In the beginning stages of the Coronavirus outbreak, Americans weren’t too worried by the idea of a pandemic. Mixed signals from the media, governments and health organizations didn’t help. Once New York was bombarded with new cases, people started to take notice. In the meantime, timeshares have been buying themselves time while ignoring the concern of vacation owners. But resorts can’t expect their highest paying customers to wait in silence much longer.
Are Vacation Owners Starting to Lose Patience?
One Marriott timeshare owner is already seeking help online. By the end of March, he became so fed up with the way the hotel chain was managing his timeshare that he posted a “rant” on The Business Traveler to let out some steam. Although his opening statement included an apology for publishing a personal topic in a business forum, he felt as though his issue with Marriott was similar to other threads.
Several users on the site had already complained about the issues they were having with “airlines and hotel groups” during the Coronavirus outbreak. So the Marriott timeshare owner wanted to see if there was anyone else out there experiencing similar inconveniences. In his post, he did a good job painting a picture of his disappointment after years of loyalty.
Apparently, he and his wife have spent tens of thousands of dollars on “several timeshare-like arrangements with the Marriott Group in Phuket.” Over the years they’ve also been required to pay thousands of dollars towards annual maintenance fees on multiple contracts. They each have one in their name and own another jointly. It’s obvious why he mentions these things right off the bat. No Marriott timeshare owner should have to pay this much money for something they can’t use.
The Marriott Timeshare Owner’s Story.
After making an Easter reservation at their home resort in Phuket several months in advance, the couple was eventually notified that they wouldn’t be able to use their timeshare week. The “quarantine requirements imposed by Thailand” made it “impossible.” According to the Marriott timeshare owner, they tried for weeks to move their interval to September without prevail.
Not only did Marriott refuse their owner’s request and deny restitution, but they advised them to pay for an exchange company – in order to try to use it. But this concerned the author of the post. He knew that paying more and hoping for the best would probably have the same outcome. “They have lost so much goodwill over this,” he said. “We can’t get a refund because we already own the week.. they are just expecting us to pay an additional fee with no guarantee of getting anything in return, or forfeit our week.”
Sounds like a sweet deal. They can’t be the only Marriott timeshare owner experiencing this right now. Sadly, many probably took the bait and now wish they hadn’t. It’s safe to say many more will give it a shot too. So what are they to do if this worsens their situation? Will timeshare companies provide refunds for contractual travel purchases that occur during a pandemic? It’s hard to tell, but this Marriott timeshare owner is definitely disappointed.
Will Timeshare Inconveniences Ever Be Resolved?
The author went on to say, “One would have thought that in these circumstances Marriott Vacation Club would show a bit of flexibility. We have been members for many years and only want to move our booking to another week later this year when, we hope, travel restrictions have been relaxed,” he said. All he wants to do is reschedule his vacation in confidence. He’s not even looking to cancel the timeshare contract but the response from Marriott may cause him to second-guessing his loyalty.
If these types of emotions are felt by satisfied timeshare owners then how do those that despise the Marriott interval feel? Timeshare companies extending a helping hand during the pandemic has got to be the hope of millions of timeshare owners right now. At the same time, how will the industry handle so many inconveniences and will complaints be properly addressed?
Either way, the true colors of timeshare companies are beginning to shine through. The author closes out his rant with a dash of disgust and subtle plea for help. “The idiocy of this is that if we forfeit the week, they lose the revenue they would have earned if we were in the resort. The stupidity of this situation just infuriates me,” he said. “They are ultimately losing potential revenue and pissing off a loyal customer. What is the sense of that?”
His guess is as good as ours but it probably has a lot to do with money.