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Festiva Resortsa thoroughly disgusted owner

I sent the following letter to the Festiva Board of Directors today:

To whomever is listening (or pretending to be),

We have been owners since 1990. First through Peppertree, then Fairfield, then Wyndham, then Equivest and now the greatest curse of all -- Festiva. Do I sound disgusted??? You have no idea.

We switched from the fixed-week plan to the points plan when the company was sold to Equivest. We thought this would allow us the flexibility to take vacation time at our convenience and not when it was dictated by our fixed plan. We even bought additional points to be sure that as we grew older and into retirement, we could enjoy our leisure time when we wanted, whether it meant taking a three-day weekend, five days or a full week. This worked well under Equivest, even though I was not happy about the booking fees. But we got around that by pre-planning and booking all of our time with one phone call. We encountered no problems with Equivest. Ever.

Then entered Festiva. I THOUGHT this was supposed to be a better company - no booking fees, additional properties under the Festiva umbrella, ease of online reservations and all that other crap we had to sit and listen to. "Want a long weekend? Just call us 45 days in advance for reservations at any Festiva property." That's the biggest line of bull you've ever told. Today, Once again, I called EXACTLY 45 days in advance of my planned reservation date, having MARKED IT ON MY CALENDAR SO I WOULDN'T BE LATE, only to be told - AS USUAL - "I'm sorry, there's nothing available for those dates." How the hell can the entire Peppertree Atlantic Beach property be booked to the hilt the first weekend in DECEMBER???? SERIOUSLY??? And then she goes on to tell me that Festiva doesn't own all the units. Travelocity owns some, Expedia owns some, blah, blah, blah. WELL WHAT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE OWNED UNITS BEFORE THERE EVER WAS A "FESTIVA"??? Who's looking out for US??? This is the FIFTH time since June that I've tried to get a three-day weekend from Virginia to Myrtle Beach, calling 45 days in advance as I was told, only to be told the SAME damn thing each and every time. Then she has the nerve to tell me that if it wasn't for the other companies owning units with all the money they invest, the maintenance on the properties would go to pot. WE'RE paying you thieves over $1100.00 EVERY year for maintenance. Where do you get off trying to make me feel GRATEFUL that so many other companies are invested in your properties now?? What about those of us who helped build all those units with our maintenance fees from 20 years ago? So then she tells me, "Your best bet would be to book a full week at the beginning of the year." IF I WANTED TO TAKE A FULL WEEK I WOULD HAVE KEPT THE DAMN FIXED WEEK WE HAD TO START WITH.

And when I finally do get a reservation -- NEVER the weekend that I want, mind you -- before my suitcase hits the floor one of your reps is calling wanting us to sit through an "owner's presentation, so we can bring you up to date on all the exciting things happening at Festiva." There's not a damn thing that I want to hear from you anymore. And do you actually think I would recommend Festiva to anyone I know or give you the names of family and friends so you can contact them??? WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER. I wouldn't insult my worst enemy with a Festiva recommendation. When we were at Peppertree Atlantic Beach (LOVE the resort; it's the Company I have problems with) in mid-September, AFTER the summer season and NOT the weekend I wanted by the way, having settled for second best AGAIN, I rode and counted the cars on the property. 68. SIXTY-EIGHT. There are over 600 units on that property. So I called the reservation line from my room and facetiously asked if I could get a last-minute reservation at Peppertree Atlantic Beach. "Nope, sorry, all full up! But you can probably call Travelocity and PAY for a three-day weekend." Please. Give me a break.

Well, how about I give you all a break. After 20 years, I plan to sell my Festiva membership as fast as I can dump it. Half-price, quarter-price, I don't even care. Both the Hilton Vacation Club and Holiday Inn Vacation Club sound like winners, and their reputations makes yours look like cow pies.

Please feel free to share my comments with anyone on the Board; because I plan to share them with EVERYONE on the Internet.

Responses

  • An
    Andy Kerr01 Nov 14, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Check out Jim at www.timesharetricks.blogspot.com he can help you

    0 Votes
  • Ve
    Veryunhappy2 Nov 14, 2016
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    How can we get out of Festiva? Maintence fee has tripled in less then 10 years and we have seen no remodeling done on any Peppertree. Forget trying to trade for a week at the beach. Have owned since 1992.

    0 Votes
  • Bu
    bunnyhop58 Dec 02, 2016

    @Veryunhappy2 We got out and they gave us our money back. Shame on you Festiva. Any company that has to sell based on lies does not need to be in business. [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • An
    Andy Kerr01 Apr 06, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Shared. With all the problems they are having with Attorney Generals, it is easier to get out of their contracts.

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Oct 27, 2011

    To: CarolinaBeachBum
    Please keep in mind that a number of our properties are undergoing rennovations and you have the ability to travel to all of our destinations.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    CarolinaBeachBum Oct 25, 2011

    This is a follow-up to my letter of last week, indicating that I was a Thoroughly Disgusted Owner. I am somewhat calmer this week after having received a call from their office, so I'll change my byline from Thoroughly Disgusted to Permanently Wary. Not surprisingly, they were able to accommodate me on the dates I wanted after I submitted my complaint. Whether this was done to appease me or not, the fact remains that now, suddenly, they were able to "find" a unit for me. Of course, I was told this was an exception and not the norm (and I should be grateful). I still stand by my previous statement that Festiva is in the business of generating as much revenue as possible, even at the risk of driving their long-time owners to the point of frustration that I reached last week. Our satisfaction is simply not their priority. Our annual maintenance fees are a pittance compared to the weekly revenue they can generate from renting their units during peak seasons (and peak seasons range from summer at the beach properties, to winter at the mountain/ski properties, to year-round golf at the Myrtle Beach properties). And WE, the owners, pay the price of the condition in which those units are left by renters each year in ever-increasing maintenance fees and "special assessments".

    Some of our best and most memorable family vacations over the last 20 years have been at Peppertree properties. We purchased at Atlantic Beach when our children were small because of the variety of activites on-site, and the fact that the property was secured with full-time security guards. There was even a General Store on-site. You could spend a week on the property without having to outside the gate for anything. Since Festiva took over the store is gone, I rarely see a security guard posted at the front entrance, the back gate leading to the beach no longer has a coded security entrance and anyone off the street can enter the property. The Banner Elk property has somehow managed to stay above the fray and retain their original attractions. The Myrtle Beach properties have gone to pot (with the exception of Sand Pebble). They are poorly maintained and sorely in need of renovations. Some of the elevators smell of urine. They are an embarrassment to owners. I used to rave about Peppertree properties to all of our friends. Now I rarely mention that we own a timeshare with Festiva, and if I do, it's because the conversation has led to timeshare dissatisfaction in general. The pride went down the drain with my satisfaction.

    I am still looking into other options with Hilton Vacation Club and Holiday Inn Club Vacations IF I can manage to sell my Festiva membership. Perhaps I'll become one of those Festiva renters in the future, and I'll probably stand a greater chance than the unfortunate owners of getting the dates and units I want. It's a pity, Festiva (I know you're reading this). You're letting loyal, long-time owners slip through your greedy hands.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    CarolinaBeachBum Oct 20, 2011

    Obviously, the apostrophe comes out as ' . This is not a misspelling on my part.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    CarolinaBeachBum Oct 20, 2011

    I tried going the professional route, Ms. Nirple. SEVERAL TIMES. My experience has been that they've heard similar complaints so many times before that they've become immune to them and don't care. I'm a Corporate Trainer by trade, and anyone in my family will tell you that for me to get that upset, I must have reached my ultimate limit. Festiva will push you to that point, and yesterday I reached it. The response may have been professional, but I assure you when I speak with them the results will still be the same. Festiva can generate more revenue by holding units for paying customers (through Travelocity, Expedia and other travel companies) than they can by allowing long-time owners like myself who have long ago paid off their mortgage and are now only paying annual maintenance fees. It's a matter of economics for them, and owners are at the bottom of their totem pole. So if my "immature" letter offended you, so be it. No one is more offended right now than I am. Obviously my loyalty (and payments) to the string of Peppertree ownerships over the last twenty years doesn't mean a hill of beans to Festiva.

    0 Votes
  • Fe
    Festiva Rep Oct 20, 2011

    To: CarolinaBeachBum
    We have had a representative attempt to call you to address your issues, but they were only able to leave a message on your machine. Feel free to contact us or provide the best time for you to be contacted, so that we can attempt to resolve your issues.

    0 Votes

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