Ask RedWeek / March, 2016

What happened to Wyndham's Ovation Exit Program?

What happened to Wyndham's Ovation exit program? Can owners really get out of their timeshares without getting scammed?

Many readers have asked us for more information about Wyndham's exit program, known as Ovation, which we featured in an Ask RedWeek article in April 2015. They want to know whether it is working and, just as important, whether other timeshare companies will offer a similar exit strategy for longtime owners.

To answer this question, RedWeek's Chief Correspondent, Jeff Weir, interviewed the Wyndham executives who run the Ovation program: Adam Schwartz, Senior Vice President, Brand and Communications; and Kim Thompson, Senior Vice President of Legal Services. Here's the update:

One Year Later: 10,700 Wyndham Owners Have Used Ovation Program to Get Out of Their Timeshares

After a very soft launch in 2015, it seems clear — one year later — that Wyndham's exit program, known as "Ovation," is gaining traction with owners. It may also be trailblazing a path that other major timeshare companies emulate as owners seek legal and dignified ways to get out of their timeshares.

According to Wyndham's top executives, more than 10,700 owners have used the Ovation program to get out of their timeshare obligations. Overall, the company has received inquiries from more than 25,000 owners (out of an overall pool of 900,000). Of that number, Wyndham says it assisted 12,827 owners who were seeking an exit plan.

But it hasn't been an easy road. Forums on and other sites are full of good-and-bad Ovation stories from owners who tried to use the program. It is also clear that some third-party timeshare-relief companies have invaded the program (probably without Wyndham's permission) by reaching out to Wyndham owners and offering pay-upfront schemes to dump their timeshares.

What Exit Options Does Ovation Offer?

Ovation, which was created in part to protect Wyndham owners from being victimized by relief-company scam artists, is a no-fee program that offers qualifying owners three exit plans:

  • For owners who want to sell their timeshares, Wyndham will provide referrals to licensed realtors and other resellers that abide by the "no upfront fee" mantra. Wyndham does not keep track of what happens to those owners who use the preferred list of resellers. So far, this option appeals to less than 1 percent of the owners who contact Ovation.
  • Qualifying owners can also transfer their club points or deeds back to Wyndham under what is called the CAP program. This is the most popular Ovation program by far, appealing to owners who simply want to get out, relinquish ownership and stop paying annual maintenance fees.
  • A third option, called the Limited Edition program, enables Wyndham Club owners to surrender their Wyndham-purchased points back to the club while retaining user rights to travel, with no maintenance fees, for three years. This option is favored by roughly 10 percent of the Ovation participants.
  • Wyndham also offers a hardship exit program for people under financial stress, but it is not technically part of the Ovation umbrella. Most reputable timeshare companies offer similar-sounding hardship programs, but they are reluctant to publicize them — and for obvious reasons. Their business models hinge on selling new timeshares, not taking back old ones.

Wyndham executives say, in fact, that the company incurred a cost of approximately $20 million over the past year by taking back unwanted timeshares through Ovation, and paying off their maintenance fees and taxes. This so-called carrying cost should come back to Wyndham, eventually, when it resells those deeded-back club points on the retail market to existing or new buyers at the rate of $20,000 per week-equivalent (approximately).

What Other Timeshare Brands Can Learn From Ovation

So, on paper, Ovation appears to offer a win-win scenario, enabling owners who are aging-out to divest themselves of their timeshares. Wyndham, meanwhile, increases its inventory at preferred resorts (at low or no cost) and reaps the public relations benefits of launching a consumer-friendly program for longtime loyal owners. And, as the world's largest timeshare company, Wyndham is setting a standard that the rest of the industry will either follow or, perhaps, improve upon. One thing for sure: major brand timeshare companies cannot afford to ignore Ovation. They all have similar issues with owners who want to get out of their timeshare obligations. And the demand for exit strategy answers will increase as the owner base continues to inflate.

"This is important for our company and it's an industrywide issue," said Schwartz. "Many companies are without a solution."

(, with nearly one million timeshare owners signed up, is a testament, all by itself, to the need for industry exit programs. These subscribers are trying to sell or rent their weeks, not use them or keep them.)

Ovation, while a yearling, is still an open experiment. The company is committed to tweaking it as necessary to meet demand, but the overall goal is to generate a sustainable program that is transparent, easy to use and workable.

"A big part of why we are doing this is the incessant barrage of attacks that owners are under from third party scammers," Schwartz said. "We see the prosecutions about this around the country. We want to make sure our program is well enough known by owners that they call us first before they seek alternatives that leave them holding the bag."

Still, there are issues with getting the word out on Ovation. Owners who participate in social media platforms, including, are already airing various grievances about Ovation. Examples: Some owners don't qualify for the program. Others own resorts that Wyndham does not want to take back. A third group of owners are interested in Ovation, but can't find out much about it on the Internet or Wyndham's Web site. Another group of Wyndham owners are totally suspicious of Ovation because of their prior experience with Pathways, a Wyndham exit-program where transfers were tied to upgrading ownerships.

Wyndham, with an extensive web-monitoring operation, knows all about the owners' issues. The company readily concedes that not all owners will qualify, such as those who have not paid off their mortgages or belonged to other timeshare clubs that were subsequently bought by Wyndham. The company also deliberately prioritizes the inventory that it is willing to take back into the system --- which means this: if you own a shoulder season week at a legacy resort in a condo-glutted beach town, Wyndham may not want your interval back.

Wyndham has increased its owner-outreach in recent months to educate owners about Ovation, but it's not a full-throttle campaign. For example, as of this week, the company would not release to RedWeek the names of the resorts that qualify for Ovation because, as a spokeswoman explained, the list changes depending on time, season and inventory needs.

Even with its caveats, Ovation appears to be providing serious services to thousands of Wyndham owners who might otherwise get ripped off on the resale market. But is it strong enough to really meet demand? Will others follow suit? Stay tuned.

"This program brings peace of mind to owners," Schwartz said. "Now they know, 'I've got a way out of this.'"

To get more information, Wyndham Club owners must log in to their password-protected account on, then search for Ovation. There is no detailed information about the program on Wyndham's public web pages. Owners can also e-mail or call the Ovation desk at 855-312-9040.

About the author

This answer was provided by RedWeek contributor, Jeff Weir. Jeff is a California-based journalist who has covered California, Congress, and the White House. He also has roots in Silicon Valley, where he directed public relations and marketing programs for high-tech companies. He is also a timeshare owner and member of

Comments (23)

    Avatar for Nonnie S.
    Nonnie S.
    Jul 22, 2016

    The referral program is a joke. Check out Timeshare Brokers. If you click on their 'listings' nothing comes up but a referral to ebay. I have tried to find them on ebay. I searched for Wyndham listings and found 124 Wyndham listings (as of July 2016). I clicked on every single one of them and NOTHING comes up as being sold by Timeshare Brokers. RPMI, the other 'referral' by Wyndham, has 3 listings currently on ebay, but their seller name first comes up as timeshare_resales with a different phone number than what Wyndham gives you. RPMI (Resort Property Marketing International) is formerly RPM and is run by Jeff Fudge, a very long time associate of Wyndham. I checked them out with BBB and they are accredited by BBB and have no complaints for last 12 months. I am going to try listing with them and will keep you posted on my experience. Just for the record, buying a timeshare was the dumbest financial investment I've ever made.

    Avatar for Jeffrey W.
    Jeffrey W.
    Jul 22, 2016

    Your experience fits the profile for most people inquiring about Ovation. Overwhelming majority of owners just want to exit the program and are not pursuing the sales referral options (due to fact that many already tried to sell their timeshare, unsuccessfully, and/or paid money to upfront-fee listing companies that did nothing but take their money). These are folks who already feel like they've been burned and now, finally, want out. That's what Ovation seems to offer.

    Avatar for We R.
    We R.
    Jul 24, 2016

    This applies to Wyndham but what about Worldmark? Worldmark credits are not based upon a contract for say 20 years- instead it is lifetime ownership. So "ending the contract" before the expiry date doesn't offer relief. Is the only option going to a reseller? Or privately selling/transferring credits to other?

    I'm trapped and out about $72000 if that is the case

    Avatar for Betty-Lou A.
    Betty-Lou A.
    Aug 10, 2016

    I am about to try this method of exiting my timeshare at Kona Coast, Hawaii. any advice?

    Avatar for Mark J.
    Mark J.
    Jan 02, 2017

    I researched Ovation once I heard about in the summer of 2016. It took me a few times to get to the right parties at Wyndham however, on September 25, 2016, I finally was able to relay my week's information and "start the ball rolling". I waited 30 days, having gotten no response from Wyndham, I called the Ovation desk on October 25, asking how things were progressing. A very friendly customer service representative told me the week was in "search" mode and I should hear something in 8 or so weeks. That would have enabled a response from Wyndham around Christmas. Here is the response I've gotten so far from Wyndham on my request - ___________________. That's correct, nothing. No email, no snail mail, no phone call, not a word, just crickets. They did manage to find me to inform me that my new monthly maintenance amount would go up by five or so dollars a month but they can't seem to find me to tell me about where I'm at with the Ovation program. I'm hoping my public griping about their non-response will be seen by their "extensive web-monitoring operation" and they will get back to me. How about it Wyndham? You can email, call or text me, you've got my information.

    Avatar for Andrew S.
    Andrew S.
    Feb 21, 2017

    Just wanted to see if anyone has had luck with the resale option?

    Avatar for Carol W.
    Carol W.
    Feb 22, 2017

    I am concerned that I have been scammed by an Hilton Head resort. What can I do?

    Avatar for Catherine H.
    Catherine H.
    Feb 27, 2017

    We spoke to an Ovation representative on Feb 27, 2017 to initiate the "give back" (their words) of three contracts and participated in a pleasant straight forward explanation of options. During the conversation, we repeatedly verified that no fees were required to return the contracts. The process is supposed to take anywhere from 3 to 6 months dependent on:

    1) how quickly Wyndham can address the process on their end due to a high volume of return requests. 2) how quickly the three different counties where the properties are located respond to Wyndham's request for a new deed.

    During the 3 - 6 month wait, all maintenance fees and any Special Assessments are ongoing. We no longer have use the the points from this day matter how long the process takes.

    We opted to return all three contracts and declined to attempt selling the properties. For surrendering all three properties at the same time we were offered the use of the returned points on an annual basis with no fees, monthly maintenance, booking, housekeeping or Special Assessments for a three year period. At which time Wyndham receives the three deeds from the respective counties, a new contract and associated number will be issued which allows us continued use of the points for three years. During that time, it is required that we make reservations through their office as online access and booking will no longer be available to us.

    When asked, the representative stated we will not receive progress updates, and we would not hear from them again until the new contract is sent to us for review and signature, but we are welcome to call anytime to check progress. We opted to have the new contract emailed to us and will have an attorney review content. Not our first rodeo with Wyndham. Tick-tock.

    Avatar for Kathy A.
    Kathy A.
    Jul 07, 2017

    I just spoke to Ovation by Wyndham. I am totally unsatisfied with the Wyndham program. Has been a royal pain since we got in to it in 2009. Always wanting more money.... Ovation said they do not buy back anything. They never offered any help just told me that I could sign by deed back over to them. One of the "managers" at Fairfield Glade in Fairfield TN, told me why would they buy back my deed when they have millions more to get rid of..... I hate this time share.... People do not fall into this trap..

    Avatar for Robert B.
    Robert B.
    Oct 20, 2017

    From the responses I see it looks like it does not work.

    Avatar for KC
    Dec 02, 2017 (edited)

    I am a former owner of a "converted" fixed week in Wyndham Club Wyndam Plus). Fortunately, I had acquired that week in the resale market for next to nothing; used it a few times and then gave it away for free a few years later, long before Wyndham's rollout of "Ovation".

    I am no fan of Wyndham, least of all of their deceitful timeshare sales weasels, but still have to applaud Wyndham at the corporate level for their willingness to provide at least SOME Wyndham owners with a viable exit strategy (albeit one of future financial benefit to themselves, acquiring "free inventory" to turn around and resell later at full freight pricing). However, I think it speaks volumes that Wyndham has sold other Wyndham timeshare products to OTHER buyers for tens of thousands of dollars, but now won't take some of those products back now at all --- even for FREE!

    To the latter point, I personally think that it's quite disingenuous for Wyndham to "refer" people out to third party brokers and other such sales entities, since the simple and unfortunate fact is that many Wyndham ownerships have literally ZERO resale market value or demand. It seems to me that ZERO is the exact same value whether the "product" is in the hands of a disgruntled owner who wants "out" or in the hands of a commissioned broker --- so why make any such "referrals" at all?

    Anyway, sincere thanks to Jeff Weir for his capable reporting. Having read numerous of his articles in recent years, here on RedWeek and in Timesharing Today magazine, it's a pleasure to read material professionally prepared by someone who actually knows what he is talking when addressing timeshare topics AND reports the facts and the truth objectively and in clear and specific detail --- that is unfortunately an all too rare combination in the murky waters surrounding the timeshare industry.

    Avatar for Gary B.
    Gary B.
    Dec 16, 2017

    We were platinum owners with Wyndham, having 1,000,000 points and deeded properties in Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The ovation process worked well and was quick. It was completely free to us and the maintenance fees stopped within a month of us returning all paperwork. We now have 1,000,000 points for 3 years and no costs whatsoever. We did lose our advance reservation priority because we no longer have a home resort. We have all the other benefits of platinum VIP ownership ,though and we just completed year 1 of our 3 year phase out. One of the best benefits is that we don't get hounded to attend owner "updates". I recommend this program wholeheartedly.

    Avatar for Elisa Alina M.
    Elisa Alina M.
    Jan 31, 2018

    I cant believe this problem can not be solved in a satisfactory manner. I am ready to go with a BAD CREDIT BANNER in my car instead of paying thousand to get out of something like this. I live now in Fl not use for a timeshare in Missouri.

    Avatar for Donna H.
    Donna H.
    Feb 23, 2018 (edited)

    We have 2 Wyndom Time Shares and have already been scammed - twice! Question - what if you have paid the 2018 maintenance fees and taxes and banked the week? How does exiting work in that case?

    Avatar for Bill P.
    Bill P.
    Mar 02, 2018

    My wife was convinced to change a Deeded property to a non-deeded in 2013. The sales team produced a document which I contended did not show the correct numbers and was told my understanding of the finances was incorrect. Failed to walk out...mistake #2 (mistake #1 was buying into the original time-share).

    4+ years later we went to a presentation of the Newton Group who advertise their service as the only true time share escape program...we put ~$7000 on a credit card, but were told we would probably have to pay off the ~$6000 balance on the Wyndham loan.

    Fortunately, I found this site and the Ovation program. Immediately sent the Newton Group a cancellation of their contract (which took longer than it should have). In order to participate in the Ovation program all loans have to be paid off before they will talk to you. Paid off the loan-1st hurdle passed. Maintenance fees must be paid while you await the title search, etc process. Time will tell

    Be aware - all contact is owner initiated.

    Avatar for Crystal L.
    Crystal L.
    Mar 14, 2018

    I heard nothing of this prior to reading this article. Thanks for all the valuable information.

    Avatar for M R.
    M R.
    Apr 29, 2019

    I sent an online inquiry to Wyndham letting them know I can no longer afford this timeshare, plus we will rarely get to use it. I told them I want to cancel. They responded back today with the contact for Ovation. I have sent them an online inquiry and will follow up with a phone call tomorrow. I paid $3k down payment using their 6-month no interest line of credit. I paid that line of credit off within the 6 month time frame. Now I owe just over $16,000 but by the time I make all the monthly payments for 10 years, I will have paid $36,000! That's highway robbery. Not to mention, I put "N/A" for my income on the application yet somehow I still qualified for the loan. It might have been stupid on my part to go ahead with the loan knowing my financial situation but they also have an obligation not to grant anyone a loan that does not qualify.

    Avatar for Don R.
    Don R.
    Nov 25, 2019

    Read fine print - Program is a total rip off. pay extra for several items and now (staring April 2019) you can not let a friend or relative us the points). Only the person on agreement can use them. That is not what the contract said but they refer to a quote on agreement that they can change the agreement at anytime they want. I did report them to BBB but they won't care.

    Avatar for Ecooney007
    Feb 19, 2020 (edited)

    Just completed the Ovation Title Transfer process back to Wyndham. It was very easy, besides having to get a notary on the title transfer documentation with two witnesses. They were actually very helpful. My wife and I purchased ours in FL on our honeymoon 1998, went to the location only once, tried to use our week (we had every other year, but you pay the taxes and fees every year) to switch to other properties with alot of difficulty especially after they switched from weeks to points. When we tried to use our week later on, they always tried to get us to switch to points for a only like a $15,000 conversion fee. Sheesh. So all these years we had been paying the annual tax bill, and at first it wasn't alot of money, but our last one was close to $600.00 and I would get so angry every time I saw that annual bill. We are done with it thankfully. Again the Ovation process was easy. There are many companies that make it seem as though you need to pay them thousands of dollars to get them to do the work to transfer the title back or sell it (really give it away), but with Ovation, I didn't pay a dime. Some things to note; The title transfer documentation is time sensitive - although you have probably been paying the taxes and fees for several years, they require you to get the notary and fill in and send back the information within 2-3 weeks of getting the paperwork, just be mindful of that. Also, they now have to do a check in their system to see if your Wyndham property even offers the Ovation Program, so if you are thinking about using it, call them soon! Again, Ovation made it easy, I knew I would never be able to sell our week, every other year, and I didn't pay some third party company to do it. Here is a link to some more information with the Ovation #;

    Avatar for William N.
    William N.
    Feb 28, 2020

    What is the charge for using Ovations? Has anybody been sold more points as a solution to their concerns?

    Avatar for Linda P.
    Linda P.
    Mar 07, 2020

    If it seems to be too good to be might just not be such a good deal. Ovation seemed like a miracle answer when financially the timeshares we used for years did not fit into my retirement budget. You do not realize what that "lifetime" ownership means when you are thinking of sunny beaches and family time. But I had managed to provide my grand kids and s-i-l with family vacations many times after losing their mother and wife. Sometimes I went and sometimes I sent them but the Guest ticket was well used, paid for as required. And I used the other week for myself and other family members to get away. The Ovation program seemed to balance the no more fees and extending family vacations for 3 years in exchange for no longer having that investment. And I could gracefully exit my timeshare. So see what happened.... The first year worked great with the kids going to the beach and me going to the west coast on separate vacations. Then I had one of those times when your body surprises you with a new condition that limits your mobility/travels and in my case vision/driving during the second year. When I got around to arranging a vacation for the kids and attempted to "just go in the website to change the check in name"as a Wyndham employee had told me to do, imagine my surprise when I found Wyndham "had changed the rules" for Ovation usage with 2 years to go out of 3. My contract is right there on the table and totally useless after one year. The member (me) has to be at the vacation check in at every vacation and I could no longer sent grand kids or other family without my being present. That was part of their sales pitch for years to "share time". But now members could not share. So I am looking at not being able to use the equivalent of the last two years of vacation in this contract because they changed the rules and I cannot travel to every vacation ( had accumulated and paid for a lot of points =vacations). The rules worked for me when I entered the Ovation program. So why would they limit letting family and friends use the vacations.......what did they gain if even the Ovation weeks would not be used? I'm not that smart or devious but basically they are a business run to use/convince/sell the public to buy their shiny toy. So beware that the Ovation contract you will sign is not worth the paper it is signed on. Being the first to offer an exit solution for timeshares and all the positive hype in a negative industry throws you off guard. I knew it was slanted toward them but did not expect major rule change. Lots of people were deceived when they bought and you might get deceived by this glowing exit product if Wyndham can just change the rules. I might be part of another group that gets the Ovation rules of usage changed in middle of contract, to severely limit participation to member only, no family or friends. Disappointed Nana

    Avatar for Fe C.
    Fe C.
    Jul 13, 2022

    7.13.22 Great article I’ve forwarded on. “.. Owners can also e-mail or call the Ovation desk at 855-312-9040….”. I like owning Worldmark by Wyndham with “Bonus Time & orInventory specials” 21Yrs. Since pandemic restrictions lightened up, I’ve already reserved at least six Inventory specials or Bonus time or Monday madness

    Avatar for Edwin R.
    Edwin R.
    Aug 20, 2023

    I tried to give back my Orange Tree interval. I had tried in early 2022 to contact someone who could talk to me about this. Impossible. Then in late 2022 I tried again to call and email someone to help. Finally, in 2023 someone got back to me with a program with deeding the interval back. Great. But months later (after considerable paperwork), Wyndham said NO, I had not paid the current the 2023 maintenance fee. Well, I had tried and tried in 2022 to talk with someone, so I am giving up on Wyndham. I am not paying anything. I told them, "You guys can do whatever you wish. Goodbye."