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Reservation Systems and Website Changes - Wyndham Challenges

May 26, 2017

We have heard much about Vidanta's challenges with changes management made to its reservation system. Well, Vidanta is not the only one suffering from owner backlash. Consider Wyndham timeshare owners' actions as a result of Wyndham's changes to its website and reservation system. The Orlando Sentinel posted an article today, that describes timeshare owner's displeasure and from the sound of it, the owners reactions are very similar to Vidanta member reactions to the same issues. Following is the article:

Rolling out a new website for Wyndham’s timeshare company sparked anger and confusion among owners, which has roiled the company and online forums for days.
Orlando-based Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the largest timeshare company in the U.S., warned users it was rolling out the new website over the past weekend. But even with that warning and instructions, hundreds of messages have been posted online complaining.

The most common complaints are trouble logging in, trouble registering as an existing owner, accessing the account, making reservations and missing points or inventory.

“A decent percentage of this frustration is just dealing with change,” said Brian Rogers, who organizes the Timeshare Users Group website. “But it sounds to me they just released it too soon, before all the bugs were worked out. I haven’t seen anyone saying it’s great and they’re happy.”

A discussion thread about the Wyndham website on TUG’s forum had 636 posts by Thursday afternoon.

Wyndham (NYSE: WYN) said it was moving all of its owners to the new system — 400,000 owners, inventory at more than 140 resorts, and about 636,000 existing reservations. “While the vast majority of owners are already fully integrated in the new systems, a very small percentage of accounts are still being transitioned,” Wyndham said in a statement. “Successfully transitioning every account, the inventory-management system, and existing reservations is our top priority, and we continue to focus our teams around the clock on meeting this goal.”

Some of those locked out might have been warned previously that they needed to change their passwords.

Timeshare owner Wes McLaughlin posted on a Facebook group for Wyndham owners, “Wyndham fix your mess! This new system rollout is a total disaster!”

He said he didn’t have trouble with the system but he knew many others who had. He recommended people take a screenshot of the error or lockout messages they are receiving, to document the problems.

“Please, please, bring back the old system! Nobody likes this new one. Especially those of us who are tech-challenged! I’m just lost — just want to cry,” said a post by Maxine Atwood Moates on Wyndham Vacation Ownership’s Facebook page.

The timeshare giant is struggling to weave an old system into a new platform that interacts with new brands that Wyndham has added in recent years, said Greg Crist, CEO of the National Timeshare Owners Association.

He said complaints about the switchover began a year ago when the company first tested the system.

“Technology is a beast,” Crist said. “They need to get this right quick.”

He said the most frustrating thing about the problem, for many, is not being able to book rooms that are highly competitive at desired resorts.

“People had really learned how to maximize their use of the old website,” Crist said. “They knew exactly when to log in for a desirable resort during a certain time period.”

Brands for Wyndham Vacation Ownership include Club Wyndham, WorldMark by Wyndham, Shell Vacations Club, Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham, and clubs in Asia, the South Pacific and Brazil.

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Yes, technology is changing. Growing companies need to keep up. If they don't, software security breaches become very real problems. The recent Wannacry ransomeware attack quickly brings the issue very close to home, not to mention the importance of keeping member personal information confidential.
The only constant in today's world is change....and keeping up with change is a constant challenge for everyone...Stay tuned