Disappointing customer service from Wyndham

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Apr 10, 2019
In June of 2018 we reserved a week-long stay at the Wyndham resort in Indio, California, through RCI using our Hilton Grand Vacation Club points. Upon arriving at the resort on Friday, February 22, 2019, we were informed that our reservation, and in fact all RCI reservations, had been cancelled due to flooding at the resort which made some of the rooms unusable. The resort said they were fully booked and had no rooms available.

My first phone call was to RCI where I was told that a message had been left on our home phone on Thursday, February 21, telling us that our reservation had been cancelled and our points returned to our RCI account. That message arrived at 2 pm, a little over 24 hours before we were scheduled to check in. We had been in California since Wednesday and did not, of course, receive this message. The RCI representative offered to move us to a resort in Solano, California, over 3 hours away. There was nothing available in or near Indio, where we had several appointments scheduled over the next few days.

My next call was to Hilton Grand Vacations where I was told that the closest available resort was in Carlsbad, California, also several hours away. I was transferred to Hilton Honors where I was able to book a hotel room at the Embassy Suites in nearby La Quinta, California.

I feel there was a lack of acceptable customer service all the way around. First, the Wyndham resort cancelled RCI reservations, which seems discriminatory to me. They offered no help in securing lodging, telling us the RCI would handle this. Second, RCI claims that Wyndham notified them of the problem on Thursday, one day before our scheduled check-in. I am certain that the flooding issue happened earlier and such short notice is irresponsible. If wecancelled a reservation on one day’s notice, we would have received no refund at all.

Third, RCI did as little as possible to notify us by calling only our home phone and leaving a voice message. RCI made no other attempts to contact us by cell phone or email. The information about the cancellation and return of points was useless since we were already in California. After listening to the voicemail message upon our return, I was infuriated to hear “we are refunding your points” as if it were a solution to the problem and “have a great rest of your day.”

Fourth, neither Wyndham nor Hilton offered to compensate us for the extra expense of a 7-day hotel stay. We were placed in an unfortunate situation through events outside of our control, and neither Wyndham, RCI, nor Hilton were willing to make more than a minimal effort to help us out.

We would like some sort of compensation for our hotel stay. A hotel room, even a nice one, is a far cry from the Wyndham resort. Paying for 7 nights in a hotel was definitely an unexpected and unwelcome expense.

Since returning home we have contacted the companies involved and have received responses from Hilton Grand Vacations, Hilton Honors, Wyndham Hotels, but nothing at all from Wyndham Vacation Ownership (operator of the resort where we had our reservation). RCI is refunding our booking fee, but none of the others have offered any compensation.
Jan 6, 2015
Looking at the timeline below, your main issue appears to be (to me) the extra cost for a week-long stay at a hotel that was not comparable to the original resort. The efforts they made to help seem reasonable, given their limited notice and availability. Flooding was minimal as of February 14th.

I suggest compensation for the additional cost of the hotel plus one (1) day's rate at the resort.

Hilton Grand Vacations contacts are listed here. In your communications, remember
to send only one email each week (see "How to Present Your Case" first) . . .

Recapping your timeline . . .
Reservation in June 2018 for one week at the Wyndham resort in Indio, CA through RCI using Hilton Grand Vacation Club points
Arrived February 22, 2019. All RCI reservations canceled - flooding made some rooms unusable
RCI states voicemail left at home: Room canceled, points returned (msg not received)
RCI/Hilton Grand Vacations offer rooms several hours away, but appointments were in Indio for next few days
Hilton Honors books room for you at the Embassy Suites in La Quinta, CA (extra expense, not comparable to the Wyndham Resort)

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
What does your contract with the vacation club say about situations like this? They must have a clause somewhere about what they can and can't do. I would be angry if I were you too to have to shell out money for another hotel for 7 nights at the last minute too.
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
I will check my HGVC contract. Not sure if Hilton or Wyndham would be the one to ask for compensation.
It's a bit tough for me to follow. You booked "through RCI using our Hilton Grand Vacation Club points" and chose a Wyndham property. Then you called Hilton to get the hotel. Seems to me it would either be RCI or Hilton that you would call. I picked Hilton because I think they would be the one to compensate you (ie., "points back") . . .


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
SUCH an aggravating situation. I'm always agog at corporations who treat their customers like this. I mean, it's a human being who knows you're going to be refused at the door, but that human leaves ONE message on your home voicemail the day before you check in? Disgusting. It will be interesting to see exactly who is responsible for this, RCI or Wyndham. I'd go after them both. First thing, check your res to be sure that they had alternate contact information; if they didn't then their blame is greatly reduced. Hopefully the guilty party will come clear once you read all the terms & conditions. Embassy is a wonderful chain, but a 2-room suite for cash is not even a close comparison to a full condo for points.

I'm a HH Diamond, and have always been impressed by how Hilton treats me. I've always felt that I could ask them for almost anything. So it occurs to me that "someone" might be willing to give you HH points ... the equivalent of 7 nites at Embassy. Embassy properties usually go for 30-60K a night in California. With all the horse shows at HITS, it may be more. I'm just not sure about the tangle of RCI, Wyndham and HH and how they all fit together. But I do know that almost anything is better than cash in the eyes of hotels and airlines. Good luck and please let us know how things go. Yours is a most interesting situation.

Call the property the evening before you're due to check in. Call them directly. It can't hurt.
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