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Redweek Newsletter Updated Rental Policy - Covid19

CPNY

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Anyone else get the newsletter this morning from redweek? It seems they have a new function allowing renters to contact owners directly. They also stated they “have always tried to be fair and advocate on the side of the owners” LOL. It seems that pandemics are no longer an excuse to cancel a rental. Sure... now that the first wave has seemed to be peaking. Unreal. Too little too late. They chose to screw over their owners first THEN protect them in the future.

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djyamyam

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Yah, I got the same. I thought it was pretty hypocritical of them on this statement: "We’ve always tried to be fair and serve as an advocate of owners" for those that used the full service offering and whose renters were told by RW to dispute to get a refund. Not sure how that's advocating for owners.
 

vacationtime1

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I cannot imagine the circumstances that would entice an owner to ever trust Redweek in any capacity other than as an advertising platform.

Redweek re-wrote rental escrow agreements without owners' consent (permitting cancellation of "strict" no cancellation rentals and refunding money held in escrow), re-wrote its agreement with the owners who used its escrow service (ignoring the arbitration clause), and now tells us that it is even better than ever. imho, Redweek is not worthy of our trust.

Full disclosure: I have no dog in this fight. I do advertise on Redweek, although I have never used its escrow services. But I am horrified by Redweek's unilateral actions made without notice. (This is not to say that owners and renters should not reach other arrangements when possible, only that Redweek should not have substituted its judgment for a written contract.)
 
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TXTortoise

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The following has also been added to the rental agreement:

"IMPORTANT: For rental agreements signed on or after April 8, 2020, the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is considered a foreseeable risk. The renter, by digitally signing this agreement, hereby acknowledges and accepts the risk that the pandemic may prevent travel or occupancy of the rental unit, and that this will not serve as a basis for requesting a refund. This clause specifically removes the obligation of the owner to provide a habitable unit as described in sections 2 and 12, if the cause is due to the Coronavirus pandemic."
 

chapjim

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I cannot imagine the circumstances that would entice an owner to ever trust Redweek in any capacity other than as an advertising platform.

Redweek re-wrote rental escrow agreements without owners' consent (permitting cancellation of "strict" no cancellation rentals and refunding money held in escrow), re-wrote its agreement with the owners who used its escrow service (ignoring the arbitration clause), and now tells us that it is even better than ever. imho, Redweek is not worthy of our trust.

Full disclosure: I have no dog in this fight. I do advertise on Redweek, although I have never used its escrow services. But I am horrified by Redweek's unilateral actions made without notice. (This is not to say that owners and renters should not reach other arrangements when possible, only that Redweek should not have substituted its judgment for a written contract.)

Agree 100%. I've never used RedWeek.com in any other fashion and recent developments have only convinced me that I should continue like that.

Edit: I shouldn't make categorical statements like that without thinking. I did use their escrow service once. I entertained too many negative fantasies about my renter complaining about something totally out of my control -- front desk staff dissing someone, something like that. It didn't happen and I was paid according to RW's policy. I didn't like being anxious. As far as their misnamed "full service," never had and never will. Well, there I go again making categorical statements!
 
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montygz

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For someone looking to rent a timeshare, the "full-service rental" option was a to minimize perceived risk. Many people would never rent a timeshare from some timeshare owner they don't know, but they would do it from an organization with a positive reputation and a track record, like Redweek.

One of the keys to get people traveling again is to let them do it with confidence. Confidence means they can book without the fear of losing their money if there is another COVID flareup.

A policy where a renter suddenly has to negotiate with a timeshare owner is not a good solution for Redweek. One of the key reasons renters use Redweek is so they don't have to talk to the actual owner.

When a negotiation between a timeshare owner and renter goes south, the renter is going to turn to Redweek for satisfaction. Redweek will end up being the loser again no matter what.

I think a better solution for Redwood would be to only allow timeshare owners who agree to refund into full-service listings system. Timeshare owners that rent these would know they are not going to get their money if there is another outbreak. They can decide whether to self-insure or perhaps buy insurance to protect themselves.

Full-service listings would likely cost more, but there would be clear differentiation between rentals with some protection and those with none. You could add several warning screens to the nonprotected listings.

Some may argue that renters should be the ones responsible for buying insurance. That sounds great in theory, but in reality, you're more likely to end up with a mob of angry consumers that burn you to the ground and still get their money back.
 

CPNY

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For someone looking to rent a timeshare, the "full-service rental" option was a to minimize perceived risk. Many people would never rent a timeshare from some timeshare owner they don't know, but they would do it from an organization with a positive reputation and a track record, like Redweek.

One of the keys to get people traveling again is to let them do it with confidence. Confidence means they can book without the fear of losing their money if there is another COVID flareup.

A policy where a renter suddenly has to negotiate with a timeshare owner is not a good solution for Redweek. One of the key reasons renters use Redweek is so they don't have to talk to the actual owner.

When a negotiation between a timeshare owner and renter goes south, the renter is going to turn to Redweek for satisfaction. Redweek will end up being the loser again no matter what.

I think a better solution for Redwood would be to only allow timeshare owners who agree to refund into full-service listings system. Timeshare owners that rent these would know they are not going to get their money if there is another outbreak. They can decide whether to self-insure or perhaps buy insurance to protect themselves.

Full-service listings would likely cost more, but there would be clear differentiation between rentals with some protection and those with none. You could add several warning screens to the nonprotected listings.

Some may argue that renters should be the ones responsible for buying insurance. That sounds great in theory, but in reality, you're more likely to end up with a mob of angry consumers that burn you to the ground and still get their money back.
You can set your cancellation policy with full service. The renter decides whether they want to go with a full service non refundable, a full service moderate or flexible cancellation, or they can reach out to an owner directly. The full service is protection that there is an actual reservation and if in fact it was a scam where the renter showed up with no reservation they would have protection there. Non refundable is no different that booking a non refundable rate through any travel site or hotel chain directly. You assume the risk on the type of reservation you book. Usually there are price savings to take the risk. My rental was 500-1000 lower than others with flexible. The renter decided to take the cost savings and book the non refundable. In my case I worked with the renter to set up a new date in August.
 

stslc

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I now find myself in this conundrum. I rented a week beginning June 27th at MOC. The renter has not cancelled. As far as I know, MOC is still open for check in. We are now inside 60 days so I am unable to reschedule for another week. The terms of the Redweek full service agreement are “non-refundable inside 60 days”

What are others doing/recommending in this situation? Allowing for a full refund? Splitting the rent with renter? Sucking up the loss?
 

DanCali

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You can set your cancellation policy with full service. The renter decides whether they want to go with a full service non refundable, a full service moderate or flexible cancellation, or they can reach out to an owner directly. The full service is protection that there is an actual reservation and if in fact it was a scam where the renter showed up with no reservation they would have protection there.

There are dozens of people (including me) who had set cancelation policies strict, moderate, or flexible. All of those are "non-refundable" at less than 60 days. But many got burnt because RedWeek held the money in escrow and got to make up new rules as they went along.

To me, it's much easier to use my own contract, set fair policies in writing, and collect the rental money up front for peace of mind.
 
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