• Report: #8557

Complaint Review: Marriott Vacation Club

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  • Submitted: Mon, December 03, 2001
  • Updated: Thu, October 21, 2004

  • Reported By:
Marriott Vacation Club
PO Box 911020 Orlando, Florida U.S.A.

MARRIOTT VACATION OWNERSHIP CLUB RIPOFF SCAM

*Consumer Suggestion: We are also happy Marriott Ocean Pointe owners

*Consumer Comment: Confirmation of your initial complaint

*Consumer Comment: Marriott Time Share Owner since 1999

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Annoyed with the way Marriott treats their owners!!!

*UPDATE Employee: Wake-up and smell the cheese in the trap, you shall see that you have purchased a pig in a poke

*Consumer Comment: I think you misunderstood what you were told...

*0:

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Marriott Vacation Club is selling vacation ownership in Grande Vista (Orlando) and misleading people with their Marriott Rewards Programme. Last June I was invited to take a look around their new resort (Grande Vista) and although it is a beautiful place it is not worth the hassle you get into when you buy a week or more.

Marriott are running a scam that goes like this:
A salesman will talk you through a vacation of a lifetime. He will use his own experience to show you how to use the Marriott Rewards Programme to travel the world with air tickets, car rental and hotel accommodation inclusive. In our case the salesman was Mr. Gorge Freire and he told us we would get 470,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points for buying two weeks in Grande Vista, equivalent to 5 tickets to Australia plus 14 nights in a 6 stars hotel, the whole package worth around $10,000, all this was written down on paper with sketches and figures.

I was given only 250,000 bonus points and they are only worth 1 ticket to Australia and 7 nights of hotel accommodation. Furthermore, Mr. Freire told us he owned 4 weeks himself and that he used them to exchange the time for Marriott Rewards points and travel the world with his family of four in style. He said he took vacations to Australia, Asia and 3 to Europe for 30 days each, flying first class and business class, plus 3 shorter vacations.

We thought that an investment of $35,000 would be quite a good one if we wanted to travel like Mr. Freire has shown us. As it turned out to be, I can exchange my two weeks in Grande Vista for 220,000 every other year, but with those points I can only get less than 1 ticket to Australia and 7 nights of hotel accommodation, Mr Freire had assured us we would get 3 tickets and 14 nights hotel accommodation anywhere in the world.

When I approached Marriott and showed them the copies of the information we were given and explained to them that under those expectation we bought the 2 weeks in Grande Vista, they simply deny any responsibility and they are not admitting any wrong doing.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/03/2001 12:00 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Marriott-Vacation-Club/Orlando-Florida-32891-1020/MARRIOTT-VACATION-OWNERSHIP-CLUB-RIPOFF-SCAM-8557. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 7Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

We are also happy Marriott Ocean Pointe owners

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

And have no other connection to Marriott. My whole family own various Marriott VC properties.
We have had years of wonderful vacations at many different Marriott timeshare including Grande Vista in Orlando. Making the most of a timeshare involes learning the tricks of the program.
There are websites with people that would be happy to help you make the most of your timeshare ownership. Try www.tug1.net and go to the Marriott forum on the BBS.

Purchasing a Timeshare requires research. Unfortunately some of the sales people do lie. Most just try to show only the positives and the best case scenario without any of the negatives.
You should do research before you go on a timeshare tour. And read everything before signing. It doesn't matter what the saleman says. If its not in writing it doesn't exist.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Confirmation of your initial complaint

AUTHOR: Carol - (U.S.A.)

To the originator of this complaint, you are correct in your recount. My experience with Marriott is somewhat similar. When we called to inquire about their resale program we were told that they has "so many" to sell we should list it ourself! So much for customer service and what we were told when we purchased the timeshare(s).

Yes, we were gullible enough to buy more than one!
Companies like Marriott tend to get away with so many misdeeds, thanks goodness for the insight of the creator of this site... hopefully it help others to be more aware of the rip-offs that occur everyday.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Marriott Time Share Owner since 1999

AUTHOR: Tim - (U.S.A.)

We bought a pre-construction ocean front week at the Marriott Ocean Pointe on Singer Island near Palm Beach Florida.We love it. We can use the two bedroom unit for one week or use a one bedroom unit at select Florida Mariott resort locations for two weeks. For the money at the time (a little over $14000), we have a superb unit on the ocean with marvelous views and amenities (no trailer trash here). Along with the package, Marriott threw in a vacation for two anywhere in the world for a week. We chose London, flew Virgin Atlantic, stayed at the elite County Hall Marriott on the Thames River across for Parliament, and were treated superbly.

We have stayed every other year at our time share, using the points and extra points for, say, five nights on the upper floor beach view suite of the Mariott Waikiki Beach Thanksgiving week last year.

We take advantage of Mariott specials in Orlando, Hilton Head, etc. and stay cheap for the cost of a sixty minute sales pitch - which is low key.We just go to the presentation get the points.

One thing we have discovered: Mariott time shares vary in quality and price. We think the Marriott Grande Vista is a rat hole compared to our "home resort" at Ocean Pointe. The time shares in Hawaii going for $35,000 plus are a waste of money versus the points and hassle of travel.

Like anything else, if you buy right and buy location, Mariott Time Shares are just fine. One week at Ocean Pointe on the ocean front is worth more than a month of Grande Vista, in my view.

Is a time share an investment? No. Is it a wonderful vacation expierience if you are intelligent enough to not fall for add-ons and hype? Yes.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Annoyed with the way Marriott treats their owners!!!

AUTHOR: Annoyed - (U.S.A.)

I used to work for good ole Marriott. I am sick of the way they treat their owners. I have witnessed how, after they (Marriott Service Representatives & Managers) hang up with an owner who have just lost a loved one and is in desperate need of selling their unit/weeks due to financial difficulties, or after 9/11, due to layoffs and financial crisis, need to desperately sell their weeks, are treated on the phone with respect and sincerity, but yet after hanging up the phone, they begin to laugh and say things like "Yeah right! like we're going to put you ahead of everyone else.. come up with a better lie", or while the owner is talking on the phone of their desperation for getting out of a contract due to being mislead, the representative or owner has their hand cupped over the phone and are busy talking to someone else or they're busy in an email to someone else while the Owner honestly believes they are listening and understand their concern! It truly disgusts me! I've seen it time and time again! This is because during meetings, Managers are telling agents and representatives that owners will come up with every excuse to get out of it, and not to buy their excuses! I had to get out of Marriott.. I'm sorry, I have empathy for people in situations as stated above and I cannot work for a company who has no empathy and plays on peoples emotions.
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#5 UPDATE Employee

Wake-up and smell the cheese in the trap, you shall see that you have purchased a pig in a poke

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

Your naivety to actually what takes place in the Industry is the reason that it is so lucrative for companies. Patsies such as yourself find it immpossible to believe that you have been duped. Sir, do the math. Not the Marriott math, the real math and you shall see that you have purchased a pig in a poke. However, you will have a "Lifetime of Vacation Memories" that will cost you way more than had you rented. It must be true Mr. Marriott says so. You have a deed and it is in perpetuity, how long do you really believe these buildings will last? Look around and do some research on the Timeshares that are now 20 years old and see where they are and the condition they are in, ask the owners about assessments. When you get your assessment bill for new roofs, sidings etc. go tell everyone how only a few people at Marriott may mislead clients. No disrespect intended, but misleading you with smoke and mirrors is how we are so successful. We are absolute pros at conning customers. We are highly trained to do so. Think of us as "Grifters in the Timeshare Arena". As for the points, your smugness that the individual was mislead is hilarious. The individual was not mislead, the system is so complicated and adds so many extra charges that if fols really think about it they rarely come back and purchase. This is why they will use every skill, every tool , every phrase, every emotions that they are taught to get you to sign that day. In regards to recission, in some states it is only 3 days at most 10 days, by the time the new owner gets a statement about the number of points in their account it is too late..........
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#6 Consumer Comment

I think you misunderstood what you were told...

AUTHOR: Mark - (U.S.A.)

I am not a current OR past employee of Marriott but I am a Marriott Vacation Club member since 1996 owing a 1 week interval in Kauai,HI.

"....he told us we would get 470,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points for buying two weeks in Grande Vista,...I was given only 250,000 bonus points...."

The 250k points was, undoubtly, the purchase incentive for buying the 2 weeks initially. If you had, in addition, deposited your two weeks for points at the time of purchase for the additional 220K points for a total of the 470k points you expected. It appears that the sales guy didn't explain that part well enough.

It sounds like you you expected 470K points every year based on one statement the sales guy said? If you would have read the contracts during the recission period, I think you would have spotted the inconsistancy and had time to back out.

As for what points could be exchange for, you should have asked for and received the program guide that listed the points required for different travel plans to verify what the sales guy was telling you. The plans offerings can and do change occasionally (as stated in the program materials).

I know some of the world tour plans for r/t air and 1 weeks accomodations were changed in July 2002 and either required more points or were modified as to what they offered.

I know because we were notified of the changes and decided to use our points for a USVI trip from Calif before that particular plan was due to require more points after July/2002.

The with 4 weeks, the sales guy MAY have been able to "..travel the world with his family of four in style..." in previous plans offerings but even he might be required to cough up more points to "travel in style" now.

Marriott like any business CAN have one or two bad apple sales guys and it may be the case here but ultimately it's up to you to check that what's in the contract is what the guy said.

If you can't find it, have the sales guy or his boss to point to it in the contract during the reccision period. Something that expensive is worth making sure you are getting you expected.

Sorry you think MVCI is a ripoff, but so far it works as advertised for us.
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