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Why So Few Timeshare Reviews After Exchanging Into Somebody Else's Timeshare ?

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
I'm semi-lax about plenty of things, but (so far) I conscientiously send in TUG reviews of timeshare resprts where we stay on vacation.

We have occasionally stayed at our own timeshares (mostly in the past), but for several years now (after downsizing) we've been staying in other people's timeshares via Last Call & Bonus Week, etc.

That means all our recent TUG Timeshare Reviews have been accounts of staying in other people's timeshares rather than our own.

The idea is that maybe how it was for us at a particular timeshare might turn out to be helpful information for others considering going there on vacation.

Regardless, I'm getting the idea that sending in TUG Timeshare Reviews is a diminishing activity. Either fewer people generally are bothering with reviews, or lots fewer people are reviewing the timeshares we review.

This morning's example is Vacation Village At Parkway, Kissimmee FL. It's a humongous timeshare -- so big that I would imagine a number of TUG people check in there, even though Vacation Village At Parkway is middlebrow all the way & perhaps not the choicest destination for the more discriminating TUG people. Then again, Vacation Village At Parkway is spacious & conveniently located. It ordinarily has plenty of bargain availability. It's well maintained. So there's every reason that a number of TUG people would stay there, in between vacations at more upscale timeshares.

However that may be, 3 of the 4 most recent TUG Timeshare reviews of Vacation Village At Parkway are from . . . AwayWeGo -- i.e., me.

( Actually, it's 4 out of the 6 most recent TUG reviews, but who's counting ? )

For Vacation Villas At FantasyWorld (Kissimmee FL), 2 of the 3 most recent TUG timeshare reviews came from me.

Are other TUG timeshare vacationers not going to those timeshares?

Or are other TUG timeshare vacationers going to those resorts but not sending in reviews ?

What's up with the TUG Timeshare Reviews ?

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 

Sandy VDH

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I make it a rule that IF there is NO review within the last 6 months or fewer than 10 total reviews, then I submit one. I do not submit one if there is already a ton of current reviews and reviews in general.

That is likely why I am current at "Elite" in the Review Crew ratings.

Exchanging via II or RCI is dwindling with the new points programs. These will hang around, but will slowly diminish in value in terms of exchange opportunities.
 

bbodb1

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RCI Weeks: LaCosta Beach Club, RCI Points: Oakmont Resort, Vacation Village at Parkway. Wyndham: CWA and La Belle Maison, and WorldMark.
...Regardless, I'm getting the idea that sending in TUG Timeshare Reviews is a diminishing activity. Either fewer people generally are bothering with reviews, or lots fewer people are reviewing the timeshares we review....

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
Good morning, Alex. I definitely agree with the entirety of your post but the point emphasized above is exceptionally spot on. Some may say other review sites have encroached into TUG territory but given the overall distrust of all things web based these days, TUG (at least in my opinion) offers the best reviews in terms of details. Too many websites want to hawk the number of reviews they may have while concurrently cramming short snippets from these reviews in front of the visitor under the guise of quantity means quality. But that just isn't true. And to add to that, fake or ghost reviews really diminish the value of the most review websites these days (TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc). Indeed, TUG is always going to be the most useful tool in my search for info about a resort.

It does sadden me to see a growing number of the reviews on TUG becoming significantly briefer and failing to offer justification to support the review author's conclusions. I like to know why an author made the decision they did - not just if the resort is recommended (or not). I recall Brian has lamented the decline of reviews as well (I recall a thread on this not all that long ago).

Like you I suspect, if I am considering a resort for a future visit, I'll read every TUG review I can find. I wish there were more....
 

bbodb1

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RCI Weeks: LaCosta Beach Club, RCI Points: Oakmont Resort, Vacation Village at Parkway. Wyndham: CWA and La Belle Maison, and WorldMark.
I make it a rule that IF there is NO review within the last 6 months or fewer than 10 total reviews, then I submit one. I do not submit one if there is already a ton of current reviews and reviews in general.
As a question on this, do you read the reviews as well (when you make this decision)? Does/do the quality of the existing reviews enter in to this consideration?

That is likely why I am current at "Elite" in the Review Crew ratings.
I thought 'Elite' referred to the number of reviews one has written. Is that incorrect?


Exchanging via II or RCI is dwindling with the new points programs. These will hang around, but will slowly diminish in value in terms of exchange opportunities.
As someone who owns in both Wyndham and RCI (among others), can you please elaborate on this point? What points program are you referring to??
 
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rickandcindy23

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I just submitted several reviews about two weeks ago. I like writing reviews and have a document called, "Tug Reviews," but I have been known to write reviews on my document and not copy/paste them to TUG. I forget.

I will try to remember to do those. I also tend to not write reviews for places we stay often because I already wrote that review. For example, Marriott's Cypress Harbour. I have written several reviews over the years and tend to not do additional reviews. We really do stay at the same places while in Orlando. Next month, we are staying at Marriott's Royal Palms, our first stay. Looking forward to it. Rick will be surprised. He knows how much I love Cypress Harbour. I thought I would shake things up a bit. I am hoping for a more comfortable bed at Royal Palms.
 

DaveNV

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I write a review for every timeshare I stay in, to report my "current" experience with that resort. Just because a place has a lot of reviews doesn't mean they are recent, or even accurate. Places get upgraded all the time (or some deteriorate), so a current review is bound to be more helpful than one that is older. I'll leave it to the reader to decide if it is of value.

Having said that, I think the last review I wrote was about 18 months ago, because I haven't stayed at a timeshare since then. Once travel picks up again, I'd expect reviews to also pick up.

Dave
 

nerodog

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I also make a practice of writing a review after each timeshare stay. I find the reviews helpful and answer alot of questions . If possible I provide a current photo. I've written 2 this year and plan to continue. I recall at one time the page was more active.
 

bnoble

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I confess that I've mostly stopped looking at TUG reviews. They are generally so far out of date that other sources are better. Because I'm not looking at them, I also don't even think about writing them.
 

klpca

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I'm pretty good about adding reviews because I use them to help with exchanges and turnabout is fair play. I like the TUG reviews because they are original and no one can buy a better review on TUG. Plus TUG reviews are written by people familiar with timeshares so no one takes points off because there is no daily housekeeping, for example.

Maybe there could be a thread that gets updated when new reviews are posted, with links to the reviews. That would encourage people to take a look.
 

MrockStar

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I tend to stay mostly at our Blue Green resorts and mostly our favorite one's which i have reviewed. So unless theirs and upgrade/remodel or significant change i dont have much to add/report to those reviews. However i do occasionally exchange and will gladly review those when i do. :)
 

Sandy VDH

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As a question on this, do you read the reviews as well (when you make this decision)? Does/do the quality of the existing reviews enter in to this consideration?
I do read reviews, I do provide detail reviews if NO such information is provided. I have some very long and detailed reviews on resorts that have very little reviews at the time of submission. e.g. Worldmark Marble Falls, or Wyndham Austin (if you want to see my reviews). I put less info and provide more updates on resorts that I have already provided multiple reviews before e.g. Holiday Inn Seaside.

I thought 'Elite' referred to the number of reviews one has written. Is that incorrect?
Elite for review crew does pertain to the number of reviews submitted. That is correct.

As someone who owns in both Wyndham and RCI (among others), can you please elaborate on this point? What points program are you referring to??
Now that people have points programs, ANY points program (Wyndham, HGVC, HICV, WM, DVC, Mar DC, etc etc), people are tending to stay in those resorts within the program MORE frequently that stand along resorts. So there are more reviews for those resorts that are clubs, more so than for independent locations, on average.
 

silentg

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I write reviews for every timeshare stay, sometimes hotels and also restaurants. I also write reviews on trip advisor.
I read reviews of places I plan to go, before just to get an idea of what the place is like. I might not agree with some bad reviews, but if there are more negative than positive I would rethink going there, but not always because a person might write a bad review just for their bad experience.
 

TheHolleys87

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I always forget that there are reviews on Trip Advisor (and I’m not always sure I trust them) and almost never look there! So I do depend on TUG quite a lot, and I try to pay back by posting reviews of TS we stay in.
 

dayooper

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I have 3 trips planned this summer and will write a review for each (one of the properties I might be the first to write one up). I have written 2 reviews so far and, if I could go back to the first, I would change the how I write it up. The rating would stay the same, but for different reasons. It was our 1st timeshare stay in about 20 some years and I know more of what to expect, now.
 

rickandcindy23

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TUG used to have a contest, best review of the month, and there was some sort of prize, like a year of TUG membership for free. Maybe they should bring that incentive back. @TUGBrian
 

TUGBrian

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unfortunately COVID has cut down vacation travel by a huge factor, and thus has cut down reviews by an even larger factor (along with everything else, including memberships and renewals). we would certainly consider revisiting the review contests should things ever return back to normal! as it is now, we still offer free membership extensions of 2 or 6 months for submitting reviews, so technically you would never have to pay for a TUG membership ever again if you simply wrote reviews!

as it always has been, at least half the folks that join TUG are simply looking to sell/dump their timeshare, so writing a review is of no concern to them...only posting an ad. If their timeshare sells, they wont renew...and if it doesnt sell...they likely wont renew either because TUG failed to do what they wanted it to in their years worth of membership etc.

even for those TUG members who renew year in and year out, id say more than half of those have never submitted a review.

We had considered at one time allowing for non member reviews/comments that would be public and able to be differentiated from member reviews...but there are pros and cons to that decision as well.

As with many things, writing a lengthy review is in most cases the result of a VERY good, or VERY bad stay and the traveler wants to share that extreme experience with others. Unfortunately the majority of stays fall somewhere within those two extremes!
 
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easyrider

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What's up with the TUG Timeshare Reviews ?
I keep going to the same places and had nothing all that new to report but I think I did anyway.

Bill
 

mjm1

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I definitely reference reviews if we are thinking of trying to trade into a resort. In fact, I just read some reviews for an exchange we just confirmed. I like to share our experiences at resorts and add to the value that TUG provides. There have been repeat visits to resorts, so I don't always complete a new review, but like some others, if there aren't any recent reviews I will compete one.

Thank you to all who do take the time to provide a review. It makes a difference.

Best regards.

Mike
 

dioxide45

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I will admit I am guilty of not writing up reviews. I have submitted a few over the past year as we continued to travel in and around Florida, but writing reviews is a bit of a time commitment. Any one resort is probably at least an hour of time to write up a review and post it. I just never seem to get around to writing them up. That said, I seem to post enough in order to be able to continue my TUG membership based on the reviews that I have written and posted.

I think another issue is the barrier to entry is pretty low for TUG membership. I am certainly not advocating to raise the fee, but $15 a year vs spending hours writing reviews. For many, it is easier to just pay the fee. For many in the forums, the membership and fee may be a way support the website and have that "TUG Member" banner under their username and paying the fee is the quickest way to that. Everyone wants to be part of the club, and that "TUG Member" banner shows you are included. There are plenty of people with that "TUG Member" banner that are not even active TUG members anymore. Perhaps if that banner was dangled as the carrot, they might be more likely to write reviews to keep it. Or they would just pay up another $15...
 

escanoe

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I am a big fan of TUG and the community. Happy to keep my membership paid. The reviews (in the review section of TUG2.com) help me some, but honestly I prefer TripAdvisor. The info on the HGVC resorts that @GT75 maintains in our HGVC sticky is some incredible stuff. I wrote one review on TUG. In the next couple of weeks I will try to post another. I might post more, but I don't want "TUG Review Crew: Rookie" to appear in my profile. :)
 

TheHolleys87

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we still offer free membership extensions of 2 or 6 months for submitting reviews,
What are the criteria for the different lengths of extensions? I didn’t realize this existed, and I’ll admit it is motivation for me to write reviews more timely when we return from a TS stay!
 

dioxide45

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What are the criteria for the different lengths of extensions? I didn’t realize this existed, and I’ll admit it is motivation for me to write reviews more timely when we return from a TS stay!
Any reasonable review gives you two months. To get a six month extension, you must see "Review Award" associated with the resort. I beleive that appears when there is more than six months without a review on the resort.
 

TheHolleys87

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Any reasonable review gives you two months. To get a six month extension, you must see "Review Award" on the review page for the resort. I beleive that appears when there is more than six months without a review on the resort.
Thanks!
 

TUGBrian

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yes, anything above "great resort, will stay again" will earn a 2mo credit at minimum.

At one time I was offering a full year for some reviews of resorts that had NEVER been reviewed, or the review was many many years old.

I have no problem with continuing to do that, but the review would have to be a complete review vs a single paragraph to earn a longer renewal.
 
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