In Feb, 2007 I sent a check covering the reservation fees and additional charges for high-season + room upgrade. It was intended for a family vacation scheduled for Aug, 2007 in San Diego. This is on top of the pre-paid contract amount and the annual service charge that goes up at compounded 8% per year.
I thought I was done and just needed to plan other things. The checks were cashed right away; no call or any other communication from them at all. From May I started tracking; no luck and regular calls from me only invoked responses such as "we are working ont it"; " we will call you with a confirmation in 10 days", etc. Sometimes I left messages which no one from VNI returned; although someone at the reception promised that they would.
Eventually, they confirmed that they could not get a place for my family. I found my place in no time from outside; but had to pay dearly since it was late planning by then.
Then started the saga of recovering money. Fortunately I had e-mails from some reps of VNI that the money will be refunded. i had to go thru hoofs despite that, deal with abusive customer service managers, navigate thru their secretive accounts payable (or god-know-what) internal department to finally get the refund in late Sep, 2007. This refund was just the booking fees I paid.
The person at VNI who helped me recive this money told me how lucky I was to receive it and it was so quick! This was a check from Feb and they reluctantly processed in late Sep.
Never work with them, is all I can advise to others. I have been burnt and will be very careful in future. If you can, take your money and run away! I am surprised they are still in business.