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ArRzrbk
07-19-2004, 03:30 PM
Hello all,

I just finished a very strange conversation with Member Services. I was trying to check availability. They told me if I booked right now they would be able to "check" to see if they could reserve my room for the nights requested. If I didn't book right now, they would just have to tell me the resort was booked.

I know - very confusing :confused: Sorry I can't explain what happened better, but I am not even sure myself. The person was very cryptic on the phone, and I asked her several times to clarify what she was telling me, and I am still not sure I got it. At least I hope I didn't get it, because I don't like what I am thinking was going on - checking for someone who wasn't sure wasn't worth the time.

Has this happened to anyone else? Is this standard proceedure? If it is standard, I don't think it is fair at all. I am the type of person who thinks about things a great deal before committing. I didn't like being forced to decide right then. And I do understand if my waiting costs me a room, but I should at least be able to find out if there is a room available before I decide about my vacation plans or the plans of one of my renters.

Thanks for any insight you can give here.

Char

gmboy95
07-19-2004, 03:42 PM
That is intersting....I have never had that happen to me, and I have called up a few times doing the same thing....maybe it was just the individual having a bad day....it happens

ErinC
07-19-2004, 03:47 PM
Call back and speak to someone else. You have to be able to check availability. I called last week and had no problems checking availability, and then called and reserved our room 3 or 4 days later.

CarolMN
07-19-2004, 04:06 PM
Were you by any chance checking on something less than 60 days away?

I think that MS can sometimes snag rooms for members that are supposed to go for cash if it's fairly close to the arrival date. Possibly the CM knew that there were some rooms that "fit the bill" in CRO's inventory if he/she called right away. Maybe the CMs don't like to go through that process unless the member is ready to reserve. Remember, Disney just released AP discounts for September, so any cash inventory will likely go quickly.

Anyway, it's just my theory - it may not be correcrt, but it does offer an explanation for that strange conversation!

Best wishes -

P.S. If my theory is correct, members aren't really entitled to those rooms - it's just someting nice that the CM could do for a member who really wanted a particular time at the last minute when all the points inventory are reserved.

Debby7
07-19-2004, 04:18 PM
I wonder if this is what happened to me. When I inquired about availibility to reserve 5 weeks ahead at BCV, the CM said there was a very slim possibility she could get the accomodation, she put me on hold for a long time and when she came back said , "We got it !" That was 5 weeks ago, we'll be there in 48 hours !!

Cruelladeville
07-19-2004, 04:21 PM
I don't understand--were you calling just to pass the time of day, or were you calling to make reservations? It sounds like you just wanted to know if a room were available, but you were not planning on going then, you were just curious. Surely I misunderstood-- I couldn't get thru to actually MAKE my ressies today, and I hope all those people weren't just calling to chat:mad:

Pa@okw95
07-19-2004, 04:25 PM
I can see member services point, why check, if you are not going to make a reservation. They may have you flagged for being a pain also. Most people call Ms to make reservations, not play make believe. Just one more reason people have to wait to make a reservation when they call. What next!!

Doctor P
07-19-2004, 04:36 PM
This makes perfect sense to me. I have called a couple times and been told, "there is no current availability, however, if you wish to make a reservation for that day I can put you on hold and see what I can do." Between developer inventory, rooms that have not yet been released, CRO inventory, they often can get a room that is not showing as available. This, as someone else said, is often the case inside the 60 day mark when the inventory is released to CRO.

Kewz1
07-19-2004, 04:51 PM
I've done what * I think* the OP was trying to do. For instance, DH & I want to get a way. So, we start checking the calendar and then check MS to see if there is any availablity at say, VB, for a paticular weekend. If there is no way we can get in, then there is no point in us planning the impromptu vacation any further. So, I call to check for availabilty NOT to chat. I may not be able to book right at that moment as we need to finalize a few more things before we can definately proceed but it was still a call that was legit.

Kristen :earsgirl:

Disney1fan2002
07-19-2004, 04:56 PM
I am confused also. I have never had this happen. I am always able to "check dates".

Here is my question, how can you "book" before you know the date is available? The way MS computer sytem is set up, they cannot book you until they have entered a date into the computer.

Pa@OKW.....I really hope that MS does not FLAG "pains" and then brushes them off. That is a scary thought.

Love Minnie
07-19-2004, 05:02 PM
I did just that - - about a week ago we talked about going over New Years. We did not care where we stayed. So, I called MS and asked them what was available, she checked each resort and let me know what was available (resort and room wise) and what was not. I did not reserve anything at that time. I called back about an hour or two later and made the reservations. Both were very helpful. I think it depends on who you talk too.

jade1
07-19-2004, 05:07 PM
I just checked a 1BR at VWL and BWV for every wed and thursday in september and october, then booked the a day later the 2nd week of october after talking with the family. They were very helpful and had no problem checking these for nothing-at the time.

jennypenny
07-19-2004, 05:20 PM
I've called just to check availability a few times. We did it for this summer's trip. We could go any time over a two week period in August. We called to check availability during two different periods. I thanked her, got off the phone, and got online checking different airline possibilities. I also called 407-wdisney to check what kind of weekend rate I could get with my AP. Then I talked to my hubby, told him what was available at what price, and we made our decision. I called back everyone the next day and booked.

I certainly don't feel I was wasting anybody's time! There was no way to know whether I could book WLV for six nights, and the weekend nights in WLV with an AP rate, and get a cheap flight without talking to everyone first!

I guess some people do call disney (esp. the wdisney number) just to think about fantasy vacations, but DVC is different. They don't talk to you unless you're a member. And if you're a member then you have points to use or lose--no fantasy there.

Jenny

OneMoreTry
07-19-2004, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by CarolMN
Maybe the CMs don't like to go through that process unless the member is ready to reserve.

Remember, Disney just released AP discounts for September, so any cash inventory will likely go quickly.



It should be irrelevant what CM's "LIKE" to do. They would probably "LIKE" to go outside and smoke or go to a bar and have a drink or go fishing or to the mall... They should do what they're SUPPOSED to do and be polite about it!!

If they're supposed to check for the member, then they should check.

I just called to change a reservation at HHI and asked about availability the following week and the CM politely checked for me. She told me two of the three nights were available. When I told her I wanted to book the two nights and wait-list the third, she said "Let me see if I can shuffle some inventory around for you."

I've never had a bad, or even mediocre experience with MS. They've always been excellent.


BTW: are there AP discounts for the DVC resort "cash" rooms?

magsmom
07-19-2004, 06:29 PM
I called last Thursday for availability for the end of August. I had no problem with MS getting the information that I was looking for.

I pay cash as well for my stays and call for availability through the CRO. Like everyone else I also have to check airline availability and discuss options with DH. It takes a call or two to get everything all set.

Carlnne
07-19-2004, 08:55 PM
I have a feeling today was a crazy and stressful day for the CMs.

I called but my nice CM put me on hold to check the dates- before he put me on hold he did ask if I was just checking or if I absolutely wanted those dates if he could make it happen. I got the impression that he left for another desk and he would lock in those dates with my account before he returned to his phone.

He told me he did some juggling but couldnt get my first date. I dont think he would have done that (and I wouldnt expect him to) if I was not 100% sure I would take them.

Dean
07-19-2004, 09:13 PM
Unless it's within 60 days this makes no sense.

CarolMN, while the units may be taken for rentals, that's not the same as members not being entitled. Actually if a points unit is available, they can reclaim it from CRO and the resort.

CarolMN
07-20-2004, 08:19 AM
Originally posted by Dean
Unless it's within 60 days this makes no sense.

CarolMN, while the units may be taken for rentals, that's not the same as members not being entitled. Actually if a points unit is available, they can reclaim it from CRO and the resort.

I agree with you about the points inventory that is "shared" with CRO at 60 days. However, while it's just my opinion, I believe it is sometimes possible for a CM to "reclaim" legitimate cash/developer's inventory at the last minute and those are the rooms that I don't think members are "entitiled" to.

To One More Try - FWIW, While I would certainly expect the CM to carefully check the DVC points inventory upon request, I don't think a CM should have to go out of his/her way in this particular manner (see above) for someone "just checking" - especially since it is very unlikely that the room will still be there when the member finally makes up his/her mind. JMHO. YMMV.

OneMoreTry
07-20-2004, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by CarolMN
To One More Try - FWIW, While I would certainly expect the CM to carefully check the DVC points inventory upon request, I don't think a CM should have to go out of his/her way in this particular manner (see above) for someone "just checking" - especially since it is very unlikely that the room will still be there when the member finally makes up his/her mind. JMHO. YMMV.


I wasn't commenting on what MS CMs should do, other than to say that all CMs should follow the official policy. If the policy is to ask about intent, then that's what they should do. It should be uniform from call to call and member to member.

I've always had CMs check availability for me, without asking about intent. So I assumed that was the policy up until now. Some of the above posts suggests that either the policy has changed (which is fine with me -- I don't want to be on hold while members are just messing with MS) or it has become discretionary for the CMs (which I think is bad in a service situation).

(I don't call unless I know I want the dates.)

Scoootch
07-20-2004, 09:22 AM
Originally posted by Pa@okw95
I can see member services point, why check, if you are not going to make a reservation.
Because although I may not be making the reservation right that second, I often need to find out first if there is availability to make the reservation first. It doesn't make sense to have dh take time off first (which is sometimes difficult as he needs to arrange coverage and juggle schedules around) only to find out afterward that the reservation we wanted is not available or to book and find out dh couldn't get the time off. -- occassionally, they cannot arrange for him to take off in which case I haven't booked my points unnecessarily - we sometimes book last minute and would have problems with points having to be used or lost. So while I may not book right then and there, if I can book after finding out about availablity, I do call back soon after and don't feel I'm wasting MS's time.


They may have you flagged for being a pain also. Most people call Ms to make reservations, not play make believe. Just one more reason people have to wait to make a reservation when they call. What next!!
I sincerely hope this is not the case as this is not the case from most of us I would think by the posts before me - and reguardless it is part of their job like it or not. Many of us have good reasons and are well within our rights to check first. Besides, why book and take space away from someone who IS ready to book? It's no more fair for someone to book space when they don't know yet if they intend to use it:rolleyes:

SimbaCub
07-20-2004, 09:30 AM
I for one have a problem with MS doing this to us. I have called at the 7 month window for friends to see which resorts were open over a variety of dates and then based on the "list" I was given by them I made the reservation. Sometimes there has been no availability so I have had to go back and request additional dates/resorts in order to help make a magical trip happen. By asking what is open at that time I have had an idea of the possibility of another trip. I have done the same for myself where I had frequent flyer miles for a free ticket but had only certain dates when I could use the miles. If this is NOT an official policy change then I feel MS should be notified of this behavior. If it IS a policy change, DVC needs to notify the members in an official manner. . .

SimbaCub
VWL/SSR Nov/Dec 2004

KNWVIKING
07-20-2004, 12:29 PM
***"The person was very cryptic on the phone, and I asked her several times to clarify what she was telling me, and I am still not sure I got it."***

I may be way off base with my interpretation of "cryptic" but here goes:

I have customers ask me to do things to their vehicles that I am not allowed to do. For instance, a customer wanted me to disable her drivers side air bag - she had some fear that the fumes, if it went off in an accident would ruin her lungs. I told her and her husband that we simply couldn't do that. But then I got "cryptic". I told them " if it were MY truck and I was afraid of the air bag, I'd pull THAT fuse out" while pointing to the fuse. I had to say that three times before they understood what I was trying to tell them.

Is it possible MS was trying to tell you something to the affect of " If you tell me you're are making a ressie, then I have other options I can go thru to find out...... but only IF YOU TELL ME you're making a ressie". Maybe her hands are tied until she hears those magic words, regardless of wether you do in fact reserve them.

Mickmse2002
07-20-2004, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by Pa@okw95
I can see member services point, why check, if you are not going to make a reservation. They may have you flagged for being a pain also. Most people call Ms to make reservations, not play make believe. Just one more reason people have to wait to make a reservation when they call. What next!!

Perhaps you really didn't mean this the way it reads. I was under the impression that member services was there to service members? I think it is perfectly legitimate and acceptable to call member services and check availability. There are lots of reasons to do this. How would you know people call MS to "play make believe"? I too have had to wait on hold to make reservations. if the wait gets too long I hang up and call back. In the big scheme of things certainly not something to ruin my day or get upset about.

SleepyatDVC
07-20-2004, 12:44 PM
Originally posted by KNWVIKING
***"The person was very cryptic on the phone, and I asked her several times to clarify what she was telling me, and I am still not sure I got it."***

I may be way off base with my interpretation of "cryptic" but here goes:

I have customers ask me to do things to their vehicles that I am not allowed to do. For instance, a customer wanted me to disable her drivers side air bag - she had some fear that the fumes, if it went off in an accident would ruin her lungs. I told her and her husband that we simply couldn't do that. But then I got "cryptic". I told them " if it were MY truck and I was afraid of the air bag, I'd pull THAT fuse out" while pointing to the fuse. I had to say that three times before they understood what I was trying to tell them.

Is it possible MS was trying to tell you something to the affect of " If you tell me you're are making a ressie, then I have other options I can go thru to find out...... but only IF YOU TELL ME you're making a ressie". Maybe her hands are tied until she hears those magic words, regardless of wether you do in fact reserve them.

Ahhh... now that sounds better. I sure hope that that's what the MS CM was trying to do.

If MS had to really "work it" to get inventory "out of somewhere else," they may not try to do it unless the member was serious about booking because it is not a sure thing, MS might have to "return" it somehow, and it will sufficiently increase the wait time of everyone else trying to call MS on a busy day.

pixiechick
07-20-2004, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by KNWVIKING
Is it possible MS was trying to tell you something to the affect of " If you tell me you're are making a ressie, then I have other options I can go thru to find out...... but only IF YOU TELL ME you're making a ressie". Maybe her hands are tied until she hears those magic words, regardless of wether you do in fact reserve them. [/B]

I agree with your assessment. I called last week because we were thinking of changing resorts for our next trip( less than a month away) I just wanted to see which, if any other resorts were available before deciding. There was nothing, but the CM kept trying to get me to waitlist. I said no thanks, but she continued to push doing it. I wonder what would have happened if I was definitive about changing my resort. Maybe she knew she could "help" me if I was 100% sure of my chioce.

dpglow
07-20-2004, 02:02 PM
Ther are a few of good reasons to call to check for availability without wanting to definitely book.

1. Check airfare , as mentioned by another poster.
2. Trying to coordinate a trip with more than one family. Not everyone can take off just any week off work. Get the availibility and call the other groups to check.
3. Check dates against my ability to get off work. I for one can't just take off work any time I please, so I tend to get a few windows and check them against my work situation.
4. DVC owners have paid a good chunk of $$ and should be able to use the DVC services as best suits them, within reason. Any hotel will check availability without a second thought. Of course they need a steady flow of new customers. I wonder if DVC sometimes get's the attitude of "We already have their $$, so we don't have to impress them as much anymore"

CarolMN
07-20-2004, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by SleepyatDVC
Ahhh... now that sounds better. I sure hope that that's what the MS CM was trying to do.

If MS had to really "work it" to get inventory "out of somewhere else," they may not try to do it unless the member was serious about booking because it is not a sure thing, MS might have to "return" it somehow, and it will sufficiently increase the wait time of everyone else trying to call MS on a busy day.

This is the point I was trying to make earlier. The OP never said, but I'm willing to bet that she was trying to check on availability for something coming up relatively soon.

For those of you who are worried, I can't remember a single report of MS being unwilling to check (or not gracious about checking) DVC inventory for a member.

Bellesmama
07-20-2004, 02:34 PM
I just called MS yesterday morning to check on availability at Vero Beach for 8/26 and I had no problems/wait at all. The CM was able to extend my stay an additional day with out any hassle at all:)

wvalx
07-20-2004, 03:49 PM
DVC needs to get in the 21st century and allow online checking of availability. This make the call volume drop dramatically.

Dean
07-20-2004, 06:25 PM
Originally posted by CarolMN
FWIW, While I would certainly expect the CM to carefully check the DVC points inventory upon request, I don't think a CM should have to go out of his/her way in this particular manner (see above) for someone "just checking" - especially since it is very unlikely that the room will still be there when the member finally makes up his/her mind. JMHO. YMMV. Disagree. I don't care if I simply want to get an idea of how full the resort is. If I call and ask if there are rooms, they better tell me if there are rooms. That's what they get paid to do. It's funny that I was flogged pretty good for suggesting that curtailing some of the flexibility might decreases fees and make things better overall for most people but some are making a u turn on this subject. Cutting out single day reservations and allowing a full week to be booked ahead at one time 11 and 7 months out would dramatically decrease the call volume to DVC and actually be better for MOST members, far more than this issue and save members money, likely 20% or more on dues.

CarolMN
07-21-2004, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by Dean
Disagree. I don't care if I simply want to get an idea of how full the resort is. If I call and ask if there are rooms, they better tell me if there are rooms. That's what they get paid to do.
Well we disagree. I don't think that MS is obligated to go out of their way to transfer a CRO cash room into a points inventory room when the DVC inventory is gone. As far as I'm concerned, if they have to do that, there aren't rooms - DVC inventory is gone.

It's funny that I was flogged pretty good for suggesting that curtailing some of the flexibility might decreases fees and make things better overall for most people but some are making a u turn on this subject. Cutting out single day reservations and allowing a full week to be booked ahead at one time 11 and 7 months out would dramatically decrease the call volume to DVC and actually be better for MOST members, far more than this issue and save members money, likely 20% or more on dues.

Have no idea what you are talking about. Don't remember "flogging" anyone or " making a u turn".

Anyway, as my daughter used to say when she was very small, "I still like you anyway" :teeth:

Best wishes -

Dean
07-21-2004, 06:17 PM
Originally posted by CarolMN
Well we disagree. I don't think that MS is obligated to go out of their way to transfer a CRO cash room into a points inventory room when the DVC inventory is gone. As far as I'm concerned, if they have to do that, there aren't rooms - DVC inventory is gone.

[b]

Have no idea what you are talking about. Don't remember "flogging" anyone or " making a u turn".

Anyway, as my daughter used to say when she was very small, "I still like you anyway" :teeth:

Best wishes - Carol, I think we're talking two different things. My reference was to calling to check on available reservations. Some have wondered if the OP was within the 60 day window but many have expounded to say that calling to see if anything was available was inappropriate unless they were ready to book right then. My reference to flogging wasn't to you, but in general. I just thought it ironic how many were willing to curtail flexibility in this regard and when I suggested some possible changes that might be better for some and cheaper for all, how many were so up in arms that DVC couldn't change anything.

MELSMICE
07-21-2004, 11:17 PM
A similar thing happened to me last week. I called to check availability at any of the DVC resorts for a studio in Oct. CM told me what was available at all the resorts with the exception of SSR. She then said:

"Right now SSR is not available, however, if you decide you would like to stay there, I can check to see if something could be available for the time you want to stay". :confused:

I really didn't understand that one, but I didn't pursue it anyway as I wasn't interested in staying at SSR.

CarolMN
07-22-2004, 07:46 AM
Dean - Thanks for the additional words. Can't disagree,now, LOL.


MELSMICE - I think SSR is different from the othr resorts, right now. Since SSR is still selling, there is a lot of developer's inventory. Maybe the CMs have a way to check when additional inventory will be declared into the condominium. DVD/DVC has to make sure the points room inventory "keeps pace" with sales. That's why waitlists work so well when a resort is selling well - there seems to be a constant "expansion" of rooms available for points.

Best wishes -

EmptyNester
07-22-2004, 09:20 AM
I encountered something similar last week. We're going to OKW 10/16-10/23. We originally booked a two-bedroom; last week I called (about 90 days out) to see if a one-bedroom was available instead.

A very nice CM (name escapes me at the moment) took my call and said something along the lines of: "looks at everything but the 21st is available, but let me check the resort inventory". She put me on hold, came back a couple of minutes later and said "It is available, do you want to change your reservation?"

I did (and got my updated confirmation on Saturday.) :D

- Sharon

dianeschlicht
07-22-2004, 10:24 AM
I called today to add 10/15 and 10/16 in a studio to combine with our 10/17-10/22 GV ressie. I was told there was availability at everything except VWL. I took a studio at SSR. It looks like some CMs automatically check ALL inventory, and some only check DVC inventory.

jcanary
07-23-2004, 07:10 AM
This exact thing happened to me. We are DVC members but we had no points so we were renting points from another member. I would call since we were on a waitlist just to check to see if something has become available. A couple of times I was told that there was not the complete 6 nights but they would say hold on. I was put on hold and when they came back they had all nights we needed at BCV IF i booked them right then. I explained the situation and even gave them my friends name but they would not take our waitlist. I put a call into our friends but had to leave a message. They called back a couple of hours later and explained, even giving the MS's name that I spoke to but said - sorry that wait list can not be taken care of yet. We did finally get the waitlist request about 4 weeks before we left in June but I thought it was really strange also that they could put a new reservation together for exactly what we wanted but couldn't satisfy our waitlist.
One explanation I thought of was maybe they were splitting up a 2 bedroom lockoff to a studio and 1 bdrm. We were looking for a studio. That was the only explanation I could come up with, but it is interesting that this has happened to others and it would be curious to know if it was for a 1 bedroom or studio.

ClarabelleCow
07-23-2004, 08:05 AM
Maybe a better way to resolve all the checking is to allow a complimentary 24 or 48 hour hold. That should give people enough time to secure there plans, that way when you call the first time, get what you want, then go and plan, if all works out, you don't need to call back, but if it doesn't work, you can call and cancel or make changes.