Vacation Exchange with Interval International Canceled

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Nov 6, 2017
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I have a timeshare with Diamond Resorts International, which has an exclusive agreement with Interval International to allow Diamond owners to make exchanges for stays at out-of-network resorts. On January 4, 2020, I submitted a pending request to Interval International for a 7-night stay at a resort in the Monterey, CA area, and paid a $209 exchange fee. On March 3, 2020 I was notified that a reservation at Pine Acres Lodge in Pacific Grove, CA was available if we wanted it for April 12-19, 2020. I confirmed the reservation, and 2,250 exchange points were transferred from my Diamond Resorts account. On April 7, 2020 I was notified that the resort was closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak and that my reservation was canceled. I asked that my exchange points be returned to my Diamond account and that my pending request be returned to the queue. Their response was that my only recourse was to file a claim against my travel insurance policy (Allianz, policy #Exxxxxxxxxxxxx), which specifically excludes epidemic coverage, and when I get a rejection notice from Allianz, I would be given a replacement vacation certificate to be used at an Interval affiliated resort before December 24, 2020. The Monterey-area resorts that I am interested in are not available for any 7-night stays for the rest of the year, and therefore the replacement certificate has no value to me. I have filed a claim with Allianz and am awaiting my rejection notice. According to Interval rules for pending requests, the $209 exchange fee is paid when the request is submitted, and the exchange points are taken if there is a match and the reservation is confirmed. If no match is found, the exchange fee is refunded and no points are deducted. I want them to honor those rules. Alternatively, I want the pending request canceled and a refund of $625.25 covering the exchange fee and the exchange points. What should my next step be?

Note: Edited by a moderator to remove policy number
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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What a pleasure to read a clear and concise post of a fairly complex problem, Bert ... I am unfamiliar with the inner workings of this Diamond International membership. I didn't even know what it was until I saw the CEO on "Undercover Boss" the other day ... such are the benefits of isolation.

It seems that your request is straight-forward. As soon as your insurance claim is denied, compose a concise, polite email requesting 1) an extension to the end of 2021 or 2) a "flat cancellation" of the transaction and a refund of any expenses you've incurred. Submit to Customer Service, if no response in two weeks, use our Company Contacts to escalate your request. Everyone in the travel biz is overwhelmed these days, I'm sure I don't have to remind you to be patient. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
 
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Nov 6, 2017
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As expected, I finally got a rejection notice this week from Allianz for my claim against my travel policy. The notice said that anything that would have been covered by the policy was excluded by epidemic. Then as you suggested, I forwarded the notice to Interval Customer Service, whom I had been communicating with, and to an Assistant Vice President, that I got from your Company Contacts page. I wrote a polite letter explaining the situation, saying that I understand their cancellation policy, but humbly asking them to treat this as a special case outside the policy. I got a phone call from the Asst VP's office within 2 hours. She offered me an unlimited stay certificate good at any Interval affiliate for one year from today. I noted that my membership expires at the end of the year and will not be renewed by my timeshare company, as it had up until now. She said that I can buy a new membership. I stated that that would cost me money out of my pocket, which I am reluctant to do, and asked for a complimentary one-year membership. She declined. So, I'm thinking this is the end of the line. I'm not sure how valuable the certificate will be to me with limited travel options available before December 31. I give Interval 5 stars for quick response to my message and 2 stars for the solution. As you have repeatedly told us, every travel company is bleeding cash and struggling just to survive. But it is up to us individually to make sure they give us what we deserve. Thank you so much for the advice.