As discussed in the previous article, “Booking Companies: How Neutral Are They?”, RCI and Interval International, work as an extension of the resorts. The parent corporation, Wyndham in RCI’s case (or Marriott Vacations Worldwide, for Interval International), directs new owners towards the seemingly third-party Booking Company to manage their Timeshare. However, owners soon find themselves buried under restrictions they never knew they had. Purchasers were originally told it would be anywhere, anytime bookings, but there can be fees they never knew to pay, with huge advanced booking requirements and artificial availability, when you could just book it today online. These restrictions are all carefully manufactured by the booking companies to turn a profit at the expense of the consumer.


When a timeshare owner uses the booking company, they may glean actual benefit from them, perhaps for several years even, with legitimate bonuses and additional accommodations. This of course, is all setting the stage that inevitably, some issue will arise to the detriment of the consumer and their usage of their membership benefits—a sudden lack of availability, or not being able to book the location they were promised at all, or even an 11-month waiting list just to book a room. This is all by design, where stipulations and nonsensical requirements are invented with the intent to frustrate the owners promised ‘Use Rights’. They will then present an answer that will seemingly fix all these issues: an ‘Upgrade’ to a higher level of membership or plan, like Silver, only to discover later its Gold that you need, until Platinum or Diamond becomes necessary.

The Stair-Stepping Model

These upgrades will always increase over time, adding costs, if not outright doubling yearly fees and mortgage balances, yet never seem to fully address the problem at hand. There is always some ‘elite package’, ‘gold membership’ or ‘presidential standard’ between you and the vacation you presumably paid for. The goal is to keep consumers upgrading for as much and as long as possible. They take great interest in how one responds—offering bigger and better upgrades and complimentary benefits to those who prove they are willing to pay, while those who raise questions as to what they are truly paying for face changing rules and obtuse restrictions.

As a result, the vacation you initially bought into was a Carrot they dangle in front of you to provide an end goal, a driving purpose to all these upgrades. Otherwise, owners would be better off to pay one recurring fee and utilize their Timeshare to their heart’s content, which would go against the goal of the Timeshare Industry: to keep their consumers on an ever-increasing spending plan.

To consumers trapped within these fraudulent booking cycles, it may seem impossible to escape. However, RCI, and its parent corporation, Wyndham—Which is now TRAVEL + LEISURE, INC. to distance themselves from the Wyndham name—can be challenged, and can be beaten, proven by several recent court cases. There have been many Court Settlements where resorts resisted amicable relief but settled when litigation was raised to protect the Owner’s rights. Through a licensed attorney knowledgeable in Timeshare Law, you can get out of your Timeshare contract.

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