Do DVC Members deserve better perks

DVC Mike

DIS Veteran
DIS Lifetime Sponsor
Joined
Aug 25, 2007
Do DVC Members deserve better perks?

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This seems to be a topic where a wide range of opinions exists.

Some people assume that for the next ‘n’ years of their membership contract, they will get all the cool things that they heard about during the DVC sales presentation. They might even expect VIP treatment as they visit Disney Parks, including a bunch of member “perks” – discounts, freebies, and special offers not available to non-members. After all, we're Disney's best customers - aren't we?

Well, perhaps not, and many members' expectations are not strictly true.


ARE MEMBER PERKS GUARANTEED TO DVC MEMBERS?

First off, let’s cover the boring legalese regarding perks. I would think most DVC members would know this, but you’d be surprised!

A “perk” is, by definition, something that is incidental to our DVC membership.

These incidental benefits of membership may be modified or terminated at any time by DVC. The continued availability of these discount programs is not guaranteed.

The Member Benefits Guide clearly states:


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None of the benefits described in this Guide are a feature or component of the DVC Resort real estate interest, or of any rights or privileges which are appurtenant to that real estate interest.

AVAILABILITY OF AND COSTS FOR ALL BENEFITS DESCRIBED IN THIS GUIDE ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR TERMINATION WITHOUT NOTICE OR COMPENSATION.
The Receipt for Member Benefits Guide states

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THE PROGRAMS DESCRIBED IN THIS MEMBER BENEFITS GUIDE ARE INCIDENTAL BENEFITS AS DEFINED IN §721.075, FLORIDA STATUTES AND ARE OFFERED TO PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS IN THE VACATION OWNERSHIP PLAN…. THE AVAILABILITY OF THESE PROGRAMS MAY OR MAY NOT BE RENEWED OR EXTENDED. YOU SHOULD NOT PURCHASE AN OWNERSHIP INTEREST IN THE VACATION OWNERSHIP PLAN IN RELIANCE UPON THE CONTINUED AVAILABILITY OR RENEWAL OR EXTENSION OF THESE SPECIAL PROGRAMS.
The Public Offering Statement says:

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From time to time, DVCMC may establish Club Member benefit programs to enhance membership for Club Members. These special programs are not a component of any Ownership Interest. Some or all Club Member benefit programs may be cancelled or terminated at any time.
Perks have come and gone in the past.

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BUT AREN’T PERKS PART OF THE VALUE OF DVC MEMBERSHIP?

“Fine, Mike”, I hear you saying, “The legal documents state that. I get that. But aren’t perks really part of the value of our DVC membership?”.

Why, of course.

Perks are a marketing tactic of Disney Vacation Development. Many of us included the perks, freebies and discounts offered by DVC when considering becoming a member. To many members, it’s just part of the value of the DVC program.

I guess the marketing worked.

As long as Disney Vacation Development continues to successfully develop new DVC resorts and makes money selling them direct, they will have good reasons to continue to offer special programs and perks to enhance the value and appeal of what they are marketing. That’s good news for DVC members!

However, if Disney stops building DVC resorts, especially at WDW, would perks virtually disappear? Perhaps. Luckily, DVC keeps building more resorts.

So, Disney doesn’t offer perks as a “reward” to their "best customers" for forking over so much money to them, but as an enticement to get you to fork over the money to them in the first place.

A FEELING OF ENTITLEMENT?

Are we entitled to special treatment as DVC members? Some folks feel they paid a lot for their DVC membership and perks are part of that.

We guarantee Disney our business for decades. I think we should at least get the same discount offered to Florida residents. Or maybe even a special DVC members dining plan. Something!
I own another timeshare that I bought for 1/8 the cost of DVC. I can stay in over 250 5 star hotels and can vacation anytime a year with that one too. Because it was so cheap I don't expect anything but a clean room. But for my Disney investment plus fees and such, I'd like to be offered more than I get from my global vacation membership. Why would you buy DVC without the perks?
The only thing that truly bothers me is the perks that are given to non-DVC members. My family and I always get the DDP and pay for it while others get it for free. Disney is always doing some kind of deal with the DDP or with hotel rates. So I ask all of you what is the financial perk of being a DVC member? No one is ever discounting my annual dues.
For what we pay to be a part of DVC, it would be nice if we would get better discounts then an Annual pass holder or Florida resident.
I think DVC members have shelled out a lot of money and we should be recognized for our loyalty.
I’m a bit surprised when DVC members act like they are entitled to special treatment because we paid Disney so much money.
Despite the marketing, I didn’t join DVC with the expectation of being treated as a VIP and getting lavished with a bunch of special treatment.

I'm grateful for the perks we do get as DVC members. The definition of "perk" is an incidental benefit. Nowhere does it say it's a right or obligation for Disney to provide anything other than accommodations. That's what a timeshare is - accommodations. The fact that DVC periodically includes extras is awesome in my opinion.

WHY DOES DISNEY OFFER DISCOUNTS?

What are some of the reasons that Disney offers discounts to anyone?
  1. To entice people to come visit Disney Parks
  2. To segment the market and offer a lower price to a group that is more cost-sensitive (PIN discounts)
  3. To fill in lower-demand periods ("free dining", passes with black-out periods)
  4. To get people to commit to coming back to Disney sooner than they had anticipated (book your next trip now before you leave)
  5. To entice people to spend money at less popular shopping and dining venues
  6. To entice people to spend money on expensive, high-profit items (such as DVC)

Discounts like “free dining” and programs for Florida residents and Annual Pass holders are offered by Disney Parks to induce people to come visit Disney Parks. They are a way for Disney to increase revenue.

What about DVC Members? Well, we have already paid. There is no reason to offer us more inducements to visit. In a sense, Disney already has our money, so they don't have to entice us with discounts.

Discounts are provided to entice people to come and spend money on site. DVC members are pretty well locked in to regular visits. So, that's not a reason to give us discounts.

My guess is the perks offered by DVC are a marketing tactic to entice people to buy into DVC - particularly the AP discount.

Most of the perks we get are token gestures, anyway. It's my understanding that DVD pays some stipend to Parks & Resorts to fund the Annual Pass discount. The AP discount is a nice sales perk and it helps feed add-on point sales so there is a clear benefit to DVD for facilitating that discount.


WHY COMPARE US TO AP/RESIDENT DISCOUNTS?

Why should DVC offer us the same or better perks than those offered to Annual Pass holders or Florida residents? This is a commonly heard complaint.

The same division that runs the theme parks sells Annual Passes. It’s very easy for them to grant discounts on dining and merchandise since it’s all in the same Profit & Loss (P&L) center.

DVC is a separate division. It may seem natural to view Disney as one big organization, but in reality it's many different divisions looking out for their own P&L center. DVC actually has to negotiate with Parks & Resorts management in order to obtain discounts. They cannot unilaterally decide to offer additional perks.


WHY SHOULD DISNEY OFFER BETTER PERKS?

But the basic question is why do people think DVC members are entitled to more perks? Disney is a for-profit business with a duty to their shareholders. Why should they do it?

I would love better discounts on everything - tickets, food, merchandise and activities. As a member I'd certainly take advantage of whatever perks are offered.

However, the primary reason for DVC to offer better perks is to help improve sales by Disney Vacation Development. Offering perks to current members does increase their goodwill towards Disney and increases the positive word of mouth about DVC from current members to their friends and family. A lot of happy members providing positive word of mouth advertising would be a good marketing tool. So, it's good for business - to a certain extent. However, I think there are many other things that create a loyalty to Disney than these perks do.


ARE PERKS DECLINING OR IMPROVING?

I see comments all the time about “the constant decrease in perks” and how members are disappointed or dissatisfied with the perks offered.

I think they've mostly been as good now as they’ve ever been. Some perks have been taken away, while new ones have been introduced. In general, I think perks are slightly better or at least as good as they were a decade ago.

OK, WHAT DO YOU THINK?


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http://i235.************************************************************* DVC Mike - *******.com
 

disBOBney

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
The Florida resident discount isn't offered out of generosity of Disney, but because of law and licensing agreements with the state. As a DVC owner I do have a Florida real estate interest even if only for a very short period. But since I will only use my park tickets when I am in Florida, I don't think it unreasonable that we should get the comparable discount, and we do, at least for now on the AP, but not on daily tickets.
I do think that as an owner, whether we intended it or not, we come to Disney Parks much more often than if we were not owners, therefore we should be considered priority guests, and so far I don't have a complaint about the perks or programs that have been offered. Because, I travel to WDW or Disneyland, I often bring guests, who likewise spend more money, it would be nice to be able to offer my guests a discount on their ticket prices.
 

JimMIA

There's more to life than mice...
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
The Florida resident discount isn't offered out of generosity of Disney, but because of law and licensing agreements with the state.
As a fellow Florida resident (and native!), I'd love to see the Florida Statute citation for that. You may be right, but I've never heard that claim.
As a DVC owner I do have a Florida real estate interest even if only for a very short period.
Yeah, but that has nothing to do with Florida residency. And your "very short period" is unspecified -- and therefore non-existent -- unless you are a fixed week owner. And even then...naw. Enjoying our beaches, rooting for the 'Gators or 'Noles, does not a Floridian make.
But since I will only use my park tickets when I am in Florida, I don't think it unreasonable that we should get the comparable discount, and we do,
Right now, yes. But DVC owners have not always gotten the full Florida Resident benefit.
I do think that as an owner, whether we intended it or not, we come to Disney Parks much more often than if we were not owners, therefore we should be considered priority guests, and so far I don't have a complaint about the perks or programs that have been offered. Because, I travel to WDW or Disneyland, I often bring guests, who likewise spend more money, it would be nice to be able to offer my guests a discount on their ticket prices.
I agree with you...but that is NOT what DVC owners buy. And you get what you pay for...nothing more, nothing less.
 
  • JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    I agree with Mike in this regard: perks come and go, but on the whole, I think they are better now than they ever have been. YMMV.

    The important thing for prospective buyers to understand is that there are VERY few things that are guaranteed in a DVC contract. What could be wonderful right now could go away at midnight tonight with one swipe of the Mouse's pen.
     

    dwight16

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 26, 2012
    I think they are fair I have only used tiwl and the ap discount and I have been thrilled with them. they could probably do more to get us to even spend more IE giving us the 10% off just for being a memeber but over all I feel like if your buying for perks you probably should not be buying at all.
     

    JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    It all depends on your individual family situation, and the way Disney tracks every hiccup and sniffle I'm sure they KNOW -- but my personal opinion is the best way for Disney to get more money out of DVC owners would be to give a significant discount out on regular tickets. Not one day, of course, but 4,5, 10 day tickets.

    DVC owners would eat those up, IMHO, and the end result would be more money in the Mouse's pocket.
     

    disneynutz

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2006
    It all depends on your individual family situation, and the way Disney tracks every hiccup and sniffle I'm sure they KNOW -- but my personal opinion is the best way for Disney to get more money out of DVC owners would be to give a significant discount out on regular tickets. Not one day, of course, but 4,5, 10 day tickets.

    DVC owners would eat those up, IMHO, and the end result would be more money in the Mouse's pocket.
    Maybe yes, maybe no. DVC members are forced to vacation at Disney, discount or no discount. Do they vacation more if Disney discounts their admission tickets, only Disney knows that answer but it they did, you can bet that there would be better discounts.

    :earsboy: Bill
     

    tjkraz

    <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg
    Joined
    Feb 4, 2002
    -- but my personal opinion is the best way for Disney to get more money out of DVC owners would be to give a significant discount out on regular tickets. Not one day, of course, but 4,5, 10 day tickets.

    DVC owners would eat those up, IMHO, and the end result would be more money in the Mouse's pocket.
    I not quite so confident. The more they discount, they more they need to sell just to break-even on the price reduction.

    Disney could sell 20,000 MK tickets per day at $100 each and earn $2 mil.

    But if they drop the price to $50, they need to sell 40,000 tickets for the same revenues. It's not difficult to see which option places less stress on the infrastructure, and leads to the highest-quality experience for all.

    Those numbers are purely illustrative, of course. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. But whenever discounts are discussed, I'm always skeptical about whether the alleged increase in sales will be sufficient to cover the losses. It would be interesting to see what sort of pricing curves Disney has in-house to illustrate such discounting.

    Best way to test my theory is for guests to be completely honest with themselves and consider whether some level of discounting will actually lead them to spend MORE than they would without the discounting. Sure you will GET more with a discount, but will you really SPEND more? If not, then where's the incentive for Disney?

    Why should they give me 4 park days, two meals and a t-shirt for $400 when I'd otherwise just buy the ticket for $400? Some people would bite on the discounts...but I'm not convinced that the added sales would cover the losses.
     

    Micca

    SAHG: Stay At Home Grandfather
    Joined
    Dec 5, 2000
    I'd like to see better perks for some DVC members, specifically just the ones who respond on this thread. The rest can fend for themselves. :earboy2:
     

    DebbieB

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 1999
    Members complain on this board about perks being taken away. The only major one I can think of is valet parking. That was due to Disney's decision to outsource.

    When I bought in 1999, the ticket discount was 10% off length of stay tickets. Members of this board lobbied to have it extended to annual passes. When LOS was replaced by MYW, DVC introduced the AP/PAP discount and it was around 25%! Far more than we hoped for! But that's not good enough for some.
     

    SpaceMountain77

    Kidani Villager Victorian Gentleman Turtle Trekker
    Joined
    May 3, 2012
    Ownership has significantly changed my view on perks. Before any additional discounts or programs are offered, I would prefer to see better villa housekeeping and maintenance. I expect normal wear, but guests should not have to wait for a soft or hard goods refurbishment to have a badly stained chair replaced. Moreover, I am tired of moving the coffee table, in front of the couch, and finding Fruit Loops and Cheerios.

    A perk, for me, would be a clean, well-maintained room. It would also be nice to have housekeeping know the cleaning schedule, so that phone calls do not have to be made to remind them to come.
     

    com_op_2000

    DVC Member since '93; One Hour from WDW
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2010
    To everyone who believes that DVC members should get free dining/better perks/etc:
    WHY?
    Should Disney offer you something for free, when you have a contract that you agreed to.
    IMHO, everyone who does believe they deserve better perks did not fully understand DVC when they signed up.
     

    Chuck S

    DVC Co-Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Feb 6, 2000
    I think the actual current perks are great with the AP discount and merchandise discounts. Yes, perks overall are probably better than they've ever been.

    But I think it is the limited sales incentives that have suffered over the years. Early purchasers got free park admission for 1/2 of the stated capacity of the room, through 1999. And assuming you were staying at a cash onsite resort when you made the initial purchase, they would apply whatever the cost of your current stay was to the down payment or purchase price AND allow you to immediately use your points and transfer to a DVC resort for the remainder of your stay.

    Of course, back then, minimum direct purchase was 230 points, and there was no guarantee at the time that there would be any other Resort other than OKW, then known as The Disney Vacation Club resort, as it s still called in legal documents.
     

    JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    I not quite so confident. The more they discount, they more they need to sell just to break-even on the price reduction.

    Disney could sell 20,000 MK tickets per day at $100 each and earn $2 mil.

    But if they drop the price to $50, they need to sell 40,000 tickets for the same revenues.
    If anyone suggested such an insane discount, I missed it. In addition, your example assumes that every single ticket Disney sold would be discounted -- which is another insane idea.

    I was thinking more like 10-20% for DVC owners, and you could even make it owners staying on points only. Surely, the Disney marketing kids are plenty bright enough to come up with discounts that are wins for Disney. If they're not, the Mouse needs some new marketing kids.

    The point being to get DVCers out of the resort and into the theme parks -- where they WILL pay more money to Disney than they'll spend sitting around the pool, or spending a day at Universal for 30% less than Disney, or spending the day at the outlet malls.

    And actually, if Disney just gave DVC owners all of the same benefits they give Florida residents, that would be a nice upgrade.
     

    mrsmith9

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 22, 2009
    I do like the way they treat DVC members on the DCL sailings. They make you feel like a VIP, and as such they turn every member on the cruise into DVC ambassadors and extended sales agents.
     

    tjkraz

    <img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/images/silver.jpg
    Joined
    Feb 4, 2002
    If anyone suggested such an insane discount, I missed it. In addition, your example assumes that every single ticket Disney sold would be discounted -- which is another insane idea.
    I thought I was pretty clear in stating that the numbers were for illustration only. Obviously they were fictitious.

    I was thinking more like 10-20% for DVC owners, and you could even make it owners staying on points only.
    OK, then let's use your numbers. A 20% discount to DVC owners staying on points means that Disney needs to increase the ticket-buying population by 25% just to generate the same revenue. And that's not taking into account any increases in fixed costs associated with a larger volume of guests.

    Surely, the Disney marketing kids are plenty bright enough to come up with discounts that are wins for Disney. If they're not, the Mouse needs some new marketing kids.
    Well, it's been a year since the $199 ticket offer and 18 months since the last deeply-discount PAP rate. The fact that such offers haven't become permanent or even frequently-recurring suggests that Disney did not find the results to be satisfactory.

    The point being to get DVCers out of the resort and into the theme parks -- where they WILL pay more money to Disney than they'll spend sitting around the pool, or spending a day at Universal for 30% less than Disney, or spending the day at the outlet malls.
    But it's also fair to point out that there are countless DVC owners who are ready, willing and able to pay full price. Whenever a discount is offered, Disney is agreeing to take less money from people who are prepared to pay full freight. The gamble is that they'll make up the difference with additional sales and personally I'm not convinced this would be the case.

    Again, more fictitious numbers strictly to illustrate: Disney isn't going to discount tickets by $100 ea for 10 people just so they can sway one additional person to buy a $400 ticket rather than going to Universal.

    And actually, if Disney just gave DVC owners all of the same benefits they give Florida residents, that would be a nice upgrade.
    Sure it would be a nice upgrade. But again, lower revenues from your guaranteed customers in hopes of luring enough new business to bridge the gap. A very big gamble. A gamble Disney has taken with their many limited-time DVC ticket offers, yet the results have apparently not been favorable enough to make such offers permanent.
     

    JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    OK, then let's use your numbers. A 20% discount to DVC owners staying on points means that Disney needs to increase the ticket-buying population by 25% just to generate the same revenue.
    Oh my goodness -- NO it doesn't, Tim!

    If you discount one DVC owner's single day ticket $20, all you need to make that up is for that member to spend $20 at the theme park that they wouldn't have spent on some Disney thing otherwise. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the "ticket buying population."

    It has to do with what that DVC owner spends during their stay. If they spend more than the discount you give them, your revenue went up.

    And that's not taking into account any increases in fixed costs associated with a larger volume of guests.
    Costs associated with more visitors would not be "fixed costs." Fixed costs are those associated with opening for business in the morning, regardless of attendance. Costs associated with higher volume would be variable costs.

    But your point is well-taken -- to the degree that variable costs increase, those have to be factored into the discount equation.

    However, I think variable cost increases, if any, would be quite small. It's not like 30,000 DVC owners are suddenly going to turn up and swamp MK because of a discount.
    Well, it's been a year since the $199 ticket offer and 18 months since the last deeply-discount PAP rate. The fact that such offers haven't become permanent or even frequently-recurring suggests that Disney did not find the results to be satisfactory.
    That's a very good point, and may be correct

    Or, it could be that it's just not time yet. They made the same offer to Florida residents and then came back and gave us a better offer -- if my memory is correct, $159 for 3 days/$179 for 4.

    But I agree with your main idea -- any discount they give must INCREASE Disney's overall revenue. It needs to be win-win; it can't be good for one party, but bad for Disney. That's a loss.
     

    ludari

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2010
    I don't feel I should get better perks or entitled or deserve anything special, however my only complaint is the DVC AP discount. I be fair I believe that the current DVC discount for AP at WDW should be offered at DLR as well. The only DVC discount for AP at DLR is $20 and my employer (which has nothing to do with Disney) offers the same $20 discount so yes I expect being a DVC member would get me a better discount.
     

    DVC Mike

    DIS Veteran
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Aug 25, 2007
    I don't feel I should get better perks or entitled or deserve anything special, however my only complaint is the DVC AP discount. I be fair I believe that the current DVC discount for AP at WDW should be offered at DLR as well. The only DVC discount for AP at DLR is $20 and my employer (which has nothing to do with Disney) offers the same $20 discount so yes I expect being a DVC member would get me a better discount.
    I agree. The $20 discount on DLR AP's is silly.
     

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