Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

Forum: Sheraton Vistana Resort

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By Laurie S.

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

As usual,, we have to pay for things to "KEEP UP WITH THE JONES's" as the old saying goes.. it's our own faults for being such snobs about where we vacation, we complain when it's not "really nice"... so then they have to make it that way so that everyone stops complaining, and so they hit us up for extra money to fix it up.. cause it has to be "top of the line".. and afterall,,, it's not there money that they are spending so it's a lot easier not to give a care at how much it's costing. I am sure that there are many other companies that could compete and do as good a job with perhaps a little less expense.. but as it always is with the wealthy board members... they don't look at the cost.. they just look at the benefits to their company. And I am sorry that you feel that tropical colors and the Florida style that is so lovely is 80's shabby..have you never been to Key West?? . like I said before.. if I wanted to stay in a dark dreary condo... I would go up north. Not to Florida. I am sure that the renovations could be done a lot less costly,, but they have their noses so far up in the air that they can't see daylight.. we are just a spoiled selfish society that always wants the best even if we can't afford it.. and now it 's come back to bite us. They are taking it to the extreme... tearing down and rebuilding walls.. ???? Giant TV's in every room... who goes to Florida to watch TV? and if you do maybe you should try enjoying Florida instead of TV. This is just another classic example of OVERKILL... with someone elses money.

Avatar for Laurie S. Laurie S.

9 years ago
Nov 03, 2009

By Jeffrey C.

Joseph, Either Susan doesn't do her homework or she was just really lucky and niave if I may be so bold. When you look for a timeshare and find one that you like go back and check on it in 2 weeks and it will still be there and 2 weeks after that it will still be there. There is no rush to buy these money pits anymore. I own floating time in the fountains and I can't sell it for 1/4 of what I paid for it in 1990. The schills just keep on coming. Your right Joe this is CRAZZZZZZY!!!!!!!!!

Avatar for Jeffrey C. Jeffrey C.

9 years ago
Nov 04, 2009

By Susan F.

Naive? I certainly am not. I think I see things all too clearly. The "homework" I have done has revealed a lot of people who adore the Resort and appreciate the renovations. The "homework' I have done has revealed a few people who made bad decisions regarding their purchase, now cannot afford it and are looking for someone to blame, so they blog about it and thereby reduce the value of their own unit as well as those of other owners. The "homework" I have done has revealed that the going price for these units is in the hundreds, not thousands and they are being scooped up by investors who know that they can eventually resell for a profit. The math is simple...if you owe over $1000 in fees and the units ae selling in the hundreds, no one in their right mind will make that purchase. If, as many of you say, you just want to dump your unit, then please tell me how you can do that if you owe more in fees than the market value of the unit?? You are just chasing your tails complaining about it. As another post said if the unit sells for $2500 and $2000 is owed in back fees, there is $500 to clear...wrong! The units are not selling for thousands...only a few hundred. You are correct in that there are a ton of the units on the market, but there are only a few that are available for which the fees have been paid (many who paid it are not interested in selling...they actually enjoy their unit), they are not floating weeks, or the owners are still upsidedown on their loan and cannot accept current market value for the unit. So there are actually very few to choose from and as soon as they go up for sale, they are gone within days., Oh yes,my homework has revealed a lot. Good luck to you all...and I really do mean that. I will no longer reply to posts on this forum, as I do not want to contribute to the decreasing value of my units.

Avatar for Susan F. Susan F.

9 years ago
Nov 04, 2009

By Joseph B.

well, then, if the units are only worth "a few hundred," then why are they being sold for $15,000 and up by the developers? That's what I am trying to say: the units are, for all intents, WORTHLESS. Vistana is making big money by holding us hostage by virtue of our very binding contracts. Not only have we paid to purchase these "shares," we are now paying every penny of maintaining these worthless timeshares. And all the "costs" of maintenance, and of "refurbishing," are determined by the powers-that-be, NOT by the so-called "owners." These timeshares are money-pits. It's not that I cannot pay these charges; it's that I'd be an idiot to do so.

Avatar for Joseph B. Joseph B.

9 years ago
Nov 04, 2009

By Jeffrey C.

Joseph, You and me both. I wonder just who is the IDIOT here??? Who would pay thousands of dollars on something they say they know is worth only in the hundreds. I guess we know the answer to that question now don't we??? Bye bye Susan...

Avatar for Jeffrey C. Jeffrey C.

9 years ago
Nov 05, 2009

By Charlotte J.

hazelm19 wrote:
Vistana are panicking now. I wrote a letter to them saying we were getting in touch with the media in the U.S.A National newspapers etc. and they immediately phoned me to ask if I just want them to take our two weeks back but for nothing. " I thought they said Florida law would not let them do this". We are delighted with this just to get rid of it but we are awaiting the paperwork from them. I know in the future they are going to take a huge maintenance fee when they build in reserves so we would rather not have this. We have had our money out of this as we bought in 1981. We could never trust people like this again when they have tried so hard to get our money. Our maintenance fee always depends on the state of the exchange rate at the time so we never know what it is going to be.
Hazel, in what seems to be your last post back in August, you mentioned Vistana had offered to take the unit off your hands and were supposed to be sending through the paperwork. I am a UK owner and having tried a similar approach I have received mixed messages from the people at Vistana (unsuprisingly). I am very interested to know the outcome of your situation - thanks!

Avatar for Charlotte J. Charlotte J.

9 years ago
Nov 19, 2009

By Cameron L.

Oh, glad to see I am not the only one complaining to SVC about their fees. We own five weeks at the 'Beach Club' and simply love the resort. When we got our new maintenance fee invoice they had hiked the fees up to over $1,300.00 per week fro $1,063.00 in 2009. In fairness this was supposed to be the last year of the "special assessment" of an extra $250.00 per year over five years to modernize the resort but their new reason given was the large number of delinquent accounts!! I emailed a four page letter outlining the twisted logic their proposed 2010 budget contained. How in the world could a 70 unit complex completely redone four years ago carry a $1.3 million for repair budget which didn't include the extra carried for the two elevators? I questioned that the raised maintenance fees would prompt others to walk away from their units therefore increasing the burden on the non delinquent owners next year. It really is simple economics. If the money is needed to cover other peoples maintenance fees why is this not budgeted as a loan to the corporation rather than a non returnable feethat the Owner's receive no credit? We then included a breakdown of the various comparable or higher quality two bedroom resorts along the coast and the Keys. They were all under a $1,000.00/year. We have not received a reply in the two weeks we gave them. Now it is in my wife's hands and perhaps legally challenging the actions through her law firm. A class action suit would be very entertaining to make Starwood actually explain the shell game they are playing. They are encouraging by their actions the lowering of the value of the units and stimulating people to walk away in droves. What a pity.

Avatar for Cameron L. Cameron L.

9 years ago
Dec 07, 2009

By Norman P.

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

anyone having any luck complaining about the upgrade? Its pretty bad I offered Vistana a Deed in Lieu of Forclosure and they would not take it back. You would think the timeshare would have to be worth more than the 1255.00 I owed.{I have since paid the %$#@} This upgrade "cost" was $1600. Why wouldn't they take it back for $1255. Anyone had any luck with the Attorney General? {This is the Attorney General phone # 866-966-7226}

Last edit by normanp27 on Jan 02, 2010 05:27 PM.

Avatar for Norman P. Norman P.

9 years ago
Jan 02, 2010

By Glenn B.

We both live in England and are feeling the same as everybody else. Now after recieving the maintenace bill for £1500 for Fountains II and the Beach Club we're at a stage of telling them to shove it and suffer the consequences. What would be "the consequences"? would this mean we could never go to th US again for fear of being arrested. Could we just ask them to take them back and have done with it? Any help would be much appreciated.

Avatar for Glenn B. Glenn B.

9 years ago
Jan 03, 2010

By Norman P.

susanf267 ... You say many are happy with their timeshares??? Timeshares are owned by 4 million people and of that 4 million 3.3 million want to get rid of them.

Last edit by normanp27 on Jan 03, 2010 04:11 AM.

Avatar for Norman P. Norman P.

9 years ago
Jan 03, 2010

By Jeffrey C.

Norman, As I wrote a month ago Susan just doesn't get it. If you go all the way back to the start of this chat where I think I was 1 of the first people to bitch about the refurb. I have refused to pay and will not under any circumstances. I have been in touch with the AG in Fla and they just kept shuffeling me off to one angency after another. I have given up with them. I spent money on a lawyer only to be told that there is nothing we can do without spending thousands of dollars. Vistana did offer me 200.00 dollars to buy back my timeshare. LOL!!!! I told them to stuff it and hopefully it will cost them more than 200.00 bucks to be rid of me.

Avatar for Jeffrey C. Jeffrey C.

9 years ago
Jan 03, 2010

By Marc D.

Important Update Affecting Resale Purchasers

jeffreyc81 wrote:
Frankp141, I agree with everything you said Frank. I have talked with vistana and have been told by more than 2 of there customer service people that we are not alone. This site has 3 of us complaining kathy someone being the first. Where are the rest of the poeple. I have written a letter to the attny gen of the state of Fl asking for help with this matter. I suggest that the rest of the poeple feeling this way do the same. Feel free to e-mail me and maybe we can work on this together. My address is jeffcreighton13@yahoo .com. Lets get this changed!!!!!
I totally agree! I'm new to RedWeek that's why I'm late. I was so pissed off when I saw the outrageous bill. But I was even more upset when I went there to see the result (I own at the Lakes). It was so ugly that I tought it was a Scam. I simply could believe the amount of $$ per unit for the result. The board should have done a survey and ask owners on such an expense. Does any group have been formed to stop this in the future???

Thank you

Avatar for Marc D. Marc D.

9 years ago
Feb 26, 2010

By Marc D.

danachat wrote:
Oh, glad to see I am not the only one complaining to SVC about their fees. We own five weeks at the 'Beach Club' and simply love the resort. When we got our new maintenance fee invoice they had hiked the fees up to over $1,300.00 per week fro $1,063.00 in 2009. In fairness this was supposed to be the last year of the "special assessment" of an extra $250.00 per year over five years to modernize the resort but their new reason given was the large number of delinquent accounts!! I emailed a four page letter outlining the twisted logic their proposed 2010 budget contained. How in the world could a 70 unit complex completely redone four years ago carry a $1.3 million for repair budget which didn't include the extra carried for the two elevators? I questioned that the raised maintenance fees would prompt others to walk away from their units therefore increasing the burden on the non delinquent owners next year. It really is simple economics. If the money is needed to cover other peoples maintenance fees why is this not budgeted as a loan to the corporation rather than a non returnable feethat the Owner's receive no credit? We then included a breakdown of the various comparable or higher quality two bedroom resorts along the coast and the Keys. They were all under a $1,000.00/year. We have not received a reply in the two weeks we gave them. Now it is in my wife's hands and perhaps legally challenging the actions through her law firm. A class action suit would be very entertaining to make Starwood actually explain the shell game they are playing. They are encouraging by their actions the lowering of the value of the units and stimulating people to walk away in droves. What a pity.

You are absolutly right. I had the same reaction about the one not paying. I'm still upset at there refurbished cost to bring the unit "ugly". If you wife has a class action, I would join. My email is marcdub@videotron.ca.

By the way, I will be there in 2 days. I reserved at my home resort (Lakes) at the end of the summer last year. They just called me 2 days (which they never do???) to tell me that I'm booked at the Falls (an older unit). I'm really upset and I suspect that they play games in booking other in the best units and flip owner to the old one. Have you ever heard of this? I was also upset when they had the guts to change the points of Vistana and call it an improvement. It's baloney as the small amount of point you get to go elswhere does not buy you anything. But i also own at Mission Hills (grest resort) and I cannot use the small portion of lockoff to go to Vistana in 2 Bedroom. If you look carefully at the Option Chart, that's why they made the change. The plus doesn't cost them anything but it burns points faster to go to Vistana..

Avatar for Marc D. Marc D.

9 years ago
Feb 26, 2010

By Bonnie A.

Hi

They have done this to me as well.. You call them back and demand that you get the unit that you own? Did you do this with an ownership week or an RCI exchange. I have learned that what RCI tells you over the phone with the unit you get is completely different with what unit you are in upon checkin. This has happened the past 3 trips to the Sheraton where RCI has confirmed a Lakes or Fountains and I have been put in Courts!! As owning 3 and a civil fight over the phone I was always replaced into the Lakes or a new unit.. We own in the Lakes and Cascades ( broke now due to fees but with that said) I love the Lakes refubishments and do really like the resort due to many reasons. To everyone always call the SVR and find out what area of the resort you are confirmed into the 1-2 days prior to arrival so that you can negoiate a change then and they will do that especially if you own there and again NEVER trust RCI with what they tell you as they will tell you what you want to hear.. trust me! Also if you look at your map its colour coded and each area has coloured number on the buildings when you check in.. each building either RED Green or Blue only allows those checkin dates .. Sat-Blue, Sun-Green, Fri-Red, if you don't want Courts or Falls then check in on a Friday as they don't allow either C or F for Friday check Sat and Sun only for both of these.., Also don't do a RCI exchange or EVW or LC with a sleep 6(4) as these are the older sections always look for an 8(6).. Good luck!

Avatar for Bonnie A. Bonnie A.

9 years ago
Feb 26, 2010

By Marc D.

Thank you Bonnie, I do own 2 weeks at the Lakes and 1 week at Mission Hills in California. I never use RCI. I also like the Lakes, but in the last few years I saw a degradation on the way they treat us. Last time I was there, the pool was very cold. Many items were missing in the unit. I had to constently call them to fix things (Which I never do normally) I don't trust what they do. Thanks for the advice as I will call them again today. By the way after owning and travelling in the last 15 years I can say that of all the Starwood property, Vistana is the least desirable for value.

Avatar for Marc D. Marc D.

9 years ago
Feb 26, 2010

By Jessica L.

I am a owner at Sheraton vistana. I own a 2 bedroom in the spas. I called and spoke with the general manager asking for a new unit. It was my first time going to the resort. The new unit was beautiful and I was very happy with the unit. I was just at the resort in February. Overall I was very satisfied with how the new units look! The general manager was very nice and he called me back the same day. I wanted to see the resort renovated. My unit isn't getting renovated till the summer. Although they did try to have me go to a timeshare presentation and to buy another unit.

Avatar for Jessica L. Jessica L.

9 years ago
Feb 26, 2010

By Norman P.

Please let me sign your Class action suit! My Email is norm1000@yahoo.com

Last edit by normanp27 on Mar 05, 2010 05:36 PM.

Avatar for Norman P. Norman P.

9 years ago
Mar 05, 2010

By Larry R.

You claim the refurbishment fee adds value to the resale of your unit. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact it is the exact opposite.

Since the imposition of these crazy fees, Vistana red weeks have been reduced to the point where owners will be lucky to break even after paying closing costs and commission.

On EBAY, unit weeks sell for about $1000 or less not including closing fees.

Vistana has become a worthess purchase because of the fee trap they have imposed. Who wants to own anything where they can say you owe thousands more for anything they concoct at any time?

Your investment in Vistana is basically worthless unless you want to go to Vistana and only Vistana. You can purchase a red week at many national RCI resorts for less than Vistana's fees, and exchange to Vistana any time you want.

SVO Management also pulled a fast one accelerating the due date for the maintenance fee to January 1 from July 1.

For the years in question, you will pay approximately $1400 to $1600 in fees, for one week!! If you don't use your exact week, you will pay an RCI exchange fee of $159. Add in the RCI dues of $89 and you have a one week vacation condo in Florida for the low price of nearly $1900!!

You can get an all inclusive at Sandals in Jamaica for that. The idea of owning the time share was supposed to be to save you money. Now there are scam organizations that ask $1000 up front to sell your condo for you, and people pay it out of desperation.

Vistana is no investment. Since SVO took over, it is a bottomless pit, and don't be surprised if more exhorbitant fees start popping up real soon.

Avatar for Larry R. Larry R.

9 years ago
Apr 26, 2010

By Lj M.

SVO is the biggest ripoff! I have been a Vistana owner since 1989 and obviosuly that means nothing to this new management company. They have created this "update refurbish" crap and want to bill us - the owners - for it. Why do we pay outrageous maintanance fees??? I was there 2 years ago and the place looked like CRAP!!! Tiles missing in the bathroom, crud inbetween the grout in the kitchen, rugs ripped and curling up in spots! This is what I pay $796 a year for?! Take that $796 and multiply it by 52 weeks - that's over 41K - and they couldn't replace a tile??? And that's just one unit!!! I refuse to pay the $1600+ they want for refurbishing. What have they been doing for all these years with that money??? The Attorney General will hear from me. SVO now wants to forclose on me!!! Or they'll take my unit off my hands for $3500. That's a better price than I'd get anywhere else. Maybe I should take it. SVO has completely ruined Vistana. Talk about a SCAM!

Avatar for Lj M. Lj M.

9 years ago
May 04, 2010

By Peter

jeffreyc81 wrote:
Joseph, You and me both. I wonder just who is the IDIOT here??? Who would pay thousands of dollars on something they say they know is worth only in the hundreds. I guess we know the answer to that question now don't we??? Bye bye Susan...
I think the problem for owners is the developer has an organized, professional sales force which creates a captive audience for high pressure and focused sales experience. This includes a good amount of emotional influence, often to people newer to timesharing.

In contrast, re-sale buyers already know a lot about timeshare prices and value and have the opportunity to view timeshare buying from a commodity rather than emotional, perspective. resale sellers have little or no ability to impose an exclusive or emotional emphasis on the buyer, and no impression of the impression the deal will be lost if the buyer doesn't act before the presentation is over.

I always felt the resort sales staff or developer would be better off setting up a program for owners to sell re-sale units on site. By selling units on site, resale sellers would realize higher value which would keep non-onsite prices higher and even if the developer is still selling units, the difference between the direct sale price and resale would be smaller - which I feel would enable developers to sell more units since a buyer will have less price incentive to buy resale.

Avatar for Peter Peter

9 years ago
May 04, 2010

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