Shell Vacation Club - Timeshares / Misleading sales pitch
Yesterday my fiance and I attended one of their sales shows and after asking some questions and being reassured, we agreed to purchase one of thier points plans and walk away. As we were leaving my fiance started having some trouble reconsilng their "savings" math. So after scrutinizing the member's information book (note "member", not "owner" - as they like to push), I discovered that much of what I was told was either outright false, or misleading. Some of these issues included:
- we were told that point costs would not go up. The member's information book clearly states that it can.
- we were told that our points could reserve a location from one to two and a half weeks anywhere we want, the information book clearly shows that we would have to bank our points for two years before we could have enough to use them (continually paying as they were banked).
- There are minimum reservation requirements that do not allow us to "maximize our points" (a major sales pitch point).
There were others, but the biggest would have been the following:
Going to one of their hotels, I priced a reservation from 23 Aug 09 to 29 Aug 09. I got a quote back saying 787.26 dollars. If I were to use the number of points required by SVC (as listed in the information book), and calculating the per-point value after APR, this same reservation costs me $4, 273.50
Now I realize I can get discounts as a member, but thats a 543% increase (not counting airfare), and I don't think they have discounts that big.
Also the senior sales persons didn't seem to be aware of the recent "policy changes" that affected our incentives.
There is a silver lining in this cloud, in the State of California you have the right to cancel the contract within 7 CALENDAR days, based upon the postmark. They were required to give you this in their Public Report (which for us was in a large white envelope). However you have to mail in the cancellation notice - their fax number doesn't work.
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