My wife and I bought into the Marriott Custom House (located in Boston) in 1999. A friend of mine had
made a previous purchase and told us about the benefits. We decided to take the tour and have the
program explained to us. We live in the Boston area, so as the program was explained to us, we saw the potential benefit of trading our week for Marriott Reward Points. We could trade our week for Reward Points
(depending the week you owned) for 125,000 or 110,000 Reward Points. When we first bought in you could get a
travel package for two round trip airfare tickets, a 7-night hotel stay and a Hertz rental car for a week for about 250,000 Reward Points. Now that package might get you 5 hotel nights and a 25 discount on Hertz rental (I generally find I can do better with other Rental Car Companies). When we first bought the annual maintenance fee for this property was about $1000 and today it is approaching double that amount.
In 2009, we got an incentive package at the Desert Ridge (Phoenix Arizona area) and decided to go.
We stayed there (had another presentation) and by now the trading with Interval International properties became the enticement. We bought there and utilized the Interval International Trade Program, but we soon discovered (did
it twice) that what we gave up and what we got in return was not a fair trade.
Soon after Marriott recognizing that members wanted quality resorts began offering the Vacation Destination Program. Yes, we bought into this program and we now have two timeshares and Vacation Destination Points (I
guess you could say they saw my wife and I coming and determined that a sale was likely). We have no regrets and we knew that this was a vacation investment (not an investment that would grow in value). In spite of this knowledge,
certain events were occurring and we think our initial investment is losing value. Maintenance cost are increasing, but Rewards Points and Vacation Destination Points are deflating. It takes more points for Travel Packages or more
Destination points to stay at Marriott Resorts. Marriott has indicated that they will not do anything about this real decrease in our purchasing power.
Here is another scenario that is occurring for many of you, like myself. I am now retired and on a
fixed income and these maintenance cost are becoming more of a burden. In addition, I now find myself seeking other
vacation options like long term rentals and my Marriott programs are not as important to me. In addition, I know some Marriott Timeshare owners that have health issues and these properties are a real burden to them. Trying to sell these timeshares in the secondary market can be time consuming and expensive. In addition, if you are able to sell your
timeshare the best you can expect is about 70% discount return on your original investment and that might be on the high side. Marriott, supposedly, will not buy these timeshares back. The people I know basically handed in the keys to Marriott (they told me with great difficulty) so they are no longer responsible for the maintenance cost. By the way,
Marriott is taking these hand ins and reselling them allowing them to get new revenue and the new owners are now responsible for the maintenance cost.
It seems to me that Marriott should try and do something to help, like maybe offering a discounted purchase program (provided the timeshare owners has owned it for at least 10+ years, pick a minimum number of years). How about providing some kind of deflation protection as regards to Reward Points/Vacation Destination Points?
These are just some of the issues that are getting to be thorny for current owners.
Does anyone have any thoughts on these issues? Any suggestion on how we could proceed to see
if Marriott might come up with plan/offer/incentive that makes sense for them and maintains our benefit packages.