Many Club Wyndham owners have reached out in the past two weeks asking our team to weigh in on Club Wyndham's email update regarding VIP benefits that was sent out to Club Wyndham owners in late July. The email has caught many Club Wyndham owners off guard and has raised serious concerns from longtime owners who feel slighted under the new reservation system's rules.
Click here to view the email
To summarize the changes →
Not all points are created equal
Starting in mid-August 2021 the Club Wyndham reservation system will distinguish between points contracts purchased directly from Club Wyndham and points purchased on the third-party 'resale' market. This ruling means that even owners who have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with Wyndham to obtain Founders VIP status will be penalized if they have purchased resale points aftermarket.
The email did not answer basic questions surrounding this new rule -
Did timeshare owners have a voice in the decision?
Was this decision made unilaterally by Club Wyndham?
Will the rule apply to inherited contracts?
What happens if an owner has a split reservation where multiple contracts are used to make the booking?
Will this update apply to different deed types too?
Will CWA contracts work in unison as they did before?
Can owners choose which contract they use points from the make a reservation?
Example: Could an owner choose their resale contract points to book an offseason unit? Or will the system choose for the owner?
Account Reconciliation Nightmare
The email reads →
"With this system enhancement, we will balance your account for the current Use Year and adjust benefits according to whether your reservation was made with VIP Eligible Points or Non-VIP Eligible Points. This reconciliation will only apply to reservations in the current Use Year."
What this likely means is that Club Wyndham's new system will be scrutinized post booking. Meaning that owners who have resell and developer points will have to ensure they use the correct number of points by type on each reservation, housekeeping credits, reservation transactions, guest confirmation, etc.
Think through a scenario like this →
A Founders VIP Level owner has 1,400,000 points and books a family reunion every year in Myrtle Beach, SC. Their account is structured with:
- 1,000,000 Points Presidential Reserve
- 400,000 Points Resale
They book the '4 Bedroom Suite' at Ocean Boulevard for 800,000 points and two '3 Bedroom' units at the Cottages for a total of 600,000 points. This means that the only "VIP" booking would be the 4 bedroom suite.
- Will the system credit the owner for the 200,000 VIP points left over used to make a portion of the Cottages reservation?
- Will the owner have to use guest confirmations for the other reservation?
We aren't implying that the system will not work, but how do you distinguish the difference between contracts when points from two contract types are used to make a reservation?
Goodbye to Renting
This move is likely meant to curtail renting out timeshare points. The major advantage to renting out timeshare points was getting discounts, upgrades and being able to combine developer benefits with resale points. This has an upside and a downside. We see the possibilities as →
The Pros: Perhaps there will be increased availability for owners inside the reservation system.
The Cons: Now Club Wyndham owners will have a harder time reducing their maintenance costs with the only system that worked to reduce costs - rental.
The irony here is that in the Club Wyndham Plus Program Summary the company states
Download the CWP Summary here →
If Club Wyndham really cared about owners having greater availability would they rent out unbooked inventory during the VIP benefits window?
Possible Unfair Trade Practices?
Did Club Wyndham disclose to purchasers of resale contracts the limitations of future changes to the reservation system? Were VIP owners given adequate knowledge that buying resale contracts would penalize their future vacation usage? Don't some benefits transcend reservation system rules (i.e. Margaritaville UDI Deeds are advertised with special booking incentives)?
Under Federal Law - Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices is clearly defined:
15 U.S. Code § 45 -(4) (A) For purposes of subsection (a), the term “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” includes such acts or practices involving foreign commerce that— (i) cause or are likely to cause reasonably foreseeable injury within the United States; or (ii) involve material conduct occurring within the United States. (B) All remedies available to the Commission with respect to unfair and deceptive acts or practices shall be available for acts and practices described in this paragraph, including restitution to domestic or foreign victims.
We are simply asking the questions and are not making statements. The conclusion is yours to make.
To report perceived Unfair Trade Practices:
Historically Club Wyndham has had a tough time rolling out new technology
In past updates to the reservation system and booking website were known for numerous issues that caused some customers to lose reservations, not be able to book and other miscellaneous errors that caused owner pushback. With this new system rollout there are likely going to be unforeseen issues that no one (including us) foresee.
The best advice we can give Club Wyndham owners is to stay flexible, stay informed, and communicate grievances to the company and the appropriate governmental entities. We hope this helps during this uncertain transition.
All the best,
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