[Disclaimer: The JGOOT Way of travel never requires attending a timeshare presentation and JGOOT does not condone timeshare ownership. JGOOT is not affiliated with BookVIP in any way.]
This is a review of an alternative method to getting great deals on vacations through a company called BookVIP.com. The catch? You have to be willing to sit through a timeshare presentation at that resort.
If you visit their site, most of their trips appear to be too good to be true (and when you Google them online, you’ll find a lot of complaints about them). HOWEVER, in your research, you’ll also find that they’re an A+ rated company with the Better Business Bureau.
How can a company with so many complaints about them be an A+ rated company with the BBB?
Easy. The BBB knows that they have 10+ times as many happy customers as grumpy ones. Although they don’t censor complaints, they don’t count a complaint against the business if the complainant is about something that was disclosed in the terms of service, or if they see that the business owner remedied the situation being complained about.
Book VIP certainly isn’t for everyone, but for the person who is willing to make a couple sacrifices in order to save 60 to 90% (AND actually reads their terms of service) it can be a great way of finding a bargain vacation.
In a nutshell, Book VIP gets a bad wrap because of all of the people who don’t read the fine-print and complain about them. However…
- If you dig deep enough, you’ll see that their positive feedback out-numbers complaints from people who didn’t follow the rules by 10 to 1.
- As long as you read that fine print (including strictly enforced age & income requirements and MANDATORY timeshare presentations that cause you to give up a half-day of valuable vacation time), it can be a really good deal. Especially for people who might not otherwise have enough in their budget for such luxury accommodations.
My biggest complaint about BOOK VIP? Their $2 an hour call center out of the Philippines who barely speaks enough english to be able to help you. But my recommendation is still:
- When buying ANYTHING online, just remember: Caveat Emptor (Buyer beware)
- Read the fine print about what is required of you to get the discount being offered.
- After you decide you are comfortable with their requirements, do your research on your own for the resort you are thinking of staying at on TripAdvisor.com (I do the same when booking hotels through Kayak, Expedia or Travelocity because TripAdvisor usually has 10 to 20 times as many reviews.)
If you do the above three things, you can decide if it’s a fit for you. Then – book directly online without the painful experience of talking on the phone with them, and have a great experience.)
If you have a strong opinion about Book VIP, I’d love to discuss it in the comments below.
**The only other thing I will add is that you can get amazingly good deals on lodging by simply booking your lodging at the same time you book your flight. Even if it’s a JGOOT flight that’s 50% to 90% below market value – you’ll be shocked at how big a discount Travelocity/Expedia/Kayak/Orbitz will give you for booking your hotel at the same time you book your flight.