Interval International Adds Upgrade Fee with no notice and no explanation

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Neil Maley

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#21
As far as the costs, Neil, 20 years ago we looked at a Hyatt timeshare in Lake Tahoe. It was very appealing to both of us (we rarely agree on anything). I sat down with the numbers and found that we could vacation in their Penthouse for a month every year for less than a TS would cost. Of course there is the savings of a full kitchen in a condo, but I'm not a big fan of cooking dinners and cleaning up the kitchen. I'd rather set the room service tray out in the hall.
And that has been what our research showed. And my wife refuses to go on vacation and have to be cleaning, making the bed and cooking our meals. We live in the beach year round and I could just stay home if I wanted to do that.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#22
And that has been what our research showed. And my wife refuses to go on vacation and have to be cleaning, making the bed and cooking our meals. We live in the beach year round and I could just stay home if I wanted to do that.
I would have to give up my feminist creds if I didn't ask why your WIFE has to do all that!!?! Lucky you to live on the water.
 
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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#24
I would have to give up my feminist creds if I didn't ask why your WIFE has to do all that!!?! Lucky you to live on the water.
When you rent a condo it doesn't come with cleaning. We actually share the household chores and I actually do more of the cooking than she does as she's always working. So in reality, NEITHER of us wants to cook and clean.
 
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Jul 4, 2016
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#25
Sorry for the very long delay. Interval did finally respond to the custom complaints and basically said "Sorry". "We will give better notice to fee changes in the future". We actually experienced another fee change a few months ago when the online booking discount went away. Interval did send out a notice (though the email was a bit confusing). So, I think they are at least attempting to give better notice.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#26
These companies are only in business to suck in people for time shares.

My only other suggestion would be for you to file a complaint with the Attorney General in your state. Enough complaints and they can go after these companies.
 
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Mar 10, 2015
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#27
Interesting. Can I ask an honest question? Is it really worth all of this to go on vacation? Are you really saving money with what you paid upfront, the annual fees and then these fees added in, plus whatever fees it costs you to switch to an all inclusive?

I don't know how many people you are traveling with but couples can do all inclusive from as little as $3000 a week including air. How does that compare with a time share?

I still don't have a firm grasp on time shares and what is ends up costing. I know my brother had one and it cost him money every year whether he went ion vacation or not.

Not everyplace one might want to vacation offers an "all inclusive." I've used a time share (via RCI) to travel to a lot of different areas that didn't have such things, like New Orleans, Los Angeles area, Virginia, Cape Cod, Washington state, Maryland, London, Quebec and more. Perhaps the places we visited in Mexico/Carribean might have had all inclusives available.

The cost is probably about the same. For the maintenance, membership fee, exchange fee it runs about $1,200 - $1,400 for a week's vacation. For that sum, I almost always get a nice condo-type unit with 2+ bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a dining area. I think getting a hotel room for that size would cost much more in many instances.

When we vacation, we do use the kitchen for some meals, mostly breakfast, which we can buy very cheaply at the grocery store, compared to eating out for breakfast. We do usually buy food to make a couple of lunches/dinners, which is a lot cheaper than eating out all the time. Certainly, we have to make judicious decisions of what to buy/make, since we can't bring home leftover ingredients most of the time. And when we do eat out, the timeshare kitchen is nice for storing leftovers in the fridge, and reheating them the next day.

That said, my main complaint about time share exchanges is that it can get difficult to find a place in the location you want, at the time you want, unless you cement your plans a year in advance. And you have to deposit your weeks as early as possible, which might mean calling up your time share to pay your next years maintenance fees a lot earlier than you might otherwise do.

That said, RCI does what it can to get you to pay more fees. You deposit your week and get say 30 points. But then the week you want at X place only costs you 14 points. So now you still have 16 points, which you can use to pay for another week exchange (at another $200), you can combine and/or extend the points out to use later ($99 either way), or let them disappear. So if you have the available time, you're one week can get you 2 or sometimes even 3 weeks of exchange elsewhere and the more weeks you get out of your one week can save money.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#28
Not everyplace one might want to vacation offers an "all inclusive." I've used a time share (via RCI) to travel to a lot of different areas that didn't have such things, like New Orleans, Los Angeles area, Virginia, Cape Cod, Washington state, Maryland, London, Quebec and more. Perhaps the places we visited in Mexico/Carribean might have had all inclusives available.

The cost is probably about the same. For the maintenance, membership fee, exchange fee it runs about $1,200 - $1,400 for a week's vacation. For that sum, I almost always get a nice condo-type unit with 2+ bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a dining area. I think getting a hotel room for that size would cost much more in many instances.

When we vacation, we do use the kitchen for some meals, mostly breakfast, which we can buy very cheaply at the grocery store, compared to eating out for breakfast. We do usually buy food to make a couple of lunches/dinners, which is a lot cheaper than eating out all the time. Certainly, we have to make judicious decisions of what to buy/make, since we can't bring home leftover ingredients most of the time. And when we do eat out, the timeshare kitchen is nice for storing leftovers in the fridge, and reheating them the next day.

That said, my main complaint about time share exchanges is that it can get difficult to find a place in the location you want, at the time you want, unless you cement your plans a year in advance. And you have to deposit your weeks as early as possible, which might mean calling up your time share to pay your next years maintenance fees a lot earlier than you might otherwise do.

That said, RCI does what it can to get you to pay more fees. You deposit your week and get say 30 points. But then the week you want at X place only costs you 14 points. So now you still have 16 points, which you can use to pay for another week exchange (at another $200), you can combine and/or extend the points out to use later ($99 either way), or let them disappear. So if you have the available time, you're one week can get you 2 or sometimes even 3 weeks of exchange elsewhere and the more weeks you get out of your one week can save money.
I think you are not a 'normal' TS owner, Jevia, you are savvy, experienced, willing to do your research and, most of all, on top of all the aspects of TS ownership. I'm sure I'd love to play the TS game and we really like vacation rentals for all the reasons you state.

I understand your rationale above, but I'm curious. How long did it take to amortize the up-front cost of the timeshare?
 
Mar 10, 2015
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#29
How long did it take to amortize the up-front cost of the timeshare?
Sorry to take so long to reply.

You are right, I am not typical. I did not buy my timeshare, my parents did, about 37 years ago (wow, I didn't realize it had been that long) It was their first. My parents purchased several time shares over the space of about 5-6 years, each one for approximately $10,000-12,000 (based on the purchase documents I later saw). I used the timeshares with my parents for about 8 years, then they would typically 'gift' me (and my sister) a week for birthday present for several years. I know they traveled a lot after their retirement, so they got some good use out of them.

I began paying some of the fees when I would use one week the timeshares myself about 20 years ago after my father died (im' sure my sister did as well). My mom would also still use the timeshare to travel with friends. 4-5 years ago, my mother decided that she didn't want to deal with it anymore, she wasn't able to travel, so she transferred them to me and my sister (we split them up, I got 2 1-week timeshares with independent places deposited with RCI, she got 1 2-week timeshare that was with Marriott). I just recently "sold" one of the timeshares to my neice, since 1 week's worth was more than sufficient for me, especially since 1 week deposit could work out to 2 or more weeks of actual exchange, plus I took over my mother's RCI account which already had a balance remaing.

That said, given my parents purchased the timeshares for only about $10,000-12,000, I'm fairly certain they paid them off as quick as they could, they didn't like to hold debt. I'm sure that no later than 1992, when they sold the large family home they purchased in 1970, any remaining time share debt was paid off.

I don't know what timeshares sell for now, I've gone on a couple of sales tours when on vacation at a timeshare, but didn't pay all that much attention to the price, I just wanted the free stuff they offered. They'd try the hard sell, but I'd just respond, I already own 2, I don't need another, and just kept saying No. Having a bit of a scrooge for a husband helped.

So the best advice I can give to anyone who wants to buy a timeshare is to try and find someone who wants to sell one they've already bought, but aren't using much anymore. Even if they still owe something on the time share, its bound to be cheaper than buying a brand new timeshare outright. You don't have to research the "fair market value" for the timeshare, I sold mine to my neice for $10. The only "value" is if the timeshare is actually being used, and if it isn't used much, there isn't much "value."
 
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