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Thread: A week in the Life of a Timeshare Exchanger

  1. #1

    A week in the Life of a Timeshare Exchanger

    So-I was perusing Trading Places International inventory (as well as that on a few other independent exchange companies that I have free membership in).

    I have a Smuggs week 42 2018 - a floater- I want to exchange. I happen to see a 9/7/18 week for the Cove at Yarmouth on Cape Cod. Although I never entertained the idea of visiting the Cape, I decided it would be nice to do something different (ocean) from what we usually do (mountains/lakes) and it is within driving distance and in our favorite region (New England). I try to do it on-line (for $149) but it won't let me because I have to deposit my week first on-line and then wait for it to be verified and then exchange. By then the week I want could be gone, so I decide to call and pay the extra $20 to take care of it.($169)

    So I call Trading Places last Wednesday and explain I would like to do the trade. The rep- very nice- takes my week and then tells me he will put the week I want on hold until my deposit is confirmed with Smuggs. He said I should hear by Friday that everything is confirmed.

    Being the paranoid person I am, on Friday I check TP on line and see the week I wanted at Yarmouth was showing as available again. I put it on a 20 minute hold several times (this by hitting the exchange button, which then puts it on hold since I couldn't exchange it without the deposit in and confirmed) and call TP. The rep tells me my deposited week was denied. To make a long story longer, the TP rep on Wed. put in the wrong names of my ownership. He put in Smugglers Cove in Florida instead of Smugglers Notch! (funny - it is a combination of both resort's names- "Cove" and "Smugglers"). So it was denied because I am not an owner at that resort!

    So after being on the phone and hold for literally over a hour, then the rep tells me that our 2018 maintenance fees have to be paid for 2018 to exchange! I tell her that is ridiculous as we don't pay that far in advance and we wouldn't even know what the amount of that fee will be in 2018! I also tell her that Smuggs handles the maintenance fees a bit differently than some resorts. I want to exchange a 2018 week for a 2018 week not for a future year! If I wait to pay that maintenance fee in July/August when I get the bill I won't have a lot of time to get an exchange for Sept. Not to mention at work we have to put in for our time off in February!

    I call Smuggs and the owner services person tells me to have them fax the form to her and she will verify. She will not deny the deposit. I call TP back and explain. They agree to go through with the exchange Before verifying the deposit and proceed to tell me about the season upgrade fee of $50. (Because I am exchanging a white week for a red (which to me is really a pink)). Here I am giving them a 2 bedroom, gold crown in Oct for a one bedroom, silver crown in Sept. I get her to take $20 off because of the prior mix up with the other rep. and all the time I have been on the phone. Exchange still comes to $199. She says I should get a confirmation of the week I deposited on Monday.


    So Trading Places is closed for three days over the New Years weekend and by Monday Smuggs still hasn't gotten the form. I call TP- was on hold literally for over an hour (I put the phone down several times and would come back and was still on hold)- and give them an email address to send it to, as well as verify they have the correct fax number- which they did. Rep was very nice. Said he couldn't put it to the attention of the person at Smuggs I spoke to but will make sure the verification dept. has the email address.

    Finally this morning I get an email from Smuggs that they got the verification form and confirmed the deposit. But I see it (the deposited week) online as showing up as available to exchange. I call TP and explain that that week is not available- it has to be applied to the Yarmouth week I just exchanged into on Friday. Rep tells me it is a done deal and I then get the email confirmation and now all is done.

    Phew- took a lot of work! And time! And frustration! But the persistence paid off!

    Still- glad I rarely exchange anymore. Though- I will be again for 2019........



    Mary Ann

  2. #2
    Please excuse me, I'm a Dick. Not a moron just a Dick
    Join Date
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    15,347
    Not of much significance, when we used to exchange we normally confirmed the exchange 18-24 months ahead, and normally often used a week from a future year. We always had to pay that future maintenance fee when we deposited it. We were charged whatever the current fee was, and then if there was an increase, we paid it at the normal due date.

    There was a time when the resort lost track and I had to submit credit card receipts and so forth to show we were paid.
    RCI Member Since 24-Aug-1989/150-plus Exchanges***THE TIMESHARE GRIM REAPER~~~Exchanging/Searching/SW Florida/MO/AR/IA/Consumer Advocacy/Estate Planning/Sports/Boating/Fishing/Golf/Lake-living/Retirement****Sometimes ya just gotta be a dick

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by JLB View Post
    Not of much significance, when we used to exchange we normally confirmed the exchange 18-24 months ahead, and normally often used a week from a future year. We always had to pay that future maintenance fee when we deposited it. We were charged whatever the current fee was, and then if there was an increase, we paid it at the normal due date.

    There was a time when the resort lost track and I had to submit credit card receipts and so forth to show we were paid.

    The thing was I wanted to deposit a 2018 week for a 2018 week exchange. I did not want to deposit my week with them unless I could get that Cape Cod week. I own 3 weeks of timeshares per year and I only get so many vacation days per year- so pushing weeks into the future years does me no good because I won't be able to take that much vacation in any given year.

    BTW- I used RCI for many years and never had to pay maintenance fees a head of time on weeks I deposited.

    Anyway, the point is it shouldn't be this hard and also things are not always as they seem.

  4. #4
    Please excuse me, I'm a Dick. Not a moron just a Dick
    Join Date
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    Item 2: Depends on each resort's policy. We've had some that did not require payment at time of advance deposit and some that did.

    Item 3: Yup & yup.

    RCI Member Since 24-Aug-1989/150-plus Exchanges***THE TIMESHARE GRIM REAPER~~~Exchanging/Searching/SW Florida/MO/AR/IA/Consumer Advocacy/Estate Planning/Sports/Boating/Fishing/Golf/Lake-living/Retirement****Sometimes ya just gotta be a dick

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JLB View Post
    Item 2: Depends on each resort's policy. We've had some that did not require payment at time of advance deposit and some that did.

    Item 3: Yup & yup.


    Right. But it is the policy of Trading Places and I think a lot of people would be discouraged to use them basing it just on that policy because maybe their resort- like mine- does not require it to be paid. My resort just verifies that maintenance fees are paid (meaning up to date- not for weeks far off into the future). I only found this out as I went through the process.

    Before I knew any of this, the rep., at Trading Places was insisting I cannot trade unless my maintenance fees are paid for 2018. If I was a different type of person, I would have just said "oh- ok" and hung up. Certainly would have been easier! LOL!

  6. #6
    5-10 years ago I would say that less than 1/3 of resorts required you to prepay the MF when depositing a future week with an exchange company. These days, I think it is reversed. Less than 1/3 would allow you to deposit without prepaying. Resorts also are more likely to play hard ball with the smaller exchange companies that have less clout. Come 2018 and you don't pay your MF the resort is going to cancel the deposit with TPI and not let the person confirmed to your week check in. At that point TPI is going to have to scramble to find something for someone who has been confirmed for over a year. Yes, they can cancel your exchange when they find that happens although that doesn't help them with their exchanger wanting something in Vermont that they had been planning on.

    So my guess it is a combination of going with the policy more than half the resorts have instituted and not wanting to be on the hook if the week gets yanked back by management if the owner of the unit ultimately doesn't pay the fee even if they don't require pre-payment to exchange.

  7. #7
    Yes, I understand the concept of the reason they do it. But it makes it very hard to actually do any exchanges.If you wait until the fee is actually due, your chances of getting something you want are very low.

    Most people do not have an extra $900 just sitting around. Then- for the most part- you have to hope there is something to exchange into after you pay it. I would never do it. No way. Worse came to worse I would hope something becomes available the same year and if not, just use my week at my home resort.

    Also- this is probably another reason why the smaller companies don't have much inventory.

    I haven't belonged to RCI for many years and don't intend to ever belong again, but do they require this as well now?

  8. #8
    Please excuse me, I'm a Dick. Not a moron just a Dick
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpumilia View Post
    Most people do not have an extra $900 just sitting around.
    & if they did, they'd just go on the Internet and rent a week, and keep the balance.



    Or rent something from RCI for $200 m/l, and keep the balance.

    (BTW, I do have $900 just sitting around. Pretty much everything we have is just sitting around.)



    Like I said way up yonder, in order to get what we wanted, when we wanted to get, we had to do it 18-24 months out.
    RCI Member Since 24-Aug-1989/150-plus Exchanges***THE TIMESHARE GRIM REAPER~~~Exchanging/Searching/SW Florida/MO/AR/IA/Consumer Advocacy/Estate Planning/Sports/Boating/Fishing/Golf/Lake-living/Retirement****Sometimes ya just gotta be a dick

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by mpumilia View Post
    Yes, I understand the concept of the reason they do it. But it makes it very hard to actually do any exchanges.If you wait until the fee is actually due, your chances of getting something you want are very low.

    Most people do not have an extra $900 just sitting around. Then- for the most part- you have to hope there is something to exchange into after you pay it. I would never do it. No way. Worse came to worse I would hope something becomes available the same year and if not, just use my week at my home resort.

    Also- this is probably another reason why the smaller companies don't have much inventory.

    I haven't belonged to RCI for many years and don't intend to ever belong again, but do they require this as well now?
    My resort has the policy. It won't deposit your week to RCI until the maintenance fee for that week has been paid. So one year I had to pay double the fee, and now I am always a year ahead paying once a year.
    Jacki

  10. #10
    Please excuse me, I'm a Dick. Not a moron just a Dick
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackio View Post
    My resort has the policy. It won't deposit your week to RCI until the maintenance fee for that week has been paid. So one year I had to pay double the fee, and now I am always a year ahead paying once a year.
    That was the case with one of our resorts, the one that lost track of what we had paid. I showed them what we had paid, using credit card statements and RCI deposit statements, and so forth. They finally just gave up, rather than actually finding what they needed to find. I don't think we can see all of our account online with them any more.
    RCI Member Since 24-Aug-1989/150-plus Exchanges***THE TIMESHARE GRIM REAPER~~~Exchanging/Searching/SW Florida/MO/AR/IA/Consumer Advocacy/Estate Planning/Sports/Boating/Fishing/Golf/Lake-living/Retirement****Sometimes ya just gotta be a dick

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