TUG Review Crew: Expert
- Jun 6, 2005
- Reaction score
- The Centennial State
- Resorts Owned
- Wyndham Plat,RCI pts,Shell,WorldMark,OKW,SSR pts; Marriott's Willow Ridge;Val Chatelle; Hono Koa; SBP; SDO; Blue Ridge Village
TAT fees are mandatory and need to be disclosed to a renter. Also, Shell charges housekeeping fees at the end of the rental. I had to disclose those. There is nothing I can do about those. I cannot add them to the amount collected and then pay them myself. Parking fees are charged at Waikiki Beach Walk and other resorts in Waikiki Beach. There is no getting around it, and if you don't disclose, someone will pay, and it will be the owners through Koala. I get so many free housekeeping credits with Shell and have no idea which they will charge and which they will not charge. It's an unknown. So I disclose them on every ad I do on Redweek.The fact that this is the ONLY way to see dates available, other than to click on each individual listing, is a big flaw in my view. I don't find it particularly user friendly.
I spent some time perusing around after this thread....I had looked at the site briefly before, but the high commission fee had put me off. I am still not convinced.
It's certainly more "fresh" looking than Redweek but I feel like the approach is fundamentally flawed. Timeshare's are rented "weeks" at a time. While the proliferation of points systems makes it possible to to reserve (and thus rent) shorter stays, the effort required doesn't make it worthwhile. In addition, the additional it's harder to amortize the cost of things like guest certificates across short reservations and still garner a decent profit (or even just cover your maintenance fees). With that in mind, I don't understand why they've spent the effort on a booking engine that mimics something like Expedia or Orbitz. I think something with a list view makes more sense.
They also have conflicting information on their site - in some places they confirm to renters that the rental "prices you see on Koala include all taxes and fees, including resort fees. Nothing hidden, no surprises." Yet then (as to be expected) on certain bookings they indicate additional fees will be do on-site and collected by the resort. I think it could be a bit confusing to renters....
Finally, they appear to have been operating for three years, but the number of resorts in their directory and the number of listings is quite paltry....and they've got what appears to be a pretty big staff of people. I'm not sure how it all computes. Are they just surviving off investor seed money?
I may post a week or two just to see how it pans out, but by the time I add in the costs of additional commission they charge, I'm not sure my rental prices will be competitive.
I hope they make the website more user-friendly for the renter. It's easy to add listings, but I agree that finding a resort should bring up a list of what's available based on date. Seems like a good suggestion for the web designer.