Q1. I’m looking for a particular resort or specific dates. How do I find what I want?
A: Try one or more of these:
- Visit the correct website for your Resort/area of interest, then check on the left side of the page for the State/Resort of interest. Also, check the Specials webpage on each website. You may also do a Google-powered search of the website (search box is near upper right hand corner of the start page).
- Eastern United States (east of the Mississippi)
- Western United States (Pacific Coast)
- Rocky Mountain Rentals (western US ski condo rentals)
- Arizona Spring Training Condo Rentals (Arizona Cactus League baseball and Grand Canyon)
- Midwest Vacation Rentals (condos from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains to the Great State of Texas)
- Last Minute Rentals (90 days or less, priced as low as $399 per week)
- Short Stay Vacations (book any length stay at Worldmark resorts, up to 9 months in advance)
- Real-Time Worldwide Inventory
- Try your own real-time search of other “unlisted” accommodations inventory, with our easy-to-use search tool, The Vacationator.
- Visit Last Call Travel and check for short notice (90 days or less) deeply discounted lodging deals.
- If you’ve tried everything and still aren’t finding what you need, you may contact us and we will do our best to locate a condo vacation rental for you. But, as most timeshare owners reserve their use time a year in advance, we probably won’t have much luck for last minute, weekends, or high season travel periods. In the off season, we can often find accommodation weeks or partial weeks.
Q2. I found something I want. How do I pay? And is it safe (or, are you a scam)?
A. We have designed a payment system that is secure and easy to use. Follow these steps:
- Find and click the green button “CLICK HERE TO RENT YOUR WEEK”, or click the highlighted/colored “click here” word link on the resort webpage, which takes you to the rental availability page for that resort.
- Select your vacation rental week by clicking “Add to Bag”.
- Check the box agreeing to the Terms and Conditions.
- Click “Checkout”.
- Once you are at Checkout, select your payment method — you may pay for your holiday rental trip using PayPal, credit/debit card, or echeck.
- Fill in the blanks (email address, name, billing address, phone, and payment information. Optional: You may also set up an account (with password) for faster checkout, if you rent from us again.
Normally, we will provide you with a written confirmation, in your name, within 24 hours of payment. However, sometimes resort companies are slow about emailing us the revised confirmation, and some resorts simply add the guests’ names “in the notes” and do not generate a new confirmation. So, if available, we will email you a confirmation, and if not, we will inform you how to check on your reservation with the resort.
Now, let’s talk a bit about scams and scammers. If media reports are to be believed, scam rentals are everywhere, especially on Craigslist.
And, there are a lot of self-described experts out there, scaring the living crap out of everyone, with how much due diligence/research/work they think you must do before you pull the trigger on paying for a rental.
We recognize, you may (and should) be leery about renting online. Understand, no one can prove to you that they are not a scam. Don’t expect definitive proof, and don’t fall into the “analysis paralysis” trap. Do a little bit of research (remember, Mom told you “use your head”) and you should be fine.
Our opinion on what a prospective renter should consider doing includes these four things. We recommend you do at least two:
1. Pay with a credit card and/or a PayPal account. That way, you will be able to use the consumer protections (dispute resolution services) afforded by credit card companies. If you are a PayPal member, use your credit card and your PayPal account, so that you get the further benefit of PayPal’s Buyer Protection.
Warning: If you are told you must pay cash or wire money, it is probably a scam.
For your protection, we process all of our payments through PayPal’s secure payment system In addition, our shopping cart is powered by Ecwid. All sensitive information is transmitted by HTTPS protocols during checkout, with the payments processed through PayPal. Your information is encrypted prior to transmission, and the entire process is SSL-secure. We do not see or handle your personal or financial information. You do NOT have to be a PayPal member to purchase from us (but it benefits you, if you are).
If you don’t have a credit/debit card or Paypal account, or wish to pay by another method, please contact us. We generally will not accept checks, but we have other cash transfer options available (through Wells Fargo Surepay and Chase Bank Quickpay).
2. Talk with the person, don’t just text or email. Get their number and call them!
Warning: If you call and get someone on a bad connection, with a thick accent, who knows very little about the resort, it may be a scam.
In our case, please call Mark or Virginia at 520-761-1412. Sometimes all it takes is to hear a normal person’s voice on the other end of the line. Oops, did I say normal?
3. Get something written, verifying that the person owns or controls the week being rented. You only need to do one of these three: Request to be emailed a copy of the reservation confirmation (if the timeshare week is being brokered), or of the deed (only works if there is no confirmation and the timeshare is owned by the person). If neither of these two options can be done, you may also ask for permission to call the resort to verify the week (but, this option can be problematic, because most resorts will only speak with the owner).
Note: After you pay for the rental, the seller needs to give you something in writing (generally it will be a confirmation of reservation) that says the condo is yours for that week. If that isn’t available, you need to get a phone number, so you can call the resort (this could be the number for the onsite front desk staff or an offsite management company) to verify the week is in your name. And, we suggest your reconfirm with the resort about 2-3 days before you arrive, just to be sure.
4. Look at the person’s website(s). Individual owners may not have a website, but most large and small (like us) businesses do. Well-constructed websites, with lots of current offerings, secure payment methods, and robust amounts of resort-related information and links, are indicative that “this is a real business”.
Most scammers have no website. Sometimes they steal/copy information from other peoples’ websites or ads, and use that information to throw together dummy websites, but you should be able to see or “smell” the difference.
Actions we do not recommend:
- Asking for a rental agreement. We feel they are a waste of time, and the only way to enforce one is through the court system.
- Calling the resort before you rent to ask about ownership or maintenance fee status . Owners are entitled to privacy, and most resorts will not provide this information.
- Asking for and calling references. Might seem like a good idea, but on our side, we don’t want to burden the nice people who are our customers with a bunch of inquiries. People are busy enough. Plus, if we were scammers, we could have our partners-in-crime or relatives as our glowing references, and you’d never be the wiser.
- Asking to make partial payments over time. While this could be seen as a good faith way to protect both parties (“I’ll pay half now and pay the other half when I check-in”, for example), there are a lot of problems with this. Our payment system is not set up to accept multiple payments or to trigger reminders to pay. It is very important that we properly track our inventory (for example, so we don’t accidentally double-book a week), and doing payments over time disrupts the inventory system. Also, doing partial payments leaves us “herding cats”, as we have to remind people to make payments. If we don’t have full payment at check-in, what do we do then? Rentals are like fesh fruit, and spoil immediately after the check-in date. Therefore, we have concluded, the only way to protect ourselves, while being fair to our customers, is to require full payment by credit card (protects the customer) and then to quickly provide the customer’s confirmation, so they can be assured of their vacation.
- Asking for an escrow. We feel it is a money making scheme being promoted to profit timeshare companies and banks. Also, as owners, an escrow does not protect us, and can cost us money both up-front and after the rental ends. We do not receive escrowed money until 1-2 weeks AFTER the guest checks out. And, guests can raise “material objections” about the condo or unavailable amenities (example: pool was closed, phone or internet didn’t work). Those are conditions that are not in our control, and are not grounds for any refund (in our opinion). In short, escrows impose conditions we cannot accept, so therefore, we simply do not agree to use escrow. And frankly, escrow is unnecessary if you pay by credit card.
We hope this was helpful. But, if you are still leery, or don’t feel like doing some research yourself, then please, do us all a favor. Rent your vacation somewhere else, notably from a full-priced corporate website. Don’t take this the wrong way — we don’t want to lose a new customer — but we have found that overly skeptical, wary or suspicious customers are bad news. It simply is not possible for any person or any company to prove that they are legitimate and trustworthy, beyond question.
If you fall into this untrusting group, then may we suggest you consider companies like Expedia, Travelocity, or Hotels.com, which offer a huge selection of lodging options? Of course, they charge twice as much as we do for the same thing, but hey, they are 100% safe, right?
Q3. Tell me about the prices.
A. We set an asking price based upon the quality and desirability of the condo. In most cases, the price you see is the total price. We offer discounts of 20 to 70 percent off the resort rack rates, so you will always save money renting with us. Note that unlike resort rates, our rates already include any hotel occupancy sales taxes, cleaning fees, deposits, and the like, unless otherwise noted.
Q4. What is the source of your rental inventory?
A. We own timeshares, timeshare credits, and club points, and we use these ownerships to reserve condos to rent. We also have relationships with resort companies and can access a wide array of inventory.
Q5. How will I get my confirmation?
A. In most cases, a confirmation will be sent to your email. It can take a day or two for the resort to add you as our guests. Some resorts do not update guest records until a few days before check-in (in these situations, we can provide alternate ways for you to verify your reservation). We will keep you informed. For confirmations from Platinum Interchange, you will get a confirmation right away, but your name(s) are not provided to the resort until 48 hours prior to check-in. You will not be able to confirm your reservation with the resort until then — however, you can verify all details with Platinum Interchange at 800-854-2324, x134, Mike Gearhart.
Q6. What is your Payment and Cancellation Policy?
A. Full payment is required when you reserve your condo. We accept PayPal, debit or credit card payments using PayPal’s payment processing service (you do not have to be a PayPal member to pay with credit or debit card), or “E-Check” bank transfers from a bank account, using Chase’s QuickPay service or Wells Fargo’s SurePay service.
Because our prices are much lower than those charged by other travel websites and resorts, and many of our offerings are short notice/last minute in nature, all reservations must be paid in full at the time of booking, are non-changeable, non-cancellable, and non-refundable. One exception: If you wish to change a reservation and we agree to facilitate the change (for example, we determine that the resort has availability for your desired new dates), we will make every effort to assist you — but, you will be required to pay all fees and costs that are associated with the changes in advance and before any changes are put through.
Please note: Our “no cancellation policy” always applies and takes precedence over any individual resort cancellation policies which may be stated somewhere on the written confirmation you receive from us.
At any time before arrival, we will gladly assign a different guest to any condo at no charge to you (unless we are required to pay a fee to change the name on the reservation, in which case you will be required to reimburse that fee before we change the name). This allows you to find someone else to use the condo (we suggest you advertise it for rent on Craigslist or eBay Classifieds).
For $150, we offer optional cancellation waivers on many (not all) reserved condo vacation rentals. If you buy our “Oh No, I Can’t Go” cancellation waiver protection at the same time as you reserve your week, a cancellation period is provided (note: trip protection is unavailable at some resorts and the length and cancellation deadline will vary according to individual resort policies). You will receive a 100% refund (less the $150 waiver payment, of course) if you cancel before the deadline. Ask for details on this waiver when you confirm your week.
Q7. Will I be required to attend one of those annoying timeshare presentations?
A. No! Really … NO! This is not a promotional program. We own these timeshares. You are our guests. You will enjoy the same amenities and privileges we would as the owner. Please consider the timeshare your home away from home–just with more amenities.
However, when you check in, you may be asked to “take a tour,” because many timeshares are still “selling.” Remember, it is entirely your choice whether you want to tour. Our recommendation is, don’t. Enjoy your vacation, don’t waste time listening to a sales pitch for this lovely, but overpriced product. One good option is to unplug the room phone, so they cannot call you.
This is not to say our timeshares aren’t wonderful places to stay–they are! But take our advice — don’t spend $20,000 for a timeshare week when you can rent or buy one elsewhere for a WHOLE LOT less. Finally, if after your stay you find that you REALLY liked the timeshare, let us know and we’ll be happy to advise you how and where to get your own for less than the developer’s price.
Q8. How do I contact you?
A. 520-761-1412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or use our Contact Form. We do not keep regular business hours, as we are a mom-n-pop operating out of our home. Feel free to call anytime (OK, not at 4AM). If we don’t answer, leave a message.
Q9. What is your Guarantee for Paid Reservations and what is your Disclaimer?
A. Guarantee for Paid Reservations:
We, meaning WestWeeks.com, and all of our affiliated websites (including, but not limited to, EastCoastCondoRentals.com, WestCoastCondoRentals.com, MountainCondoRentals.com, ArizonaSpringTrainingCondoRentals.com, MidwestVacationRentals.com, LastCallTravel.com, ShortStayVacations.com, and Vacationator.net), guarantee, except when due to situations beyond our control (see Disclaimer, below), to provide you with lodging accommodations:
- At the resort, and
- For the time period beginning on arrival date and time, and ending on departure date and time, and
- With the number of bedrooms/sleeping areas, and/or sleeping the specified number of people
as stated on your condo vacation rental confirmation.
We value you as our customer, will treat you with respect, and will deal with you in a fair, honest, and reasonable manner. We will strive to assist you in arranging an economical and enjoyable vacation experience. But, we cannot guarantee perfection. You, as our customer, hereby agree to and acknowledge that your use of or reliance upon any information provided to you by us, in any form, whether through our websites, email or telephone communication, or any other written or oral communications from us, shall be at your sole risk. You are advised to independently verify all information to your satisfaction before (and after) purchasing a timeshare condo vacation rental from us.
We obtain our information about resorts, amenities, and nearby attractions from a variety of unaffiliated sources, such as resort-specific and major travel websites. Although a reasonable effort is made to provide our customers with current and accurate information, we do not verify, nor do we guarantee, the currency, accuracy or completeness of the information we use. You, as the user, agree that your use of any information obtained in any manner whatsoever from us, is on an “as-is, where-is” basis, without warranty of any kind.
Resort photographs on our websites are general in nature. The user shall not assume they are representative of the current quality or availability of any condominium, resort, or area amenities, nor as representative of the rented condominium accommodations.
We are “not the resort”. We do not own or operate any of the resorts described on our websites. We have no control over the resorts, their operations, maintenance, or the usability or condition of condominiums or resort amenities. Individual condominium furnishings, and the overall condition of condominium units, may vary. We have written a lighthearted, but realistic, appraisal of timeshare accommodations, and what you should expect here.
Resort management may, for any reason and without prior notice, remove from service specific condominiums, or condominium amenities, or resort amenities. Resort management may, at their sole discretion, move our customers to different condominium units or resort affiliates, without your or our prior knowledge or approval. If any of these occur, no refund will be made.
Specific views from rented condominiums are not guaranteed.
We recommend that our guests call the resort directly 1 to 2 days prior to checking in, to reconfirm reservations and to make any special unit requests. This step helps prevent problems at check-in.
Upon arrival, if you have trouble checking in to your condo vacation rental, please give us the opportunity to fix any reservation-related problems or mistakes by contacting us at 520-761-1412, 520-604-1730, or email@example.com. For Platinum Interchange confirmations, please call 800-854-2324. For Trading Places/VRIety confirmations, please call 800-365-1048. Both Platinum and TPI/VRI have after-hours assistance available through emergency phone numbers, which are provided on their voicemails.
Once you have checked into your accommodations, if you encounter problems of any kind, you are advised to contact the resort’s onsite management staff and request their assistance. After taking this step, if you remain dissatisfied, you may then contact us. If we believe that we may be able to help, we will attempt to intercede on your behalf. Please understand that we cannot guarantee a positive outcome, because we do not own the resort and we may exert no more influence over the resort’s responsiveness than you do.
Event of Force Majeure. If we are unable to provide a customer’s purchased condo vacation rental due to an “Event of Force Majeure,” then we shall be excused from further performance (except as stated below), and no refund will be made, upon notice to the customer stating the reason for such nonperformance. The term “Event of Force Majeure” means:
i. an act of God or of nature or of a public enemy, fire, explosion, perils of the sea, lightning, earthquake, storm, flood, nuclear disaster, declared or undeclared war, revolution, insurrection, riot, act of piracy, act of terrorism, sabotage, blockade, embargo, accident, epidemic or quarantine; or
ii. action by a governmental authority, a court, appointment of a receiver or mortgagee in possession, or an assignment for the benefit of creditors; or
iii. a strike, lockout or other labor unrest resulting from any cause; or
iv. any other cause or circumstance beyond our reasonable control (including, but not limited to, power outages, storm damage, insect infestations, and water leaks), which renders the condo vacation rental unusable.
(Note of explanation: When we confirm your condo vacation rental, we view it in the same way that a car dealer would view selling you a car. Once you pay for the car, and drive it off the lot, it is yours. If, for example, a tree falls on it, hailstones damage it, or another driver runs into it, those are your problems, not the dealer’s. If you are concerned about the possibility that your condo vacation rental could become unusable, please consider trip (travel) insurance to cover that loss).
Under Event of Force Majeure circumstances, and to the extent practicable, we will undertake a reasonable effort to recover costs or other valuable considerations from the resort. We agree to share any recovery with the customer, after deducting any expenses incurred. If we make no recovery, the customer will receive no refund.
If we are unable to provide a customer’s purchased condo vacation rental due to any reason not deemed an Event of Force Majeure, our sole obligation is to provide a full refund of any rental payments made.
We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, at any time, and without any notice or obligation, to make changes to, or to correct any errors or omissions in, any portion of our websites.
All information provided by us is on an “as-is, where-is” basis. We expressly disclaim any and all warranties or guarantees, express or implied, including, without limitation, warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, with respect to our websites, or any information and products on or linked from the websites. In no event shall we be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, or consequential damages of any kind whatsoever with respect to the websites, the information, and the products and services on or linked from the websites, and any communications of any kind with our customers, related to products and services advertised on our websites.
If legal action is contemplated to settle any dispute arising from any business relationship between parties, the following conditions apply:
Governing Law. You agree, that by doing business with us, that our and your actions will be governed by and construed under the laws of the State of Arizona.
Jurisdiction. You consent, and waive any objection, to the exclusive personal jurisdiction of and venue in the Arizona state courts situated in Pima County, Arizona, and the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, Tucson Division, for all disputes arising out of or relating to your, or your guests’/assigns’, relationship with us.
Waiver of jury trial. The parties, for themselves and for their successors and assigns, waive any right to a jury trial for any action arising out of or relating to your, or your guests’/assigns’, relationship with us.
Legal Fees. For any legal action initiated by you, or any guest/assign, or by us, pertaining, directly or indirectly, to any business relationship between parties, if we prevail, then you and/or your guest/assign shall, without limitation, pay all costs incurred by us in prosecuting or defending such action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, paralegal fees and court costs.
Mediation. While not required, all parties should strongly consider mediation prior to initiating legal action. In mediation, all parties agree to share the costs to employ a mutually-selected mediation firm. Mediation shall be conducted at the selected firm’s offices in Pima County, Arizona. Parties may be required to attend conferences in person, or telephonic or internet (e.g., Skype) attendance may be possible.