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To rescind or not to rescind

fsinner

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Sheraton Flex
Hi, my wife and I were at the Sheraton Vistana Villages over the weekend and we ended up purchasing the following:
  • Sheraton Flex - bienniel for 7 night @ 51700 points
  • Paid $12k including closing
  • HOA = $550
This deal came with:
  • 140,000 Bonvoy points
  • 12 getaway weeks
  • Lifetime Gold at Marriott/Sheraton
We didn't buy a "home unit"; we were told that our points have no blackout dates and no restrictions. In fact, when they sold us, they showed us a map with destinations in each country around the world and said we can use our points to book anywhere in the world. Also, the 12 getaway weeks got us discounted weeks at any Marriott/SPG hotel. All of that sounds great!

My question is... was this all BS? Did they leave out anything about how impossible it is to get a reservation for Hawaii or Atlantis or St. John during spring break or Thanksgiving? Did they leave out anything about how the points don't really buy us much? I'm within the 10 day rescind period, but if there's real value in keeping this package, I don't mind it. But wanted to see how much of this is real and how much is hype/BS.

Thanks guys!
 

fsinner

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Have a look at this chart what your points will get you.
See... in the 2 hours we were there, they NEVER showed us this chart. But the sales guy promised me (since I asked him this directly) that the same amounts of points would apply per resort all throughout the year per resort. For example: Orland, SC, etc. - 1 bedroom for 1 week = 35000 points. St. Johns would be higher (like 41000 points). And Hawaii is the highest (at 81000 points). I understand the need for different amount of points based on resort location. But I was told that the number of points would be the same for all 52 weeks with no blackouts or restrictions as part of the new Flex program.

So... are you telling me that they point blank lied? If so, I'm rescinding tomorrow... no question. My wife works at a school and goes to India all summer; our vacations revolve around school schedules and I don't want to be worrying about peak times and such.
 
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blahblah18

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Rescind asap. It's a bad deal.

The minimum points value that you'd ever want in Vistana is 67,100 ... which still only gets you a hotel room or a small 1BR for a week at popular resorts or during peak times. You'll be very frustrated with less than that.

You'll never be able to re-sell what they've sold you, should you want to. All of the benefits of their "Flex" program vanish if you try to get rid of it, rendering it worthless.

Instead, you can buy a resale timeshare at Sheraton Vistana Villages (but only at one of the "mandatory" phases of SVV) ... which gives you 81,000 Options annually (which you can get very good use out of across all of Vistana's network).

You can typically buy one of those - resale - for under $1000. That gives you a lot more, for a much much lower price.

I've been tempted by the hotel points promos that they've thrown in front of me, but don't bite. The math is bad. 140,000 Bonvoy points (about 46,000 SPG points, back in the good old days) might get you a one week stay in a decent hotel. You can pay for a week's stay in the same decent hotel and still come out thousands and thousands of dollars ahead. And Gold status in the Marriott Bonvoy hotel program really doesn't carry that much value. If you really want it, just get and use the Bonvoy American Express card instead.
 

fsinner

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Thanks @blahblah18 But I really do want to confirm: even in the Flex program, the number of points needed at any given resort... does it change based on the week you book or is it the same for all 52 weeks. We were told it was the latter. Is that true or false?
 

blahblah18

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I don't know the specifics of Sheraton Flex, so hopefully someone else can chime in here with details for you.

I'm positive, though, that a resale purchase of an SVV unit with 81,000 StarOptions annually - for probably less than $1000 - will give you way better use and value than what they've sold you. (Or you there are other even better options, too -- all still substantial savings for you.)

Suggest you check out the sticky postings at the top of the forum. The recommendations from all of the experts here are consistent: (1) never buy from the developer, (2) always, always, always rescind, and (3) instead purchase resale (at a massive discount from the developer price) at one of their "Mandatory" resorts.

We were in a similar boat to you a few years ago, although it was a regular ownership they sold us rather than "Sheraton Flex". We stumbled across this site shortly afterwards, rescinded immediately, and now own three Vistana weeks that we purchased resale - at a fraction of what the initial one-week 'developer price' was. We've had great use out of our ownership. (And, now that I know better, you couldn't even give me what they'd initially sold to us -- for any price.)
 

DannyTS

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as blahblah18 said, you can buy a 2 bedroom platinum season 81,000 Staroptions at SVV Bella. You would pay the same, around $550 in MF for a EOY contract and get 60% more points than the one you just bought!

The prices have gone up a little bit, you can get EY for under 2k and EOY for about 1k or less, including all costs.

the developers like to throw all those freebies to confuse and to make it seem like a good value.
-140,000 Bonvoy points are worth around $1200
- the gold membership is nice to have if you do not pay for it but it is not worth more than few hundred dollars at best.
- I am not sure what the getaways mean but i assume they are limited in time and mostly places where you do not want to go so you will not be able to use 12 weeks, maybe 2-3 max, a value of 1k maybe

When you put all this together you realize that you are grossly overpaying for something that does not have a lot of usage value because of the low number of points you are buying.

You should also do some research concerning EOY vs EY contracts. The Vistana EOY contracts come with limitations, I think in most cases EY contracts work better. Let's say you have an even year contract. You cannot use your points to travel in odd years and that may require some additional planning. I do not own EOY contracts with Staroptions though, others may want to help here with more details, I just wanted you to be aware of that.
 

Venter

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Thanks @blahblah18 But I really do want to confirm: even in the Flex program, the number of points needed at any given resort... does it change based on the week you book or is it the same for all 52 weeks. We were told it was the latter. Is that true or false?
It is true what they told you but also not true.
If you look at Hawaii you will see there is only one season and therefore it is true. This is because, in Hawaii all weeks are high season. However, all the other resorts have different seasons and therefore it is also not true.
On top of considering the season you will see that it also depends on the size of the villa.
 

Markus

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Thanks @blahblah18 But I really do want to confirm: even in the Flex program, the number of points needed at any given resort... does it change based on the week you book or is it the same for all 52 weeks. We were told it was the latter. Is that true or false?
The short answer is Yes!

I would rescind and do as others have suggested. I would buy an annual Sheraton Vistana Villages 81,000 2 bed non lock off platinum week in phases Key West or Bella. These are the only phases that get you the StarOptions. You will have enough StarOptions to book a 1 bedroom unit in any week at any resort. This is the magic number you need.

With this ownership, you will learn the inns and outs of the system, and you will maximize your enjoyment at a fraction of the cost. You will not have all the bells and whistles, like free Bonvoy points and gold membership, but those can come later when you once again meet the developer for a sales pitch. However you will have more experience, and will be ready to make an informed decision.

Best of luck.

Markus
 

DannyTS

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i think you also have to have in mind the resale value in case you ever want to. If you buy SVV Bella platinum season and want to sell in few years, chances are your loss will be minimum and you can do it relatively fast. If you try to get rid of the contract you just bought, not only you will not get anything for it, most likely you will have to PAY to transfer it, probably add incentives like free usage for that year. So it may cost you 1k plus you lost all your initial investment.
 

KACTravels

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Definitely rescind, research, resale! We love our timeshares, but really wish we had done it through resales with more knowledge than the sales person sales pitch. You can learn so much on this forum and then make your decision. RESCIND before your rescission period expires.
 

fsinner

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Thanks for all of your input. I'm going to fill out the form to rescind since it's only been 6 days so far.
 

DavidnRobin

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Thanks for all of your input. I'm going to fill out the form to rescind since it's only been 6 days so far.
Don’t delay.
From the 1st sentence of your OP - I didn’t even need to read further.
R-R-R

Glad you found TUG in time - too many do not.


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Ken555

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Thanks for all of your input. I'm going to fill out the form to rescind since it's only been 6 days so far.
You bought a horrible package and you would doubtless regret it within the first year. If the sales staff was objective, they would never sell anything, so while they may not have lied outright they certainly didn’t have your best interests in mind. Remember that nothing they say is worth anything, it’s all about the written contract and I doubt you read it.

That said, the system and resorts are great. Buy resale and you’ll be very happy.


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