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Old 10-19-2012, 11:39 AM   #1
st225
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Ethics question about DVC point rentals

About two months ago, I started working with a nice woman on securing a five nights around MLK day in January. Some of the days were easy to find, but some weren't. She put us on the waiting list and I paid for the first days with a check.

After about 6 weeks, we finally got the rest of the days secured. She sent an email contract that asked for all of the money now. I sent half and asked-- in a way that I thought was polite-- whether she would take half ow what was due now and half within 30 days of arrival.

Whoom. She sent back all of the money and cancelled the reservation. She didn't bother to counter with a request for all of the money now. She just sent a note saying that she felt insulted that I wasn't trusting her. She had never scammed anyone.

This wouldn't be a problem if everything unfolded within a few days, but now it's impossible for me to get the same reservation. The resorts my kids wanted are all booked.

I feel like once she cashed my first check, the reservation was, in part, mine. She didn't have the right to cancel it without at least checking with me or giving me some kind of warning or trying to negotiate. She knew it was the first time I was renting DVC points and yet she acted as if she could trash the reservation without consulting me.

Here are my questions for the group:

* Am I allowed to feel wronged, in some small way?

* While the system gives the renters complete power over the reservation, are they obliged to contact the customer before changing the reservation?

* Does acceptance of a partial payment make a difference? Does it show my good will? Does it make it worse for her to change the reservation?

* Is there some standard contract or ethical boilerplate tool that should make this clearer for everyone from the beginning?


Thanks. I'm curious to hear what both renters and rentees say. This is my first experience with renting points and it's made me very leery about doing it again. The points holder has too much power to act capriciously.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:27 PM   #2
chalee94
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Quote:
After about 6 weeks, we finally got the rest of the days secured. She sent an email contract that asked for all of the money now. I sent half and asked-- in a way that I thought was polite-- whether she would take half ow what was due now and half within 30 days of arrival.
you changed the deal (and this is VERY "short notice" in timeshare terms). within 30 days of arrival would have been TOO LATE if you stiffed her on the rest of the payment (as DVC penalized cancellations at that point.) you made a seriously wrongheaded assumption here.

i don't think you should feel wronged at all. you were in the wrong. sounds like she bent over backwards to make things work and you didn't hold up your end...you kept renegotiating which would have put her in a bad spot.

i agree that she should have had a standard contract to explain things ahead of time. most renters would never have wasted any time with someone who wanted to do a waitlist.

if you are renting pts, you need to understand that you are doing so on the renter's terms. a hotel might be willing to wait for payment but a DVC owner might lose their ability to use their pts at all if they wait past a certain point (30 days is much too late but other penalties may apply depending on their specific contract).

you are welcome to pay disney prices to get disney's payment terms. but honestly, i wouldn't deal with someone who acted as you did either.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:47 PM   #3
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Having never rented points (from either side of the tansaction) I was reluctant to post. Certainly not first.

My gut feeling was that the person renting you the points was totally working with you. For you to try to re-negotiate part of the payment to only 30 days or less, well like Charles said, way too late for anyone renting a reservation to feel comfortable. Not surprising that she dropped you like a hot potato. Renting reservations requires a certain amount of trust, from both parties. There should have been a contract that detailed when payment was expected, and penalties for cancellation.

Sent from my iPad using DISBoards App, please excuse any typos.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:00 PM   #4
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It sounds like there were some communications issues here.

I think the bottom line of your situation all comes down to the fact that explicit trust is required for a DVC points rental. That trust has to go both ways.

You're right that there's a lot of power on the part of the DVC member in that they control the reservation and all communications with Disney prior to your arrival. As the person renting the points, you need to trust that the member has done everything they say they've done to ensure the correct room is available when you arrive at WDW to check in.

The member also needs to be able to trust the person to whom they're renting. The closer it is to a trip, the more difficult it is to book a reservation. If you've tied up their points with a promise to pay them, then back out, it could be very difficult for them to find another renter before the points expire.

You also need to understand why your 30-day proposal would scare any member. If a reservation is cancelled 30 days or less from check-in, there is a penalty. The member's points go into a special holding status that makes them very hard to use. They'd almost certainly lose their ability to rent the points to someone else if you cancelled at the 30-day point. Even if they kept the 50% you'd already paid as a penalty, they'd still be out the other 50% for their points that year. Most members, therefore, wouldn't go for a deal that involves getting paid so close to check-in.

The member also needs to extend a great deal of trust to you after you've checked in, as they are responsible if you damage the room or have an unpaid balance after you check out.

When dealing with total strangers over the internet, there's no good way to tell a nice, honest person from someone whose going to try to rip you off. That goes both ways in a rental. Yes, there are ways to check certain things, but it still comes down to a large amount of blind trust. If anything rings a warning bell, people are apt to walk away. She sent you a contract with the terms under which she was willing to rent you her points. Yes, she could have contacted you back and said, "sorry, take it or leave it" before cancelling the reservation. But it sounds like receiving a check for half the amount she expected was enough to give her some doubts about the transaction.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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Assuming your original agreement was 100% payment with the reservation, then it's impossible to blame the member. Would I have handled it quite so abruptly? Maybe not. But to the member, as soon as you tried to change the terms this went from a normal, run-of-the-mill transaction to an incredibly high risk.

You may be the sweetest person in the world but as soon as you asked for leniency, it opened the door to the possibility that the deal could completely collapse at a time which would ultimately harm the owner (points about to expire, left in Holding, etc.) If your otherwise polite note brought into question your ability to pay (i.e., waiting on some money, had unanticipated expenses, etc.) those are all huge red flags for the owner.

Unfortunately we have seen far more stories of the member (renter) being defrauded by the rentee than the other way around. It may seem like members have all the power but the rental landscape is littered with stories of owners who were hung out to dry by rentees who violated various terms of the agreement.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:49 PM   #6
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were you the renter?....because i think you're 100% right.
(c~94)

i am not a renter but we paid more for our 3 blt contacts than
we did for our first home. you can think whatever you want,
( it 's your feelings) but the "few" dollars you was paying,
was nothing compare to the owner. to place your
"new" demand for something that did not belong to you-
was insulting. but because you came here with your question,
is an indication that you lack understanding & was not
trying to be difficult or manipulative.

if nothing else, if i was in your shoes, i would say "sorry"-
i made a mistake from not understanding. why? she/the
renter was very gracious is a way you probably didn't
realized...she could have "accepted" your changes and
took the money, and still cax.,.fyi- no matter if you paid
thousands -- the revs. never belong to you. even when
your staying in the room. ( just because an owner was
kind enough to rent their dvc, never give the renter any
type of ownership.) and either way...get burnt-don't
expect disney to help.

i just like to say, a few thousands is nothing compare to
what most owners paid for their dvc. as an owner, i
like dvc to restrict non-owners going this route on
a yearly routine. we didn't but to rent-we have family that
now always "offering" to help us use our points. friends
have other timeshares and always making offers to
trade their really nice resorts-- some very close to wdw.
but we have no interest in staying off site no matter
how nice---we brought blt for the location. and if their
resorts are so nice then why are they always coming to
us? made me think---

see? you made a mistake & did not realized it. think if you
was an owner & have a bunches of renters thinking they
deserve the same "rights/benefits" of dvc owners. they
don't even think twice when they are intrusive...like
attempting to go to the towl , "see?"---they think if they
can "get there" they have the same right to crowd in
front of the owners. would you take that when your
family are denied ?

however, "thanks" for posting...because your post shows
how any person can get confuse over doing a rental.
the fact , that you was willing to share & ask questions,&
seeking input....too me, is a good reflection. thanks-
i mean it.

and that's explained why i made my suggestion. it was very
nice as (c~94) pointed out all the efforts /extra work your
owner went out for your benefits. it will not help
this time, but maybe you might want to use her in the
future....because she really went out on a limb for you
to make
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:26 PM   #7
st225
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More details

First, thanks to everyone who is posting their answers here.

Now on to some of the details. There were no contract terms spelled out up front. She just kept putting that off until we understood what days would actually be available.

If I demanded a change, I can see her backing out, but I never demanded anything. I merely asked if we could hold off on the last part of the payment.

If it were me, I would respond by first trying to explain how the DVC cancellation policy puts the point owner in a bind. Most renters will never understand the complexities of the system.

Then I would make clear that if I didn't receive the full payment by a certain time, I would cancel the reservation. At least give the person a chance to understand they made a misstep.

My feeling is that by cashing my check and accepting the partial payment, she was no longer entitled to act as if the reservation was all hers to do with as she pleased.

The owners renting out their points should try to remember this power imbalance. If the owner can always cancel a reservation up to the last minute, it takes much more trust on the side of the renter who puts up all of the money up front. Once the owner gets the money, they're not extending trust.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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In the future, maybe only rent from a member that uses a contract with the terms spelled out. Other than maybe lacking in some social skills, I don't think the owner did anything wrong and you should have spoken with them first before sending a check for half.

Also there is more to the trust thing than you realize. It's not all about payment for the room. The owner continues to run some risks all the way through the reservation. For things like room damages, unpaid bills at the resort, etc. I don't feel that because you made a partial payment the owner gave up any of their rights.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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I agree with Vicki, perhaps in future only rent from a member that has a clearly spelled out contract.
I have no idea why the renter acted as they did. Perhaps they had been burned on a previous transaction. Or perhaps their points were close to expiring. If for example the points expired 1/31/13 if you did not follow through, there would have been NO chance for them to recoup any losses by renting to another.

Perhaps a more politic approach this renter could have taken would have been to reply saying that if full payment was not received by 60 days out, the reservation would be cancelled. Perhaps forfeiting payments already paid.

Sent from my iPad using DISBoards App, please excuse any typos.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st225 View Post
Once the owner gets the money, they're not extending trust.
Again, many renters think this way....but it isn't true. The owner has responsibilities to DVC and there are still ways an unscrupulous renter can financially damage the owner even after paying the agreed upon price of the rental in full.

A renter can damage the DVC room, leaving the owner responsible for damage. A bad renter could run up room charges on their room. If they aren't paid the owner would lose the use of their DVC until they pay it. And so on...in short, the owner assumes risk in every transaction beyond the worry of the renter paying for the rental.

Your feelings are your feelings, there is no right or wrong to "feelings" but it really sounds like both you AND the owner were not upfront in your dealings. All the financial details SHOULD have been spelled out before any night at all were reserved, including a written contract (whether signed or even by email) spelling out payment dates, what rights the renter and owner have, how any payments for any desired dining plans would be handled, and so on.

This deal just seems to have had problems for the start. To be fair there are two sides to every story, but if I were the OP, I'd be thrilled with getting my $$ back and would either try rebooking through a broker, or look for an owner that has this info spelled out...even if it means not getting the first (or even second) choice of resort.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st225 View Post
Once the owner gets the money, they're not extending trust.
Sorry, I don't agree with this.

The member is still on the hook if their renter tears up the room, takes something from the room, smokes in the room, or can't/won't pay the final balance of their room charges. Disney would probably first try to charge such expenses off to the credit card that was left on file for the room, but there isn't actually a requirement for a renter to leave a credit card when they check in.

In the case that no credit card was left on file or the charges don't go through on a card that was left, the member would be left holding the bag. Disney would come after them for the money, and would consider the member's account to be delinquent until the charges were resolved. This could lead to any other reservations the member had being automatically cancelled, and could ultimately lead to their points being seized.

There's a lot of trust involved in believing a renter won't do that.

I'm sorry your booking was cancelled, and I sympathize with your wishes that the member had contacted you when you didn't send the full payment as requested rather than cancelling. Remember that you're dealing with an individual, not a travel agent or Disney representative. If you're not comfortable with the lack of control over the reservation, booking directly with Disney may be the better alternative for you.
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:18 PM   #12
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I am of the opinion that if it's not working out now it will not likely work out later.

IMO, that applies to everything.

Why push a relationship (renter/rentee, landlord/tenant, boss/employee, vendor/purchaser) that won't work out if you already, at this point, disagree. As you can see, I'm risk adverse.

I think the renter was smart to refund you all of the money to avoid future problems. I also wouldn't trust someone who was still negotiating the terms of the deal 3 months before the reservation, after I had already booked it. 3 months is very "last minute" in DVC land.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by st225 View Post
My feeling is that by cashing my check and accepting the partial payment, she was no longer entitled to act as if the reservation was all hers to do with as she pleased.
This is so not true. As a DVC member it really is "MY" reservation until you check out and go back home. I am responsible for everything until that point and the previous posters have given you many examples of what our liability could be. Before you consider renting a reservation from a DVC member again, you should research the liability on our end and understand that there is no power imbalance. I would be very leery to rent to anyone who felt it was so one sided.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:20 PM   #14
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Most members renting points don't go to the trouble of a waitlist.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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I am going against the crowd here by sympathizing with the OP. I have rented to others in the past and it's easy to empathize with the owner in this situation as we are all owners and can understand the owner's predicament. But let us remember that renters are not knowledgeable about the DVC rules for point use.

The OP renter had shown good faith by making payment *in full* for the days she had booked. She didn't make partial payment on these days - they were fully paid for. I believe it was wrong for the owner to cancel the days she paid for without talking to her first.

I agree with the OP that the owner should have explained to her the reason why her proposed payment scheme wasn't acceptable and tell her that she must therefore have full payment for the wailtlisted days promptly or else they (the additional days) would be cancelled and there would virtually no chance of getting them back.


Quote:
"Perhaps a more politic approach this renter could have taken would have been to reply saying that if full payment was not received by 60 days out, the reservation would be cancelled. Perhaps forfeiting payments already paid."
I disagree with the poster who suggested is was OK to cancel the whole reservation (not just the unpaid days) *and keep the money* if the additional days were not paid for (why is this OK!??). This punishes the renter for wait list coming through - if it didn't she would have those days she paid for, not lose them !!

A contract is always helpful to set expectations, but creating one should be the OWNERs responsibility, not the renters (when does a buyer ever generate a contract?), so some responsibility falls on the owner.

Sorry to buck the trend.
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