Reviews of the timeshare industry by the owners...
This will probably be a longer than you would like, but it is truly a reflection of how I feel about RCI, their rules and their fees. Once upon a time (22 years ago, when I purchased my timeshare and joined RCI), life was easy. I deposited my week, paid a fee and traded for a week somewhere else for vacation. Life changed and it changed for the worse, much worse.
First, they tried to talk everyone into the points system and wanted to charge large fees for the privilege. For those who chose to stay with the weeks program, they basically forced the points system on us anyway by assigning a value to each deposit and at least for many of us, our timeshare resorts got seriously devalued. So, what are the chances that any of us can find a unit we want to trade for that is worth exactly what our deposit is worth? I have two weeks on deposit; one is worth 20 and the other 18. Do you think I can find a unit for 20 points? No, I have to combine deposits and pay an additional fee, or trade for one of less value and then pay RCI to extend the remaining point value so that next year, I can again pay a fee to combine the remaining points with my deposit worth 18 points. Either way, they found a way to get more money from me. This of course in addition to my annual membership fees that keep going up in cost. Now, I find they have added another detri mental kicker to the whole process.
My deposit for the 20 points expires in May 2016, so I looked to trade for something before then. I found something for late December 2015, but the value of it was 25 points. OK, I needed to combine deposits to get this unit (a studio mind you in Florida to my two bedroom). My annual membership expires in October 2015, so they wouldn't allow me to make this trade until I extended my membership. OK, so now, I need to extend my membership, and then pay the fee to combine deposits, and then pay the trade fee and then the final surprise. The 18 point deposit that was going to expire in May 2017, the 13 remaining points would now expire in February 2017, because I was going to use 5 of the points to combine with to 20 point deposit. That's right; I was going to lose 3 months off of the time to use it. Once you combine any deposit, the remaining points expire two years after use it for combining. This way, I could spend more money to extend the time available to use it. That really , really was the final straw. I cancelled the extension of my annual membership, I did not proceed with the trade and I am writing to express my frustration. I so want to sue RCI for changing the agreement I entered into with them, for unilaterally devaluing my assets, while implementing a system designed to raise my costs by double and triple.
I would seriously like the various boards of Directors to consider contacting other resorts in like situations and appeal to them to join in a lawsuit. I can't imagine that everyone isn't feeling similarly about what is going on.
If something isn't done soon, I see no value whatsoever in keeping my timeshare. The cost is becoming prohibitive and the only option is to give it up.