What to expect when expecting (an exchange)

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     We’ve recently learned that first time exchangers don’t know what they don’t know! Because we all speak timeshare-ese as a second language, we expect you, our members to do so too. Maybe by osmosis I guess.

     Below I’ve listed the steps to take and mailings to watch for when exchanging with Interval International. These steps are also outlined in the Vacation Club Guidelines booklet, but not to this extent.

1. Search the Interval book for possible destinations

2. Call our Owner Services department at 888.333.1535 and review your selection and possible dates with them. They will review your account and let you know if you have enough points for the request and if not they will tell you how to acquire the necessary amount of points. Once you and our agent have agreed that your points level and your requested vacation match, then we’ll ask you to call Interval at 866.522.1466.

3. When speaking with Interval be certain to speak with a Club trained agent. Sometimes our calls get routed to agents that aren’t trained about points and the rules when exchanging. This can get confusing for all, so be sure to ask for a Points trained agent. Once you get the right agent you then tell them of your request and they begin a search.

4. Occasionally Interval will make a match for your request while you are on the phone. At that time they will give you a TENTATIVE confirmation number. The confirmation is TENTATIVE as Interval must then confirm with us that you have enough points to complete the exchange. This usually takes 72 hours to do. Once we confirm that you have enough points Interval will send you a complete confirmation package with resort information, directions, confirmation and a vacation questionnaire. YOU DO NOT HAVE A CONFIRMED EXCHANGE UNTIL YOU RECEIVE THESE DOCUMENTS.

5. If you do not have enough points to complete the exchange we will tell Interval you cannot make the exchange. At this point two things happen. a. We’ll try to contact you and review the situation and b. Interval will send out a postcard that informs you that we have denied your exchange and you should call us to find out why. If you think you have a confirmed exchange but have not received the confirmation packet, odds are it has been denied by us and you missed the postcard from Interval and we failed to reach you. BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THE INFORMATION FROM INTERVAL. If we fail to reach you and you ignore the Interval postcard your request will be cancelled by Interval. You may think they are searching when in reality we all think you’ve changed your mind about exchanging. We can’t tell what mail you do or do not receive.

6. We will deny your exchange request for a few reasons. a. You don’t have enough points in your account, b. the annual fees are unpaid for the points you are using. Both of the above reasons have several variables and can be confusing. Typically if you didn’t start your exchange process by speaking with us, there is likely to be difficulties during the process.

7. If everything else is in order and Interval is not able to confirm a vacation right away, BE PATIENT. Our Club members are getting great exchanges at great resorts. Always remember for an exchange to occur, SOMEONE HAS TO BE EXCHANGING OUT OF THE RESORT YOU WANT TO EXCHANGE INTO. Sometimes it is just not possible. I personally try to exchange to the Caribbean each January. Some years I wait several months before I get the exchange I want. I am very picky and only want certain resorts on certain islands for a very specific time of year. I’ve been patient and so far, always successful. The more specific your request, the harder they are to confirm.

     This exact situation happened to an owner with their Christmas Vacation. They discovered the issue three days before the vacation started. Luckily we were able to find accommodations at the same resort and all was resolved. But it was a tense 48 hours for everyone. As always, feel free to call or email us with any questions.

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