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Old January 2, 2009, 07:33 PM   #1
amanven
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BBS Reg. Date: Oct 15, 08
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 283

Resorts: Vistana Resort
Question Need Help Understanding My Star Central

I could ask owner services these questions but I would be interested to hear what TUGGERS familliar with Starwood have to say first.This could be a long post so I will outline the scenario and what I am seeing on my star central then ask the questions.

Just bought a fountains unit floating week prime season at Vistana Resort resale (refurbishment fees were already paid by previous owner).
Resort has acknowledged transfer and I am now able to log into My Star Central.
A reservation for week 11 was made for me as part of the terms of purchasing the resale. We intend to use that week and infact I even made an adjustment to the day of arrival and confirmed the reservation with owner services
Logged into My Star Central and checked the Owner Information "What I own section"
To my surprise I see under Reservation System SVN is listed. My Weekly Staroptions value is 76,000. I confirmed with owner services on the phone that I can utilize SVN despite the fact I bought the unit resale after the March 2008 deadline.
Under the account balances section I see Total Avaliable Staroptions. For 2009 it says I have 152,000.

Now to the questions:
Should I have any reason to question the fact I was told I can be part of SVN?
Why would I have a total of 152,000 StarOptions. Could the previous owners banked options have transferred to me when I bought the unit?
Can I use any or all of those StarOptions despite the fact I already have a reservation for week 11?
Can StarOptions be banked and if so for how long?
Am I misunderstanding the information contained in My Star Central (perhaps reading too much into it)?
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Old January 2, 2009, 09:52 PM   #2
DavidnRobin
 
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Location: San Francisco Bay Area
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Resorts: Westin St. John (WSJ) x2; Westin Ka'anapali (WKORV); Westin Kierland (WKV) x2; Westin Princeville (WPORV) EOY
I would not make decisions based on data on MSC - especially with a new property. Call them - and be clear in your questions (ask them to explain your current info) - and be clear in their responses. If they do not make sense - ask to speak to a supervisor.

Do not assume what is in MSC is fact - for example - our resale WSJ has the SP conversion from our SOs - but we can't convert be cause we bought resale. Do not try and get away with something - because if they catch it - it could cause issues you do not want to deal with (if it sounds to good to be true...).

oh... btw, you may be reading too much into it.
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Old January 2, 2009, 10:04 PM   #3
Captron
 
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BBS Reg. Date: Dec 12, 08
Location: Tampa, FL
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Resorts: SVR Cascades + Fountains II; SBP; Worldmark
There have been several posts similar to yours where MSC said one thing but when someone who knows what they are talking about answers you learn that that is not the case at all.

152 k makes some sense as your unit is 76 k. BUT you can not bank staroptions and can not be carried over. If you have deposited your current year with II for your exchange your tank is dry for this year. IF the II booking was made with a week banked with II you may still have something to use this year. (A "gift" from the former owner) Make sure before you do anything. THe only way to save a week that I know of from one year to another is to bank it with II, in which case it is good until 2 years after the week that is banked. (2 calendar years after the actual week, not when it was banked, used, etc.)

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Old January 2, 2009, 10:54 PM   #4
amanven
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BBS Reg. Date: Oct 15, 08
Location: Ontario, Canada
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DavidnRobin
You're right about it sounding too good to be true. That's why I posted here first because after all the reading I've done here something just wasn't adding up.

Captron
I don't know how the original reservation was made by the previous owner. I assumed he had made it through owner services. Vistana is our only resort and our home resort. As yet I have not had any dealings with II yet so I am still figuring that system out.

I am beginning to wonder where the buck stops at Starwood as far as getting a difinitive answer to my SVN and StarOptions questions if you can't be sure you are getting an accurate answer from their reps and at this point in time I would like to determine just exactly what I can or can't do with those points. I'd rather use 'em than lose 'em if they are in fact a gift from the previous owner. If resale units are such an issue with Starwood then they should do a better job of differentiating them on MSC in the first place.
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Old January 2, 2009, 11:26 PM   #5
Captron
 
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I agree they should... they should do a lot of things better and most of the top of the list involves communication with owners.

Options can not be carried over in any way that I am aware of.

If this had been an II exchange you could have checked with them to see which years week the exchange had been made with either on the II web site or by phone.

If your reservation was made with Owner services at your home resort then it is an internal exchange or simply your week floated. AS you stated, you have confirmed this week with owner services, so they can see it in the system and you should be fine. It did not go through II, sorry I misunderstood. Within SVN there is not a way to keep one years options over to the next but I am not sure if you can within the Vistana Vacation Club or by some other means the previous owner may have used. Did you ask owner services if any previous years weeks were attached to the account you acquired? They may be able to answer the same question I would have posed to II: What year was the week from that was used to make this reservation? (Sometimes you have to ask exactly the right question directly) Hopefully they can answer that one for you from their system.

Good Luck. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. I am newer to TUG but have been playing this game for a while. Some of what I have just given you is my understandings from my experience and a LOT of reading on these boards. Anyone else feel free to chime in and correct any of my misunderstandings.
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Last edited by Captron; January 2, 2009 at 11:52 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old January 3, 2009, 10:13 AM   #6
oneohana
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Captron,

It seems to me that you play this game very well.
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Old January 3, 2009, 04:11 PM   #7
calgarygary
 
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The most likely explanation is that the previous owner did not use their 2008 star options. They will not carry over into a 2009 booking but as we are early in the year, the program that will delete 2008 star options from MSC possibly wasn't run. MSC then had the 2009 star options added to accounts and yours is mistakenly showing 152,000 - and it is most likely a mistake. You have had the previous owner make a reservation using your 2009 options for week 11. MSC has probably charged that account but will eventually correct and charge your account. So I believe, when all is corrected that your account will have 0 available options but the week 11 reservation.
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Old January 4, 2009, 01:22 PM   #8
amanven
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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I just checked back into MSC and sure enough the star options have been reduced from 152,000 to 76,000 so calgarygary you may be right. My account balances show 76,000 for 2009 and 76,000 for 2010 and I am pretty sure the 2009 options will disappear after I use my Week 11 reservation.

So with that figured out now I am just left with the question of whether I can use SVN. My maintenance fee breakdown shows a $33.00 membership fee charge. I don't know if that is for SVN or II or something else (Vacation Club?). Before I pay the maintenance fee I intend to ask owner services give me a difinitive answer to the SVN question and I am going to ask them to email me that answer to insure that I have something to prove it. Am I on the right track here?
BTW Captron I can't seem to find out much here about Vistana Vacation Club. What is that?
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Old January 5, 2009, 03:05 AM   #9
Captron
 
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BBS Reg. Date: Dec 12, 08
Location: Tampa, FL
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Resorts: SVR Cascades + Fountains II; SBP; Worldmark
VVC is an older program that remains from before Starwood acquired the resorts from Vistana. Fountains was part of that IF the owner decided to enroll. It is now almost gone but I was trying to come up with another explanation.

The $33 charge is the amount charged for a second SVN week. IF your previous owner had other weeks and this was considered their second week in the program that could be the source of that. I assume that whoever at SVO transferred your unit did not change the status of the unit with regards to SVN and that is why you are seeing options and the $33 charge. I have heard that this is has been an issue for a few that gets corrected only when you try to use those options and someone realizes that you should not have them, but until then they appear in your MSC account. BUT if no one realizes??????
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Old January 5, 2009, 09:14 AM   #10
amanven
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Resorts: Vistana Resort
If I thought I could keep the options and use them I would pay the $33 fee but the MF's are due tomorrow and I don't want to pay that fee if someone is going to realize I shouldn't have those options and take them off the account especially if they do it when I attempt to use the options. Wouldn't it be better to confirm with owner services first before I pay the MF's.
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Old January 5, 2009, 01:12 PM   #11
clsmit
 
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Resorts: SBP; WLR; WKV; HRA; WMH; WKORV; WSJ and 5*x2. And a house in Rancho Mirage. Now I need 2 kitchen designers. And a jet.
The options are taken out of the account when the reservation is made, so you shouldn't have 76K for 2009 since you have a week reserved. Call SVO with your confirmation number and what you're seeing on MSC to make sure you have your week 11 vacation. If SVO says you have your week reserved but you still have 76K options, find yourself another vacation to take!
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Old January 6, 2009, 07:50 PM   #12
amanven
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BBS Reg. Date: Oct 15, 08
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 283

Resorts: Vistana Resort
Finally straightened out

After more than a week of constant revisions to my account the end of the story goes like this.
Starwood again revised my account balances and the 76,000 StarOptions disappeared. The SVN on my reservation system also disappeared as well. The membership fee in my maintenance fees did not disappear however. I called the owners association to make a MF payment but before I did I questioned the membership fee and was advised that charge should not be appearing on my account either and was deducted from the amount I had to pay. So what did I learn:
1) Like DavenRobin said, just because it appears in MSC doesn't make it so.
2) Don't even look at MSC for the first week of January because it appears it is continually being updated.
3) That everything I read on TUG before we bought our unit was spot on.
4) SVN would have been nice to have and for a while there I almost thought it might still be possible I could use it but I bought knowing we probably wouldn't be able to use it and I can live with that.
5) Seems I can get more straight forward accurate answer from the owners association than from owner services.
6) The TUG website and its' members are the BEST!
Thanks to everyone for their input. Just proves there is always something more to learn.
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