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StayPC/Vacation Candy Demanding Repayment for Rental

TDS

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FWIW, I've had a different experience than many here after receiving the original (poor) message and a second (better) message. I have received email correspondence from VC almost daily as we try to provide a replacement week to the renter. Its not resolved yet, but my interactions since the first email have been cordial and timely. I have noticed that each message I received was from a different representative, but messaging and awareness of prior communication has been consistent.

In the course of our correspondence, I was asked if I would consider offering a partial refund, and if so, what I would offer. I responded that I preferred offering a replacement week (and offered several options) and would only consider a partial refund if VC indicated that they would also
provide an equivalent refund from their broker fee. I indicated that there are three parties affected in this matter and all three should contribute to the resolution if any refund was considered (and noted that based on their contract and website, no refund was required and thus any refund that would be offered would be an act of good will). They did not indicate whether they would refund any of the broker fee - we are currently working to try to confirm an acceptable replacement week.
 

grgs

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The renter was very happy I contacted him. He said he has been trying to contact Vacation Candy all week, but no one is returning his calls, and just assumed he lost both his money and his reservation. I find it really sad these companies are doing this to the people that rented from them! Maybe they are just way behind, and are making an effort to contact everyone, but I really have my doubts.
I find it interesting that the renter had not been able to reach VC either. I wonder how many of their clients have actually been requesting reimbursement, and how many have not been able to get through to them.

I assume the renter took you up on your offer to reschedule the week?
 

grgs

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They did not indicate whether they would refund any of the broker fee - we are currently working to try to confirm an acceptable replacement week.
I'm glad that your recent interactions have been positive. Had they just asked me to cancel the existing reservation, I would also have worked to find a replacement week.
 

grupp

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After reading others replies, I realize what lying pieces of crap the reps are at VacationCandy. Here is the wording from the second email they sent me.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a tough situation for all parties involved, this is why we are reaching out to all of our owners asking for a full refund. While we would not typically reach out to make these types of requests, we are aware that this is an unprecedented time and wanted to pass along our guest's request. If you have any questions, as always, feel free to let us know!

This gives the impression they are asking every owner to refund the full amount, which is clearly not the case. So, the first email the sent me was a threat and the second was a lie. I take back what I said before, I sincerely hope they go under as a result of their mismanagement of this situation.

I am sure VacationCandy is aware of this thread and it would be nice if they would jump in and provide some type of explanation of their actions
 
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grgs

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So, the first email the sent me was a threat and the second was a lie.
What dates did your receive your emails? Just curious as to when the wording may have changed on their emails.

I received the first email on Mar. 20 (the day before check in) and the second one yesterday (Mar. 25).
 

Pipercub925

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Yes, the renter was very, very happy to be able to reschedule! He said he had been trying to contact them for awhile, but had not received a call back or an email. He purchased the travel insurance Vacation Candy recommended. He said his dad, who was traveling with him does have a medical issue, which they spoke to their doctor about and got a letter from saying that he should not travel since he has this medical condition, but the insurance company would not accept it. I still have only received the first email that was sent out. I have left emails and voicemails all week, saying I would like to work with the renter to reschedule, but have yet to hear from them. I would of thought they could of sent out some type of email to the renters as well as the owners. At this point I am fine if I never here back from them, since I was able to contact the renter. Just from my experience, I don't know that I would care to ever do business with them again, but hopefully other owners or renters will have a more positive response from them, then we did.
 

grupp

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The first last Friday the 20th (day before check in) and the second today.
 

Pipercub925

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I received the one and only email on Friday, March 20th, 2020. The other two emails I have only seen posted here on Tug, I haven't actually received either one of them. The reservation itself is right around the beginning of April, so maybe they are contacting owners or renters based on the reservation date. I just find it odd that they could not have time to respond to one of my emails or calls.
 

grgs

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The first last Friday the 20th (day before check in) and the second today.
Ok, I see why you're upset. Your second email was sent after my second one, and they say they're still asking all owners for a full refund.
 

grupp

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Exactly! Funny thing is I currently have 15 weeks listed on their website, so they could make some decent money even if they rented half of them. I list around 25 weeks with them there every year as well as on other websites. But now they will make nothing in the future from my rentals.

I have rented four weeks for next March in the last three weeks (including one in the last hour) non of which where through VacationCandy. Which indicates to me that what is going on now, will likely have little impact on future direct rentals.
 

Quilter

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I haven't heard anything from VacationCandy about my upcoming rentals. The guests may have bought the trip insurance and there's no issue. I'd like to know before scrambling at the last minute to come up with a solution. I've received all payments so that's not an issue.
 

grupp

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Over they years, I have had very good experiences with StayPC/VacationCandy, so I hate to keep bashing them on this but I will anyway.

I think it would go a long way toward creating goodwill with the renters if they would immediately refund their broker fee to the 700 renters, instead of trying to intimate the owners into refunding the money. I don’t know if they have done this or not, but based on what others have posted it appears they have not.

They are not contractually obligated to provide the refund of their fees. But the airline industry is not obligated to waive change fees, but they realize it is their best in interest in the long term to do so. They get it and VacationCandy clearly does not.

If you go by the 700 rentals they claim are impacted it seems likely that they could do 6,000 rentals annually. At $500 each means they generate 3 million annually. Not bad for a “small team” with limited overhead expenses. So, they can certainly afford to suck it up an make the refunds if they wanted.

Their apology is also total BS. The initial email that was sent was clearly written with the input from legal counsel as a deliberate attempt to try and intimidate the owners. They know the contract they created was not in their favor in this situation and attempted a strong arm tactic. In my opinion, the only thing they are sorry about is that it didn’t work and the negative backlash.
 

chapjim

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Has anyone taken VC's initial email (the one with all the stuff about frustration of purpose and impossibility) to an attorney who practices contract law?
 

ocdb8r

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If you go by the 700 rentals they claim are impacted it seems likely that they could do 6,000 rentals annually. At $500 each means they generate 3 million annually. Not bad for a “small team” with limited overhead expenses. So, they can certainly afford to suck it up an make the refunds if they wanted.
This was my thought exactly when I saw the letter posted here! Lots of sympathy for a "small team" pulling in 3mil a year in commission fees.
 

grupp

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I have not had a lawyer review as they have essentially backed off their original position. Here is the full text of the e-mail the sent me yesterday March 26, which seems to contradict what they have told others.

We hope this email finds you well, and hope you are safe and healthy during these trying times.

This global pandemic has caught everyone off guard within and beyond our industry and we wanted to apologize for the wording of our email requesting a refund. The wording in this email has caused a negative experience and does not foster the owner experience we look to create as we value the business relationship we have with each of our owners.

Due to this evolving crisis and many obstacles (e.g. recent travel bans, state lockdowns, border closings, DOJ orders, physician recommendations, etcetera), our guest has advised they won't be able to travel. It is also important to note that many resorts have been rendered virtually closed outside of the units themselves due to the virus, and the panic that we are all experiencing means that many are not traveling.

The current COVID-19 pandemic is a tough situation for all parties involved, this is why we are reaching out to all of our owners asking for a full refund. While we would not typically reach out to make these types of requests, we are aware that this is an unprecedented time and wanted to pass along our guest's request. If you have any questions, as always, feel free to let us know!”
 

Quilter

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Full refund is unreasonable.

VacationCandy has rent, salaries, overhead.

Owners who make VacationCandy’s business viable have rent, salary (even if it’s their own) and overhead. Without a substantial investment of money and time on the part of the owners VacationCandy wouldn’t even have a business to run.

Renters go to VacationCandy to secure a nice timeshare unit without the gamble on ownership. They are advised to get insurance. Only they know of preexisting medical condition that could cause extra issues during a widespread virus situation. I had 3 renters with preexisting medical conditions within their travel party. I was never told by any of them of the condition. All 3 made contracts AFTER the virus was well documented in the news.

Everyone is a partner to the process.

If there is any refund it should reflect responsibility on the part of the renter and VacationCandy as being partners in a loss.

Are renters and VacationCandy expecting us owners to spend resources and time with no salary?

Would you expect an appliance repair person to service your dryer only to find out it was a problem with the electrical panel and then want a refund for the service call? No, because he had to have invested in the resources to provide the service and take the time to answer your calls and come to your house.
 

SteelerGal

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I have been working w/ VC and was negotiating a partial return to the renter. Then today, I get a stern email indicating since it’s uninhabitable, full refund is required. Umm, my email trail indicated the amount I agreed to refund since I could not get a 2bdrm for the replacement week. Sorry, I rather deal w/ the renter.
If I am giving a full refund, VC should as well.
 

TXTortoise

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I've used them exclusively for about three years now, and while their usual customer service is awesome, they are a small shop, so now understand why I haven't heard back.

I sent them an inquiry last Wednesday (marked non-urgent) about how they were handling the current situation, as I was thinking about my Jan-Feb 2021 rentals..then I found this thread.

Since I rent fixed winter weeks on Maui, there is no option to reschedule a week. Of many questions I sent them, the key one is whether they are modifying their contracts to specifically exclude refunds for pandemics and all the other exceptions travelers are running into.

If anyone manages to rent a future week anytime soon, it might be worth seeing if the wording has changed.

The only two phrases that I think are open to discussion is the 'Act of God' exception and the requirement to provide alternative accommodations, if the booked unit is unavailable.
 

Quilter

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I have been working w/ VC and was negotiating a partial return to the renter. Then today, I get a stern email indicating since it’s uninhabitable, full refund is required. Umm, my email trail indicated the amount I agreed to refund since I could not get a 2bdrm for the replacement week. Sorry, I rather deal w/ the renter.
If I am giving a full refund, VC should as well.
I would verify that it’s uninhabitable.

We’ve been at a resort in Florida since 3/7. We’ve watched activities get removed. Pools still open. However if they close this is still not a hardship. Yes, it’s not resort as usual but the landscaping is beautiful, the neighborhood is nice for a walk, the birds sing. I’m finding loveliness in the limits. It beats back in the DTW area.

what type of location is your timeshare located?
 

Cyberc

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Now I haven't used this specific rental broker I have however rented myself personally.

I always states in the contract that the rental is non-refundable and that i'm as an owner is not responsible for any operational changes at the resort.

I do however acknowledge that this is a very unfortunate time for everyone and will try and work with my renter to try and reschedule their vacation.

As with a lot of other business transactions it all depends on the contract.
 
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