RCI / rci took my family for a ride... big time!
In May 2007 I received a friendly reminder from RCI that my membership was due for renew and was offered a 5-yr for $69/yr or somewhere around $350. I was told that if I renew that I would get a "cruise" voucher good for up to $1200. I requested clarification about the "up to" comment I previously heard and was told that at the conclusion of our conversation that I could be forwarded to the cruise department for further clarification. This was only a bad sign of things to come as it became very clear the cruise department and RCI customer service appear purposely disconnected. Let continue. I was also told that if I deposit my Maui, Hawaii week that I would receive a 2nd bonus week that could also be used in conjunction with the first one, thus having up to $2400 toward a cruise (remember this). I purchased the 5yr membership, but was not forwarded to the cruise dept. I submitted my form to the embassy kanapaali beach club to bank my week and receive a 2nd cruise voucher and received a confirmation of the successful bank to RCI. Now RCI tells me that I already banked my week in September 2006 and I became outraged since I never banked the week! I had to 3-way call the embassy in hawaii and RCI customer service with a supervisor and YES RCI then validated that I infact did not bank in September 2006. The bank was confirmed as May 11, 2007 and a cruise voucher was apparently shipped to my address and would be received a few days after the first one arrived. Three weeks later, I contacted RCI because I never received either of the vouchers that were supposed to arrive within two weeks. A couple more weeks passed and I received the first voucher. I let a couple more weeks go by and called RCI about the 2nd voucher only to be told the 2nd voucher was not valid because I banked in Sept 06. Here we go again. I went around with RCI eight times, included Embassy again and spent over 3 hours on the phone and was promised each and every time that a voucher would be sent to me but it never happened. Finally I was given a voucher activation number and was told to call the cruise department to activate it. I did so only to learn that only one voucher may be used per cabin, they expire in 12 months from activation and may not be used together. WOW. What was I fighting for? I called RCI customer service back and was told by the customer service about the lack of communication between them and the cruise department and cruise department as well as the lack of training received. The rep talked about the hardships their customer service staff had to deal with regarding the cruise voucher promotion and he ultimately provided my with yet another voucher id and I did contact the cruise department to activate successfully, but I will not be using two cabins and have absolutely no idea about the true value of the voucher(s). I know this may be getting boring, but please stay with me because part 2 is worse. We now have a 5 year membership with RCI and I contact them to make arrangements for a southern california timeshare in Anahiem or somewhere close to Disneyland in late July. I am told there is NOTHING available. The first reason, noone in So Cal gives up their timeshare! However, they offer to sell us a week at the Peacock Suites hotel in Anahiem, CA at a higher rate than if I booked the hotel myself or went through expedia. I declined the offer and booked through expedia. Now, not only do they take my RED week in Maui, but they have nothing to trade in return and we out of pocket over $1500 that should still be in the bank making money. I canceled our 5yr and will most likely never use this crooked service again. You'll have to agree that RCI is definitely NOT the well-oiled machine that should be able to put your trust in as a timeshare owner. I'll close this out by mentioning that I've received many phone calls from RCI about renewing my membership and I take the time to tell them about my experience only to learn that it was my fault for not having booked a year in advance. WOW, do they need some competition! I really don't know what to do with this...
Mark in Savage, Minnesota.
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