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Your SVO "enhancement" Wish List

LisaRex

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Inspired by another thread where we opined that we'd like to see the ability to sign up for automatic monthly pre-payments of MFs (1/12 each month), I was thinking about what customizations/enhancements we'd like to see to the SVO program.

Me? First on my list would be:

Select your villa

I'd LOVE if instead of booking a villa blindly, we could actually see the actual villa we are reserving, similar to Ticketmaster that allows you to see a graphic of the stadium so that you can pick the best seat in your price range.

That way, assuming we have options (ha!), we can decide whether we'd prefer 5th floor overlooking the pool or 2nd floor overlooking the harbor (HRA). Or whether we'd prefer to face south (hot and sunny lanai) or west (shady and cooler) at WKV. Or whether we'd go ahead and accept a parking lot view if it's the only villa available during our Kid's spring break (WKORV). Do I want a 5-day reservation with a great OV or an 8-day reservation with a fairly crappy view? (WPORV) Would I prefer an OF studio vs. an OV 1-bdrm? (WLR)

I really do hate the uncertainty that comes with both reserving my home resort and SO reservations. And I actually think that if owners knew up front exactly what they were reserving, there would be far fewer complaints at check-in.

Modifications without losing your original reservation

Another idea: I'd also love a system that operates similar to the rental car websites where you can make modifications to your reservation, but it will not actually cancel v1 until you've compared the Original and Modified Reservations side by side, and clicked which one you want to keep. That way you don't have to freak out about losing out on any villa if you risk adding a day or deleting a day or grabbing that 3-bdrm that just became available!

Upgraded views with more SOs

Finally, I'd love, love a system that allowed exchangers to guarantee an upgraded view with additional SOs. I wouldn't even mind if Starwood allowed the one-time purchase of additional SOs ONLY for the purpose of these upgrades.

Anyway, that's my Wish List. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 

okwiater

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"Select your villa" would be nice but impractical. Resorts aren't stadiums or airplanes where seats have long, predictable lives and require minimal maintenance. Allowing people to select their villas would likely cause more complaints, not fewer, because invariably the resort would need to reassign someone from Villa A to Villa B in order to accommodate maintenance, pests, or other room malfunctions which would end up causing cascading disruptions to other villa selections.
 

DeniseM

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I'd LOVE if instead of booking a villa blindly, we could actually see the actual villa we are reserving, similar to Ticketmaster that allows you to see a graphic of the stadium so that you can pick the best seat in your price range.

There is no motivation for Starwood to allow the unwashed masses to reserve prime locations. I see zero possibility of them ever offering this kind of transparency, because they don't really want us to know what goes on behind the scenes. They need to control inventory to be able to: 1) upgrade Elite Owners, 2) grab prime inventory for their own rentals, and 3) solve problems at check-in. They don't even like to accept requests any more - so I see them going the other direction, not offering more transparency.

Finally, I'd love, love a system that allowed exchangers to guarantee an upgraded view with additional SOs.

Isn't this the Flexoption and Homeoption systems?
 
Last edited:

pathways25

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Inspired by another thread where we opined that we'd like to see the ability to sign up for automatic monthly pre-payments of MFs (1/12 each month), I was thinking about what customizations/enhancements we'd like to see to the SVO program.

Me? First on my list would be:

Select your villa

I'd LOVE if instead of booking a villa blindly, we could actually see the actual villa we are reserving, similar to Ticketmaster that allows you to see a graphic of the stadium so that you can pick the best seat in your price range.

That way, assuming we have options (ha!), we can decide whether we'd prefer 5th floor overlooking the pool or 2nd floor overlooking the harbor (HRA). Or whether we'd prefer to face south (hot and sunny lanai) or west (shady and cooler) at WKV. Or whether we'd go ahead and accept a parking lot view if it's the only villa available during our Kid's spring break (WKORV). Do I want a 5-day reservation with a great OV or an 8-day reservation with a fairly crappy view? (WPORV) Would I prefer an OF studio vs. an OV 1-bdrm? (WLR)

I really do hate the uncertainty that comes with both reserving my home resort and SO reservations. And I actually think that if owners knew up front exactly what they were reserving, there would be far fewer complaints at check-in.

Modifications without losing your original reservation

Another idea: I'd also love a system that operates similar to the rental car websites where you can make modifications to your reservation, but it will not actually cancel v1 until you've compared the Original and Modified Reservations side by side, and clicked which one you want to keep. That way you don't have to freak out about losing out on any villa if you risk adding a day or deleting a day or grabbing that 3-bdrm that just became available!

Upgraded views with more SOs

Finally, I'd love, love a system that allowed exchangers to guarantee an upgraded view with additional SOs. I wouldn't even mind if Starwood allowed the one-time purchase of additional SOs ONLY for the purpose of these upgrades.

Anyway, that's my Wish List. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I would like to see something like a virtual queue where owners can get in line for a particular unit type and check-in date. I find the whole wait until 12:00AM and click madly as quickly as you can to be incredibly stressful, especially if something goes wrong right at the critical moment like I get timed out by the website or my computer gets stuck.

What if you could stand in a virtual line. After the booking window opens, if a unit is available at your place in line, you have 10 minutes to complete the booking before losing your place. Also, you could see where you are in line (and how many units are available) so you could give up and look for something else if you were 50th in line and there were only 5 units. Getting in line puts a hold on your week so you can't get into every line. This also helps the case where you want say week 8, but week 6 would be ok. If you look at the line for week 8 and it's hopeless, you can try week 6 without having to wait until week 8 opens, getting nothing and not being able to then get week 6. It would also make midnight more orderly instead of everyone crushing in and making the website fail.
 

LarryAck

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I would like to see something like a virtual queue where owners can get in line for a particular unit type and check-in date. I find the whole wait until 12:00AM and click madly as quickly as you can to be incredibly stressful, especially if something goes wrong right at the critical moment like I get timed out by the website or my computer gets stuck.

What if you could stand in a virtual line. After the booking window opens, if a unit is available at your place in line, you have 10 minutes to complete the booking before losing your place. Also, you could see where you are in line (and how many units are available) so you could give up and look for something else if you were 50th in line and there were only 5 units. Getting in line puts a hold on your week so you can't get into every line. This also helps the case where you want say week 8, but week 6 would be ok. If you look at the line for week 8 and it's hopeless, you can try week 6 without having to wait until week 8 opens, getting nothing and not being able to then get week 6. It would also make midnight more orderly instead of everyone crushing in and making the website fail.


Some people have elite status, and have paid quite a bit of money for that priviledge, including hefty multiple maintenance fees. I'm not the type, nor many owners either, who are going to wait till the crack of midnight, and start reserving location. There is no fairness to allow an owner of just one location to be able to play this que game, while other owners who have 10 times that skin in the game, have to take a back seat.

Starwood is going to make sure the elite owners take priority. Just my humble opinion.
 

pathways25

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Some people have elite status, and have paid quite a bit of money for that priviledge, including hefty multiple maintenance fees. I'm not the type, nor many owners either, who are going to wait till the crack of midnight, and start reserving location. There is no fairness to allow an owner of just one location to be able to play this que game, while other owners who have 10 times that skin in the game, have to take a back seat.

Starwood is going to make sure the elite owners take priority. Just my humble opinion.

I'm not sure I understand your comment.

I am a multi-week owner and it seems to me that multi-week owners are actually at a disadvantage. For example, I own multiple OF weeks at Kaanapali. When I try to book President's Day week, I have to be on at midnight Eastern because OF sells out in like 30 seconds. Unfortunately, my multiple weeks are in the same account which means I can only book one at a time. By the time I can come around to book a second week, it's sold out. In theory, each of my OF weeks should have an equal opportunity to make a booking, but because of the way the booking engine is structured, in practice, I can get at most one OF reservation regardless of how many weeks I own.
 
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