Timeshare Nightmare

We have a timeshare in Kissimmee, Florida that we bought about 18 years ago. We never go back there but you can exchange your week for a week anywhere in the world that is connected with RCI. Thus far we have taken our family to the Bahamas, Tijuana, Horseshoe Bend in Arkansas twice, and Alpine Bay which is in Alabama twice. We've always had a wonderful time.

This time only Steve and I went so we could attend a Shriners Ball because my brother-in-law was made Potentate (which is like the head of the whole Shriner area in Alabama and other southern states). Our kids were unable to take time off work to go with us. The first two nights we stayed at a Drury Inn in Montgomery which was wonderful. That way we were able to be close to the events that were located at the Alcazar Shrine in that city.

Sunday night we drove to our timeshare which was nearly two hours away. It felt funny having just the two of us in the car but it was very peaceful on the drive down. Usually there are kids excited to begin with, then they are whiney because the drive is so long (Are we there yet?). Sometimes outright fights start and it dampens the desire to take the whole family along. Steve and I talked more to each other than we ever have before. We arrived at the resort at 10:00 pm and met the security guard at the office. He handed us the keys to Unit A6. When we walked into the unit I first noticed the dirty towels and sheets on the kitchen floor. (This is what you normally do when you check out.) Then I saw the crumbs on the counter. Walking into the bedroom on the main floor, there were no sheets on the bed.

Both Steve and I were upset. He called the office praying the guard would still be there. (He was having his lunch in the office when we arrived.) Luckily he answered the phone. When Steve explained the situation, he said he thought A10 was cleaned, but he'd go check it out and then bring the keys to us. The resort was supposed to have our unit ready on Saturday night. This was hard to comprehend.

The guard knocked on our door and gave us the keys to A10 which was clean and ready to go. Thank goodness! So we got back into the car and drove to that unit. It was beautiful, something like we've never lived in (which was what sold us on buying the timeshare). There was a bedroom and bath on the main floor with the kitchen, dining area, living room which had a fireplace, and a deck off the dining area. The upstairs had a huge master bedroom and bathroom with a separate room that had a jacuzzi that at least three people could sit in, another sink, and another living room with a deck off of it.

I was in a lot of pain with my back so we slept downstairs the first night. The next morning I woke up in severe pain so I went up the stairs pulling myself up by the handrails. I started the tub with the water temperature what I use at home (which is pretty hot). I then went downstairs and fixed my tea and cereal and took it up the stairs to eat breakfast while the tub continued to fill. When I checked the tub again, the water was lukewarm. It still hadn't filled enough water to cover the jets. I let it continue to flow until it was ready.

I was pretty upset when I got into the tub and it was cold. After sitting down in the water I started searching for the button to turn on the jets. There was no button. You had to turn it on by a switch on the wall about four feet away. This was getting rediculous! I got out of the tub and dried somewhat, walked over and turned on the jets. Water started flying everywhere (still not enough water to cover the jets sufficiently). If I were sitting in the water, the level would be perfect but I couldn't reach the switch. I added more water which by this time was almost ice cold, turned on the switch, and got into the tub. Brrrrrr!

I knew I needed to grin and bear it because without the massaging action of the jets, I find it hard to move around. If you've read my blog before, you are aware that I have five herniated disks and a bulging disk in my back, along with a bulging disk in my neck. Lets just say that I didn't sit in that jacuzzi for the normal 1 1/2 hours that I do at home. Also, with the water being cold, my neck and back stiffened up. I'm not sure if the bath helped me or made my back and neck worse.

Of course, by the time we returned to the timeshare that night, the office was closed so we couldn't report the problem. The next morning after again having a cold bath, and before leaving for my sister's in Prattville, we waited until the office opened and reported it. They had a maintenance man come turn the pilot light up on the water heater.

The third morning I went through the same actions only I put strictly hot water into the tub to begin with. I wondered how I was going to get to the faucet to add cold water as it is in the farthest part of the tub. There is a ledge around the tub but in my condition, I wasn't sure I could crawl on it to add cold water. As it turned out I didn't have to worry about it, by the time I checked the water, it was tepid. Another day with disappointment. We again waited for the office to open and reported the situation. The maintenance man came again, only this time he said the hot water heater needed a new element. Since he had to drain it, we left him there and asked him to lock the unit when he was done.

While driving home that night we decided to stick a couple logs in the fireplace and create a romantic atmosphere. We arrived to find two notes on the door of A10. The first one said to call the office (which closed at 6). The second note stated "No water, water is turned off." This is great, now we can't even take showers, brush our teeth, or use the toilets. After sitting up at the office for 1 1/2 hours, hoping the security guy would see us and hopefully have a key to another unit we decided to go back to the unit and try again to get ahold of someone. Steve left a few messages at the office number, we left our number on the beeper for security, all with no response. We were so angry we just went to bed. By morning we decided to pack up and go home. I had had six days with my family and felt that would have to make do. We still had two nights left in the timeshare but I couldn't handle moving again.

We were packing up the car when the office finally calls us at 8:30 am. They wanted to move us to another unit. The manager told me she was sorry, but they tried to get ahold of us the day before to let us know they couldn't get the hot water heater fixed and they would move us to another unit. I told her "Sorry doesn't make it. I need to be in a whirlpool or jacuzzi for 1 1/2 to 2 hours every morning. I'm now in so much pain, I can barely walk." I handed the phone to Steve and listened while she tried to talk him into moving again. He remained steadfast in that we were going home and we wanted a refund.

The manager finally told us she would give us a free week at any Crown Resort with no exchange fee. We accepted this, but their resorts are in Tennessee, Mississippi, Pensylvania, and Alabama (the one we were at). Assuredly, we will not be staying in their resort in Alabama, which is really too bad because that is the closest to my sister's house.

Jackie really wanted us to stay on an air mattress at her house, but I hurt so bad I just wanted to go home. We've been considering selling the timeshare and this made us certainly want to. It's too bad, though, as all of the other places we have stayed have been fantastic! Time will tell. Halfmoon

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Anonymous said...

You can't share the timeshare man! How will we take family vacations?

And we do not say are we there yet??? LOL You're bad mom. LOL Just kidding. I will admit to the fighting. I don't know what it is about me and one of my brothers when you put us in a close space for very long.

I'm so glad your home and I'm sorry the time share sucked, but at least you got to have fun with everyone in AL! I love you!