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SFX frustration. My deposits are not high demand? Really?

Discussion in 'Exchanging Timeshares' started by rickandcindy23, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I got an email from SFX weeks back, one particular person I work with often. This is the email I received:

    Good Morning Mr. and Mrs._______,

    I hope you had a wonderful weekend! I have been reviewing your requests, and note you have placed many peak high season requests during the spring break period, and one in prime high season Hawaii, but you only have enough trading power from one of your remaining deposits 8/27 Peacock suites.

    All of your other deposits are in lower demanded seasons, and as with all exchange companies, there are trading power rules set for fairness, which includes trading for the same season that you deposited. The exception to the rule is 60 days or less in advance, then seasonality becomes open.

    Our goal is to send you on great vacations, and with your best interests in mind, we respectfully suggest adjusting a number of your requests to the season that you deposited, which in most cases is the shoulder-season. With these requests being properly placed, it may increase your chances for fulfillment.

    Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have.

    Thank you, ______


    So I just answered that I am sure most of my weeks were in high demand season when deposited. I sent this in answer to this email.

    Now I am looking at the demand calendar for 2019 deposits (I have ten still with SFX, so I am not really thinking of depositing), and I see that five of my ten deposits STILL SHOW AS HIGHEST DEMAND, so it's not like they changed the demand calendar recently, making my old deposits look like they are low season.

    They have three seasons, high, shoulder and low demand. My other deposits are shoulder, which is okay because I will try to get something with those, but I don't like being told I only have shoulder season weeks.

    Let this be a warning to all of you thinking of using SFX. Their demand calendar is not really to be believed. I know I will hear from a few people who love SFX, but I am telling you, ten deposits still waiting for matches DO NOT LIE.

    Also, for a recent exchange I was told I couldn't change the guest name. I somewhat understand. It's Sheraton, and because it's a Sheraton, the owner will have to make a second call to change the name. Well, it's my friend who is checking in, so I will maybe give her my credit card, so she can check us in the day before we arrive. We are going to a wedding for a mutual friend. I maybe can call Vistana and ask them to put it into our friend's name. We own at the same resort, so maybe?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
  2. T-Dot-Traveller

    T-Dot-Traveller TUG Member

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    Hi Cindy
    Timeshare exchange / trading is like virtual currency arbitrage .

    SFX just told you - you got a bunch of nickels , dimes , and pennies .
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  3. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I suspect that SFX poorly worded their email. Trading power is a function of location, resort and season. Maybe SFX meant to say that your deposits are in lower demand due to the combination of location, resort and season, as opposed to be in lower demand season.
     
    T-Dot-Traveller and klpca like this.
  4. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    I haven’t had this type of experience with SFX, but do look at the weeks I’ve deposited with them to see if they get used. I believe so far only one week I’ve deposited with them went unused, so I try not to deposit that resort there. They have to make a living after all and if their customer base doesn’t pay to exchange into a specific resort it doesn’t really matter how desirable it is overall.
     
  5. presley

    presley TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Which resorts and weeks did you deposit?
     
  6. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Peacock Suites in Anaheim during September and late November, which show as red in the demand calendar. The rest of the fall is all shoulder season.

    If they consider the season as red, then it's red. If it's shoulder season, then it wouldn't show as red.

    I deposited Sheraton Broadway Plantation in the shoulder season, not low season.

    There are three season "colors": Gray is low season, teal is shoulder season, and red is high season.

    So red high season deposits that are near the shoulder season are considered shoulder season?
     
  7. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    They rent deposited weeks, and I am talking about the ones that go unused, which is within their rights to do it. How do you keep track of what they actually used.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  8. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    Let us know what the response is. I only deposit high demand weeks (according to the SFX chart) with SFX, so I'm not able to tell you how to determine which weeks (deposited) are used for which exchanges.
     
  9. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I think that SFX is saying that they will offer you nickles, dimes, and pennies in exchange for same. It looks like Cindy has requested high season exchanges for mid season deposits. Fair enough, you can't get if you don't ask but it appears that there is more to the SFX exchange matrix than just seasons. This is good information to know and may explain why some have good success with SFX and others do not. We are shoulder season travelers and have been happy with SFX - I think this information explains why. I am sorry that you (Cindy) haven't been having good success but it is some small consolation to understand why. I wish that exchange companies could be more transparent so that we could adjust our trading expectations.
     
  10. SmithOp

    SmithOp TUG Member

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    When I’ve deposited HGVC with them I had to get the guest certificate when it was used.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
    Eric B likes this.
  11. Eric B

    Eric B TUG Member

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    I’ve deposited a few Wyndham weeks with them; when they’re used I have to get a guest certificate for the user. I’ve also deposited a few Summit at Massanutten weeks; the resort lists whether or not they are used and for how many nights on my account page. IIRC, 3 out of 4 Summit weeks were used and all of the Wyndham ones. Not sure how that compares overall with there exchange rate, but it seems decent to me; since not all the Summit ones get used through SFX, I’m thinking about exchanging them elsewhere.
     
  12. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Read comprehension skills are lacking here. :)

    Five of 10 deposits are shoulder season (admittedly and I am prepared to lose those weeks completely), the other five were red deposits. These are RED, not shoulder teal, not gray low season. They are red. So if they are going to treat red weeks (like Thanksgiving weeks in Anaheim) as shoulder, then make the calendar reflect those as teal (shoulder) and not RED, high season.
     
    klpca likes this.
  13. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    If you deposit an HGVC Home Week, then I believe SFX can simply do the rest without you calling in.
    If you deposit (like I do), the points week, then we have to call in (or online) the Guest Certificate.
     
  14. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes, five are shoulder season and I have acknowledged them as such. Five are prime, red and definitely NOT shoulder season. They show as RED on the deposit calendar. They cannot say they are shoulder, if they are RED season according to their own calendar.

    Like I said, they want deposits for those particular weeks, even for 2019, and the same weeks are showing as red weeks for 2019, but they don't want to treat them like they have any value for exchange.

    I don't really want spring break and summer anything. I don't need that. We travel in off-season. I asked for most of my exchanges in off-season times of year. BUT, when I need something in prime season, I ask SFX, just as I ask II and RCI for the same thing. II and RCI almost always come through, and with the same deposits. I deposit my SBP weeks with II and receive great exchanges back. For our kids, I have gotten whale season on Maui, and those are for Feb-Mar. I am learning a lesson alright, and that lesson is, SFX cannot be trusted with deposits because they will tell you your requests are impossible.

    And SFX doesn't seem to get that TUG members are generally not impressed with their service. You can literally enter a search online and never hear a thing back.

    My most recent exchanges from SFX were early December, two 2 bedroom units for Orlando at Hilton SeaWorld. Do you call those prime weeks they gave me in exchange for my weeks? It's a nice resort, but early December is not a busy time in Orlando. It's shoulder season, and we all know that. I could have gotten something from II months before SFX came through.

    My other exchange confirmation that I received recently was a 1 bedroom in Myrtle Beach for the second week of May. I would hardly call that prime time in MB.

    I am afraid I am going to lose my deposits in SFX, and I am supposedly a diamond member.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  15. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    I was offered a Hilton W57th from SFX, but they would not let me use my Wyndham National Harbor that was expiring first to book it, I had to use my HGVC Marbisa. But they did give the expiration date of my Marbisa week to my National Harbor week, so I could not complain about that.

    So SFX has introduced some notion of trade power, which they never used to do.
     
  16. chemteach

    chemteach TUG Member

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    The more I read about SFX on TUG, the more I know to never deposit a week with them. About 10 years ago, I deposited Westin Mission Hills March Spring break weeks. Never got what I really wanted, had to settle with exchanging to not so great places. I won't ever make that mistake again. There were a few Tuggers back then who hyped up the SFX experience, and all I could think was that something was fishy about it - maybe SFX treated them differently in order to get some great SFX reviews on TUG. Over the past decade, I mostly read about bad experiences with them, and I try to always repost the information I am posting in this message to remind Tuggers to beware of SFX. I have gotten Xmas and New Years weeks in Cabo and Cancun consistently with II or RCI as long as I start my search 2 years in advance. I always get 2 units so I can travel with extended family or friends. SFX could never get me what I needed - but I need Summer or winter break weeks for travel. Both II and RCI always come through with Hawaii summer weeks in great places and winter Mexico weeks as long as I begin searches in advance. If you are flexible and can travel low season, try SFX. Perhaps it will work for you. But if you want prime weeks, SFX is generally not getting those deposits. Just make sure you know what you are getting into before depositing with them. They entice with bonus weeks that are worthless if they can't even get the weeks needed for travel in prime season.
     
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  17. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    SFX is really only great for Mexico weeks as a rule. Others are a crap shoot.

    I have access to Wyndham, HGVC and HICV points resorts, I have a few extra weeks in RCI for TPUs. So that gives me access to both RCI weeks and RCI points. I dropped my II account because I was paying for it out of pocket as opposed to being covered by my Membership Dues on one of my points accounts so I dumped it. I also dumped DAE since RCI took over. So my only alternative source is SFX.

    I use it as an alternate source if I have to deposit some points that are expiring from one of my systems. I get Bonus weeks but the odds of me using one are rare, as I'd rather just pay the exchange fee of $149 instead of higher bonus week fee. I use it mostly for Mexico weeks as SFX weeks are not required to may the resort fees like the RCI weeks have to for some of the resorts. And when I go to Mexico I take multiple units at the same resort. And they usually have that available too.

    So as long as you have a plan for use, and know what to expect, SFX could work for you. I am not tied to school calendars or holidays weeks for travel. So I have flexibility. Does it have the supply of RCI or II, not a chance.
     
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  18. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    Have you heard back from SFX yet?
     
  19. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    Not so sure about the last part. If you read the messages on the timeshare forums where Mark @ SFX frequents (or used to, I've not checked it in a while) they always admitted they had trade power rules, but they were proprietary and not publicized, so you never really knew. Kinda like Hilton's corporate account with HGVC. We don't know the tpu or the priority given to Hilton vs. others when we (HGVC owners) exchange via RCI, and I'm not aware that anything is actually publicized as to how it really works internally.
     
  20. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Yes, I heard back from my SFX person, who offered me a couple of things yesterday. I have yet to talk to Rick about them. I will make a decision by tomorrow night.

    I am happy that my SFX person emailed back, but no mention of why inventory showing as red is not really red.

    I know II shows inventory as red that is really pink, like weeks 9-43 at SBP are all considered red, but if you could deposit a week yourself, you wouldn't want to deposit a week 43. We get the combined trading power of the entire season because we aren't assigned a specific deposit.
     
  21. hurnik

    hurnik TUG Member

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    Thanks! I was kinda hoping to hear what they said about why their system would show high demand, etc.

    I know one time (only once, due to poor planning on my part), I needed something in like 60 days, but they wouldn't take my Vegas week because they needed at least 90 days to try to get it, but they gave me dates/areas that they'd take, so I ended up depositing a California week instead, because they had immediate need.

    I know in the past, I've posted over on the timeshareforums in the SFX section and Mark has either responded, or asked that I email directly in cases like this, so perhaps you could go that route. At least to maybe get an answer. I doubt they'd ever disclose how the algorithm/etc. works, but at least an explanation as to why some of your weeks didn't count would be helpful, IMO.

    Good luck!
     
  22. presley

    presley TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Do you think it's because Peacock Suites just has less trading power than most places?

    I know that I would consider it a major down trade for anything that I owned. I know some people don't seem bothered by the place, but I'd rather stay in a motel.
     
  23. bizaro86

    bizaro86 TUG Member

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    I think Peacock Suites is a "location, location, location" place. We took our kids to Disneyland and could have stayed there or the Marriott Newport Coast. The Marriott would have been a nicer resort, but the time and hassle of driving back and forth would have outweighed the niceness, as we were barely in the room.

    I suspect SFX has demand for suites there, especially when school is out.

    I'm not saying it is a 5* place, because it isn't. But if SFX is going to limit deposits they should have some sort of explanation about how they do it. RCI lost (or maybe settled?) A class action on a similar case, which is where the TPU system came from. II at least publishes TDI index and rates resorts with the different levels, which can combine to give you some idea.

    I would say the biggest issue I have with this personally is that SFX said they wouldn't give a high season week in exchange AFTER they had the deposit. Seems like poor form to me...
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  24. rickandcindy23

    rickandcindy23 TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I would rather stay at the Hyatt myself, rather than Peacock Suites, but the Hyatt is not cheap, and Peacock Suites' 1 bedrooms only cost me about $750 for a week in my Shell points.

    We had friends who stayed at the Residence Inn around the corner from Peacock Suites, literally a block away, and they said it was not as nice as Peacock Suites. So they book with me. It's about $950 for a 2 bedroom in fees. They have 4 kids, so a 2 bedroom works great for their family because those sleep 8. The Residence Inn sleeps up to six and doesn't have three televisions. They were very impressed with Peacock. The kitchens could use improvement for me. I like eating breakfast and dinner in the unit, and it's not easy to do dinners without a kitchen. Sure, you can buy a frozen lasagna and a bag of salad, or use the grills on the upper deck, but the kitchen is just a hassle to use for anything more than coffee and toast.
     
  25. JuliGee

    JuliGee Guest

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    That's probably what the problem is. The poster keeps talking about seasonality, but fails to mention the possibility of trading power on the quality of the resort. No disrespect, but as you say, I can't imagine Peacock Suites having good trading power.

    Juli
     

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