Marriott Vacation Club Retracting Offers
Well, I sure didn't expect to write this article today, but here we are…Bonvoyed once again. And I know Marriott Vacation Club isn't really a part of Marriott anymore, and they are more like partners now, but the corporate indifference seems to have hung around good and long. Culture is the hardest thing to change at a company after all. This story involves the Marriott Vacation Club retracting offers they made mere hours earlier. They attempted to play it off as some kind of mistake, which we all know is complete horse doo-doo. Let's take a look at what the offer was and what started to happen Friday evening as cancellations started rolling it.
Side Note: It is almost like they called their Marriott counterparts and said what would you do if you had a promo get overextended? Oh, you reign hellfire on your customers and go full Bonvoyed on them bro! Excellent, I was hoping you would say that…we haven't been able to get in on that Bonvoyed fun much.
The Marriott Vacation Club Virtual Timeshare Presentation Offer
There are a few different offers people have been quoted once they get a Marriott Vacation Club representative on the phone. Let's take a look at the different ones. All required a 90 minute virtual presentation (think over something like Zoom).
- 50,000 points for a married or cohabitating couple
- Some report it only being this high during business hours. If evening hours (after 5PM ET) then the points dropped down
- 40,000 points for a married or cohabitating couple (in California, no idea if that matters)
- 20,000 points for a single person
- One person reports getting 60,000 points
Was This Offer Actually A Mistake?
At first I was a bit skeptical that this would work for most since I only had one data point. I decided to send it to a small group of people and everyone that wanted to was able to get the same offer. On top of that we received reports of people being offered this at resorts over the last several weeks. With all of that, plus the fact that they ran the same deal a year ago without issue, I figured it was good to go. It appears now that I was wrong and underestimated Marriott Vacation Club.
So we have people calling and Marriott Vacation Clubs agreeing to 40,000 – 50,000 point offers. We have reports of this offer going back a few weeks and being offered to people staying on property. There is also a history of this exact same offer happening not too long ago too. All of the agents were well versed in the offer too. They had different amounts for married or single people and had different values for prime time slots versus during business hours. Yup, it sounds like it was a legit offer. Even if they want you to believe otherwise.
The agents gladly filled their calendar and agreed to all of this. Sent out confirmation emails with the terms included as well. Then a few hours later, they left messages for people that their offer has been terminated. It was a mistake, they were supposed to only offer 5,000 points. I know, it sounds totally legit.
The Way They Did It Is My Issue
I don't have a huge problem with them cancelling everything, that is their right and I am sure it is buried somewhere in the offer terms. If this had happened AFTER people had sat through the presentation then I would be reigning hellfire. My issue is the fact that they tried to do it in a slimy way saying it was a mistake and trying to make it seem like they added a 0 somehow. That is something we know for a fact is not true.
They could have just said the offer was more popular than we thought and we ran out of our marketing budget. Sorry you were towards the end of the list and we just don't have the space. They would have looked like idiots saying this only hours after agreeing to everything, but at least it would have been honest and upfront. Doing it the other way just feels scummy, dishonest and so very Bonvoy!
What Options Do You Have If It Was Cancelled?
You can try to fight for them to honor the deal, and I am sure some will try. Maybe a few people will get a willing manager that pushes it through but I think most will be throwing good time in after bad. There is an in person offer that you can grab instead. It costs $199 and you can get a 3 or 4 night stay at multiple properties. You would have to travel there and do the in person two hour presentation. If it works out that they have a location you were planning to travel to anyway then it could make sense. Otherwise I don't think the offer of just discounted nights is worth it for most. Not when Hilton has been offering that PLUS up to 150K points.
Marriott Vacation Club Retracting Offers: ToP Thoughts
Hopefully some of these virtual timeshare presentation offers stick for people that got in early and they get their points. The question is if you want to even risk it now? I think some will still go ahead for the $300 – $400 worth of points potentially waiting for them. Others, who were already kind of on the fence about it, will use this as their escape pod and cancel their meeting. You have to decide which option is better for you.
Marriott Vacation Club retracting offers is what I call the cost of playing the game. It happens all the time when you play in the gray area. You may have wasted 45 minutes of your time setting it all up, and that really does suck, but there is the baked in cost when you try these things. When they hit, they are well worth the effort. When they miss, it still stings for a bit afterwards. At the end of the day you hope the good outweighs the bad. Always remember that you have to take shots to make shots.
The thing that upsets me is the way they handled it. They could have just cut off access to anyone that called once they realized they had too many people trying to grab the deal. Or, at least be upfront about why you need to cancel. Don't say it was a rounding or clerical error when we all know that isn't the case. All it does is feed into the scummy timeshare salesman narrative.