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Shell Vacations scam

Shell Vacations Club

I bought an "Explorer Membership" for 6000 points in 2008 - I was told I could keep the points when I bought a membership. They played on the fact that I wanted to go to Venice. I could not qualify for the loan for a membership and so they sold me the “Explorer”. I was to pay them for 18 months and then I would have 6000 points and could go to Venice through their international exchange partner - RCI.

As an incentive to buy I was offered a “free” Caribbean vacation. I got the certificate afterward and it was “free” for around $250 of “port fees and taxes”. So that was a lie too. I paid for the points for over a year and then in October of 2009 I was offered a Disney trip and an “owner update” meeting in Anaheim. At that “meeting” I was talked into buying a full membership with the understanding that the 6000 points I had as an Explorer would still be there to add to the 2500 points a year that I purchased with my 'membership”.

Several weeks after I bought I went on line to check my points and found out that the 6000 points went away when I bought my membership. I complained loudly and several times to several people. I wrote a letter and several emails – all to no avail. I would never have bought a membership then had I known the 6000 points would go away. I would have just kept on paying the Explorer Membership a few more months and collected the 6000 points. There was no advantage to me to buy then – the only advantage was to them – they didn't have to make good on the 6000 points.

Additionally, neither Shell Vacations nor it's 'partner' Resort Condominiums International (RCI) have a hotel or resort available in Venice, my whole purpose for buying the points - they lied about that. There has never been a week available at that destination to go to once in the 3+ years I have been paying them. Even if there were - I can't save up more than 2 years of points at a time (another thing they forgot to mention) and 5000 points isn't enough to stay even near there at a nice hotel. If you try to save up more than 2 years – the points go away!!! They disappear! How is that possible or legal???? Yet another thing they forgot to mention!!!

The monthly maintenance fees ended up being more than they told me they would be and they charge me for paying monthly instead of yearly. I can't use my points or even access the Shell site if my maintenance fees are not paid. (another thing they forgot to mention).

So I am committed to paying $2544 a year plus around $700 in maintenance fees a year for a vacation I can't take and can't afford to pay since I can't find work now.

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0 #15 Johnathan 2012-01-12 00:47
On shells website, they recommend SELLMYTIMESHARE NOW.COM. It is one of the companies that charges an upfront fee of $499.00 that Shell calls a reduced price for shell members to resell points. This is so bogus, I can't believe shell works with them, they probably take the extra $200.00 cut once the timeshare is sold. says NEVER go with a company that charges an upfront fee to resell your timeshare. This whole timeshare idea is a scam, and in my opinion is borderline illegal. Reminds me of our political and economic system, just a bunch of scammers.
0 #14 Rob 2012-01-10 21:40
I can agree with the pressure tactics and confusion. We were assured that selling would be easy if we could no longer afford our timeshare and could even get assistance when we signed up. So far I have paid over $8000 on a timeshare that I have never used and can no longer afford and we came to find out early on that all of the popular destinations were more points than we bought. I am basically stuck giving them money until it is paid off and then hoping that one of those places that says they will buy them will take it off of our hands.

It has been one bad experience after another.
0 #13 Laurie Triano 2012-01-09 22:05
I agree with all the frustrated homeowner comments above & although they do have some highlights, I agree that they use a pressure tactic loaded with confusion & "gray area" statements to cloud what they are really doing.

My husband & I just got back from a "Owners update meeting" in Napa, CA yesterday which was anything but an update, it was purely aimed at getting us to buy more points stating we don't have enough, yet we don't even use what we have! They enticed me there with a free night (yes, Vino Bella is nice, but we paid almost a $100 for a few cocktails & a pizza at the bar for dinner, then $90 for a brunch where drinks were included - ended up not including the Mimosa's they offered up without stating they were not part of the included drinks and about a 10 item buffett that was mediocre at best!). I had to spend 90 minutes listening to "Mike", the obnoxious sales guy avoid every question I had (like how to get better access to using the points when I want for where I want, the "update" I was told this was about, like the new exchange partner - all of which he obviously had no interest in nor intent of addressing, then to be told that the 4 night Hawaii trip they also enticed me with was something he would, and I quote "give back!" If anyone has any valid ways to sell this bogus $20K investment that now carries about $1200 a year in maintenance fees (while they had the hotel, 650 rooms sold to a non-Shell owner for a party, making me wonder how the dues could be legitimate costs after income and realize why I can't book trips when I want to!), I would love to hear them. This purchase was a big mistake & I could take a lot of great trips if I had all the money back.
0 #12 Devon Newman 2011-12-22 00:27
Shell has handled my complaint and I have no more problem with them.
0 #11 Rick 2011-12-08 02:33
so let me get this straight, even if you have no loan, no outstanding maintenance fees, Shell still won't take it back??? if its such a great product, then why not? they only stand to make more money? .... anybody try donating their time share to charity? or is that a scam too?
+1 #10 Joyce 2011-09-21 03:43
Yep SVC in the name of exchange tool all our points and gave us a crappy room in a crappy resort right next to the dumpster. We pay $6,000/year + $1800 /year HOA....Sad that we could have gone on Europe vacation using Expedia or with that amount at least twice/year.

All TimeShare businesses are JERKS!!!!!
-1 #9 SVC Customer Care 2011-08-10 15:55
Hi Stephanie,
We're so sorry to hear you are upset about your experience with us. Would you mind contacting us directly with specifics so we can assist? You can reach our Customer Care department at 888-947-4355 or by email at . We would truly appreciate the opportunity to assist in any way we can.

SVC Customer Care
+2 #8 Stephanie 2011-08-09 00:54
My husband and I are so pissed and annoyed after four separate incidents with Shell this year alone. We too are members and I am so ready to be done with them. They are liars and deceivers and their self-professed high customer service sucks! You mentioned that you tried to contact a resale company that you suspect is in cahoots with Shell. Do you mind if I ask what company that was? I asked Shell about resale and they referred me to a specific dealer and unfortunately it is probably the same one that you are referring to. Thanks!
+2 #7 Daniel Moreno 2011-07-12 16:47
Why has it been so difficult to deal with your company. I do not understand how I can only surrender my timeshare if it is paid in full. I am having a lot of difficulty paying for something I don't even use. Since the time I joined this ridiculous membership it has been nothing but headaches. I don't want this timeshare any longer because I can not afford to pay for it any longer. Shell Vacations club is not an honest business they use very deceptive business practices to confuse people into buying there product. I was lied to many times during the sales presentation. I would like it if your company made it easier for me to surrender my timeshare. Again I can no longer afford to pay this. Also don't suggest I sell it because everybody in the timeshare business knows that timeshare have no resale value in any way shape or form, and I know this because I was lied to twice by to resale companies who claimed I could sell my timeshare and possibly make a profit, they were full of themselves when they told me that, and as I come to find out that one of the companies that I tried to sell my timeshare with is a company that I have been referred to more than once by shell vacations club, which I am pretty sure they are in business together to take advantage of people and take there hard earned money with deceptive practices. I have already notified my state's attorney general office and launched a complaint against Shell Vacations Club, and I hope that many people who are unsatisfied with Shells business practices do the same. All I want to do is cancel this poor product that I was suckered into buying, In the end you can take the points and title you gave me and sell it to someone else, besides you already have about 5,000 dollars that I paid into this. The only person losing money in this situation is me, not shell vacations club.
-1 #6 SVC Customer Care 2011-07-12 15:28
Hi Daniel,

Essentially, those are both one and the same. We'll send you a private email explaining the details, though.

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