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Maintenence [Work] at Westin St. John Virgin Grand [moved - no notice]

Cacoon

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Does anyone have info on the normal procedure for moving guests out of owned villas due to maintenence? We own a pool villa in Virgin Grand and were shocked to see our reservation had changed to a bay vista villa less than a month from our travel dates. We were not notified or given any explanation. Not until I complained did I get refunded the difference in star options of the lesser priced room. There has been no compensation and the resolution department has been a dead end. Any advice or information would be helpful. We just feel that a large company like Westin should treat their customers better.
 

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DavidnRobin

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I recall a notification going out about maintenance of the 3Bd pool villas months ago. Can't recall if it was from SVO or the quarterly HOA letter from Phil and Bob.

Surprised that they offered up a BV villa (assume a 3Bd) with lesser SOs, but which 3Bd BV villas have less SOs (within same season?) - I thought they were at least equal or more at BV compared to VGV. You should have definitely got the difference in SOs.

The CCRs likely state that a comparable villa would be used in case of maintenance issues because it does occur. There was another thread on this - last year iirc. (You probably never saw my WSJ trip report where we could not occupy our villa - a classic if I do say so myself...).

It sucks, but ridiculous DM? Hmmm....
I suggest you read the VGV Owners Manual. I am sure it states that a comparable villa will be assigned - probably why the dead-end. Of course - the squeaky-wheel approach may get you something (maybe).

Best of luck - Enjoy (and Adapt)
 

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Dave - Not sure if you saw this but their reservation was changed with NO NOTICE.

That IS ridiculous - they should have received a written notice, and a call from Owner Services as soon as the change was made:

were shocked to see our reservation had changed to a bay vista villa less than a month from our travel dates.
 
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DavidnRobin

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Dave - Not sure if you saw this but their reservation was changed with NO NOTICE.

That IS ridiculous - they should have received a written notice, and a call from Owner Services as soon as the change was made:

Should have - yes... but, as I said - I recall a notice (general) being sent to Owners about these upcoming repairs (Sept - early-Nov). btw, the OP stated they received a 1 month notice - not sure if you saw that...? 1-month in StJ/USVI time...

you should really vacation on STJ some day... but, it you expect to get thru the vacation without 'adapting' to something during your stay - I would say that is not the norm (in my experience...). It is not for everyone (obviously)

btw, I received no notice (not a day, week, month...) when I was denied - I found out at check-in. what did we do...? Adapted - and wrote a trip report... ;)

This happened to another Tugger last year - due to maintenance issues in the 3Bd villas.

Maintenance scheduling on StJ is not like any other SVO resort that I am aware of - what are they suppose to do if they fall behind schedule (norm), or something of an emergency comes up (which happens often in the USVI - mainly around water flow and drainage)? They compensated with a 'like' villa - of course there are no 'like' villas as the 3Bd pool villas (at WSJ or any SVO resort). also, obviously, it is not a single villa issue - and likely the entire building - so couldn't move to another 3Bd pool villa - or they would. iirc, that was what the SVO-WSJ notice stated when I read it - it didn't affect me so didn't pay close attention, but I think it was posted here by me on the WSJ thread at some point.

and... I can guarantee that this is covered in the OM/CCRs... which anyone who buys a SVO VOI agrees to when they purchase.
 
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DeniseM

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Dave - That is not what the OP said - they did not receive a notice, they saw that their reservation was changed:

We own a pool villa in Virgin Grand and were shocked to see our reservation had changed to a bay vista villa less than a month from our travel dates. We were not notified or given any explanation.

How does the fact that you were also treated badly make it OK? :shrug:

If it were me, I'd contact Suzanne Clark.

At one time, we thought we'd eventually try WSJ, but based on the many issues that we have read about over the years, including the prevailing attitude there, we have decided it's not for us.

It's such a long flight, I'd rather go somewhere else.
 
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DavidnRobin

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At one time, we thought we'd eventually try WSJ, but based on the many issues that we have read about over the years, including the prevailing attitude there, we have decided it's not for us.

It's such a long flight, I'd rather go somewhere else.

That would probably be wise - me? I am trying to figure out how I can move to StJ for 6-8 months (w/o costing a fortune...).

It is a very long flight (~15 hours total trip time SFO-MIA-STT-car/barge-WSJ) - that is why we bought the adjacent week. it became too much - especially with adapting to heat/humidity (~2 days)

and yes... they should have been contacted (but perhaps failed to read the notice or WSJ thread... it may have even been on the resort warnings...),
BUT doesn't surprise me what-so-ever. YMMV (and likely does...)

Added - btw - did you know that staff at WSJ considers moving to BV as an upgrade... :D
 

Cacoon

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The website did state that our building would have maitenence in 2016. Our room is handicap accessible and I guess needs extra work now. I have been in contact with the GM of the resort and the resolution department. I just can't understand why I did not receive notification, an apology or compensation. Our room is work 196,900 SO and we were put in Bay Vista which a 3br this season is 125,000 SO. Resolutions acted like they were doing me a favor by reimbursing the difference. What a joke.
 

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DavidnRobin

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The website did state that our building would have maitenence in 2016. Our room is handicap accessible and I guess needs extra work now. I have been in contact with the GM of the resort and the resolution department. I just can't understand why I did not receive notification, an apology or compensation. Our room is work 196,900 SO and we were put in Bay Vista which a 3br this season is 125,000 SO. Resolutions acted like they were doing me a favor by reimbursing the difference. What a joke.

Inconvenience/hassle aside...
I was wondering about the SO difference.
This is a problem/nuance of having different seasons between VGV and BV - when they cannot place you in VGV.

Apparently the new SOs for a 3Bd pool villa (adjusted for in 2015) for weeks 43-50 is 196.9 SO where as BV is only 125K SOs (weeks 34-50) - there is no BV worth 196.1K SOs during these weeks. So.. to equal it out - they would have had to change your week to match season (obviously, not a solution).

So... good for you for following-up as you got back 71.9 SOs (as it should be...) - that is quite a SO difference between a 3Bd VGV and a 3Bd BV

for some odd reason - as said - the WSJ staff thinks moving to BV (or CV) as an upgrade - I would be pissed if I were moved to BV from VGV. They tried to do this for me when I was denied occupancy (bees in wall) - but I insisted on staying in VGV.

good luck - enjoy your vacation. Too bad to lose out on your private pool and sweet 3Bd villa - I am not a fan of BV or CV.

btw - they read this forum... they won't admit to it, but they do (i know this for a fact).

DM - "The website did state that our building would have maitenence in 2016" I also think it was sent out as an email.
Should they directly notify Owners effected? Of course.
Does it surprise me that they don't/didn't? Nope.

That is worth contacting Suzanne about. One problem - which I have stated for >9 years - is that their database sucks and they have outdated info or only PO Boxes for some Owners. There is misalignment on what SVN has and WSJ has - and they have never fixed to. In some part because owners are aware or do not cooperate.

Not saying that is the case here - but this is an ongoing problem with WSJ-USVI-SVO/SVN
 
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Cacoon

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Thanks for the advice. I have emailed Suzanne Clark so we will see what happens. It's sad that when you are looking forward to a great vacation and follow all the rules with booking/maintenence fees/taxes, that we could be treated so poorly. The resolutions department needs some lessons on customer service and what it means to "resolve" problems. I am more angry at the way I was spoken to and treated then the actual movement of my room assignment. If we didn't have 8 flights booked, I would travel somewhere else. The kicker is that I also just received my tax bill for VG!
 

DeniseM

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Dave -

You are mis-reading what was written - the OP's post says they would have maintenance in 2016 - it's still 2015!

So the website said they would have maintenance NEXT year - not during their 2015 trip!

DM - "The website did state that our building would have maitenence in 2016" I also think it was sent out as an email.
Should they directly notify Owners effected? Of course.
Does it surprise me that they don't/didn't? Nope.

The website did state that our building would have maintenence in 2016. Our room is handicap accessible and I guess needs extra work now.
 
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okwiater

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Man, talk about first world problems.

I think Cacoon and DeniseM are overreacting to the situation. Is it acceptable for a confirmed unit type to be changed with no notice? No, of course not, and I think a polite e-mail or letter informing Suzanne Clark of the customer service lapse is appropriate.

HOWEVER, the rest of the complaint seems entirely unfounded to me. Tropical climates like those of St. John are not particularly friendly to man-made villas. Even if maintenance for a particular unit was scheduled for 2016, problems can occur at any time and if that is the case here I applaud the proactive repairs.

Is it frustrating and disappointing? Of course it is. But it sounds like Resolution Services already refunded the sizeable difference in StarOptions without a hassle which seems entirely fair. Cacoon feels that this resolution is "a joke" but I'm unclear what alternative he/she would have preferred? There are many different unit types in St. John and only 24 pool villas which are owned by other individuals -- and I am sure if one of them were available Cacoon would have been accommodated. So, I am at a loss... other than kicking someone else out of their unit what resolution is being sought? :shrug:
 

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HOWEVER, the rest of the complaint seems entirely unfounded to me.
What do you mean, by the "rest of the complaint."

-The OP received no notice
-The OP was not offered compensation - they had to ASK for it.
-When they contacted Owner Services, they felt like they were treated shabbily.

This is pretty clear:
Resolutions acted like they were doing me a favor by reimbursing the difference. What a joke.

I am more angry at the way I was spoken to and treated then the actual movement of my room assignment.
 
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Ty1on

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Man, talk about first world problems.

I think Cacoon and DeniseM are overreacting to the situation. Is it acceptable for a confirmed unit type to be changed with no notice? No, of course not, and I think a polite e-mail or letter informing Suzanne Clark of the customer service lapse is appropriate.

HOWEVER, the rest of the complaint seems entirely unfounded to me. Tropical climates like those of St. John are not particularly friendly to man-made villas. Even if maintenance for a particular unit was scheduled for 2016, problems can occur at any time and if that is the case here I applaud the proactive repairs.

Is it frustrating and disappointing? Of course it is. But it sounds like Resolution Services already refunded the sizeable difference in StarOptions without a hassle which seems entirely fair. Cacoon feels that this resolution is "a joke" but I'm unclear what alternative he/she would have preferred? There are many different unit types in St. John and only 24 pool villas which are owned by other individuals -- and I am sure if one of them were available Cacoon would have been accommodated. So, I am at a loss... other than kicking someone else out of their unit what resolution is being sought? :shrug:

Stupid question, I'm sure, but isn't maintenance the reason they don't sell all 52 intervals? Isn't scheduled maintenance something they have enough advance notice of to take it off the availability calendar.
 

okwiater

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Stupid question, I'm sure, but isn't maintenance the reason they don't sell all 52 intervals? Isn't scheduled maintenance something they have enough advance notice of to take it off the availability calendar.

Yes, scheduled maintenance is usually planned in advance to avoid conflicting with confirmed reservations. In this case Cacoon indicates that the maintenance may have been unscheduled ("I guess [our room] needs extra work now.")
 

Ty1on

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Yes, scheduled maintenance is usually planned in advance to avoid conflicting with confirmed reservations. In this case Cacoon indicates that the maintenance may have been unscheduled ("I guess [our room] needs extra work now.")

I read that is the unit requiring preliminary work due to being handicap. I still would think that is something they should have been able to schedule and block out, unless it was some emergent work (which is very possible).
 

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I read that is the unit requiring preliminary work due to being handicap. I still would think that is something they should have been able to schedule and block out, unless it was some emergent work (which is very possible).

One would think that - but WSJ, has a reputation for cavalier resort management. Some people excuse it as being characteristic of the region, but I doubt if that makes the OP feel any better. YMMV
 

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What do you mean, by the "rest of the complaint."

-The OP received no notice

As I stated in my post: "Is it acceptable for a confirmed unit type to be changed with no notice? No, of course not, and I think a polite e-mail or letter informing Suzanne Clark of the customer service lapse is appropriate."

-The OP was not offered compensation - they had to ASK for it.

Why would Starwood proactively offer to compensate a guest when they're not obligated to? As David stated, the OM/CCRs only obligate Starwood to substitute a room that accommodates the same number of people.

I'm not aware of any business that would act the way you are suggesting they should. The important thing in my mind is that when OP asked for a resolution, they readily accommodated. What's the problem, exactly?

-When they contacted Owner Services, they felt like they were treated shabbily.

I haven't heard one concrete example to illustrate why the OP "felt like they were treated shabbily." Yes, the OP has stated that they were "treated so poorly," that "the resolutions department needs some lessons on customer service," and that he or she was "angry at the way I was spoken to."

Yet, when I look at the outcome of the OP's complaint it seems that everything was fully resolved. OP still hasn't specified what else he or she expected Starwood to do. :shrug:
 

DeniseM

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okwiater - From your many posts defending Starwood in the past, it is clear to me that you are going to side with Starwood, even when another owner gets shabby treatment.

That is your prerogative, but making excuses for poor customer service is unlikely to improve customer service.

I'm glad the OP contacted Suzanne Clark - hopefully this will change the way resort management handles this situation in the future.
 

Cacoon

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Well...after 6 days of phone calls and emails, I have gotten some answers. I received a call from a manager from owner services. Our building is not scheduled to be refurbished until next year but our particular room (handicap accessible) was recently moved to this year. I completely understand the unit needing maintenence. It is just frustrating to waste so much time trying to get answers.
Okwaiter, this may seem like "first world problems" but this villa is amazing. It has a private pool, jacuzzi, grill and sitting area. It was for these that we purchased this unit. Having small children that go to bed early, it is nice to sit outside, etc... Discovering our unit change last minute when everyone has flights and is excited is upsetting to say the least especially with no explanation or apology

Ty1on
 

okwiater

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Okwaiter, this may seem like "first world problems" but this villa is amazing. It has a private pool, jacuzzi, grill and sitting area. It was for these that we purchased this unit. Having small children that go to bed early, it is nice to sit outside, etc... Discovering our unit change last minute when everyone has flights and is excited is upsetting to say the least especially with no explanation or apology

Cacoon - As an owner of a 3-bedroom pool villa myself, I totally understand where you are coming from. We have small children too, and love being able to sit outside when they are down for a nap or in bed. We would be very disappointed to learn that a confirmed reservation for our unit had been substituted at the last moment.

But even so, while I can enthusiastically join you in criticizing the significant lapse in customer service, I'm not really sure what else you expect Starwood to do. I can sympathize that you probably don't feel made whole, but real estate needs frequent upkeep and you quite simply got unlucky. Is there something else aside from better communication that should have been done?

okwiater - From your many posts defending Starwood in the past, it is clear to me that you are going to side with Starwood, even when another owner gets shabby treatment.

That's not an entirely fair assessment. I have no issue being critical of Starwood, but it's possible that I have a different way of approaching and resolving problems.

In this case, I have criticized what appear to be preventable lapses in customer service -- but that appears to be the extent of what Starwood could have changed. The rest is just expressed disappointment about a turn of events that is always an inherent possibility especially with tropical real estate. If there are additional constructive suggestions about what else Starwood could reasonably do next time to improve the outcome, I am open to hearing them.

By the way, a similar (but I would contend, WORSE) situation happened to me while visiting WKV 2 years ago for Thanksgiving. The resort had scheduled a resurfacing of the entire main pool and pool deck for 2 weeks after our reservation, but we found out at check-in that they had bumped it up with no notice, such that it interrupted all but 1 day of our entire stay. From 7am until 7pm every day, loud power saws and other tools could be heard. A thick cloud of cement dust hung in the air across the entire resort. The remaining pools and recreation areas were basically unusable. It all but "ruined" our trip, and I immediately complained to Starwood and to the resort's GM.

All that said, Starwood's Resolution Services department immediately refunded all of the StarOptions associated with the days that the pool was being resurfaced, and also offered to move us to SDO. In addition, the GM personally apologized to us, brought us a bottle of wine and a children's book for the kids, and issued us a gift certificate for 2 free nights the next time we stayed. Did it in any way make us whole? No, of course it didn't. But, the work needed to be done, and nobody did anything with the intent to wrong us. Having made our criticism known to Starwood and to the resort's management, we decided we weren't going to wallow in self-pity any longer, and decided to make the best of it.

I'm glad the OP contacted Suzanne Clark - hopefully this will change the way resort management handles this situation in the future.

I couldn't agree with you more! :)
 

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As a pool villa owner I can understand why the OP is upset. I would too, but at this point it is what it is...

Aren't VGV MF higher than BV? Perhaps Starwood can also compensate the OP with a credit that equals the maintenance fee difference.

BTW - My villa has a summer week that is owned by Starwood. That week is used to perform scheduled/preventive maintenance. Reactive maintenance is a different and complicated issue that unavoidably will create issues...
 

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Yes, I do hope that customer service improves with regards to notifying displaced guests. I had made many calls with no answers. When did our room assignment change, who changed it, our villa isn't scheduled for updates until 2016 so why now, why weren't we notified? I kept getting now where. Different answers, pointing fingers at anyone else. My husband even wondered if they booked someone else in our room due to all of the unknown. Many un-returned phone calls..... Myself along with all other Westin owners deserve a bit more respect. Being moved last minute is one thing but every day that goes by not knowing what is going on is unexceptable.
 

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My husband even wondered if they booked someone else in our room due to all of the unknown.

I would definitely visit the unit during the week to see what is really going on.

Did Suzanne Clark respond?
 
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