My friend & I recently booked a trip through his time-share, Interval International, to go to the Costa Maya Reef Resort in Belize, Central America scheduled for 8/18-8/25/07. We booked this trip over the phone & gave the company representative our credit card information for charging the trip. The night before we were scheduled to leave, we attempted to contact the resort to ensure they were still accepting guests. We had some concerns due to
hurricane dean. No one answered the phone. So we spent the next few hours tracking the storm online & at that point it didn't appear that it would affect Belize at all.
So on Saturday morning, we boarded a US Airways flight bound for Belize. We arrived at Belize Int'l Airport at approx. 10am. We then boarded a Tropic Air plane for another 15-minute flight to San Pedro. Once we arrived at Fido's dock in San Pedro to board a ferry to take us to the resort, we were told by the ferry master that Costa Maya Reef resort was closed in anticipation of the hurricane. He gave us the resort owner's name & cell phone number.
I spoke to the owner personally & he informed me that he had contacted Interval International 2 days prior (which would have been Thursday) to let them know they would be closing that Friday because of the hurricane. Interval had our phone number and e-mail address and no one EVER attempted to contact us.
We then had to make other last minute arrangements to stay at another resort on the mainland, which ended up costing us thousands more than we had expected to spend. Because Interval International did not inform us of the situation, both of our lives were put at risk & we are out thousands of dollars because we had to make other arrangements.
When we returned home, we contacted Interval International numerous times in an attempt to get our money back. Each time, we were told they would not refund a dime. The last representative I spoke with, **, did admit that the resort contacted them to let them know of the closing in advance, but that it was OUR responsibility to contact THEM to get information in the event of a natural disaster. My impression of this company, and their specific handling (or lack thereof) of my situation left much to be desired. I find their practices & actions to be unprofessional, irresponsible, criminal & incompetent. BEWARE!
PENTICTON B.C. -- We have been timeshare owners for 10+ years. We exchange through Interval International. When we first started exchanging, the accommodations were quite good and easy to book. We now find that places are substandard and the desirable locations are extremely difficult to get.... (Spain in January anyone?)
Our last exchange had a cat and cat bowls behind the lobby desk!!! This is the "5 star accommodation" we bought??? At a Vegas spot I overheard the front desk clerk tell a walk-in customer that he could book this location for 45.00 dollars/night!!!! We are ready to throw in the towel. Is anyone as frustrated as we are? It angers us that we will just have to walk away from the money we spent to buy this.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Interval International does not give you all the information you need when you book through their company. We stayed at the Royal Haciendas resort in Playa del Carmen, QR on January 4-11, 2014. We were told that the hotel was all-inclusive. We paid over $1200.00 for our meals and learned that the cost did not include some items on the menu and drinks. We were charged a surcharge for meals that we wanted for both a meal and drinks. It was our understanding that all-inclusive included room, food, drinks, activities, etc. We quickly learned that this was not the case. My husband & I was disappointed with our accommodations. We do not plan to go to The Royal Hotels again.
In the past several years we have noticed a steep decline in the availability of exchanges with Interval International. We are lucky since we can change from II to RCI and are looking to do just that. It is too bad, because we have been with II since 1993 and used to be able to get exchanges easily. Not anymore. Have tried to get Hawaii - no can do. Just looked at Massachusetts, one of our favorite destinations (stayed in the Berkshires two years ago and have stayed at Cape Cod a couple of times before that), and there is not one resort available to book from mid-May to mid-June.
Granted that we are a little late in looking/booking so I didn't expect too much. But the choices that do remain seem to be places that are not very interesting or not the place to go to in the summer (like Phoenix). So I think we will be saying good-bye to II and hello to RCI! Kind of sad since I just set up my membership for another 5 years. But it's worth it to get with a program that has a lot more availability (let's hope so, anyway).
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- We have a timeshare in Cabo San Lucas. We have been using Interval to trade in the weeks to go places that don't require 3 planes to get there. In the past 5 years we have seen a definite downward slide in service and availability. We booked a vacation through Interval for Feb. 2014. We then found out a few days later there were no flights to be had. ** from Interval told us he still had the request on his desk and not to worry it would not be put through. Turns out it was put through and we were charged over $1000.00 for a trip we did not take.
The people at Interval were at best unhelpful and at worst, downright rude. They seem to take please in telling us that there was nothing they could do. We are now donating our timeshare to charity because we will never again use this company. Save your money and don't believe everything you hear!
FLORIDA -- Wife and I had to exchange Marriott Vacation Club Week through Interval. My in-laws left with our kids the night before our stay to break up the drive and stayed at a hotel halfway. My wife and I left for vacation the following day. Since the in laws and kids were arriving before us we wanted to let the front desk of another Marriott resort we were staying at know they would be checking in ahead of us.
They said we had to work through Interval and pay a $49 fee to change check in to in-laws' name. We tried talking to supervisors at both Interval and Marriott and both claimed it was "policy". This is a total RIP OFF. It is crazy that we had to pay this fee to have our kids be able to check in 4 hours before we arrived. I would never recommend Interval and remain very disappointed with Marriott.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Interval International is one of the least helpful and most dishonest companies around - BEWARE! They will lie to you and their website will be their excuse for losing weeks/exchanges, etc. Escalating to management is not at all helpful - they all parrot the same script and couldn't care less about any issue that is not specifically mentioned in the script.
I renewed my membership at an increased cost between the renewal they LOST one of my weeks. Calls/emails resulted in NOTHING until the week passed. Then I got a response by email and a call from a senior customer service and then a manager... all with EXACTLY the same response. BEWARE!!! My complaint is being escalated this time to the FL BBB... This company and their dishonest practices must be stopped!
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- I made my reservations in April for an exchange resort (Welk Resorts in san Diego). I hold a two bedroom unit for a week through Marriott. Interval talked me into getting into this downgraded one bedroom in Welk resorts and told me to check with the hotel periodically to see if the two bedroom units will be released. I was told by Welk that the requests can be made only through Interval. Interval kept telling me that there were no units at all for the week and I will have to forgo the studio portion of my units. I attended a preview of Welk and found out that Interval does this one bedroom exchange for two bedroom units in Marriott claiming that Welk is a premier resort.
Much to my chagrin I was dumped into a small one bedroom unit the size of a studio for the premier two bedroom that I used to enjoy at Marriott. To add fuel to the fire I also found out that Interval has their HQ in Welk's premises and all along they played that they know nothing about the resort's availabilities and handle only the inventory.
As an advise please do not check into Welk thinking this is better to be downgraded to a premier resort - the accommodation SUCKS! The rooms are very awkwardly set up and my kids had to sleep in a pull out couch that had a terrible mattress. The showers are substandard and I ended up taking my family to LA for two nights. This has been a horrible experience.
We feel the need to warn others of the unscrupulous exchange practices of II. We have been members of II for 10+ years and Have 2 Marriott weeks, plus one other banked for exchange. I wanted a tropical vacay this Winter, so paid an extra $139.00 (over the $180.00 yearly dues) in July to have a "pending exchange" request. All I have received are annoying evening phone calls from interval staff trying to solicit 3 years of advanced interval dues a year before they are due. No offer of an exchange and I have requested 20+ locales over 5 wks.
I have attempted to exchange about 10 times over 10 years and only found marginal success 3 times. Usually offered shabby facilities off-season or forced into accepting a "Getaway" vacation for $500.00-$1,500.00 per week when down to the wire. Buyer beware!
Made a reservation through Interval International in Kissimmie Fl. It was the worst dump of a place we had ever stay in. The rooms were nasty. I had taken a paper towel and rubbed it on the kitchen floor. The towel turned black. The same thing with the bathroom floor. The bathroom were filthy. The carpet was not vacuumed bugs in corners. They seemed they have been there for a week or so. Looked like everything was wiped down with a wet filthy rag.
Called the manager, showed her. They cleaned it the next day. Did not even give us a temporary room until it was clean. It smelled moldy and we are allergic to mold. The people upstairs were very noisy yelling banging until 3am every night. Called security. They did nothing. Kept calling security and the manager and still they did nothing. This kept going on each night. The children could not sleep. Worst vacation ever.