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New RCI cancellation/insurance policy

michelle

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This from Madge in the Ask RCI forum:
(full thread: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16733)

Scott,

RCI has decided to discontinue its partnership with BerkelyCare and has created a new product completely tailored to the RCI exchange program. The name of our new product is Cancellation Protection. This may not have been the product that was featured in the e-mail you received; however, it is the current offering. If you can still find the e-mail you received, would you please forward it to feedback@rci.com and enter TUG - Cancellation Protection in the subject line? I'd like to verify which program was being offered.

Cancellation Protection may be purchased up to 30 days past the date of confirmation or up to 14 days before the travel date, whichever occurs first. You may request a refund up to 14 days after it is purchased; however, no refunds will be given if it is cancelled 14 days or less from the travel start date.

The cost of Cancellation Protection is $49 USD, and it will apply to cancellations made for any reason to one-for-one exchanges. Upon cancellation, the purchasers' deposited weeks receive full restoration of Trading Power, and a $49 USD exchange credit is posted to the RCI accounts. The original exchange fees are not reimbursed under the plan.

Cancellation Protection is not available for Extra Vacations, Last Call, or any other vacation that does not require a deposited week. A significant benefit of this program is the restoration of Trading Power, which would not apply to Extra Vacations.

Since we no longer need to partner with an insurance provider, this product should soon be available to Canadian members as well. It is administered in-house and provided specifically to RCI members. While initially this offer is only available to RCI Weeks members, it will be available to Points members in some form in the near future.

What to you think?
 

JLB

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It sounds almost good.

The not good part is not refunding the full exchange fee. That seems pretty greedy since they are going to get another one when you make another exchange.
 

Avery

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How about the fact that what they're really doing is charging you for the restoration of full trading power, which they are responsible for you penalizing you on in the first place. Like the value of the originally deposited week has been affected by your cancellation... NOT. This is just another way for RCI to charge extra fees; the penalization on trading power has never been fair, and is totally within RCI's control. Now, if you're willing to pay them "protection," they won't screw you quite as bad. I don't like it at all! :mad:
 

boyblue

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In stead of 30 days past the date of confirmation or up to 14 days before the travel date, I would have liked to seen just "up to 14 days before travel".
 

Carolinian

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DAE has a similar but better product

This seems to be a more expensive but watered down version of DAE's CPO, which has been offered for some time.

DAE only charges US$16.

With DAE, you get your week credit fully restored, AND a full credit for your exchange fee if you need to cancel for any reason.

DAE is both cheaper and better.
 

marsha77

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Insurance

Seems kinda crappy to me. We should paid $50.00, to get $50.00 back, plus our week, which RCI cancels? Or am I missing something? :confused:
 

Aldo

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My God, these people at Cendant have no shame.

They make the reservations, and people get all geared up to go on vacation.

Then Cendant cancels for reservations...they've done a lot of that lately, haven't they?

However, pay them an extra $50, you'll be "insured."

Notice how they are selling insurance in-house to cover for their own activities and/or mismanagement?
 

JLB

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There are many reasons for cancellations and without knowing the specific reason in each case I will not fault RCI. I will not make a blanket accusation for something for which I have no facts.

I do not feel as uneasy about taking issue with how they respond to the cancellations, how they treat their customers/members/subscribers. You cannot always control the circumstances but you can almost always control how you react to the circumstances.

So, for me it is simple. The best, most customer-friendly policy would be to make their customer whole whenever a vacation is cancelled for a reason the customer had nothing to do with. The best, most customer-friendly policy would be to refund the exchange fee and replace the week that was used to make the exchange (with full trading power). That should have been done all along at no extra expense, as a standard operating procedure.

Then they should make available an additional insurance product to recoup the other prepaid expenses. That would have a premium.

For cancellations made by the customer, the policy now in place is fine, but it could be more friendly, too.

Jenny and I ran a business for more than 20 years. Sure, not as big as Cendant, but we had competition up and down the aisle every weekend. Our customer service policy was pretty simple~~~post your policies and make them fair~~~never argue with a customer.

We made a few refunds that others never would have. We stayed in business while others came and went. We did not count the money we made first. We counted the friends we made and those we made happy with our product first.

If we got a shirt back, we made sure it was OK and resold it, or marked it down and pointed out the blem. So we were even-steven, with a little extra work. If RCI books another exchange because they give your week and exchange fee back then they, too, are even-steven, with a little extra work.

If someone was not happy, we tried to make them happy.

I'm sure you have dealt with businesses like that, businesses that you could not wait to go back to, that you went out of your way to visit. We like that business model much better that businesses you dread, ones where you cross your fingers and hope things go OK, because you fear having to deal with them if it does not.

Sure, we miss the money we used to make, but we had over 25000 customers on our mailing list, people we saw in person somewhere every year. There's a lot of folks we miss.

There aren't many successful Soup Nazi's. :D
 

Carolinian

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When RCI cancels exchanges on people, and then they find the same weeks being offered for rental, as has happened to several people, something is definitely wrong at RCI. When RCI cancells exchanges, and the excuse they give is discovered to be bogus, as has also happended to several folks, then again something is definitely wrong at RCI.

I don't think it is at all fair for them to extort $50 from members to guarantee against RCI's or even a resort's screwups. This is just wrong.

I have never seen a written policy, but I do know of one actual situation on the OBX with a June exchange comfirmation, where DAE had a glitch where they confirmed for a unit that was not reopen (although the overall resort was) from a hurricane and they had sourced a replacement rental unit on the OBX for their member at their own expense as a replacement. This was the UK office of DAE. There seems to be a vast gulf between levels of customer service at DAE and those at RCI.
 
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Leturno

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michelle said:
This from Madge in the Ask RCI forum:
(full thread: http://www.tugbbs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16733)



What to you think?

I was the one who asked the original question that Madge was responding to. Her answers are not comforting to me at all. Especially since none of her answers cover Extra Vacations and that is what I had that RCI emailed me on and said I should call one of their VC to be protected:
"You've just confirmed a vacation to SARASOTA SANDS. To ensure your vacation is protected in the event of a cancellation, contact an RCI Guide at 1-800-338-7777. "

Since there is no protection available, it not only doesn't make sense that I would get this message, it is a bit disturbing.

As I said in my post in Ask RCI, I will just have to relax and try not to stress and hope for the best. I don't think I could buy insurance for these Extra Vacations now, even if it were offered, and there appears to be no protection against RCI's customer service and cancellation policies available.

Scott
 

huestous

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Carolinian said:
I don't think it is at all fair for them to extort $50 from members to guarantee against RCI's or even a resort's screwups. This is just wrong.
There seems to be a great deal of agreement on this point.

Those of us who are members of RCI should let them know how we feel about this policy. I doubt that any changes will take place unless members inform RCI of the specific issues that they have with the company, and unless they are willing to take their business elsewhere.
 

philemer

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Carolinian said:
This seems to be a more expensive but watered down version of DAE's CPO, which has been offered for some time.

DAE only charges US$16.

With DAE, you get your week credit fully restored, AND a full credit for your exchange fee if you need to cancel for any reason.

DAE is both cheaper and better.

Sure, but DAE can't get me 3 weeks in Hawaii each January. The 'little guy' has to do a few things better to entice people to deposit their weeks.

Phil

On topic, this new 'offer' from RCI sucks. Paying $49 MORE to get your trade power returned!! :( If you own from 2 to 8 weeks this plan is worth considering. http://www.vacationguard.com/plan.cfm
 

Carolinian

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philemer said:
Sure, but DAE can't get me 3 weeks in Hawaii each January. The 'little guy' has to do a few things better to entice people to deposit their weeks.

Phil

On topic, this new 'offer' from RCI sucks. Paying $49 MORE to get your trade power returned!! :( If you own from 2 to 8 weeks this plan is worth considering. http://www.vacationguard.com/plan.cfm

To get your 3 or 4 weeks in Hawaii, the independent you should be using is Hawaii Timeshare Exchange - HTSE - www.htse.net

I am sure that the $49 must be ''per exchange''
 

philemer

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Carolinian said:
To get your 3 or 4 weeks in Hawaii, the independent you should be using is Hawaii Timeshare Exchange - HTSE - www.htse.net

I am sure that the $49 must be ''per exchange''

Yes, I'm sure it's $49 per. I've investigated HTSE and may use them too. I also use TPI a lot, along with RCI & SFX.

Phil
 

JudyS

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Well, if RCI really means that this insurance allows you to get your deposited week back with full trade power if you cancel for *any* reason, then it might be worthwhile to buy when snagging a desirable week that is way out in the future. If it turns out that you couldn't vacation then, you would have lost only the exchange fee (which admittedly is not that small.)

On the other hand, if RCI wants people to buy this as protection against RCI canceling an exchange, that that stinks.

Scott, I'm no RCI expert, but the wording of the email you posted didn't make me think that RCI was planning to cancel your reservation, just tryingt o make some extra money on insurance.
 

Leturno

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JudyS said:
...
On the other hand, if RCI wants people to buy this as protection against RCI canceling an exchange, that that stinks.

Scott, I'm no RCI expert, but the wording of the email you posted didn't make me think that RCI was planning to cancel your reservation, just tryingt o make some extra money on insurance.

Judy,

I did not take it as 'they were planning to cancel' either. But the fact that as part of a marketing piece I would receive a message telling me to call to protect incase of cancellation makes me uneasy. If someone said, call them to protect you from something bad happening and you knew they wanted money, well it may be just me but I have this sinking feeling that they are telling me that my weeks will be at risk if I do not call them. For those of us in Chicago that also use to be called 'protection'. Then finding out that there is no such insurance available to cover extra vacations, what exactly were they planning to sell me? What exactly have they been selling to people with Extra Vacation reservations before? I hope nobody purchased the BerklyCare insurance for their Extra Vacations, that would have been a waste of money.

I have to stop participating in these 'insurance threads'. Even if insurance was available I doubt I could purchase it just a few weeks out. I just have to relax and hope for the best. The more I participate the more stressed I get, and there appears nothing I could do if RCI cancels on my parents.

Scott
 

JudyS

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Leturno said:
Judy,

I did not take it as 'they were planning to cancel' either. But the fact that as part of a marketing piece I would receive a message telling me to call to protect incase of cancellation makes me uneasy. If someone said, call them to protect you from something bad happening and you knew they wanted money, well it may be just me but I have this sinking feeling that they are telling me that my weeks will be at risk if I do not call them. For those of us in Chicago that also use to be called 'protection'. Then finding out that there is no such insurance available to cover extra vacations, what exactly were they planning to sell me? What exactly have they been selling to people with Extra Vacation reservations before? I hope nobody purchased the BerklyCare insurance for their Extra Vacations, that would have been a waste of money....

I agree with everything that you say here, Scott. I just wanted to make sure that you didn't think your particular reservation was at special risk, because I would guess that it's not.

I'm not sure that I would ever buy an Extra Vacation from RCI. I feel that if you are buying something with cash (as opposed to trading a week), you should have the same protections against the resort canceling as if you were renting from them directly. However, it seems that RCI disagress.
 

Mel

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This is hpw it now looks to me:

You have a confirmed exchange, and either pay for the insurance, or not.

1 - If you cancel your vacations, under both situations you get your week back. With the insurance, you get back what you paid for the insurance, and presumably any fee you paid above the cancelation fee (more than 60 days out). Without the insurance, you also get back an excess fees. In other words, your out of pocket expense is exactly the same.

Assuming your trade power is reduced by cancelling an exchange, the benefit of the insurance is restored trade power. Since it doesn't effictively cost you anything in this situation, it is a good deal if you have a better than even chance of cancelling.

2 - Your vacation is in an area where there may be a natural disaster. RCI doesn't have to give your week back without the insurance, but they usually do, or try to accomodate you elsewhere. If they change that policy, insurance in hurrican or flood-prone areas might be adviseable.

3 - You don't canel your vacation. Thus your vacation now costs $50 more. If you're not likely to cancel for any reason, and the resort is not likely to be closed in an emergency, it doesn't seem worth it to me.
 

JudyS

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Scott, you may want to read this thread about someone whose Extra Vacation was canceled and got his money back by disputing with his credit card. RCI tried to rebill the rental fee to his RCI account, but relented when he mailed them the applicable part of the state's consumer protection law.
 
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