October 26, 2010|By Chris Elliott -- The Biking Troublesoter, The Biking Troublesoter
Q: My ancestors is a affiliate of Marriott Vacation Club International and we accept a timeshare with them. As allotment of that purchase, we were told that we accept the adeptness to acquirement "getaways" for either a anniversary or a weekend. (A break is artlessly a bargain way to hire an unsold timeshare address like a auberge room.)
My wife contacted Interval Travel, which handles anxiety for Marriott, to acquirement a break at a Marriott Vacation Club resort in Orlando. Interval told her that there were no Marriott backdrop accessible for getaways at that time, but instead adapted addition acreage alleged Westgate Vacation Villas in Kissimmee, Fla.
We paid $339 for four nights at Westgate. We actomed a booking acceptance by mail the day afore the break was to activate and it appeared to be in order. It wasn't. Back I accomplished the advanced desk, they brash me that they had no almanac whatsoever of our reservation. Eventually, they offered us a "spare" allowance but alone afterwards sitting through a sales presentation.
Once I opened the room, a able aroma of cast and bane blew out at us. The allowance had acutely not been maintained, the air conditioning was not on and the air affection was intolerable. With the added aggravation of astringent allergies in our family, there was no way that we could possibly break in this room.
I was told that there were no added apartment accessible and that annihilation could be done. I told the board abettor that we could not break in that allowance due to its condition, and she apologized and said that the alone advantage would be to leave the resort. She again printed me a "zero balance" cancellation to appearance that I had not stayed, and told me that I bare to seek acquittance from Interval for this experience. I've alleged Interval again back then, but it has told me there are no refunds for its getaways. Can you help? -- Mike Ray, Bradenton, Fla.
A: If you had a confirmation, you suld accept had a room. It's as simple as that.
A ysis of your paperwork, which you beatific forth with your letter, suggests the website kicked out an invalid catch (your acceptance cardinal was a suious-looking "009999999"). But I wouldn't accept accepted to attending for that, and neither would anyone abroad w isn't actomed with the resort's catch system.
But Westgate didn't aloof lose your vacation. The website Marriott Vacation Club beatific you to for your catch kept your money, alike admitting it didn't action you the allowance you were promised. Let's not alike get sed on the binding sales presentation -- awful inappropriate, actomed your cirstances.
Calling the resort and the website was an barefaced response, but it didn't advice your case. I would accept sed with a srt, affable email to Marriott Vacation Club, which afterwards all referred you to Interval and Westgate. Marriott would accept anesthetized your complaint forth to the adapted parties, ensuring a faster resolution.
Why not buzz calls? Well, acrimonious up the buzz works back you're continuing at the advanced board and there's no reservation. Again, I would accept amorpus with Marriott Vacation Club, back it allegedly got you into this.
You ability accept additionally advised calling the auberge afore abrogation for Orlando to double-check your reservation. By accomplishing that, I'm ertive this botheration could accept been ancd afore you arrested in.
You ability be wondering: If you accept to alarm the tel, again what acceptable is the cardboard a catch is printed on? That would be a fair question. The anxiety systems that handle auberge and timeshare bookings are far from perfect. You're bigger off calling to confirm, aloof as you would for an airline reservation.
I'm a little addled by w you could be answerable for a catch you never had, but I'm accommodating to book that up to the aforementioned catch arrangement that aerated out a absent booking. Things like this happen.
I contacted Marriott Vacation Club on your behalf, and you actomed a abounding acquittance for the allowance you couldn't use.
Christopher Elliott is the ombudsman for National Geographic Traveler magazine. You can apprehend added biking tips on his blog, elliott.org or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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