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Hilton Grand Vacations / RCI Exchange - Resort not Available Because of PG&E Outage

jmacjem

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Hello,

I'm asking for help/advice with the following situation: How do I (best) retain the points I used for a booking when the resort is CLOSED because of a PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) - initiated (power) outage without having to pay a fee?

The resort I booked through Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) / RCI Exchange is closed because of a PG&E - initiated power outage. I booked the resort in December (2018) for a stay starting in October (2019). I received email from RCI that they (RCI) would "fully refund what was used for the booking." If only it was that simple.

I called the number provided by HGV/RCI. I asked to cancel the reservation AND retain the points used to book it. While the agent could cancel the reservation, I was told that I needed to pay (pay!) $299 to keep the points that were used to reserve the stay at the resort. Crazy. Why should I pay a fee/fine for something that I did not cause. The resort is/was CLOSED.

I escalated to the Corporate group. The representative there, who is a coordination point between HGV & RCI started talking in points-ease about the transactions and expired points (and etc.) so I have asked for email outlining what she was saying so I could understand it better. That email is forthcoming. I was told that RCI might save the points if I paid a fee. Still, a fee(!). Crazy and unacceptable.

Have any of you had to deal with such a situation and were able to resolve it to your satisfaction (e.g. no fees required, and retain points used to book the reservation)? How did you do it? Thanks for any advice or help you can give.
 

GregT

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I don’t have experience with HGVC in this situation but when the hurricane went through St. Thomas, I lost my reservation at Ritz Carlton STT. The resort was closed — Marriott let me cancel the reservation but because I was within 60 days, the points were restricted (under their system). They were inflexible about letting me have the points be unrestricted and viewed it simply as my choice to cancel a reservation within 60 days of check-in.

I was a bit bummed about it because restricted points don’t have a lot of value to me, because of the way that I travel. I was also bummed because the hurricane happened more than 60 days out and Marriott was very cautious in communicating the amount of damage the property sustained, and kept talking about the possibility of it re-opening in time for my reservation.

None of this helps your situation (sorry about that) but I don’t know how much flexibility you will get from HGVC on this situation especially since HGVC didn’t choose to close the resort.

Good luck and I hope something positive comes from this situation for you.

Best,

Greg
 

Cyberc

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First. In RCI all of you hgvc points are in one bucket which contains current, next year and year after so 3 years points in total.

When you book a RCI vacation using your HGVC points even if the vacation is in the next year(this case 2019) then points will be taken from you 2018 (if any is available) and used.

if you need to cancel that vacation for any reason during 2019 then you would need to pay to save/bank those points into 2019. This assumes that the 2018 points are bankable to 2019 and haven’t been banked already.

IMO you should only pay the fee to bank the points and iirc it’s $105.

Had the points been 2019 points already you shouldn’t have to pay anything.

If the points have already been saved from 2017 into 2018 then you would loose the points if you cancel the ressi, as we are in 2019 now.

If the points are from 2017 and banked into 2018 then maybe that is why you need to pay the higher fee so save them. This is however not normally an option.

Hands down I don’t know if there is anything in the rules that allows them to charge you more when stuff like this happens.
 

Tamaradarann

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I don’t have experience with HGVC in this situation but when the hurricane went through St. Thomas, I lost my reservation at Ritz Carlton STT. The resort was closed — Marriott let me cancel the reservation but because I was within 60 days, the points were restricted (under their system). They were inflexible about letting me have the points be unrestricted and viewed it simply as my choice to cancel a reservation within 60 days of check-in.

I was a bit bummed about it because restricted points don’t have a lot of value to me, because of the way that I travel. I was also bummed because the hurricane happened more than 60 days out and Marriott was very cautious in communicating the amount of damage the property sustained, and kept talking about the possibility of it re-opening in time for my reservation.

None of this helps your situation (sorry about that) but I don’t know how much flexibility you will get from HGVC on this situation especially since HGVC didn’t choose to close the resort.

Good luck and I hope something positive comes from this situation for you.

Best,

Greg
Hello,

I'm asking for help/advice with the following situation: How do I (best) retain the points I used for a booking when the resort is CLOSED because of a PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) - initiated (power) outage without having to pay a fee?

The resort I booked through Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) / RCI Exchange is closed because of a PG&E - initiated power outage. I booked the resort in December (2018) for a stay starting in October (2019). I received email from RCI that they (RCI) would "fully refund what was used for the booking." If only it was that simple.


I called the number provided by HGV/RCI. I asked to cancel the reservation AND retain the points used to book it. While the agent could cancel the reservation, I was told that I needed to pay (pay!) $299 to keep the points that were used to reserve the stay at the resort. Crazy. Why should I pay a fee/fine for something that I did not cause. The resort is/was CLOSED.

I escalated to the Corporate group. The representative there, who is a coordination point between HGV & RCI started talking in points-ease about the transactions and expired points (and etc.) so I have asked for email outlining what she was saying so I could understand it better. That email is forthcoming. I was told that RCI might save the points if I paid a fee. Still, a fee(!). Crazy and unacceptable.

Have any of you had to deal with such a situation and were able to resolve it to your satisfaction (e.g. no fees required, and retain points used to book the reservation)? How did you do it? Thanks for any advice or help you can give.
What will you get and what should you get are to different things here. The RCI/HGVC rules will be the by the book answer that the clubs will give you. However, that is NOT what you should get. I would describe what you should request and get. You did NOT cancel the reservation. The resort cancelled the reservation. Therefore, cancelling and rebooking the points should incur NO fee and NO loss of points. Since these were HGVC points your focus should be on HGVC to have the points restored to your account. Furthermore, depending on what year this points are from you should have a reasonable amount of time to use the points without losing or paying a banking fee. In my opinion reasonable would be about 1 year so the points should be restored to a year where that would be possible. If you don't get that from the HGVC representative that you spoke with I would escalate that to a higher level with what you should get and want to be satisfied.
 

CalGalTraveler

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First. In RCI all of you hgvc points are in one bucket which contains current, next year and year after so 3 years points in total.

When you book a RCI vacation using your HGVC points even if the vacation is in the next year(this case 2019) then points will be taken from you 2018 (if any is available) and used.

if you need to cancel that vacation for any reason during 2019 then you would need to pay to save/bank those points into 2019. This assumes that the 2018 points are bankable to 2019 and haven’t been banked already.

IMO you should only pay the fee to bank the points and iirc it’s $105.

Had the points been 2019 points already you shouldn’t have to pay anything.

If the points have already been saved from 2017 into 2018 then you would loose the points if you cancel the ressi, as we are in 2019 now.

If the points are from 2017 and banked into 2018 then maybe that is why you need to pay the higher fee so save them. This is however not normally an option.

Hands down I don’t know if there is anything in the rules that allows them to charge you more when stuff like this happens.
This cross-year glitch is a tricky thing about RCI reservations when you make reservations so far in advance. OTOH you sometimes get a highly desireable property 2 years out, but then this happens... (plus they also get your exchange fee for up to 2 years in advance.)

We have a reservation that we booked via OGS 2 years ago in Disneyland Anaheim for New Years. I have no idea which year the points came from but I know for certain they are not current year points.
 

hurnik

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I sympathize with the OP.
Anyone know if the "points protection" that RCI offers would've covered this? (I think that's what it's called that RCI offers for like $69 or something--it's been a while since I booked RCI).
 

PigsDad

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I sympathize with the OP.
Anyone know if the "points protection" that RCI offers would've covered this? (I think that's what it's called that RCI offers for like $69 or something--it's been a while since I booked RCI).
I'm wondering if a good travel insurance policy would have covered this.

Kurt
 

jmacjem

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Hi Everyone, This information is helpful, if saddening. What is with these hospitality companies where they nickel and dime for circumstances out of the member's control, e.g. a resort is CLOSED? I did pay for points protection with RCI. There was some crazy talk from HGV/RCI contact person about how the protection didn't apply in this situation. That's another reason why I asked HGV/RCI contact person to send me written outline/summary of the situation. If I don't receive it in a few days, I will call again and escalate to someone who can take more prompt action.
 

CalGalTraveler

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Hi Everyone, This information is helpful, if saddening. What is with these hospitality companies where they nickel and dime for circumstances out of the member's control, e.g. a resort is CLOSED? I did pay for points protection with RCI. There was some crazy talk from HGV/RCI contact person about how the protection didn't apply in this situation. That's another reason why I asked HGV/RCI contact person to send me written outline/summary of the situation. If I don't receive it in a few days, I will call again and escalate to someone who can take more prompt action.
This is unacceptable. If you paid extra for points protection there should be no fees. Otherwise, what are you paying for? I would HUCA (Hang up and Call Again) and escalate.
 

Tamaradarann

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Hi Everyone, This information is helpful, if saddening. What is with these hospitality companies where they nickel and dime for circumstances out of the member's control, e.g. a resort is CLOSED? I did pay for points protection with RCI. There was some crazy talk from HGV/RCI contact person about how the protection didn't apply in this situation. That's another reason why I asked HGV/RCI contact person to send me written outline/summary of the situation. If I don't receive it in a few days, I will call again and escalate to someone who can take more prompt action.
I am glad to hear that you are going to take this to a higher level person if you don't get what you should get. Points Protection should not be an issue here since you did NOT cancel the reservation the resort cancelled the reservation!! The year to which the points are restored will be the sticky point here. The rules will state that they will be restored to the year they came from. If that works for you you're good. However, if it means that you need to pay to have them saved to the next year or lose them since you can't take or don't want to take another vacation this year, then you need to plead that issue and ask for an exception to the rule since your planned vacation was cancelled by the resort, not you. You probably can't get that exception from the first line call center people that is why you need to escalate up the line if necessary. If you do need to pay to have the points saved to next year it should be only

When we first became members of RCI in 2006 we booked our first timeshare trip using RCI points. We booked a week in Miami South Beach and a week in Misner Place in Weston, Florida as well as our plane reservations. While we own both of these resorts we were using RCI points so home week ownership was NOT an issue. The resort in South Beach had a hot water problem so the resort was closed for the week we booked. RCI contacted us and said that our points were being restored and we could book whatever resort we wanted that was available for that week to make our 2 week vacation in South Florida complete. We asked if Misner Place was available, which it was, so we completed our 2 week reservation for a vacation at that resort.
 

presley

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Post this on all social media platforms.
 

Tamaradarann

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I'm wondering if a good travel insurance policy would have covered this.

Kurt
The travel insurance policy that Travel Guard, the one I use, would probably have covered it but you would only get the dollar value of the maintenance cost that you pay for the points that you used to make the reservation. While that is better than nothing most of the time I would want my points back to make another reservation unless the deal I booked was not really a good deal(lots of points) so that the dollars were a nice sum of money to compensate me. Since most of the reservations that I have made in the past usually use 2200 points for a week in a studio in Waikiki I would get about $500 which is the maintenance cost value of my points. If I had to stay for a week in a Hotel in Waikiki during Platinum Season I probably would be spending $300/night or one $2000 to stay for a week. $500 would not be good compensation for me.
 

SmithOp

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Sorry about the bad treatment, missing your trip, they should absolutely compensate for the loss.

Its spreading wider, there will be a lot of other people affected just like you.




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

Tamaradarann

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Sorry about the bad treatment, missing your trip, they should absolutely compensate for the loss.

Its spreading wider, there will be a lot of other people affected just like you.




Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
Wow, I didn't know the Electrical Outage that caused the cancellation of your timeshare stay was do to a State of Emergency in California. HGVC does need to step up to the plate and return your points free of charge so that you can use them next year so you can plan your vacation to use those points when it suits you.
 

Cyberc

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Full disclosure: I have never purchased points protection, but if it does not cover something straightforward like this, I will never buy it.
I only think that PP applies to when you cancel the reservation within 31 days then you don’t lose any of them.

IMO you pay for the option to cancel pain-free within 31 days, if you cancel more than 31 days out you might as well could have opted not to buy the PP.
 

jmacjem

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Full disclosure: I have never purchased points protection, but if it does not cover something straightforward like this, I will never buy it.
Hello Again:

Thank you to everyone who responded and gave good information!

I just got off of the phone with HGV/RCI. (My work on this situation was delayed because of the Kincade fire in Sonoma County. BTW, the First Responders and all of the support people were absolutely fantastic in dealing with this fire. Hats off to each and every one of them. We/my family are all ok.)

HGV/RCI DID make some exceptions for this/my case. Here is how it has turned out: 1. There were HGV points from 2018 that were used for the RCI reservation. The exception HGV made was to put those points into RCI without charge. (the points have not yet shown up in RCI....I will be checking up/monitoring). 2. Since I had paid for points protection (with RCI) HGV made another exception and put the 2019 points back into my HGV account.
3. Those 2019 HGV points were then "available" for me to either "save" with HGV (for a fee) or deposit with RCI (for a fee). At least I did not forfeit any points. End result: I deposited those 2019 points with RCI (and paid the fee-$108). (NO way was I going to save them with/to HGV.)

When my husband and I joined/bought into HGV, in 2008, dang, nothing was this complicated. Now I feel like I have to watch every single point like a hawk and become a points-neurosurgeon! I also need to be extremely strong in communications in order to get any type of points "justice" for situations completely beyond anyone's control (resort closed because of an extended electrical outage). I need a vacation from dealing with this "resort closed" situation!
 

Tamaradarann

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I am glad your pleased with how HGVC handled the issue. It would have been nice if they let you deposit the 2019 points as well as the 2018 points into RCI complementary.
 

CalGalTraveler

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Glad it worked out for you. Do you think they wouldn't have done this if you didn't have points protection? I am scratching my head as to what points protection protects.
 

GeorgeJ.

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I don’t have experience with HGVC in this situation but when the hurricane went through St. Thomas, I lost my reservation at Ritz Carlton STT. The resort was closed — Marriott let me cancel the reservation but because I was within 60 days, the points were restricted (under their system). They were inflexible about letting me have the points be unrestricted and viewed it simply as my choice to cancel a reservation within 60 days of check-in.

I was a bit bummed about it because restricted points don’t have a lot of value to me, because of the way that I travel. I was also bummed because the hurricane happened more than 60 days out and Marriott was very cautious in communicating the amount of damage the property sustained, and kept talking about the possibility of it re-opening in time for my reservation.

None of this helps your situation (sorry about that) but I don’t know how much flexibility you will get from HGVC on this situation especially since HGVC didn’t choose to close the resort.

Good luck and I hope something positive comes from this situation for you.

Best,

Greg
What would have happened if you had not cancelled your reservation? They cancelled on you. You would have gotten nothing back?
 
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