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Maintenance Fee Payment Application Nightmare (merged)

Saintsfanfl

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Just a warning that this is a painful read but putting it down is therapy for me.

This year I paid my maintenance fees online just like I have always done. The only difference between the last few years is I paid everything in one transaction since I had the credit card room. I put the full amounts in each unit box, skipping a couple units that were in the process of being transferred out. 19 units billed at $27,940.72 and paid for the same exact amount. I received the automated receipt showing the amount paid. What then happened behind the scenes is anyone's guess. I always thought paying online would be automated on the payment application but it appears people really are manually involved in the process. Only two or three properties were actually paid in the system with a fourth having an over-payment of over $24k. Only the properties that are jointly owned with my spouse had payments applied even though all the units for both ownership numbers show up in the payment screen. I have never had this error happen before even though I had payments for both numbers on the same transaction.

I did not know there was an issue until I started getting late fee notices in the mail. I looked in my online account and saw the amounts still due. Now there are late fees and interest tacked on. I call and end up being on the phone for 45 minutes. I am assured that the issue will be fixed and the late fees and interest reversed, although they also say to keep checking and call back if it isn't fixed after 7 days. I wait more than a week and it is still not fixed and I get more past due notices. I call again and spend an hour on the phone. I am assured that the rep will fix it themselves and email me once it is completed. I end up getting an email several hours later stating notes were entered in the system and it would be 7 days before it is resolved. (notes again?)

I wait a week and this time they did fix it partially. There was still about $1,700 due total on two units. I call and spend over an hour on the phone. It is a rep in finance working through it with their supervisor. They claim that the penalties and interest were not reversed which resulted in the sum of the total of those fees being left as unpaid on the two units. That was my theory so their explanation made sense. They want to keep me on the phone while they fix it but I ask if they can just go ahead and fix it and I can hang up. In retrospect I probably should have stayed on the phone. The problem was that their explanation was not actually true. Had they reconciled the account properly they would have discovered the real issue and being in finance you would think they know how to reconcile a customer's account. Instead they made a knee jerk assumption without reconciling anything which resulted in the problem being unsolved. The only thing that changed is the two unpaid accounts had the late fees and interest reversed but not the actual unpaid fees, which still resulted in about $1,600 past due on the two units.

I did not keep checking the account because they assured me it was being resolved. I get a registered signature required notice yesterday and spend my lunch break going to pick it up only to find out it is a past due notice from Grande Vista for $116.52 with a threat to file a lien. I call again and spend about 45 minutes with a rep. I felt like I was starting at square one. Most of the time it is spent on hold only to have this rep come back and say there is still a balance due on the account. I say how can their be a balance due on the account when you billed me the exact amount of my payment. He says "I see your payment of $27,940.72, but you still have a balance of $1,6XX.XX. I'm like, how is that possible when the 19 properties were billed to me at the same $27,940.72. "Sir, there is still a balance due". Ok, let's go through each property and add them up. He doesn't want to do that. I ask how much I was billed and he says he doesn't know. What? I say we have to go through each property for him to realize it doesn't make sense and he won't do it because he doesn't know how. He transfers me to a supervisor. I didn't ask for one but he gave up.

While on the very long hold I realize that the unpaid amount between the two properties minus the most recent penalties and interest is $1,608.77. I check and that is the same amount as the maintenance fee for one of the units that was being transferred out. A unit that I definitely did not pay the maintenance fee on. Somehow when they were fixing the payment application error they mistakenly applied my payment to a unit that was being transferred. The transfer was very late but it still was gone from my account before they were fixing the error. I have no idea why they applied money to it but in either case they made an error fixing another error. When the supervisor finally gets on I ask him if he is up to speed on the issue which he had just quickly been filled in. I then explain what apparently happened and it took him a while but he eventually agreed. He said these errors happen sometimes if a transfer is late. I say only if the money is not applied correctly in the first place because I chose and paid the specific 19 units in question. He agreed.

Now I get to wait another 7 days to find out if I have to call a 5th time.
 

Fasttr

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About all one can say is WOW.
 

Steve Fatula

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I agree with WOW! So, the online system is what we used to call a typewriter system. You type things in, and it prints out somewhere to be manually processed, i.e., not actually automated. That being said, given how well Marriott IT tends to do, on average, manual is probably better but not in this case. That's just awful!
 
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Gemini Chica

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OMG what a mess and unbelievable nightmare for you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dioxide45

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That is horrible. Hopefully they get it resolved for you. It becomes more and more apparent with customer service and service in general is that many really don't know what they are doing and often give you a line to get you off the phone and to the next person in the queue. It is all numbers and there is pressure on them to take X number of calls a day. It doesn't seem that they are really using our Owner Services fees wisly. They keep going up and the service keeps getting worse.
 

Steve Fatula

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Yeah, it's more of a owner hassle fee!
 

SteelerGal

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Wow. Just Wow.
 

dioxide45

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Yes! I decided I am definitely doing that next year.
The problem is that you might need to allow a few days in between each payment to make sure they allocated the payment to the correct week before you go in and make another?
 

Saintsfanfl

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The problem is that you might need to allow a few days in between each payment to make sure they allocated the payment to the correct week before you go in and make another?

I am probably going to just start paying as soon as the bills come out and do exactly that. One at a time should be easy for them though since it will match a billed amount but then again I am not so sure. The online payment of maintenance fees has each listed separately but if you look at the statements each property is on one statement with all the units for that property combined into one total. Maybe all the units for a specific property is good enough but in my case they paid only units under one owner number so I have no idea. They clearly don’t know either.
 

Fasttr

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Part of the issue may be the outsourcing of the payment processing. You have to click, okaying the following when you pay online......

By choosing to pay online, I acknowledge that purchases are subject to Marriott Vacations Worldwide’s Refunds Policy, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy. I further acknowledge that payments are processed by CyberSource Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Visa, Inc. and that CyberSource is responsible for payment processing on behalf of Marriott Vacations Worldwide.

Could be at least partially why nobody at MVC really knows what occurred.
 

Steve Fatula

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Yeah, mine all come separated by a month, so, ideal for (hopefully) them, not messing me up!
 

bogey21

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This is what happens when a company's growth gets too far in front of their back office systems and personnel training. Many moons ago when I owned Sabal Palms, Harbour Club and Heritage Club all pre-construction the Marriott back office was efficient and a pleasure to deal with....

George
 

icydog

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I learned the hard way. Now I pay each unit completely separate from the next. I have a lot of weeks and it takes time but I found that if I do it that way and make a copy of each payment, nothing got mixed up.. Last year, before I started this slow but completely necessary process, I was charged double on my Destination Points account. I went through what the OP was talking about --but I finally found a representative who ran with the problem and lo and behold two months later I got a refund for the double payment they erroneously charged me and I erroneously paid.
 

brianfox

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After reading this, this is the last year I will pay for my 5 properties at once.
 

Luvtoride

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I learned the hard way. Now I pay each unit completely separate from the next. I have a lot of weeks and it takes time but I found that if I do it that way and make a copy of each payment, nothing got mixed up.. Last year, before I started this slow but completely necessary process, I was charged double on my Destination Points account. I went through what the OP was talking about --but I finally found a representative who ran with the problem and lo and behold two months later I got a refund for the double payment they erroneously charged me and I erroneously paid.

What a nightmare! I have several weeks and trust points and fortunately the due dates are pretty well staggered between November and late January (Ocean Pointe was latest this year due to the budget issue that didn't get resolved until almost December). In this way, I pay them one (or two) at a time which also allows them to appear on separate Marriott Bonvoy Credit card statements over the 3 month period, which helps a bit with cash flow.
 

MOXJO7282

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It's frustrating for sure. I have a pretty hefty MF bill with alot of units and have for many years. What they did on mine was instead of applying ~$1700 to a unit they applied $17,000! So when i was thinking I was paying 10 units with a $30k payment they only recorded 5 or so creating a major discrepancy. I didn't keep track of what units i paid because the system always reconciled it correctly in the past but because they made the manual data entry mistake and surprisingly the system allow it shows 5 units i intended to pay were unpaid. i just had total paid and total owed so they needed to tell me what happened. I had to hound someone for a month before it got resolved. I really hope this was a isolated issue and not a reoccuring thing.
 

frank808

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My experience is also like the previous posters. I paid late Jan all of my MF at once like previous years. Amount got charged to my Amex and posted for the total correctly. Thought everything is paid like previous years.

I get a letters in late Feb saying that my accounts are overdue. Couldn't believe it and checked online. Low and behold, I am now overdue on all the accounts. The Chairman annual fee, DC points and ALL my marriott units. I call the next morning and get financial services. Explain what happened and after half an hour was told I must send in the confirmations and copy of my Amex statement showing the payment. Told them that I paid on time and will not be paying the penalties and interest and they said that if my paperwork proves I paid on time the late fees will be taken out. Get all the paperwork and fax it in. Was told it needed to be faxed or mailed in, could not send docs by email. Gathered up all the documentation and faxed it to financial services. Waited one week and checked online and account still showed overdue.

Called member services and it is very hard to talk to the same person a week ago that supposedly was going to apply payments. Finally got connected to her line and she told me she did not get the documents. She asked me to fax it again, I told her I would but to please email me when she receives it. The fax goes to a general number, not to an individual. She emails me back the next business day she has the documents and will find out what went wrong. Again told her that I was not going to pay late fees.

I checked this morning and find out that I am overdue on the MF for the DC points and club dues. Called again and spent 1 hour with various reps. Finally got a supervisor that told me that I owe the late fee because payment posted on March 4. The previous rep just applied the amount I paid to the outstanding fees with penalty and just worked her way up. This left a balance on the points and annual club fee. She told me that I had to send documentation showing that I paid in Jan. She tolf me to fax the documents I sent in twice already and I had to list all the units that I paid the MF for. I told her it was all the units in my account that have no balance that were paid. She insisted I had to send in a list of the units that were paid on time.

I can't believe the amount of BS i am going through even though I paid my MF 5 weeks ago. I have to prove to them a fourth time that I paid on time. Then because of their mix up I have to fight them to remove the late fees. Have never had any problems this past decade. This year it is a MESS. Hope to get this straightened out by next thursday. I have to give them 3 business days to figure this out. And all this time I am locked out of my account.
 

pedro47

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To the OP & frank808 ...I agree, you need to pay all your maintenance bills separate, maybe someone in billing will get it right next year.

I feel the problem was that by paying by one CC transaction, the computer did not or could not show, payment for each maintenance fees transactions accounts. IMHO.
 
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MOXJO7282

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My experience is also like the previous posters. I paid late Jan all of my MF at once like previous years. Amount got charged to my Amex and posted for the total correctly. Thought everything is paid like previous years.

I get a letters in late Feb saying that my accounts are overdue. Couldn't believe it and checked online. Low and behold, I am now overdue on all the accounts. ....
That is horrible especially for someone who has invested so much in their program. I refused to send the fax because i assumed it would eventually get figured out and it did but not before late fees were applied. They told me to not pay the balance until the credit hit and then they had to back out the late fees before i made final payments.
 

lockewong

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This unbelievable. They are punishing a good customer and a conscientious customer-(SaintsFanfl; Frank808 and MOXJO7282). But, I believe it.
 

Fasttr

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Another good excuse to use for not buying at your next presentation.... “I don’t want to get so many points packages/units that I have to spend hours on the phone because MVC screwed up allocating my maintenance fee payment.”
 
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bazzap

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Paying all bills separately is I am sure a pragmatic and sensible approach to avoid any risk of having these terrible problems.
it is really a very poor show though by MVC IT / Processes that necessitates Owners to take such action.
And to expect affected owners to then fax/post proof of payment multiple times in attempting to get the problems resolved is appalling and frankly unacceptable.
 

Saintsfanfl

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Fortunately in my experience I have not been asked to fax anything. I can only imagine how many phone calls it would take if I had to prove what amount I paid. Every rep acknowledged the amount of my payment and the date but it is still an extreme struggle to get it completely fixed.
 
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