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Old November 5, 2009, 06:47 PM   #1
ls0917
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Interval International Getaways and how they suspended my account

I own several properties with interval international. As an extension of my membership, I am allowed to purchase 12 Getaways per year per property. The Getaways are last minute leftover inventory that Interval purchases from the hotels. Interval claims that you are not allowed to use these properties for commercial use, even though it never defines commercial use. Moreover, Interval claims that I engaged in commercial use, suspended my account for one year, and cancelled my properties and REFUSES to offer me a refund.

They claim that if I was unable to use these Getaways, I was simply to let them expire or give it back to the hotel to resell. I believe that this is a violation of interstate commerce clause and a restriction on my right of transferability of my property.

Any insight you can offer me would be greatly appreciated.
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Old November 5, 2009, 06:59 PM   #2
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Did you rent the getaways - or offer them for rent?

It's common knowledge that it's against the rules to rent exchanges or getaways and the penalties for getting caught are pretty severe.

More info. - What exchange companies allow exchanges to be rented?
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Old November 5, 2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls0917 View Post
I own several properties with interval international. As an extension of my membership, I am allowed to purchase 12 Getaways per year per property. The Getaways are last minute leftover inventory that Interval purchases from the hotels. Interval claims that you are not allowed to use these properties for commercial use, even though it never defines commercial use. Moreover, Interval claims that I engaged in commercial use, suspended my account for one year, and cancelled my properties and REFUSES to offer me a refund.

They claim that if I was unable to use these Getaways, I was simply to let them expire or give it back to the hotel to resell. I believe that this is a violation of interstate commerce clause and a restriction on my right of transferability of my property.

Any insight you can offer me would be greatly appreciated.

Commercial use means just that. Commercial use. You cant rent them or sell them. Every Guest Certificate clearly states that a GC cant be sold and II membership terms state the same.

Getaways are available to every II member but most members realize that they cant be rented.

You violated II membership terms and conditions which you agreed to when you joined. You dont have a valid complaint. Be happy that II only suspended your membership rather than canceling it completely.
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Old November 5, 2009, 07:43 PM   #4
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... and cancelled my properties ...
What do you mean, cancelled your properties?
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Old November 5, 2009, 07:44 PM   #5
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Get-aways

Just because it is in the terms and conditions does NOT mean that it complies with state and/or federal law. If you purchase those days, you should be able to sell it, transfer it, etc. The hotel is just mad because they'd be able to resell it again.

Furthermore, if they suspend my account and cancel my existing reservations, they at least owe me a refund. Everyday they have been calling me several times changing around the terms of my sanction. This is like a runaway train.
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Old November 5, 2009, 07:45 PM   #6
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Cancelled my existing reservations. And refuse to give me a refund which they initially said they would do. I am so frustrated and feel like there is ABSOLUTELY no transparency and oversight with these companies.

Thanks everyone for your insight.
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Old November 5, 2009, 07:48 PM   #7
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Here is the specific language from the II T&C that you violated (from Section 14 of "Exchange Procedures and Priorities):
Quote:
The Host Accommodations may be used only for personal and noncommercial purposes. Members are expressly prohibited from exchanging or renting the Host Accommodations.
The term "Host Accommodations" includes your Getaways. From the T&C Definitions (Section 5):
Quote:
‘‘Host Resort’’ or ‘‘Host Accommodations’’ means the resort into which the Individual Member has been issued a Confirmation (including Flexchange and Getaway confirmations).
You are not restricted in your ability to transfer your property. However, the weeks you obtain from II are clearly II's property that must be used in accord with II's rules. If you don't want to follow those rules, you can go elsewhere to find your vacation weeks.

I'm sorry you were sanctioned by II. It's a tough way to find out what the rules are.

Last edited by Dave M; November 5, 2009 at 08:00 PM.
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Old November 5, 2009, 07:51 PM   #8
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If you want to challenge the legality of their T&Cs, you'll have to do it in a court of law. I doubt you'll get very far with that.

On the other hand, if they cancelled a paid reservation and refuse to refund your money, I would dispute the charges with your CC company. You don't have to pay for something you didn't receive.
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Old November 5, 2009, 07:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls0917 View Post
Just because it is in the terms and conditions does NOT mean that it complies with state and/or federal law. If you purchase those days, you should be able to sell it, transfer it, etc. The hotel is just mad because they'd be able to resell it again.
It seems to me that, rather than ignoring the rule, before making the reservations you should have obtained a legal opinion about the enforceability of the rule and figured out how you were going to respond if II did act to enforce its rules.
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Old November 5, 2009, 08:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls0917 View Post
Just because it is in the terms and conditions does NOT mean that it complies with state and/or federal law. If you purchase those days, you should be able to sell it, transfer it, etc. The hotel is just mad because they'd be able to resell it again.

Furthermore, if they suspend my account and cancel my existing reservations, they at least owe me a refund. Everyday they have been calling me several times changing around the terms of my sanction. This is like a runaway train.

You purchased those weeks under the rules of your II membership. It clearly states that they cant be rented. If you think it violates the law think of it this way.
When you rent a hotel room or rent a car, are you then permitted to rent that hotel/car to a third party? No your not.

BTW, your preaching to the choir here. Many of us have been involved in timeshares for many years and have seen many people get sanctioned for the renting of II Getaways and Exchanges. Its unfortunate that you didnt know the rules but you really should try to read the membership/exchange terms and conditions to understand what you can and cannot do.

As far as a refund goes, I do think II may have to refund your money for the canceled Getaways but I'm not 100% sure about that.
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Old November 5, 2009, 08:46 PM   #11
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Cancelled my existing reservations. And refuse to give me a refund which they initially said they would do. I am so frustrated and feel like there is ABSOLUTELY no transparency and oversight with these companies.

Thanks everyone for your insight.
Just my personal opinion - take it or leave it:

If I were you, I'd be very apologetic to II to see if there is anything they might be kind enough to do for you. If you rent out these properties to people you do not know, you are clearly violated the terms of your membership agreement. That means you are in the wrong and must pay the price. Getaways are non-refundable. You forfeited your right to your membership and reservations by doing this. If they can prove it slam dunk or you admitted it to them on the phone, it is the same thing as if you get caught and kicked out of a theme park for misbehavior. You likely won't get a refund. However, if the violation is minor/muddy and/or you are super nice to them, they might give you a token gesture just to get rid of you. My opinion, II gets to call the shots here. They may have initially offered a refund, but perhaps the facts or your mouth talked them out of doing that. I say APOLOGIZE, hands & knees, plead for mercy. I doubt you have any case that a reputable attorney would want to take on. Key word here is reputable. I doubt you've lost more money than it would cost to pay the attorney's retainer. Fighting this would mean throwing good money at bad.
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Old November 5, 2009, 08:54 PM   #12
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Another way to look at it:

I own a piece of property.
I lease it to you for the next year.
Are you then allowed to sub-lease it to whoever you want?
Not if I put a statement in the lease stating you cannot. If there is no such clause, me telling you you can't sub-lease might or might not be enforceable, but when you sign a lease with such a clause, you are bound by it.

When I deposit my timeshare to an exchange company, a contract exists between us. That contracts gives the exchange company the right/responsibility to place somebody into that unit - preferably by exchange, but it could also be by rental. You come along and rent or exchange into that unit through II. You DO NOT have the right to rent the unit to someone else - it is MY property, and the contract I signed didn't allow you any such rights. It might have included a clause to allow II and its agents to rent my unit, but you are not an agent of II, so even if a third is allowed to rent the week, you still are not.

It is not a question of II violating your rights by not allowing renting, but of you violating the property rights of the owner by renting out the week.
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Old November 5, 2009, 08:57 PM   #13
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I think you in for a David and Goliath type battle without the benefit of a sling and 5 smooth stones.
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Old November 6, 2009, 06:22 AM   #14
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I had my account suspended for a few weeks simply because I purchased lots of getaways (we use them a lot for family and friends, I am sending everyone on vacation!). After a few weeks they did some research (I am not sure what research), and they reinstated our account after they figured we're not trying to rent weeks out. I noticed there are people on ebay selling getaways for a profit, so I can see why they are concerned.

You should be able to apologize, say you did not understand the policy, and have your membership rights and reservations reinstated. I hope they will work with you.
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Old November 6, 2009, 08:29 AM   #15
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Just because it is in the terms and conditions does NOT mean that it complies with state and/or federal law. If you purchase those days, you should be able to sell it, transfer it, etc. The hotel is just mad because they'd be able to resell it again.
If you can get a court to see it that way, yes. Otherwise, no.

Good luck with that.
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Old November 6, 2009, 09:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ls0917 View Post
Just because it is in the terms and conditions does NOT mean that it complies with state and/or federal law. If you purchase those days, you should be able to sell it, transfer it, etc. The hotel is just mad because they'd be able to resell it again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel View Post
Another way to look at it:

I own a piece of property.
I lease it to you for the next year.
Are you then allowed to sub-lease it to whoever you want?
Not if I put a statement in the lease stating you cannot. If there is no such clause, me telling you you can't sub-lease might or might not be enforceable, but when you sign a lease with such a clause, you are bound by it.

When I deposit my timeshare to an exchange company, a contract exists between us. That contracts gives the exchange company the right/responsibility to place somebody into that unit - preferably by exchange, but it could also be by rental. You come along and rent or exchange into that unit through II. You DO NOT have the right to rent the unit to someone else - it is MY property, and the contract I signed didn't allow you any such rights. It might have included a clause to allow II and its agents to rent my unit, but you are not an agent of II, so even if a third is allowed to rent the week, you still are not.

It is not a question of II violating your rights by not allowing renting, but of you violating the property rights of the owner by renting out the week.
Mel's response is good.

I think you are misperceiving exactly what you purchased.

You did not purchase ownership of the units fo those days. What you did purchase was right of personal use of those condos for those days. Personal use means for you, family, and friends, and explicitly excludes commercial use.

Your belief seems to be that it's a violation of state and federal law for someone to limit a usage right to personal usage only. I think that would be an extremely difficult argument to sustain.

If you grant someone a usage right, I think you have every right to stipulate that the other person can only use that item themselves. If you rent someone your car, you are within your rights to require that they not allow anyone else to use the car, for example. You can also restrict them from using the car for commercial purposes; i.e., you can prohibit them from using the car to operate a taxi service.

A person granting the right to use property can attach almost any conditions that they wish. The only types of conditions that would be legally unenforceable would be those that involve such issues as discrimination on the basis of gender or race. For example, if II allowed you to resell the personal right only to Caucasians that limitation would be unenforceable.

But I don't see where a limitation on commercial use is in any way discriminatory.
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Last edited by T_R_Oglodyte; November 6, 2009 at 07:11 PM.
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Old November 6, 2009, 06:33 PM   #17
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I'm not sure I see anything wrong here:

- if you rented them yourself, as clearly stated, that's a violation of their terms

- you thought of "...you should be able to transfer usage.." obviously isn't true of airline tickets, among other things. Does an airline really care the 'John Smith' is in 11E vs 'Jane Doe', no. They want to make sure an organization doesn't buy a group of tickets (at an inexpensive price), and then resells them to others.

- most companies watch usage. My AMEX credit card has supposedly no credit limit, but if I charge $10k/day, I'm sure after a day or two of that (if that!), they'll flag future charges, and maybe want to talk to me. Similarly, even if you are allowed to get 12 getaways per year, I'm sure someone who does that is way above the average, hence their reason for looking more closely into it.

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Old November 6, 2009, 07:01 PM   #18
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Looking at it another way, when the OP rented the last minute weeks wasn't he doing a disservice to other II members who might have used them???
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Old November 7, 2009, 11:56 PM   #19
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Anyone else with an opinion on this subject?
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Old November 8, 2009, 07:11 AM   #20
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Cool

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Originally Posted by thheath View Post
Anyone else with an opinion on this subject?
Sure.

Subletting I.I. Getaways is against the rules. There are consequences for breaking the rules including the loss of the week and loss of the exchange fee's. He agreed to the rules when he electronically signed the T&C's of booking the Getaway. Even if the contract is illegal he will still have to abide by the terms he agreed to up until some point where he can prove that the contract was not legal and should be voided. Even if he can do that, he's now into a civil case to have his deposits refunded.

I'm betting on the lawyers for I.I. who drew up the T&C's for renting a Getaway or an exchange knowing the law better than our complainer. I've been wrong before but I believe this guy is going to find he's SOL. Next time, he should read and follow the rules to avoid disappointment.
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Old November 8, 2009, 08:34 AM   #21
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Resort owners get angry when they see eBay ads for their own properties, especially for less than the maintenance fees they pay. These people probably turned you in, if you were blatantly renting those weeks on eBay.

You can gift weeks to friends and relatives, but you cannot make money on the rentals. That is how I understand it.

I saw a bunch of eBay ads for Maui properties, managed by Consolidated, but I just assumed Consolidated was renting them, which I felt was wrong. I hadn't considered an II member may be renting Getaways. I guess I am a bit naive.
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Old November 8, 2009, 05:25 PM   #22
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I saw a bunch of eBay ads for Maui properties, managed by Consolidated, but I just assumed Consolidated was renting them, which I felt was wrong. I hadn't considered an II member may be renting Getaways. I guess I am a bit naive.
Why would think that II was not renting, after Craig Urbine posted (while he was working for II) that II rents deposited weeks and that rental of deposited weeks is essential to the profitable operation of an exchange company.
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Old November 8, 2009, 05:30 PM   #23
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Why would think that II was not renting, after Craig Urbine posted (while he was working for II) that II rents deposited weeks and that rental of deposited weeks is essential to the profitable operation of an exchange company.
I thought Consolidated was renting weeks, not II. I don't care if II rents Getaways. I think they also rent on some generic website. Are you saying that II rents on eBay? I wouldn't think so, but they may. I wasn't here when Craig Urbine was posting regularly. I only saw an occasional post from him over the past 4 1/2 years. I only joined a few weeks before the big upgrade to this new BBS.
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Old November 8, 2009, 07:37 PM   #24
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In my mind there is no difference between a member renting our times shares versus the exchange company (II or RCI), it's wrong. It's wrong because it pulls from the exchange/last minute pool we all choose from. I don't want to hear about last minute weeks going to waste; we all see what that morphed into at RCI.
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Old November 8, 2009, 09:01 PM   #25
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This guy got what he deserved, especially based on his statement:

"Just because it is in the terms and conditions does NOT mean that it complies with state and/or federal law. If you purchase those days, you should be able to sell it, transfer it, etc. The hotel is just mad because they'd be able to resell it again."

Trying to find a way around the II rules to continue his rental operation.
I suspect based on his "12/year" statement that he owns Marriott"
He has been poaching the II inventory to sell for a profit.

I'm personally glad to see II cutting down on these resale rental operations of Getaways. II should check ebay a little more and see all the NCV rental for pennies on the dollar, $100's below the maintenenace fees, obviously II getaways, off season.
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