Ripoff - Marriott Vacation Club Destinations Program - New Point System

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By T M.

Ripoff - Marriott Vacation Club Destinations Program - New Point System

Beware the new Points system (Called Marriott Vacation Club Destinations) for Marriott Timeshare owners is a Ripoff! What they don't tell you during your timeshare owner's presentation is that they give you only 6 nights instead of 7 nights value of points for your current timeshare as trade value. I have two Platinum timeshares each one was discounted by the one night in points value for trade. I wasn't told this during the presentation - if I had been told I wouldn't have signed up. Not only do I get less value I get to pay another fee of $199 each year to Marriott for the privledge of getting less value. Don't get screwed by Marriott like me. Stay clear of their latest way to extract more cash from your wallet.

Last edit by tm178 on Nov 14, 2010 06:56 AM.

Avatar for T M. T M.

8 years ago
Nov 14, 2010

By Cary M.

I think you misunderstand the value of your week. If you plan on going to your home resort during peak season, don't exchange your week for points that year. You are still entitled to book your week like you always have in the past. However, if you plan on going to your home resort in off peak months, it is worthwhile to exchange for points because it will cost you fewer points than you will be given for your week. Try the points calculator on the MVC website under the tab "View Your Weeks" and you will see this is true. You will actually be able to stay longer than 7 nights if you wish in off peak seasons for the number of points you get. In addition, if you lock off or exchange for Marriott reward points, or do internal exchanges, the $165 or $199 yearly fee (depending on if you have less or more than 6500 points enrolled) is a savings as these individual fees are included. Again, go to the MVC website to view examples of the savings in fees. In addition, the program allows you to use points for cruises, vacation tours to places like China, Africa, etc. I own 2 Marriott weeks and plan on joining the point system before the end of the year (you'll receive 800 bonus points)

Last edit by carym4 on Dec 08, 2010 06:49 PM.

Avatar for Cary M. Cary M.

8 years ago
Dec 08, 2010

By T M.

I suggest you go to read the items in the forum specifically listed under "Marriott Points system" (not in the general discussion forum) I have some other postings that better explain my point. Main Point - I don't want to go on off peak times to my Marriott Park City, UT Time share - Because I paid Marriott big bucks to ski.

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8 years ago
Dec 09, 2010

By Tom M.

I don't agree with your assessment. For my 2 bedroom in Vegas I get 3,275 points...the cheapest off-season week in Vegas requires 3,350 points. I should be receiving at least the minimum number of points that they are charging others to stay in my home resort. The program is a ripoff. Marriott continues to come up with new creative ways to steal from timeshare owners.

Avatar for Tom M. Tom M.

8 years ago
Apr 02, 2011

By G333 S.

You shouldn't be concerned with whether the amount of points is enough to stay at your home resort, because you won't use your points to stay at your home resort. You'd just book your weeks the same as always...enrolling into the points system doesn't change ANYTHING that you've been doing...the only thing it does is give you the option to elect for a particular year to use the points to go to OTHER marriott resorts. Each year you have that same option, so if one year you'd rather stay at your home resort, then don't elect for points that year...just book like you've always done. The points did not take away or change anything...all it did was give owners an option to take advantages of the flexibility of the points based system (any day check in, any size unit, no internal exchange fee, no needing to go through I.I. to go to another marriott resort) if they wanted to, instead of only allowing new point owners these options. They don't want to alienate their weeks owners by telling them they can't use their new program, and even give you the choice each year whether you want points for your week or if you'd like to use your week like you always have.

Avatar for G333 S. G333 S.

8 years ago
Apr 14, 2011

By Arinda D.

I own a low season week at Marriott Desert Springs and have not yet opted to join the new points program. I don't think I would benefit from it, since my lowly week is worth so few points each year-1875.

I virtually never use my assigned week at MDS I always split my deposits into two weeks by using the Lock-off option, and use Interval International for two weeks of exchange per year. I sometimes trade back in to MDS during a nicer season. I also use II frequently for their inexpensive Getaways.

The main concern I have is losing availability of Marriott properties through II. Please fill me in if I'm missing something else that would affect my situation.

Given all the above, it seems I should just keep things as is. (no points)

Last edit by arindasue on May 26, 2011 04:58 PM.

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8 years ago
May 26, 2011

By T M.

g333s - You are NOT correct to think that the Points system did not change ANYTHING if you are just going to use your existing resort week in the "old" way of reserving a room. I have a ski season week in Park City - Platinum - Very desirable time. I have called twelve months out to reserve a room and have been told there was no rooms available the week I wanted. (The Sundance Film Festival is held in Park City every winter) So now "Points" users can make a reservation at my resort using points and reserve 13 months out from the week. Do You know the "Points" users can take away up to 50% of the available inventory at a resort each week? And that is a month before I can call to try to reserve a room. Perhaps you don't have such a difficult time getting the week you want at the timeshare resort that you bought into. But, at mine it can be difficult to get the week I want to reserve. The Points system has just made it more difficult to get a reservation at the timeshare I paid Marriott LOTS of money to own? So much for "owning" a week. That is Exactly the reason Marriott only gives you 6 nights of points for your timeshare week. Because if I got 7 nights worth of Points for my week, I would just convert to Points and get the extra month advantage on getting a reservation at my resort. I am not stupid - I get all the other blah, blah, blah about how it is better. I will certainly try to use the "Points" to my advantage. But, don't kid yourself. The "Points" system is for Marriott's advantage not the owner's advantage. Marriott instituted the "Points" system to make it harder for anyone who bought a timeshare week during a less desirable time of year or at a less desirable place to get a fabulous trade in the future into a more desirable resort than they own. (So if you own a crappy Silver week at a resort no one likes - than you won't get that fabulous trade to much better resort anymore unless you spend 3 weeks of points to go.) Of course, Marriott would be happy to sell you some more "Points" so you can go. See more money for Marriott? I am glad I only bought "Platinum" timeshares.

g333s wrote:
You shouldn't be concerned with whether the amount of points is enough to stay at your home resort, because you won't use your points to stay at your home resort. You'd just book your weeks the same as always...enrolling into the points system doesn't change ANYTHING that you've been doing...the only thing it does is give you the option to elect for a particular year to use the points to go to OTHER marriott resorts. Each year you have that same option, so if one year you'd rather stay at your home resort, then don't elect for points that year...just book like you've always done. The points did not take away or change anything...all it did was give owners an option to take advantages of the flexibility of the points based system (any day check in, any size unit, no internal exchange fee, no needing to go through I.I. to go to another marriott resort) if they wanted to, instead of only allowing new point owners these options. They don't want to alienate their weeks owners by telling them they can't use their new program, and even give you the choice each year whether you want points for your week or if you'd like to use your week like you always have.

Avatar for T M. T M.

8 years ago
May 26, 2011

By G333 S.

Availability is not controlled by Marriott or I.I., but rather by other Marriott owners. An owner who has what you want must deposit their unit to make it available to you, then you must request to have it and exchange your unit for it. This is the fundamental problem with exchange based systems...you are always waiting and hoping that the person who has what you want will give it up, and if they do, you then face the problem of competing with 2.5 million other members of I.I.

The unsold inventory at yours, or any of Marriott properties was never available for an exchange because no one owned it to deposit it into I.I. If it wasn't deposited, no one could take advantage of it's availability. The points system changed this availability issue for points owners as well as enrolled owners.

Now all UNSOLD inventory that used to only be available on Marriott.com for rentals, was put into the trust. Now it doesn't matter whether the unit is owned or not, because now it can be reserved straight through Marriott, without goinging through I.I. And competeing with other I.I members, which may not even be Marriott owners. This is the beauty of a reservation based system verses an exchange based system.

You are correct in saying that a large portion of your resort inventory is in the points system, but this was inventory you never had access to anyway. You only had access to the other owned inventory to do an exchange with another owner. However, if you enroll your week and elect points for that year, then you can exchange your week into the points system. Keep in mind that enrolling your week, you do not own points, you merely can use them. It is still like an exchange, except with Marriott, not I.I. But as least you do not have to deal with the competion of I.I. If you want direct access and the reservation benefits, you have to own into the Trust.

The reason it becomes a reservation based system is because all unsold, new, and future inventory is in the trust. It's like having multiple home resorts, a trust owner just need to reserve which 'home resort' they want to stay at.

Hope this clears us the available inventory perceptions some had.

Last edit by g333s on May 27, 2011 06:52 AM.

Avatar for G333 S. G333 S.

8 years ago
May 27, 2011

By T M.

g333s Clearly you are trying to deflect the points I made. Are you a Marriott salesperson? I know I can make a reservation the old way. The info you just wrote about some inventory not being available to make a reservation because it was unsold weeks should not apply at my resort. Years ago when we bought our week we were told that almost all the inventory was sold (Platinum season). Was that a half-truth by a salesperson also? I stated that it was hard to get a reservation for a week during Platinum season that I own BEFORE the points system started. Now it will be even harder if to get a reservation at my resort if "Points" reservations are made 13 weeks out - for the platinum season that I own in. Marriott is giving "Points" users that 1 month advantage when making a reservation because they essentially pay more to stay at the resort I own. Also Marriott got my money years ago. So it was spent years ago - so they need a new revenue stream. The high maintenance fee is not enough to appease the beast. I was very loyal to Marriott. It does not appear that Marriott wants to reciprocate that loyalty with owners.

Avatar for T M. T M.

8 years ago
May 27, 2011

By G333 S.

Lol, no, rest assured I am not a Marriott salesperson and therefore have no idea if your particular resort was sold out for platuinum season weeks. I am, however a Marriott owner who has spent God knows how many hours researching and learning all the nuances of the point system. There are times where I have actually known MORE about the new system than even a rep I spoke to during a recent presentation at Orlando's Lakeshore Reserve. He had to have his manager call corporate to confirm the things I was telling him! Lmao.

As to your statements that you seem to feel I am deflecting, I apologize if I have given you that impression as it was not my intentions of doing so. I am not here to debate or argue, but rather want to help people understand their ownership. I was very confused and upset until I learned more, and I would hate knowing there are others who are in that same boat.

Hopefully this will clear some things up for you....Assuming that all the platinum weeks are sold at your resort, then getting what you want, when you want, is controlled by the other legacy platinum weeks owners. The Trust point owners only have access to other trust inventory, which as mentioned before, included unsold weeks. Which means if your resort was sold out during platinum season, there are NO platinum weeks in the trust for trust owners to reserve. They can still get into your resort by exchange through owners of platinum season who have enrolled and therefore bring their legacy week into the trust for the year they elect to use points. That makes their week available to trust owners, and if they are using points, they are not going to their home resort.

As for the early advantage of booking for points owners, it's not as extensive as you may think. First off, not all trust owners can book 13 months in advance. That benefit is reserved for owners who own 13000 points or more (can be a combination of actual trust points and the points Marriott gives them for their legacy weeks). These people can book anything from just one day to more than a week 13 months out. However, to ease your mind, less than 2% of Marriott trust owners are at this level, referred as Premium Plus.

Premium owners (own a minimum of 6500 points combined of trust points and points from their legacy weeks) these people can also book 13 months in advance but have to pay a premium of 20% in points on top of what their reservation costs in points. They are also limited to the amount of time of their reservation. Meaning, if they are booking less than 7 days they can only do that 10 months out, 7 or more days, they can book 12 months out. They can only book 13 months out if they are willing to pay the additional 20% point premium.

Any other trust owner has the same 10 and 12 month reservation windows and can not elect to do the 13 month advance booking whether they are willing to pay the 20% or not. This advantage is what Marriott awards their owners who have invested more in the company than those who have invested less. Much the same way platinum owners who paid more than gold owners had access to higher demand weeks.

So, yes, you are correct that point owners can reserve 13 months out, but only a small percentage can. Those other owners won't want to pay 20% in points for that one extra month window. And even if they could, it still is trumped by the fact that the legacy platinum owner at your sold out resort during platinum season decides to make his time available by going somewhere else in the trust system using his elected points.

I'm sorry to hear that it's hard for you to get into your home resort during your season. You should be getting home resort priority over all other owners, both exchangers from I.I., lower season owners of your own resort and also trust owners. Again assuming that ur resort is sold out during platinum season. Other wise, what I typed in my earlier message will apply. Unsold inventory is made available for trust owners immediately for booking. Does not take availability from legacy owners since they never had access to that inventory to begin with.

Feel free to double check any of the facts I've stated. Oh and to give you an even greater piece of mind, even the 13 month reservations have a deadline of September 30th.

Avatar for G333 S. G333 S.

8 years ago
May 28, 2011

By G333 S.

And one other thing that you may not want to hear, but it is good info to have.....at ski resorts there is certain weeks higher than platinum weeks. These were designated as "ski" weeks and assigned a permanent week number that guarantees the owner availability during the week the own. It is like a fixed/float week verses just a floating week. These owners have a fixed ski week to use, but have the option to float to another week if they don't want to use that particular week. A platinum owner can float and use any week in their season or lower but are not guaranteed a particular week. Could add to the fact that it's hard for you to get what you want?

Avatar for G333 S. G333 S.

8 years ago
May 28, 2011

By Jeffrey M.

g333s has made a beautiful (and accurate) description of the new Marriott program. Thank you. The only owners at a disadvantage in this program are those who bought at "lesser" resorts or seasons and played the system thru II to obtain weeks at more desirable (and more expensive to buy) locations. In my opinion the new program does offer more flexibility and value if you choose to deposit the points. If not, carry on under the old program. One disadvantage may be few Getaway deals via II.

Avatar for Jeffrey M. Jeffrey M.

8 years ago
Jun 11, 2011

By Kathryn M.

Just a quick clarification--are "legacy owners" those who bought timeshares under the old program, and "trust owners" those who have opted into the new Destinations Program? We own three timeshares with Marriott (which we purchased many years ago) and just joined the Destinations Program. So are we now considered "trust owners" when opted for the new program? Also, if we still want to use our home resort with the lock-off, aren't we guaranteed to get our unit during our deeded week? Or do we need to make this request by a specific date (I never have understood the September 30th deadline!)? It seems to me that there is a LOT of misinformation out there regarding this new Marriott program. Our three properties netted us exactly 6500 Points! Thanks for any clarification you can give me on this. Your seem to know FAR more than any Marriott Rep I have talked to in the past.

Avatar for Kathryn M. Kathryn M.

8 years ago
Jun 14, 2011

By Michelle B.

I disagree with you, I own 2 Marriott's one is in Hawaii... The pitch when I purchased in Oahu over Kauai is that I have a lockoff with more trading power... If I was to switch over to points - I can not get into Newport Beach or Kauai in the summer which at this point in my life with kids I need to travel.. So I see no value in paying more, and adding to my dues.. I see it as a lose lose situation. Might work if I want to travel off season but that doesn't work. So basically the complete sales pitch for the week of ownership doesn't matter... Also I understand that I don't need it to get into my home resort but the points should match what it takes to get into your home resort... Let me know if I missed something here

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8 years ago
Jun 28, 2011

By Jim G.

Then book you week to ski like you always have....

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8 years ago
Jul 03, 2011

By Angie G.

Have just been to a presentation on the new points system at a Marriott in Orlando, where I was told that my home resort (Marriott's Marbella Beach Resort) would be coming into the new points system in 2012. The implication was; "whether we like it or not". No mention of carry on as you are. We were encouraged (of course!) to buy points , but we didn't - they couldn't give any idea for a start what points our Gold Holiday 2 bed week is worth. How otherwise could we tell how many extra points we might want? Can anyone shed any light on the european Marriotts situation? Thanks. This forum's already been most helpful.

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8 years ago
Jul 19, 2011

By T M.

In my booklet for using the MVCD Points for 2011 - you cannot use points from the Vacation Club Destinations Program to trade into any resorts outside the US mainland except Hawaii, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and Aruba. So as of now no one can use MVCD points to go to the Marriott time share in Spain or France. Therefore, I cannot see in my book what a Gold week would be worth at Marbella. I have two Platinum weeks one in Park City that is worth 5350 points and one in Orlando worth 2550 pts. As said before, if you buy into the MVCD Program and then convert your week into points, you will not have enough points to get 7 nights to go back to your own resort in your season. (I wasn't told that when I got into the MVCD program). The Points program is definitely rigged so Marriott can work things their way. Marriott controls what point value they put on a resort each year. Marriott could also increase points needed for a popular resort, therefore, making it necessary to purchase points to get that fabulous trade you want.

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8 years ago
Jul 19, 2011

By Dan G.

This is an extremely interesting thread, and somewhat helpful. I, unlike some of the other folks here, am not a previous owner. I purchased recently because friends of mine have a timeshare in Maui on the old system. They are fortunate in that they have the most in-demand timeshare Marriott has, so they have no difficulty trading out for points giving up their week in Maui. Since my purchase, I've done my research online. It's only been a few days, and after reading various comments and complaints throughout the social media space, am ready to cancel the whole thing. (Yes...I still have a few days on my seven day window to cancel it all.)

I'm a total newbie, but a few things seem to jump out at me:

1. The points system is definitely more flexible than the previous system set in place. It also gives you the opportunity to stay at a variety of resorts through the Marriott chain. At 2000 points (what I could afford to purchase), without doing some serious banking from year to year, my options are somewhat limited though. It would work well in the beginning, as you start out with a bonus points, and the ability to bank your first years points to feed off of. However, at some point after four or five years I'd likely have to purchase more points to keep up.

2. Marriott clearly wants to push people towards off-season schedules depending on location, and to leave Fridays and Saturdays open, as they double, triple and sometimes quadruple the points required to stay those days. This is definitely a way for them to control their most lucrative days and have a better grasp of their inventory.

3. Marriott does not supply you with any literature or paperwork stating how long the current points requirements for locations will remain intact past the year 2012. This is a bit of a red flag to me. They assign the point values based off of specific weeks of demand at a given resort. When I inquired from the salesperson as to what guarantee I have that Marriott wont increase the points at various locations as time goes on, and thus devaluing my timeshare purchase, her response was Marriott needs to have that flexibility to be able to control the supply should a new holiday or other demand arise. Also, the points being asked for in the various buckets would remain the same, but the weeks may change from bucket to bucket depending on demand. In other words, the range Marriott puts in is from a low to a high. There may be 26 weeks in the low-end and 26 in the high-end for points. This doesn't prevent them from in the future of making 2 weeks in the low-end and 50 in the high-end.

I get why they need to have this kind of flexibility. At the same time this is risky for the timeshare holder, as Marriott could easily choose to inflate point requirements at any time, at any resort. This doesn't sit well with me. (Kind of reminds of me of "Disney dollars.")

4. I also see a supply issue here. The "old-system" is based off of a physical location. In theory, if you have a unit, let's say in Maui, they can't sell (or shouldn't sell) that physical unit more than 52 times for a given year. (They probably oversell it a bit, but you get my point.) You can't sell more than the supply you have.

Points, however, are different. These are not tied to any physical locale in particular, nor do we know the size of the points pool itself. Am I purchasing 2,000 points from a pool of 1,000,000, or 5,000,000...or maybe 100,000,000? I don't know. The supply is technically limitless. What does this mean? It means when you go and try to book a higher demand location, you won't be able to because the pool of point holders (the demand) is so much larger than the supply (the physical locations.) Now this may not be the case, but again...there's no paperwork anywhere that identifies this and no one appears to know the answer. (This may explain some other folks complaints as to why everything seems to book up 12 months in advance.)

5. One of my chief concerns is how Marriott has handled their "old" system customers that have had issues with the new system, their outward communication about the new program, and their response in the social media space. This is not indicative of a company that has their act together, treats their current customers with value, or frankly, understands the importance of responding in a public forum. (See Marriott's own blog from June of 2010 where people complained, and got zero responses back for the rest of us to see.) There was a responder here that did a great job at answering people's questions, and they didn't even work for Marriott. Marriott should themselves be finding and responding to these complaints openly in a public forum. (It didn't take me all of about 20 minutes to find this, and I don't work for Marriott either.)

My fear here is though I'm not a dissatisfied customer, if I ever was, Marriott will not be there to take care of me. I don't know if I'm prepared to do business with a company that doesn't seem to back-up their valued customers of the past.

It does sound like other folks have a wonderful experience, and I would love to be one of those people. (So would my wife and kids.) Let me know if I sound like I'm off base here, or if someone would like to convince me to keep my points rather than cancel the whole thing. What should I do?

Last edit by dang209 on Jul 22, 2011 04:49 PM.

Avatar for Dan G. Dan G.

8 years ago
Jul 22, 2011

By Dennis H.

Determine what you want and then look carefully at the ways to obtain this including annual rentals, purchase in the aftermarket, etc. Were I to do this again, I would rent only what I need each year thru Redweek.

If you own units as I do, it is very important that you make timely reservations for high demand/value properties. Timely means "seconds or minutes" can make the difference at the precise time weeks become available.

Last edit by dennish144 on Jul 29, 2011 08:41 AM.

Avatar for Dennis H. Dennis H.

8 years ago
Jul 23, 2011

By Wendy R.

Try to book using this "flexibility." we're trying to call NOW and there's NOTHING available for the current week this time next year. Nothing like ruining the last day of someone's vacation! We own two Marriott units at Grand Dunes Ocean Watch and would never make the same mistake again!

Avatar for Wendy R. Wendy R.

7 years ago
Jul 29, 2011

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