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Lost my money to RCI and Driftwood Beach Club

sg0578280

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Hello

Just wanted you all to beware of booking last calls at RCI. I booked a week from Aug 31st to Sept 6 to the Driftwood Beach Club since I wanted to have a last get away before school started back on Sept 8th. Well due to Gustav and Hannah and all the bad weather and uncertainty in Florida, I decided to cancel the trip, so I called RCI twice to request my money back. Of course the answer was NO since I did not book the refund stuff. Anyway, I thought because of the bad weather and storm threats they would be reasonable and give me back my money or at least a week at another time. Well both calls were negative. Then I emailed the driftwood asking them to give me a week another time but then again another NO since they said its RCI's problem. Well..the end of it is that I lost my money so BEWARE...storm or hurricane..no money back from RCI for last call.. I learnt my lesson that both RCI or the resort don't care anyway... Well...just wanted you all to know..
 

lprstn

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I am sorry that happened to you. Did you write a letter to RCI? I've written them over a dispute before and it was solved.
 

gmarine

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Its unfortunate but if the resort was open you dont just get to cancel because of bad weather. You also had the option to purchase travel insurance which is a good idea.
 

laura1957

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This is what they sell trip cancellation insurance for - I am sorry, but I cant blame either RCI or the resort.
 

brucecz

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Now we know.

Sorry, no sympathy here either.
I agree. I used to own 4 weeks there and they are very acommatdating at the resort. Wether ther OP does or does not want to understand it the resort had nothing to do with the transaction. The owner of the week deposited with RCI and the OP rented that owners week directly from RCI and not the resort.

The OP got a cheap price from RCI and did not rent through the resort so the resort had no monatary part in it.

Yesterday I had to return home from Puerto Vallarta only after using 3 days of the 14 days of vacation made with exchanges because our dog had developed serve :( medical problems.

WE had also did a upgrade at the resort for the first week for about $200 and also lost most of that use. We did not buy trip insurance and knew there was a slight risk but we guessed wrong on our gamble. It was our fault, not the resort or the exchange companies. It was also not the airlines fault that we had to pay to change the reservations to go home 8 days early and not be able to celebrate our aniversary in PV.

I should have taken my own advice that I have in my rental agreements in regards to travel insurance as stated in item number 7.

7. The term of the lease is only for the exact period designated in paragraph 4. The tenant may use the Unit during the term without interference subject to the terms of this lease. If the Unit is not habitable on the day that the term starts by reason of flood, fire, storm, or for any other reason, the landlord shall refund the rent forthwith and will thereafter have no further liability to tenant.


Here are some links to renter's Travel Insurance that could lessen any financial loss because of unforeseen circumstances of weather problems , travel, health, Airline strikes or Airline Bankruptcies, etc health problems or any other problems the landlord did not cause and is not responsible for.

You may want to contact local travel agents and check out the cost of the of a level of a Travel Insurance package that you feel comfortable to protect your self against unforeseen circumstances that may affect your vacation plans.

http://www.globaltravelshield.com

http://www.travelguard.com

http://www.travelguard.com/affiliate/?PID=0000

http://www.insuremytrip.com/index-1000-0-13006-0.html

http://www.totaltravelinsurance.com/...CTWAodxmNj ZA

http://www.travelassurance.net/


Bruce
 
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EvelynK72

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Bruce,

That was good advice you gave. Having read a few of these vacation insurance policies though, I doubt they would have paid in the situation where a family pet became ill. Yes, I realize that many pets ARE family members - but the insurance company likely won't see it that way.

Vacation insurance policies most likely would not have been useful for the OP either. If the resort or airports weren't closed because of weather, then the vacation insurance wouldn't kick in.

Evelyn
 

brucecz

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You are correct in both cases.

Because the OP desided not to go they wanted someone to make bail out on the OP's bad decision not to go. The Driftwood I know from experiance are very helpfull and honor their committments. They had no committment with the OP.

Our loss on the money portion of the vacation etc, is not that very much in comparison seeing we were going on timeshare trips about once a month. We at this point by comparison are still ahead money wise by not buying travel insurance. But we may in the futrue may the older we get.

Bruce :D
 

silentg

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Sorry for the trouble you had with RCI and Driftwood. We have stayed at Driftwood many times and enjoyed it. If you bought a Last Call I hope it was not too expensive?
 

sg0578280

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Hi All

Thanks for the advise. I lost 250 but I need to use the ticket and of course pay the change fee. So in all it is about 550 for both of us. Anyway, will buy the insurance next time.

ys
 

X-ring

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Its unfortunate but if the resort was open you dont just get to cancel because of bad weather. You also had the option to purchase travel insurance which is a good idea.
The resort being open may be irrelevant.

A couple of years ago a hurricane blew down Sea Gardens in Pompano where we had purchased a bonus week from RCI.

We travelled to the area anyway staying in alternate accomodations and Sea Gardens was closed but RCI did the Pontius Pilate thing and washed their hands of the issue - no refund.

My tough luck for not buying travel insurance against RCI's supplier not being able to meet a commitment. RCI views itself as the facilitator with absolutely no responsibility re delivery.
 

Dave*H

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Thanks for the advise. I lost 250 but I need to use the ticket and of course pay the change fee. So in all it is about 550 for both of us. Anyway, will buy the insurance next time.
As stated on earlier posts, insurance will only help if bad weather actually cancelled your flights or closes the resort. It won't help if you simply change your mind because you are concerned about bad weather.
 

Talent312

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Anyone who lets a little ol' cane out at sea scare him off has no business booking a non-refundable stay from June thru September in Florida.

When I make "non-refundable" pre-payments, I first resolve that I will drag my carass thru the door, come hell or high-water (as they say). If I "bought" it, I'm gonn'a use it. If I have doubts about it, I'll only book a refundable hotel room.
 

cclendinen

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Similar Situation that turned out good

I found myself in a similar situation when I booked a points-for-weeks exchange, for my brother’s family, at “The Reef at Marathon Resort Club” for the end of August. We knew it was hurricane season and we live in Florida so my brother wanted to purchase trip insurance because of the hurricanes.

The week I gave him was obtained in the 45-day window with points (7500 or $75.00 worth of points). The cost of the travel insurance was $59.00 and it was my assumption that it would cover both the points and the $164.00 exchange fee. This was a bad assumption. (My mistake not RCI.)

Travel insurance for points allows you to cancel for just about any reason, but it only insures the points not the exchange fee. If we had known this we would not have spent $59.00 to insure $75.00 worth of points.

After finally understanding the terms of the travel insurance I asked the RCI supervisor, that had explained it to me, what other options I had. She explained the typical response that RCI does when a hurricane interrupts an exchange. Please understand that the following is not an official policy of RCI, but what has done in the past and what they did for us. The official policy is that RCI is not responsible for an “Act of God”.

When a hurricane interrupts an exchange due to the resort closing (evacuation or damage) RCI will extend an offer to the exchanger for another exchange (or a portion of a week if they had used a portion of the exchanged week). This new exchange must be used within a month and no exchange fees or the weeks/points used for the exchange are forfeited. If you don’t take advantage of this within the timeframe you will loose both.

In our case we choose to wait and see what the approaching hurricane would do before we invoked the travel insurance option. This is because the informal “RCI hurricane policy” was a better option than the travel insurance in that it saved our exchange fee. As it turns out this was a good decision.

Two days before the check-in date, a mandatory evacuation was issued for the Keys and all visitors had to be gone by the day of our check-in date. As a result, the resort shutdown, so it would have been impossible of my brother’s family to go. We called RCI to let them know and they confirmed, on the phone, that RCI would allow an alternative exchange if it was made within the month.

When we got the official notice in the mail it actually allowed us two months instead of the one. We were able to get another exchange for two weeks latter at the “Sanibel Beach Club II”. This is a great resort at a great location.

In my opinion, RCI went beyond the call of duty to extend the exchange, because their official policy does not require them to do anything. If we had canceled before the resort closed down we could have only saved the points and not the exchange fee. For anyone that did not have travel insurance, they would have received the same treatment as we did as long as they did not cancel before the resort was closed.
 

Talent312

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Anyone who lets a little ol' cane... scare him off has no business booking a non-refundable stay from June thru September in Florida.
June through November
Yeah, yeah. But I didn't intend to cover the entire hurricane season. According to USA Today, "Only four hurricanes have hit the USA in November since 1900 and these were all were Category 1 storms..."

A Caribbean saying:
June -- too soon.
July -- stand by.
August -- look out you must.
September -- remember.
October -- all over.
 
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