Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana - $1,500 Resort Credit of Crap?
Alright, so let’s just get straight to the story. No fluff, no excess information needed. You know what you’re getting into here if you’ve done your research about timeshares (1) (and if not, that’s fine, you’ll find out.)
I’m chilling by the beach for a few days when I starting getting promotions thrown at me by the workers at Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana, Domincan Republic. Basically I was being offered the opportunity to use all my resort credits ($1,500 ) for whatever I wanted…instead of having to only use $300 for the spa, $150 for 1 golfer etc…
They suck you in with the resort credits, however it is impossible to use as a family. I had a family of 5 including me and to enjoy the vacation and use the resort credits, we could end up spending hundreds of dollars for the other people to join because we were “capped” with the amount of resort credits we could use per excursion.
If you have been to the Hard Rock in Punta Cana you understand the frustration of not being able to use your resort credits for whatever you want and as much as you want.
They really get you with the credits. Everything they do is a funnel to get you to indulge more and spend more money at their resorts for more credits.
But, that’s not where it gets interesting.
Table of Contents
|Package Title :||Legendary Preferred Destinations|
|Rank :||#100 out of 100|
|Content :||Definitely not an experience I would want to repeat. There’s a lot in the fine print of this one.|
|Rating :||1 out of 5|
|Price :||$18,900 for the package I purchased|
Preferred Destinations - Selling Ice to an Eskimo
Soo…..I end up going to the RCI receptionist to help me out on how I could use these resort credits as I wish.
And the selling begins…
I was told if you just sit in a 90 minute presentation about becoming a legendary member of the Hard rock Hotel, we could use the resort credits where ever we wanted up to the $1,500 they gave us…
I thought cool….I’m a man of steel, I will just walk out at the end of the 90 minutes… 🙂
Well…..not so fast…literally the best salesman I have ever come across sits down trying to close me.
Throughout the presentation he dragged me in, showed me the numbers, compared to real time prices, showed me the deluxe room, brought me to the private pool, then to the private beach and on and on and on….
I was so brainwashed I truly couldn’t pass up the offer….
More on that in a minute…
As I sat there, he saw my eyes started to glaze over and right at that tipping point moment where I could have gone either way, he threw an extra 15 weeks into the World Travel RCI for no extra cost…
I’ll explain the deal I got later on…
I thought, WOW, (so stupid) I’m getting the best deal in the world…I got to have it…
However, I was smart enough to say, “Elliot…leave, go think about it…”
So, that is what I did, I told the man I had to discuss this transaction with my family…
….he proceeded to tell me he couldn’t let me leave unless I put down a $200 deposit to “hold” the offer for 60 minutes..
I have to say that gave me a chuckle, but as I was sweating in that room I knew losing $200 was a lot better than $18,900. God, it makes me sick thinking about it now.
I dropped the card on the table, and told the man, “Be right back, sir, please hold the offer!” Like a little puppy dog…
Somebody should have punched me in the face when I walked outside!!! Loser! lol
Preferred Destinations - Becoming the Salesman
As I walked over to my family and began talking about the “greatest deal I have ever seen” I could see my mother in law wanted to smack me in my face, like a parent wants to smack their kids when they are 15 and think they are in love. They were near livid when I told them I actually caved.
I didn’t care, I wanted to purchase this damn thing but only have 60 minutes to do so…
I knew I didn’t want to spend this kind of money on my own, so I ended up calling a buddy of mine and started selling….I was actually pretty pumped as how good I was….you know the feeling, everything is coming out right and before I could say anything else….YES!!! I got him to say yes…
As I mathematically started calculated $18,900/2 is $9,450..I started to realize…holla! I am going to buy this shit! I am actually going to be a member of the Hard Rock.
As I walked back to the “Slaughter House”, I could feel my body started to stand up straighter, I had a little extra pep in my step. I even walked past a group of other members and said, save me spot, I’ll be there in a little….lmao, they looked at me and was like…LOSER!
DUN DUN... the DEAL
So…I sat there with my wife and went through the following deal with the Salesman: (18,900 usd)
15 world use weeks (RCI basically) will not receive any celebrity week
18 match play weeks (each match play week paid will grant you one celebrity week….18 celebrity weeks)
He also threw in like 3 FREE weeks to be used after the entire travel package was paid. Casino punta here I come!
I also get $2,000 resort credits every time I go in addition to my down payment will be transferred into travel resort credits.
In this example, I put down $2,800 so they gave me that in resort credits to be used for almost anything..
Not bad right?….
I am Regretfully a Preferred Member...
Ok, so this is where it all went wrong… I started to realize the following:
- Hard Rock Hotel food sucked in Punta Cana. Tripadvisor will probably back that up too
- The service is so slow and they get annoyed if you want them to hurry up with serving
- The never ending selling is ridiculous and it ruined my vacation (buyers remorse)
- When leaving early, before anyone else, you are responsible to check out and pay for all the room charges
- If you don’t check out, they don’t care and will hold your luggage hostage and raise a fist at you if you try and get to your luggage.
- The resort is enormous and walking miles a day is not my cup a tea on vacation. (sure you can take the trolly if you want to inhale carbon monoxide from the fumes)
- The cleaning services are terrible, slow and dumb. They never filled the fridge and the rooms smell like soot.
- Did I say the food was terrible…. Two words: Stomach Bug. Not something you want when you travel.
As I sat on the plane home, I realized I did something bad. When I joined, I locked my family in the same vacation over 4 resorts for the rest of our lives. Since I hated the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana, I know basically only have 3 resorts to choose from forever…
I mean, imagine my reaction when I realized that we can only travel to these three places. How many vacations can one take to the same resort year in and year out? Variety Elliot!!
How to Cancel Legendary Membership
Here’s where they really get you. If you’ve been sucked into the same deal, at this point, you’re wondering how to cancel legendary membership perks. There’s got to be a way out of the deal, right? Some way to get out of the horrible experience.
I really wish I had the chance to go on vacation before I ever signed any of the stupid travel agreement, because you know what?
YOU CAN’T CANCEL!
It’s legitimately listed in the agreement that you cannot refund your subscription for any reason, no matter if it’s your fault or theirs.
Okay, well, you can back out because they can’t lock you in like that, but they only give you 5 days to do so.
By signing in that 5 days of leeway, they can legally say they give you a grace period and if you’re outside of that timeframe, they can refuse a refund.
That’s how it works though, and I’d bet my bottom dollar that they’ve got the legalese to deal with the situation perfected, so no one’s going to tell them otherwise.
….Believe me, I tried…. I had an awful time, couldn’t get out of the package, and even my bank refused any action because I had willingly agreed to purchase the package. Beyond that, it had been past the time I was able to file a chargeback. That’s when I realized: this is how they get you.
However, there is one saving grace here: I was able to downgrade to the following package: ($4,610.00)
- 5 World weeks compared to the 15 in current agreement
- 4 Match/Play weeks compared to the 18 in current agreement
- 1 free week (once entire cost is paid) except dec 3rd—>January 4th)
- 2600 usd in resort credit collection exp 2033
- 1500 resort credit promotion exp 2018 each time I go.
I was able to downgrade my travel package from an $18,900 to $4,610 package…. I don’t know if I should be happy, or still feel like I lost several thousand dollars, but at least I don’t have to go to the same resort for several seasons in a row. Now, I’ve managed to sell my resort credits to someone else, but for a while there, boy, my family wasn’t necessarily happy with my decision to purchase the travel package.
Looks like I’ll be sticking with a different company after all, like Tripadvisor or something. At least Tripadvisor tries to get me a good deal. Maybe I’ll go somewhere in Africa for the next vacation.
Want Something BETTER?
Are you looking for a way to make money online and take vacations without having to use resort credits? I’ve got a program that will help you get numbers like this:
- Amy Fontinelle, What Is a Timeshare?, https://www.forbes.com/advisor/mortgages/what-is-a-timeshare/