Is BookVIP a scam?
BookVIP is NOT a scam! They sell timeshare promotions, resort tours and lead generate for some of the largest hotel and resorts chains in the world.
There are terms and conditions on most (if not all) of their offers that must be met or the offer is void!
BookVIP has been around since 2008 and the founding owners have been around longer than that as IMS (Internet Marketing Solutions) or RVI (Resort Vacations International).
These guys are some of the most connected vacation timeshare lead generators in the world.
*In 2013, the Mexico Tourism Board recognized these guys for bringing ten’s of thousands of visitors a year.
???? What is a Timeshare Promotion ????
A timeshare promotion is a reduced rate trip to one of hundreds of popular resorts and hotels. They are mainly for couples between the ages of 28 and 70 but there are a few for single women!
Sorry dudes, there are very few timeshare deals for single guys in the timeshare promo industry.
The catch of a timeshare promotion is in order to get the discount you have to qualify for the offer (each is different) and during your stay you both need to attend a sales presentation.
The sales presentation is normally 90 to 120 minutes long.
The idea of a timeshare promo is to pre-qualify a couple as a prospect for future vacations. There are simple terms and a few that may confuse you.
Simple terms are things like age, annual combined income and where you live.
More complicated terms refer to things like personal major credit cards and deposits on those cards at check-in.
Another would be couples traveling together. Most resorts don’t want groups or even multiple families to travel together using a promotion.
Timeshare promotions come in many flavors (article). They come really basic with just a room or all inclusive where you get all your meals and even alcohol included with your room.
Each has a different level of requirements you MUST meet!
I Read Some Bad Reviews On BookVip:
BookVIP does have a few complaints and you can find some really long forum articles on TripAdvisor. However, they also have a bunch of positive reviews too (seen below).
BookVIP is the #1 middle man or lead generator for timeshare and vacation club resorts just about everywhere. Every year ten’s of thousands travel through their website & related services.
“Just about every marketer in the world wants to be them! I have been in the promo industry for 8 years and watched BookVIP grow into the giant company they are today. It’s one thing to lead generate but another to create a website that works and books clients as well as the BookVIP website.” Tom Bowman
Check out the BookVIP BBB profile, they have an A rating. Plus consider the size of this company. They process many times more timeshare promotions than any other marketer I know of.
“BookVIP.com surpassed $200 million in annual resort membership revenue last year for its resort partners and is responsible for several million travel bookings to destinations around the world since its inception in 2008″ BookVIP website
Many of the complaints you see online have to do with one of a few issues.
- The resort changed their program terms or worse closed their timeshare or vacation club program. If they bought a package with open dates (more below on this), they have to choose another resort. If they already picked dates of travel and were confirmed a reservation, they probably still have a reservation.
- The person or couple doesn’t qualify for the vacation offer. If you don’t meet the terms and conditions (every offer is different), you can’t get the discount. BookVIP should be more “in your face” with these special terms and conditions. You can find them at the bottom of each offer page. Quite a few people buy and then realize they can’t use these deals. You must qualify for each timeshare promotion separately and you need to qualify under all the terms of that offer or it’s void.
- The person just flat out lied to get the discount and then got caught by the resort. This happens quite a bit and there are some funny stories here I could share but won’t. If you lie and get a reservation issued, the resort will still check your ID and info when you arrive. If you are not who you claimed, you will pay for your reservation or be removed.
- The travel dates the couple chose weren’t available. Some resort programs accept as few as 10 couples at any given time to any single resort location. The resort may have availability on hotels-dot-com but not in their vacation timeshare program. Some resorts require booking up to 10 months early depending on their dates of travel.
- The couple forgot to book and the package expired. This can and does happen. People buy a great deal and then forget to ever use it. BookVIP allows for booking up to 2 years from the date of purchase.
- The bait and switch! This is what happens when a resort refuses your reservation or for some reason you don’t qualify. Trust me, resorts want leads but they want them perfectly qualified.
- The consumer bought plane tickets after booking with BookVIP. They then did not get the reservation they thought they booked and had issues getting other reservations. Since they didn’t wait or get insurance on their plane tickets, they caused some aggregation for themselves.
What are open dated timeshare vacation packages?
It is so much easier to have the customer buy a package that is not refundable and must be used based on availability. There is always a clause that protects the marketer and it’s simple. Its all based on resort availability.
Now I personally don’t buy open dated vacations which are just actually vacation vouchers or certificates in my opinion. However, BookVIP pretty much created the digital promoting of timeshare deals on the web.
Before BookVIP there were just vacation certs and travel vouchers with no other real option.
Can You Really Travel Across the World?
There are accommodation only and all inclusive timeshare promotions.
I have seen accommodation only offers ranging from 2 to 7 nights. Sometimes the resorts program or marketer will throw in an extra like a meal card, excursion, Disney or even cash.
The all inclusive offers really vary by resort and some are just a buffet for dining. Others have up to 10 restaurants, room service and have menu order waiter served meals. These offers are harder to qualify for but are worth there wait in gold!
What Kind of Terms & Conditions?
Every timeshare offer will be different but most have to do with age, marital status, income and where you live in the world.
Here is an example: Sandos Resorts Terms & Conditions
Some even have a deposit at check-in which requires a line of credit. Debit cards can’t be used as they are checking to see if you have credit. Offers for high end resorts could ask for up to $1500 at check-in on a major personal credit card.
Make sure you meet all the terms and conditions. If there is a shady area where you may be disqualified, don’t book the deal. BookVIP is a lead generator and is not a Hotels-dot-com. The resort is giving this deal and discount for a qualified consumer to listen to their sales pitch. Make sure your that person!
What Do They Mean 90 Minute Presentation?
A timeshare promotion consists of first qualifying as a prospect and then actually attending a physical sales presentation usually during your stay.
The presentation will be high pressure and you will be meeting with the resorts sales department. On many all inclusive timeshare deals the presentation is done the day after arrival.
This is a mandatory part of your stay and discount agreement.
If you qualify and then skip the presentation you will be billed full rack rate plus what you paid to the marketing company (in this case BookVIP).
What Kind Of Positive Reviews Does BookVIP Have?
BookVIP had many reviews both in writing and video. Below are a few video testimonials for BookVIP!
Best Tips For Booking A BookVIP Vacation?
*Book your dates of travel as soon as you can. You need to book months in advance or be very flexible with what resort you will stay at.
*Make sure you meet the terms and conditions fully (by reading them).
*Confirm your reservation.
*Don’t buy plane tickets until you have a BookVIP confirmation that your reservation has been issued not just sent in for issue.
*Set up transfer if its included as soon as you have plane ticket confirmations.
*Consider BookVIP’s in-house trip protection called Trip-Guard. Also get plane ticket protection. Traditional travel insurance may not cover promotional travel.
*Email document to yourself like proof of income or marriage certificates should you want the extra id or income proof.
What is a Day Tour in Timeshare?
A timeshare tour or day tour is when you don’t get nights but rather a free gift. Gifts include a 2 or 3 nights future stay, excursions, show tickets or could be cash/visa card.
A timeshare tour occurs when you have already arrived at some tourist destination and are now a walking around prospect!
These are common everywhere people travel and are disguised as tourist information centers. There’s a reason they flag down couples around the age of 40.
They do offer maps and some great info, but their intent is to qualify you for some vacation pitch nearby.
Does BookVIP Take Payments or have payment plans available?
Yes, BookVIP has flexible payment plans available and they will work with you. You do have to fully pay for your trip including all extras about a month before you travel.
If you are traveling to an all inclusive, you will have to pay extra fees like extra guests and nights most likely before a reservation is issued.
What Kind Of Extra Fees Could There Be?
Extra fees are normally associated with extra nights but could be taxes assessed by the resort at checkout (small fee). Some resorts have a tax at checkout which is a tourism tax. These are usually not included in the promotional package price.
In the case of an all inclusive timeshare offer, you pay per person per night for everything outside the base package.
An example of a base package is $399 for 2 adults and 2 kids (under 13) all inclusive for 4 nights. If you had a family that fit that exactly you would pay just the base price. If you wanted to add extra nights or extra guests, there would be an additional fee. Let’s say you added two extra nights.
You would add a fee per person something like $90 an adult and $45 per child per night. So if the package was $399 (4 nights, 2a/2k) you’d add $740 for the extra nights ($90 times 4a plus $45 times 4k). Plus any tax or room fees (tourism taxes, rented movies, special services) at check-out of the resort.