It has been brought to our attention by some Diamond Resorts’ members that have contacted us off the back of a mail shot received by all members regarding booking and cancellation policies of Diamond Resorts accommodation. Diamond have stated that after a study in their cancellations and subsequent bookings, they feel that the cancellation policy is a large contributor to the large number of empty units each year.
Diamond have decided that the best move going forward is to alter the members cancellation policies to reduce the probability of the unit staying empty if cancelled at last minute. The board have approved the new cancellation policies (below), that will leave other members a whole 30 days to book, if the member that is cancelling wants to retain any of their points used for the booking in the first place. If they want to keep all of their points used to book the accommodation, then they will have to cancel a full 91 days prior to date of arrival.
This is quite a strict policy, especially as Diamond are referring to the ‘members’ here, one would presume that members get better conditions or some sort of benefit from having made an inversion to become members in the first place. However, at a closer look, this does not seem to be the case. Diamond Resorts seem to be promoting units to non-members more than they are to members, and the cancellation policy amendments for the members is providing the availability for the private bookings which are now being promoted more on the Diamond website.
The main website for Diamond Resorts is now catering for the general public rather than members. Anyone can book from the home page to any of the Diamond Resorts worldwide, without being a member at all. The TCA have checked out these claims, and they definitely seem to be true. We have taken a booking all the way through to payment from the home page, receiving a 50% discount on the list price. So, for a 1 bedroom with all the services that a member receives, a non-member can pay up to 50% cheaper. This is for a ‘payment on arrival’ booking, which is cancellable with full refund 48 hours before:
“STANDARD REFUNDABLE RATE
NO PREPAYMENT NEEDED – PAY ON ARRIVAL
A debit/credit card is required for this reservation. 100% of payment will be taken upon arrival at the resort. Payment will be taken in the local currency of the resort, please be aware that your bank may charge you a transaction fee. If you fail to check-in, a single night (plus tax) will be charged to the card provided when booking. An additional charge will be applied for the use of certain resort facilities including, but not limited to onsite leisure facilities and Wi-Fi access. Facilities differ at each resort, please see the resort fact sheet for details. No cancellation or modification is permitted within 48 hours of arrival.”
There are even bigger discounts offered for non-members that book a room that has ‘No cancellation available’. Surely then, the cancellation policy of the members has nothing to do with the vacant units, but more likely to attract more non-members to the resorts rather than timeshare members.
We have published several articles over the past year that have suggested Timeshare resorts are now trying to sell their rooms on to non-members to make up for the decline in members. However, this seems to have a knock-on effect for the remaining members as they are now not getting the availability that they once had. They are also paying over the odds when the points and initial inversion that they made are taken into consideration. Now the members are receiving worse offers than the Jo public and have made a much bigger inversion than them.
Posted on: April 9, 2018
For more information regarding this article or assistance in any other timeshare related issues please contact the TCA on 0203 519 3808 or email: info@TimeshareConsumerAssociation.org.uk