Membership benefits and extras acknowledgement document for new direct purchases

PurdueTodd

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
No, I got the same thing. Got an original call, then a follow up call in 3 days. Then one more call to purchase tickets.
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Yes Sandi, that is correct. Again, my main arguing point was when I bought membership, the fact that new sales are still happening in certain circumstances, and my situation should be recognized the same.
That is great! I would say then every other DVC owner should be eligible. If that division made the exception for you, then it should be made for all.
 

PurdueTodd

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
That is great! I would say then every other DVC owner should be eligible. If that division made the exception for you, then it should be made for all.
All I can say is good luck. I plead my case to qualify under circumstances that they are currently allowing. I also said that If I were a member with several years under my belt and didn’t have passes currently, that I totally understand why I wouldn’t qualify. But I’m relatively new, (bought end of December 19 closed first contract in 2020), and was not able to use benefits due to pandemic and the fact that the program is still being offered through ticketing under certain circumstances/requirements that I should also meet those requirements.
 

Belle53

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
That is great! I would say then every other DVC owner should be eligible. If that division made the exception for you, then it should be made for all.

Yes it should be made available for all. I'm a new member and purchased DVC direct last summer. My guide really hyped up the blue card benefits and mentioned gold pass sales should resume by January. Well thats come and gone. I know benefits can change at anytime but if DVC is going to use these blue card benefits as sales tactics to new members, then offer it to everyone and not just renewals. We spend a lot of money buying direct.
 

ScubaCat

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2008
It'll still be on a case-by-case basis, though. They'll probably make everyone who insists go through this process. I still don't see any specific legal requirement, but it's definitely a gray area (bait-n-switch) if it was used as a sales tactic. At a minimum, they don't want that reputation simply for refusing to sell a few annual passes.
 

4luv2cdisney

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
My dispute went to the contract compliance team on the 8th - they told I'd hear something in three days. I've yet to hear anything. Did you have to make another follow up phone call?
Let us know what happens!

If they start letting these through, I wonder if it's because they already have a plan to start re-selling APs shortly. I think many of us expected APs to come back with park hopping or shortly thereafter.
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
It'll still be on a case-by-case basis, though. They'll probably make everyone who insists go through this process. I still don't see any specific legal requirement, but it's definitely a gray area (bait-n-switch) if it was used as a sales tactic. At a minimum, they don't want that reputation simply for refusing to sell a few annual passes.
I do agree that it’s not a legal requirement but don’t agree about bait and switch when it’s clear it’s not guaranteed.

Having said that, I think it is unfair for one person to have been given it when there are tons of DVC members who were in the same boat and planned on buying APs for trips later in 2020.

Like I said, if I needed one, and now have confirmation of new ones being sold to someone who didn’t have a canceled or expired one, I’d be taking it all the up the chain of the AP department for sure.

But, as someone else just posted, maybe they are planning to start offering soon!
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Yes it should be made available for all. I'm a new member and purchased DVC direct last summer. My guide really hyped up the blue card benefits and mentioned gold pass sales should resume by January. Well thats come and gone. I know benefits can change at anytime but if DVC is going to use these blue card benefits as sales tactics to new members, then offer it to everyone and not just renewals. We spend a lot of money buying direct.
Again, what is happening now is not in the control of DVC. It’s a different division and they have no real say in getting it for all members.

But, it’s obvious that at least in this case they were able to get their complaint escalated high enough to be given one.

IMO, it is a very good argument for others to push for one!
 

PurdueTodd

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Again, what is happening now is not in the control of DVC. It’s a different division and they have no real say in getting it for all members.

But, it’s obvious that at least in this case they were able to get their complaint escalated high enough to be given one.

IMO, it is a very good argument for others to push for one!
One member asked for me to share if I heard anything back. So, I felt my experience should be shared so that other members in the same situation could at least be able to argue their case. I believe that AP’s will be sold to everyone this year, the question is when. If I were a gambling man, I’d guess late summer or early fall.
 

mistysue

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 26, 2009
Fingers crossed. I really need a win at something, and sent an email asking why this benefit (to purchase new Gold AP) is being offered to some and not all.
I would much rather spend my $5,000 on food and trinkets than duplicate tickets for this year.
 

Pens Fan

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2014
One member asked for me to share if I heard anything back. So, I felt my experience should be shared so that other members in the same situation could at least be able to argue their case. I believe that AP’s will be sold to everyone this year, the question is when. If I were a gambling man, I’d guess late summer or early fall.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We are in the exact same boat having purchased direct contracts in 2019 and 2020. We've had no success purchasing an AP for our upcoming trips in Oct and Dec. I just sent an email to the address noted earlier in this thread and will keep my fingers crossed for a good outcome.

Either way - I greatly appreciate you starting this thread!
 

PurdueTodd

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We are in the exact same boat having purchased direct contracts in 2019 and 2020. We've had no success purchasing an AP for our upcoming trips in Oct and Dec. I just sent an email to the address noted earlier in this thread and will keep my fingers crossed for a good outcome.

Either way - I greatly appreciate you starting this thread!
You’re welcome, good luck to you.
 

ScubaCat

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 12, 2008
I do agree that it’s not a legal requirement but don’t agree about bait and switch when it’s clear it’s not guaranteed
Not LEGALLY bait and switch, but if a salesperson pushes APs returning January 2021 in order to close a sale and then it turns out they're suddenly not available after the fact, that definitely fits the definition from an ethics perspective. One of DVC's unique selling points is the "no timeshare BS" nature of the offering. Once that perception gets out there, it's hard to reverse. Best to just accept that a buyer (who just wrote a healthy check in exchange for many years of future spending) was led to believe something and honor it.
 

Sandisw

DVC Forums
Moderator
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Not LEGALLY bait and switch, but if a salesperson pushes APs returning January 2021 in order to close a sale and then it turns out they're suddenly not available after the fact, that definitely fits the definition from an ethics perspective. One of DVC's unique selling points is the "no timeshare BS" nature of the offering. Once that perception gets out there, it's hard to reverse. Best to just accept that a buyer (who just wrote a healthy check in exchange for many years of future spending) was led to believe something and honor it.
Got it. I highly doubt any salesperson would guarantee something like that. I have dealt with quite a few over the years regarding DVC and they have been pretty honest about all of it.

But, in the end, it is obviously possible to convince the AP division that being a DVC owner should be given the exception being given for recovery.
 

Grumpy Mouse

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
I wanted to wait until I knew more, but given that's probably going to take a few more days, I'll post what I know so far...

It got ugly.

They pulled the 'used car salesman' tactic on me - let my complaint sit there for a few days while promising action, then passing it back to member services to call me with a quick dismissal.

I, sadly then had to draft a formal letter to DVC senior management (sent via e-mail) - and yes I had to use the 'L' word - in order to get a response from someone who actually uses their brain on a daily basis. That's probably not fair; most of the DVC people we interact with just have no authority to do anything.

Anyway, I got a phone call from someone 'high up the food chain' last night. We had a good conversation, and he is going to investigate some of the particulars of my claim. The big sticking point: he was NOT aware that Disney had been selling any NEW passes - no matter the circumstance. He was not aware that Disney had been selling NEW passes to passholders that cancelled them last year. He was not aware that at least one DVC member had gotten NEW passes without previously having had them. In other words, he was not aware that Disney had been making exceptions - the circumstances or semantics are irrelevant, it's still an exception.

This leads us to the 2nd part of our conversation, the 800 lb gorilla, the acknowledgement of member benefits and extras part of the standard direct-sale DVC contract. DVC's continual claim is they have no control over Disney benefit policy, yet according to the person I spoke with, Florida statute requires DVC to make that acknowledgement part of the contract. Which makes sense because there's no way Disney/DVC would EVER make such an acknowledgement without having to be legally constrained to do so.

This introduces a potential problem for Disney/DVC (one they never thought they'd be in) in that the acknowledgement provides, in writing, a rough 'standard' for the application of benefits to direct-sale DVC members. And that 'standard' has a lot of gray-area. It clearly says they can add and remove benefits, at will, whenever, no question, to the entire membership class. But it says nothing specific about their ability to control WHICH members might receive a benefit outside of the explicit blue-card requirement. It says nothing about them being about to make exceptions - which is exactly what they've been doing. And it's irrelevant that DVC has no control over Disney benefit/ticketing policy; Florida statute has made it their problem.

Can Disney/DVC legally wiggle out of this problem? Absolutely. The language is vague (my favorite is 'from time to time' - what the heck does that mean?) and Florida statute or no, is the acknowledgement even legally binding. It's the ol' Bill Clinton 'depends on what the definition of IS is'.

Anyway, I'm supposed to get a call back sometime next week. I'm not overly hopeful; part of me says I haven't poked a big enough bear; even DVC senior management seems to be pawns in all of this. I've thought about asking my attorney to draft a complaint to Disney and DVC legal, but if I really have to take that step, probably best to just sell my contracts and move on.

I continue to think this might be the first domino in a 'legacy' passholder program. Chapek knows that P, E, and P hasn't moved the needle on stock price (and therefore his stock options) - it's been all about streaming; in fact P, E, and P has been one big cost sink.
 

Judique

Dis Veteran, Beach Lover at BWV, BCV, HHI, VB
Joined
Aug 1, 2003
I wanted to wait until I knew more, but given that's probably going to take a few more days, I'll post what I know so far...

It got ugly.

They pulled the 'used car salesman' tactic on me - let my complaint sit there for a few days while promising action, then passing it back to member services to call me with a quick dismissal.

I, sadly then had to draft a formal letter to DVC senior management (sent via e-mail) - and yes I had to use the 'L' word - in order to get a response from someone who actually uses their brain on a daily basis. That's probably not fair; most of the DVC people we interact with just have no authority to do anything.

Anyway, I got a phone call from someone 'high up the food chain' last night. We had a good conversation, and he is going to investigate some of the particulars of my claim. The big sticking point: he was NOT aware that Disney had been selling any NEW passes - no matter the circumstance. He was not aware that Disney had been selling NEW passes to passholders that cancelled them last year. He was not aware that at least one DVC member had gotten NEW passes without previously having had them. In other words, he was not aware that Disney had been making exceptions - the circumstances or semantics are irrelevant, it's still an exception.

This leads us to the 2nd part of our conversation, the 800 lb gorilla, the acknowledgement of member benefits and extras part of the standard direct-sale DVC contract. DVC's continual claim is they have no control over Disney benefit policy, yet according to the person I spoke with, Florida statute requires DVC to make that acknowledgement part of the contract. Which makes sense because there's no way Disney/DVC would EVER make such an acknowledgement without having to be legally constrained to do so.

This introduces a potential problem for Disney/DVC (one they never thought they'd be in) in that the acknowledgement provides, in writing, a rough 'standard' for the application of benefits to direct-sale DVC members. And that 'standard' has a lot of gray-area. It clearly says they can add and remove benefits, at will, whenever, no question, to the entire membership class. But it says nothing specific about their ability to control WHICH members might receive a benefit outside of the explicit blue-card requirement. It says nothing about them being about to make exceptions - which is exactly what they've been doing. And it's irrelevant that DVC has no control over Disney benefit/ticketing policy; Florida statute has made it their problem.

Can Disney/DVC legally wiggle out of this problem? Absolutely. The language is vague (my favorite is 'from time to time' - what the heck does that mean?) and Florida statute or no, is the acknowledgement even legally binding. It's the ol' Bill Clinton 'depends on what the definition of IS is'.

Anyway, I'm supposed to get a call back sometime next week. I'm not overly hopeful; part of me says I haven't poked a big enough bear; even DVC senior management seems to be pawns in all of this. I've thought about asking my attorney to draft a complaint to Disney and DVC legal, but if I really have to take that step, probably best to just sell my contracts and move on.

I continue to think this might be the first domino in a 'legacy' passholder program. Chapek knows that P, E, and P hasn't moved the needle on stock price (and therefore his stock options) - it's been all about streaming; in fact P, E, and P has been one big cost sink.
Just want to take a moment to thank you for the time you are putting into this and reporting back to all of us about your experience. I canceled my own AP and got most of what I paid back after using it for 3 visits, plus, I have a previously purchased AP in my MDE so, I'm in good shape personally. But - I have family members that would benefit from a 'new' AP this fall coming up and they are blue card members, so I'm watching this closely.
 

Leight19

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 3, 2020
The issue I have with changes that leverage the “benefits subject to change language” is when they still advertise the benefits which are already suspended. I bought dvc last year post annual passes being suspended and had significant discussion regarding annual passes as driver for me buying direct. During this time the sales member never mentioned AP purchases being paused and I only found out once I started reading this board. Also I believe I recall the membership benefits acknowledgement document (or some area of contract) specifically called our annual passes as benefit.

You can argue “subject to change” langue applies on previous contracts but if they haven’t updated language in contracts they are selling that describes benefits that currently don’t exist that has to be shaky ground legally (not sure if updated now as we bought right around reopening).
 

PurdueTodd

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 14, 2020
The issue I have with changes that leverage the “benefits subject to change language” is when they still advertise the benefits which are already suspended. I bought dvc last year post annual passes being suspended and had significant discussion regarding annual passes as driver for me buying direct. During this time the sales member never mentioned AP purchases being paused and I only found out once I started reading this board. Also I believe I recall the membership benefits acknowledgement document (or some area of contract) specifically called our annual passes as benefit.

You can argue “subject to change” langue applies on previous contracts but if they haven’t updated language in contracts they are selling that describes benefits that currently don’t exist that has to be shaky ground legally (not sure if updated now as we bought right around reopening).
It was the last two paragraphs that I was focusing on. Read it again, that’s where I was initially confused. That’s the main reason I started this thread.
 

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