today and were very excited. Bought 1 platinum floating week (week 13) per year for large 1 bedroom. Now we're having serious questions after reading more online. Any input those with Starwood might share would really be appreciated.

1. We were told that the home resort didnt matter. - getting in to any Starwood resort during any season would not be a problem. Thus we bought in Orlando where we have zero interest. Reading online it appears that the ability to book other Startwood properties that interest us - Hawaii, Bahamas, St. John, Cancun - might be limited by not having them as a home resort?
You were misled. - the 3 resorts you named are the 3 hardest exchanges in the Starwood system - especially St. John. To have any success you have to be ready to make a resv. exactly at 8 mos. out and it helps if you can be very flexible about when you go and can go off-season. At 3 mos. out (as you stated later in your post) an exchange will be near impossible. If you really want one of these resorts, then you should buy there. If you are buying in Florida and planning to exchange every year, you will be disappointed.

2. We were told specifically that a week in Starwoods equaled a week in II...that everything in Starwoods was considered red. Upon getting home we read that a week in Starwoods doesnt always equal at least a week in II. True or False?
Yes, 1 Starwood week will exchange for 1 week elsewhere in an exchange through II. However, not all weeks are considered equal and you may not be able to get the exchange you want.

3. We read that Starwoods assigns us a week when we want to trade into II....thus we might be assigned a low interest week in a low interest resort. This appears to limit our ability to trade into a property in II. Is this something to be concerned about?
Yes - Starwood can deposit any week at any resort in any season, so the week they deposit may not have great exchange value.

4. We've just scratched the surface of reading about booking 8-12 months in advance. We never book vacations that far in advance - usually 3 months. Will our ability to use the program be compromised by not being able to pick a week 8-12 months in advance.
Absolutely - Since owners can make a reservation at 12 mos out and exchangers at 8 mos out, by 3 mos out there isn't much left. If you can't commit to a vacation at 12 mos. out, then timesharing probably won't work for you.

Now we're wondering if Trendwest might not be a better option - on the surface it appears much more flexible? Any thoughts and feedback would really be appreciated.
In general, timesharing requires advanced planning. I don't think any system will work for you if you can't plan at 12 mos. out.
 

johnmfaeth

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I own many timeshares and the best advice is buy where you want to go most often.

With a St. John or Atlantis week you will have an incredibly strong trader plus you will always have the option of renting the week out, almost always at more than your annual maintenance fees. You can then rent anywhere you want to go.

Orlando is an overrsaturated market and that makes it harder to rent or trade even though it's a Starwood.

For now, you should rescind, this is a long term investment that demands research. You would not invest $20,000 in a stock you knew little about, please don't do it with a timeshare either. They aren't going anywhere soon.

Research and learn and then you will be an educated consumer. These waters are filled with sharks...

PS. With my Wyndham floating weeks based on St. Thomas, I can typically get the week I want on a few months notice. Howeverm with a points type system the 8-12 month rule is typically correct.
 
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clint

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Everybody thanks so much for the feedback

We're going to rescind. Not because Starwood is a bad program but because we shouldnt buy smeting that we dont fully understand and arent 100% sure works for us. I'm also a bit upset that some of the things they represented in the presentation were false....not sure if this was by design or if our salesperson just didnt know what the in and outs of the program really were. Thanks again everybody!
 

johnmfaeth

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Hi Clint,

Glad to here that you will be rescinding. You can always get pretty much the same deal in the future.

I have met dozns of timeshare sales folks over the years. Most are real friendly, great people to have at your backyard BBQ.

But they make tremendous commissions and that creates a bad atmosphere. Most will lie, those who do not lie just exaggerate at times.

I have yet to meet one I would want to do business with.

That unfortunate fact, combined with the HUGE decrease in value the second the ink dries, also drives the ever-increasing resale marketplace.

Good luck!

PS. Please join TUG as a member, every voice makes TUG stronger and more helpful...
 

grest

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Welcome, Clint...and good for you for finding TUG before it is too late to rescind, which you must do immediately unless you are 100% sure that you did the right thing for your family's needs. Lots to read here, lots of knowledgeable folks to help.
Connie
 

timeos2

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Great move - now research

We're going to rescind. Not because Starwood is a bad program but because we shouldnt buy smeting that we dont fully understand and arent 100% sure works for us. I'm also a bit upset that some of the things they represented in the presentation were false....not sure if this was by design or if our salesperson just didnt know what the in and outs of the program really were. Thanks again everybody!
You won't regret that choice while there was at least a 50% chance or better that holding on would lead to dissatisfaction as an owner later.

Now sit back and learn about the wonderful world of timeshares and remember that you are miles ahead if your purchase(s) - yes, once you enjoy one you may want more, are resale based. Without that inflated up front cost from a retail purchase it is easy to get great value from your ongoing fees and, if the time comes, recover most or even all of your original purchase cost. That isn't going to happen if you pay for the sales weasels and buy retail.
 

Bill4728

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Now we're wondering if Trendwest might not be a better option - on the surface it appears much more flexible? Now we're feeling that Starwood was portrayed very differently than it is. (we know the spg program is great) Any help?
Trendwest/ worldmark is a great and very flexible program but it to requires a lot of pre-planning. Since all Worldmark (WM) owners can reserve at the same time, you must reserve as early as possible if you want to go to a high demand resort, during a high demand time. You can often pick up a week at 3 months out but it will be a low demand resort, during a low demand time of year.

With WM, there is no reason to pay 100% more buying from the developer. So BUY WM RESALE!!

On the other hand, there are some reasons to buy Starwood direct. IMHO, I'd buy a mandatory starwood resort resale but learn why that may or may not be a good choice for you.

Good Luck And welcome to TUG!
 

ffxjack

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Great decision--dot all the i's and cross the t's though

I also rescinded recently after going online that very night and discovering TUG. Make sure that you carefully read the part of the contract on what you need to do to rescind and mail everything certified.

With Marriott, you actually still have to talk to a salesperson to finalize the refund. I ended our conversation extremely upset at the salesperson (who we weren't too impressed with even during the presentation) for her lies, aggressiveness, etc. Of course, by then I had spent hours on TUG and probably knew more than she did about the timeshares. Luckily, her supervisor was easy to deal with and the refund proceeded smoothly when I mentioned that I would simply dispute it with my credit card company if things weren't processed immediately.

BTW, we loved the resort and bought resale for significantly less within a week. Stick around the boards and you can learn a lot--be careful though, it's addictive.
 

m61376

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I assume by now you've sent in your rescind paperwork. If you haven't done so already, make sure you have followed the instructions in your contract and sent everything certified mail.

Secondly, congrats on finding Tug first and not regretting your purchase later. After a few months reading and participating in these forums you may find that you still want to buy the same thing, and can likely pay a whole lot less on the resale market. However, it sounds like you feel there may be better options for you. Take the time to fully understand the different systems you are thinking about before making a decision. Also, give thought to not only what your travel plans/needs are now, but what they may be a few years down the road.

For example, you purchased a large 1 BR. Will your family dynamics likely change over the next 5 or 10 years? As families grow, 1 BR's can become cramped. Similarly, travel flexibility may change if school schedules have to be considered. Now that you have the time to rethink your options, these are a few things you might want to consider as you hone down your choices.

Good luck, and welcome to Tug!:hi:
 
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