• Report: #1170534

Complaint Review: Marriott Vacation Club

  • Submitted: Mon, August 18, 2014
  • Updated: Mon, August 18, 2014

  • Reported By: Randi — Manhattan Beach California
Marriott Vacation Club
Nationwide USA

Marriott Vacation Club Oversold Destinations...no where to travel Nationwide


*Consumer Comment: Poorly Designed Program

*UPDATE Employee: Re: Marriott Vacation Club Oversold Destinations...no where to travel Nationwide

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If you are thinking about buying Marriott Vacation Club Points, I would think again.  The sales pitch sounds great until you purchase them and then can't use the points anywere you want to go when you want to go.  They have completely oversold these points and there are not enough places to travel to fit everyone who owns these points.  Unless you can travel anytime, do not buy!  If you have a family and can only travel during school vacations or summer time, good luck!  I have purchased these points in 2012 and have not been able to go anywhere.  It is now summer 2014 and I still have had no vacations.  Just keep paying my monthly mortgage and paying my $1500/yr maintenance fee for nothing.  Save your money and go on vacation where you want, when you want and forget the Marriot Vacation Club point system.  They do not make it clear that you have to book a year out in order to book anywhere decent and even then you are not guaranteed because certain owners can book 13 months in advance but the majority of owners can only book 12 months in advance.  Who can plan that far in advance????  I certainly can't. I had to cancel a reservation I made because I had to make plans a year in advance and it didn't work out to travel at that time.  Then they say, well you can use the points but you can only book 60 days in advance.  How are you supposed to book anywhere decent 60 days out if you can barely book a year out???  There are very limited places you can book.  They say you can book anywhere but if you don't book at one of their few vacation club destinations, then the amount of points you have to use, just don't make sense.  Again, if you want to go on vacation, do not buy Marriott Vacation Club points to do so.  You will only be very very frustrated and will get very unsymathetic people to speak to about it.  

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/18/2014 11:11 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Marriott-Vacation-Club/nationwide/Marriott-Vacation-Club-Oversold-Destinationsno-where-to-travel-Nationwide-1170534. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds


AUTHOR: Phil J. - ()

With regards to Randi's Rip Off Report on the perception of no availability with Marriott's new point system.  As a former employee it saddens me to hear that true owner customers are unhappy with their purchase for reasons other than the luxury item expense.   It seems that you can afford Marriott, so that's not the issue, you just want to be able, and rightfully so, to get your money's worth, and get to utilize your vacation club.  My advice to you is as follows:

 1.  For future years, whether its 2015 or 2016 (time of writing Dec 3, 2014) you MUST become a better vacation planner.  Marriott allows you to book 12 months in advance (or 13 months if / when total buy in exceeds $50k) so that means on June 1st of 2015 you must get with owner services and book your 2016 summer vacation and no doubt you will get to go to which resort you desire.  If not June 1, then June 10, or June 20th.   Its a competitive marketplace out there for these highly desirable villas and you simply must become a disciplined planner.  This might sound harsh or even pro-Marriott, its just good advice for you / your family.  Since you mentioned school age kids that brings it down to June, July, August.  One full week after Memorial Day is generally slower as is the very end of August, unless it easily attaches to an early September Labor Day.  Mid-summer, especially around 4th of July no doubt the very busiest times.
2.  For right now with your points to use up:
a) make sure you do something with them by the end of the calendar year 2014, if you do not use them, you will lose them.  You can bank them one time for a following year and maybe that's your best option, but they will not automatically be banked.
b) depending on the status on your unused points, possibly consider an alternative to flying away for a week or so.  What about 2-3 nights out in Palm Springs or Newport Coast?  Perhaps two or three smaller vacations this time?   It might be a nice getaway for you and your family over a long weekend.  Palm Springs is warm in the winter.  The Newport Beach property is situated in a beautiful coastal region, and even though its not beach weather per say in the winter months you might have a really nice time with your family, not too far from home.  Or if you are snow skiiers, or want to teach the kids, the Lake Tahoe resort has the ski lift for Heavenly right on the Marriott property.  That would be roughly an 8 hour drive or a quick flight into Reno or Sacramento.  The next closest options include Park City, Las Vegas, Phoenix?
Your article does help other folks understand the challenges with Marriott Vacation Club beyond all the issues related to costs and hidden costs and inflationary aspects. Each couple years it does cost more per point for each stay plus the maintenence fees per point continually increase too. Over time, your initial purchase of points investment is eroding beneath you, while the new money you have to keep putting out will also continue to increase.
This is all part of Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation's (not the original Marriott that many love and trust) Master Plan. When the new company took over from the old Marriott, and began to license the Marriott name, they completely eliminated the deeded week timeshare business model and converted to a points based system.  Although the points system does boast of flexibility and many options, sometimes it completely misses the mark for a family that wants to have a spot for their next vacation somewhere desirable, not be forced settle for e,g, Branson, Missouri.
If anyone were to search on the BBB for Central Florida, where the new corporate headquarters of the the new Marriott vacation club is headquartered you could read dozens and dozens and dozens of complaints from owners about Marriott Vacations, and since the company does respond to complaints there with the BBBintervention, you can get introduced to the chronic complaints and issues of maintenence fees, late fees, legal posturing and unloading the expensive headache.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Poorly Designed Program

AUTHOR: carrollon - ()

What else is an employee of Marriott Vacation Club is supposed to say? "Yeah, you're right and our points program is poorly designed, our sales people lie to make the sale, the website is so busy people can't figure things out, and in the 21st century you can't rely on the website (which is not optimized for the most popular browser in the world), and always have to call people for any transaction who are only marginally helpful." Having spent literally hours trying to figure out how to use points, receiving no timely email notifications of approaching deadlines, finding functions and features that don't work on the site, and paying and paying and paying with no value, this is the worst investment I've ever made in my entire life.

The supervisor I spoke with in July literally told me a minimum of 4 times that with more options comes more rules and restrictions. It was like his "mantra". And one gal told me that "now you know for next year". These people have no empathy of those of us who are working 10-12 hours a day to make a living, and we are looking for great options to spend our hard-won downtime. And the program literally allows a newbie like me to make choices and lose thousands of dollars of value. I paid in $7K last year and lost all points for the year. They have designed a program to take your money with no options for recovering points in any way. It's thievery pure and simple. I know the contract I signed, and this wasn't it! And worse, I feel so betrayed by the Marriott name. I invested in large part because I'm a current Platinum Rewards member and just a few thousand points away from being a life time Platinum member. I trusted the Marriott name for honesty and value. After the lies the sales person told us, and the horribly designed points program, I am always literally sick to my stomach when I hear the name Marriott Vacation Club. And now I go to pay the annual fees which are due the FIRST of December instead of end of year like most properties, and which of couse have already increased since last year. No increase in value, of course.

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#3 UPDATE Employee

Re: Marriott Vacation Club Oversold Destinations...no where to travel Nationwide

AUTHOR: Ryan - ()

Marriott Vacation Club is committed to helping our owners plan truly remarkable vacation experiences.  The reservation rules for our program allow owners to begin planning their vacation 12 months prior to arrival, 13 months for those with premier and premier plus status. 

As deeded real estate interests, Marriott Vacation Club resorts cannot be oversold.   There is plenty of availability for our Destinations point owners to book at this time and reservations are available on a first come, first serve basis.  Many resorts do fill up quickly during peak travel times and over the holiday periods, so owners are encouraged to contact Owner Services soon after the inventory is released. However, there are many other options available throughout the year and owners can exchange to more than 2,000 destinations worldwide, or experience one of many Explorer Collection opportunities.

Marriott Vacation Club Owner Services office provides a high level of service when assisting owners with their vacation requests.  Owner satisfaction is 98%, with more than 90% of our owners receiving their first choice when contacting Owner Services to plan their vacations. 

Should you need assistance with planning your next vacation, please contact our Owner Services office at 800-845-4226.  

Ryan N.
Manager, Customer Care
Marriott Vacations Worldwide
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