I do not recommend buying a vacation club membership from Marine Vacation Sales or Vacation Travel Club because of their deceptive sales practices.
In August 2006 I bought a membership in the Club while on vacation in Sint. Maarten. A major factor in the decision to buy was the claimed strength, size and reputation of the company. The same night I did some internet research on the company. The next day I met with the president, Scott Whittle about my concerns.
My primary concern was that the company was misrepresented in the presentation. I couldn't find them on the Coast to Coast or Affinity Group websites and I found some rip off reports on line. I found out that they are not the new owners of MBNA, Bank of America is. Mr. Whittle talked to me at length and encouraged me to do more research. When I returned home I discovered the following:
1. I received an email reply from the office of the Coast to Coast President that they do not own Grand Getaways Vacations Club as Mr. Whittle claimed. It is however a business partner with Grand Incentives.
2. If the company is not owned by Coast to Coast, then it is not a part of the Affinity Group that has a membership of 1.5 million families.
3. The company does not have over 7 million members as Mr. Whittle claimed. I received a membership number of less than 12,000. The claim that the company had a membership of over 7 million members was a major factor in our decision to buy.
4. The corporate headquarters are not in Orinda, CA and they do not have over 180 offices. I found a Grand Getaways, Inc in Orinda that specialized in custom travel. Their 800 number is not being answered and the 925 area code number went to a personal answering machine.
5. I spoke to a representative in the Sarasota office of Grand Incentives and she said that she can only book timeshare condos up to 5 months in advance. They don't get any inventory before then. This was not disclosed.
6. Mr. Whittle stated that there are about 700 customer service representatives in Sarasota to fulfill travel requests. This must be a greatly inflated number because I was told by a Sarasota representative that there were only two representatives in the office that fulfill timehare condo requests.
7. There are suits by Attorney Generals in Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas against representatives selling Grand Getaways Vacation Club memberships. One suit was settled in Wisconsin.
8. I found a company called Elite Vacations that is a travel wholesaler of a Grand Getaways Vacation Package that wholesales for $395 and sells for $1,399. They are using the same exact logo that is on the membership card I received.
9. The proposed resale figures on the timeshare weeks I own were significantly inflated in the sales presentation by RSI. The inflated figures made the sales price of the Club more attractive than it really is.
When I returned home I requested via email a cancellation from Mr. Whittle. It has been almost 2 months and I have not received a reply. In the email I stated that the sales presentation (and Mr. Whittle personally) failed to disclose important information and participated in deceptive practices. This violates the Federal Trade Commissions Act (FTCA) and Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act which states "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful".
Time will tell if Grand Incentives can in fact book for me timeshare condos where and when I want.