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First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

posts: 1,129
reviews: 27
First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

My cheapskate husband and I fell for the pitch and bought the Royal Club membership, and we'll be using it for the first time this August (Royal Hideaway Playa del Carmen.)

My husband is a ball of nerves that this is going to turn out to be a majorly disappointing waste of money.

Even if it is, it's been done, so now I'd like to make sure we can get the best out of it.

Anyone who's used it:

What should we expect? Are there any hidden fees we're going to have to pay? Are there really going to be any advantages to being "club" members once we get there?

Any tips for getting the best possible experience out of this membership?

Thank you in advance!

Hudson, New...
posts: 2
11. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

Summerbum - I appreciate your encouraging advice.

Since I'm a fairly new "owner" and this is my first off-year from Occidental, I started my search by going to the RCI website. When I logged onto RCI, it showed that I had credit for 2011, and it even showed 2012 so I thought I was on the right track. I then tried to bank my apparent credit from 2011, but the website wouldn't allow me do this so I called them. The person I spoke with from RCI told me that only Occidental can do this transfer for me. I then contacted Occidental, and they informed me that I can only use credit from even years and that if I wanted to use off (odd) years, I needed to purchase them directly from RCI. That is completely different than what I was led to believe from Occidental before I signed my paperwork.

posts: 1,129
reviews: 27
12. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

Hmmm...that's frustrating. I was never able to do any banking or reservations through RCIs website, but I had good luck calling.

One thing I"ve found with Occidental is that you might have to call numerous times. Whether it's a language barrier or just bureacratic red tape, I called four times when I was trying to cash in our free week...basically just kept calling until I got the answer I wanted. Some agents were far more knowledgeable and helpful than others!

I don't remember all of the details, but I think the issue might be that you really have only one "week" that you have to use either with Occidental or RCI. So, if you have a 2011 week, you can either use it at an Occidental resort or RCI--but you can't take two separate weeks of vacation, one at each company.

So, if you exchange your 2011 Occidental week to RCI, RCI allows you more than 12 months to use it, so you could use your "2011 week" sometime in 2012; however, you wouldn't be able to go to Occidental again until 2013. They gave us a package of "special week" certificates to RCI that we could use in addition to our exchanged week. However, they were just discounted--not free, so we never used them.

I guess I'd keep calling RCI and going up the chain of command until you find someone with enough clout to help you out or negotiate with Occidental for you. I was always pleasantly surprised when I called there.

And for what it's worth, I feel your pain--my husband and I have wished many times we could get back the money we put down. But, hey--everyone makes a bad investment at some point, and you're probably no worse off than you would have if you'd put the money into the stock market. At least you have the chance of getting some enjoyment out of it.

posts: 156
13. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

If you need help go to the Vacation Club web page and use the e-mail link. I did that the other day and I got a call from them that afternoon and got all my questions taken care of. I did not provide my phone # just my member # so they had to look me up to get it.Then they emailed me to thank me for takeing there call.So I have to say service has inproved over the years.I have been a member for almost ten years and I can say I have had ups and downs with them but seems to be getting better.Allso I think the only way you can truly "make" money on this is to be able to go on vacation for at least two weeks at a time useing your bonis time.

Summerbum hope you had a good time on Cape Cod .Where did you stay?

Denver, Colorado
posts: 3
reviews: 1
14. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

I have to admit that after reading all the reviews on Occidental Vacation Club, I'm a little nervous. We are very new members, as of a little over a week ago. We literally did the math in front of our rep, weighed our options, sorted the details, and decided that it was something that would benefit us that we could afford.

We get 2 weeks of "bonus" time every other year, and in the same year, a members week, and a development week to either use or sell for $700/ea. During our bonus time, we have to pay a daily fee for food and drink, and a small flat rate $285 to use our member week or development week.

Concerning RCI, we were given a 2 year membership to the program and told that it has limitless use. We weren't advised of trading any weeks with Occidental, so I'm a bit confused by that. We were told that we can take trips to any RCI property for $200-$400 for a week stay, based on the going rate for a particular location. We haven't been able to look into this much because we haven't recieved any of our RCI packet with our member #'s.

If this is different from anybody's experiences, or what you were told, can you please get back with me to help clear up my misunderstandings? I feel like what I was told isn't matching up to what others are saying. Any helpful advise is extremely appreciated!!

New York City, New...
posts: 1
15. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

scam scam scam...believe me its a scam. try to get out of it if you can. higher a lawyer do what ever it takes. Try to get OUT OF IT as soon as possible.

Edited: 11:58 am, May 23, 2011
Durham, United...
posts: 1
16. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

I am from the U.K and bought into the scam in 2006 whilst on holiday with my family in the Domincan Republic, paying yearly maintenance fees ever since. What a fool i was. Went to Punta Cana supposedly free with voucher in hand treat like a second class citizen. Want to book a holiday to Cozumel with friends thinking it could turn out good. What another mistake ive made, works out twice as expensive by the time i include flights than going through a local travel agent. Please someone out there can you give any help as to how i can get out of this.

Edited: 1:20 pm, June 11, 2011
posts: 156
17. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

I am thinking that you can not book airline online but have to go through a agent? What a waste of $$$ We have saved a lot of $$ with OVC

Pictou, Canada
posts: 2
reviews: 3
18. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

I feel I have been ripped off by Occidental vacation club. I have used it 3 times and while i did get a nice vacation for what i would have paid with any travel agent, I did not get the VIP treatment I was promised. I did not get the jr. suite I paid for or any butler service. I also didn,t get to stay at the resort I bought my timeshare at because it was sold to another chain., and I dont like the resort the switched us to. Now it seem,s I can,t get rid of it either. I,m stuck in a contract for life. If a class action suit is ever organizid, I am willing to participate as long as no up front fee,s are required. I will not throw good money after bad.

Washington DC...
posts: 1
reviews: 2
19. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

I would love to start a class action suit for unethical practices. I was completely lied too! COMPLETELY

Doncaster, United...
posts: 1
20. Re: First time using Occidental Vacation Club--what to expect?

We bought the same holiday vacation membership last year & we would like to use it this year, but we dont know how to use the system to book the holiday. Can anyone help me pls.

Many thanks


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