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Thread: Join a lawsuit against DVC to stop/revert the 2020 reallocation

  1. #1
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    Join a lawsuit against DVC to stop/revert the 2020 reallocation

    DVC have published the new point charts for 2020 and many members have been negatively impacted. This caused many of us to go and (re)read the POS and possibly discover that the reallocation done may not be legal in its current form.
    The most contentious points are:

    1) Reallocations should leave the total points needed to book one unit/vacation home unchanged
    Reallocations are described in the POS document for each resort in "Exhibit G - Disney Vacation Membership Agreement for XXX RESORT"
    For SSR (and as far as I know, every resort, please point out any resort with different wording), the reallocations are authorised as follows:

    In order to meet the Club Members’ needs and expectations as evidenced by fluctuations in Use Day demand at the Condominium experienced by DVCMC during a given calendar year, DVCMC may, in its sole discretion, increase or decrease the Home resort Vacation Point requirements of a given Use Day within a given Vacation Home during the given calendar year by any amount not to exceed twenty percent (20%) of the Home Resort Vacation Points required to reserve a Use Day during the previous calendar year; provided, however, that the total number of Home Resort Vacation points existing within a given Unit at any time may not be increased or decreased because of such reallocation. The twenty percent (20%) reallocation limitation shall not apply to increases or decreases of Home Resort Vacation Point reservation requirements relating to designated periods of high demand which do not occur on the same Use Day each year. Any increase or decrease in the Home Resort Vacation point reservation requirement for a given Use Day pursuant to DVCMC’s right to make this Home resort Vacation Point adjustment must be offset by a corresponding increase or decrease for another Use Day or Use Days.”

    For a long time we have thought that Disney could do whatever they wanted with the point charts as long as the total points needed to book the whole resort for the whole year remained unchanged. Reading the POS is seems this is not the case.

    • The first highlighted sentence seems to restrict reallocations only to balance demand during the year, not across different vacation home sizes. If bungalows seat empty and studios fly off the shelves at 11 months, a reallocation cannot be used to balance deman
    • The second sentence says points can be shifted only "within a given Vacation Home". A Vacation Home is defined as "portion of a unit designed and intended for separate use and occupancy". This allows to move points only within the same room type. They can lower points for a studio for weekends and increase week days, they cannot increase studios and 1BR and lower 2B.
    • The third sentence says the total points allocated to a Unit cannot change. It seems the reallocation they did for the SSR treehouses is not legal, as all the treehouses are declared in their own units. Poly Bungalows are in different units from the studios, so the 2020 reallocation is not legal. Also, usually a unit includes different room types and different units within the same resort can have different compositions. If a unit includes 2 dedicated studios and 2 lockoffs, another might include only dedicated 2BR. Balancing units with different compositions might prove impossible if points are moved across different vacation home types.


    • In the first years of DVC, when a balancing act was needed to balance demand within the same room types, DVC created different booking categories with the same price point. This applied to BW view (same points as garden), and OKW HH (same points as the rest of the rooms). Those separate booking categories are a good advantage for owners, because they can book the better rooms before the 7 months window without paying a premium in points. Later DVC started moving points around balancing the points across the new booking categories. It might have been in good faith (at the beginning), but it doesn't seem to be allowed by the POS and it opened the way for strategic point allocations like the Poly bungalows: the high point cost for the bungalows allowed DVC to sell a lot of points while showing the points required by studios to potential owners.



    2) The lockoff premium
    The point needed to book a studio + a 1BR are greater than the points needed to book a 2BR. This has always been the case since DVC opening. It is called "lockoff premium" (and can be justified by the fact that managing two reservations can be more onerous).
    For example, in 2019, in Adventure season:
    - studio standard: 11 points
    - 1BR standard: 22 points
    - 2BR standard: 30 points (and not 11+22)
    The lockoff premium is 3 points.
    In 2020 the lockoff premium has increased, as both studios and 1BR have increased while the 2BR has decreased:
    - studio standard: 12 points
    - 1BR standard: 24 points
    - 2BR standard: 28 points
    The lockoff premium will be 8 points, nearly trebled.

    VGF is the only resort there there is explicit mention of the lockoff with the wording authorising DVC to modify it at will. For other resorts there is no mention of it.
    It is not clear if the lockoff premium is even legal in the first place, but it has always been there so it probably is. However it doesn't seem right that DVC can increase it at will. This would violate the reallocation rule written above (each Vacation Home/Unit must keep the same number of points constant over the whole year).
    Increase the lockoff premium seems to benefit only Disney. The extra availability generated by the lockoff premium goes into the breakage inventory which is then booked by Disney for cash which is paid back into the resorts budget to lower the dues. However there is a cap to how much is paid back (2,5% of the total budget) and that cap has been already reached every year in the past. So an increase of the lockoff premium will cause more cash income that will be kept by Disney.

    3) Unbalanced rebalance
    Members have strong evidence that the least popular room size is the 1BR. Studios are the first to go, then 2BR and finally after a lot of time, 1BR. Also, the most common last minute availability is for 1BR.
    So it seems that a reallocation increasing both studios and 1BR in favor of 2BR doesn't make sense.
    The only possible explanation is that Disney want to push members to book larger vacation homes for the benefit of selling add-ons and larger contracts. At the expense of people who bought to stay in studios.

    What is the plan?
    In this phase we are still gathering feedback and information. I have recently enquired Disney about the legality of reallocations across different vacation homes/units and I have yet to receive a reply.
    Previously I questioned the legality of the increase of the lockoff premium and received a call back by a CM who just seemed to read from a script not addressing the problem: she told me the reallocation happened to balance demand cross seasons, but she seemed unaware about what the lockoff premium was and what the actual policy was about it.

    We now have to gather potential support for a possible lawsuit.
    The best outcome would be that given the weight of many members willing to pursue a lawsuit, DVCMC management would be willing to reconsider their decision and revert the changes. If not, I'll find a way for all people to communicate easily and decide what the best way to move forward will be.
    If you want to join this group, please reply below. It would be important to have as much public support as we can get, but if you prefer to stay anonymous, please PM me.

    Please note: as members we will pay with our dues for the legal expenses for DVCMC to fight us.

    What will we ask
    1/25/2019 will be the first day the new points charts will became effective, as it's the first day it'll be possible to book in 2020. As a matter of urgency, we ask DVC to suspend the application of the new points charts and use the same 2019 charts, only adjusted for floating holidays. However this could be achieved only if we find an agreement with DVCMC management. A Lawsuit will require a lot more time.

    Currently, my intention is to ask:
    - cancel any reallocation done (even in the past) that modified the number of points needed to book every vacation home
    - remove the lockoff premium from the point charts
    - create new booking categories for the rooms that have been reallocated in the past.
    However, those points are open for discussions, if you would like to modify them or add other points, please post below.

    How can you help?
    Members reading the DISboards and informed about what's happening are a very small minority of the membership base. I am ready to bet that most people don't even know that the 2020 charts have been published, let alone that a reallocation happened.
    So it is important to raise awareness in any way. Please post on Twitter, Facebook and other social media a link to this page. If you belong to any other forum or Facebook group, please post a recap of this post. Send a letter to the press. I have had a journalist interested in the topic and he's going to contact DVCMC management for an official position.

  2. #2
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Most of your argument is based upon the definition of "Vacation Home." I have always understood it to mean the portion of a resort that is DVC (i.e., the DVC units inside of Animal Kingdom Lodge) rather than a specific studio or one bedroom unit inside the resort. Where do you see it defined as "same room type."

    I'd suggesting speaking to someone in management before you spend tens of thousands of dollars (if not more) to sue TWDC.
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  3. #3
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    You might want to read this article, as well, before embarking on your crusade:

    https://dvcnews.com/index.php/other-...ocation-part-1

    There is apparently more to the process than the limited language you quoted. Some rooms went up in point-price, others went down. I don’t see what the big problem is. A 5-10 point increase (or decrease) for my trip is certainly not worth the hassle and cost of filing a lawsuit. The only people who will benefit are the lawyers - they can expense their trips to WDW for “document reviews” and depositions.
    June 2004 ASMO; Dec 2005 POP; Feb 2007 POP; March 2011 POR; March 2014 POR; Feb 2015 BWV; Sept 2015 PVB; Jan 2016 AKV Jambo (kind of); Feb 2016 OKW; Sept 2016 PVB; Feb/March 2017 BWV/PVB; Aug/Sept 2017 BCV; Feb 2018 BLT/CCV

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  4. #4
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    "Vacation Home" is defined as follow in the Exhibit G, where the rules about reallocation are quoted from:

    Vacation home shall mean and refer to those portions of a Unit designed and intended for separate use and occupancy.

    Also, this is the definition of studio:

    Studio Vacation Home shall mean a Vacation Home containing one (1) bedroom, one (1) bathroom and equipped with a microwave, under current refrigerator and sink.

    1BR are similarly defined as Vacation Homes. This is the SSR POS, where there are no dedicated studios or 1BR, so it 100% surely refers to lockoff studios.
    You got it the other way around: a Unit is made of a number of Vacation Homes.

    Legal action is the last resort, hopefully it can be avoided.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dadknight View Post
    You might want to read this article, as well, before embarking on your crusade:

    https://dvcnews.com/index.php/other-...ocation-part-1

    There is apparently more to the process than the limited language you quoted. Some rooms went up in point-price, others went down. I don’t see what the big problem is. A 5-10 point increase (or decrease) for my trip is certainly not worth the hassle and cost of filing a lawsuit. The only people who will benefit are the lawyers - they can expense their trips to WDW for “document reviews” and depositions.
    You've missed the cliffhanger:

    However, members may still end up paying more points per night for many stays, due to something called a "lockoff premium." We will take a look at that phemonenon in Part 2 of our analysis


    Also, that post is wrong in the assumption that a reallocation is required to keep the total number of points constant across the whole resort. The section of the POS I've quoted clearly states a reallocation can only move points within the same Vacation home.

    As a single owner, no one will suffer enough damage to justify a lawsuit. A group of owners can pool their resources to get things right. Also, a large group of owners can be intimidating enough to convince DVC to rollback without the need of a legal action.

    BTW: this year they've increased the cost of studios by the maximum allowed without members' vote (up to 20% per year). It could be just the beginning. If unchallenged they can continue to do so, 20% after 20% until your 5 points difference, become 20.

  6. #6
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    Vacation home shall mean and refer to those portions of a Unit designed and intended for separate use and occupancy.

    The way I read this is very different from you. To me, it means the portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge that is set-aside for DVC rooms. Your entire argument hinges on your very narrow, and, in my opinion, incorrect, definition. Best of luck with the lawsuit though.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DopeyRunr View Post
    Vacation home shall mean and refer to those portions of a Unit designed and intended for separate use and occupancy.

    The way I read this is very different from you. To me, it means the portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge that is set-aside for DVC rooms. Your entire argument hinges on your very narrow, and, in my opinion, incorrect, definition. Best of luck with the lawsuit though.
    I'm sorry, you're wrong. As I quoted, this is DVC definition in the legal documents:
    Studio Vacation Home shall mean a Vacation Home containing...
    A Studio is a Vacation Home. And a Vacation Home is a portion of a Unit. Units are those section of a resort that are declared in the official documents and are usually made of many Vacation Homes.

  8. #8
    the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts for him DopeyRunr's Avatar
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    ok
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zavandor View Post
    You've missed the cliffhanger:

    However, members may still end up paying more points per night for many stays, due to something called a "lockoff premium." We will take a look at that phemonenon in Part 2 of our analysis


    Also, that post is wrong in the assumption that a reallocation is required to keep the total number of points constant across the whole resort. The section of the POS I've quoted clearly states a reallocation can only move points within the same Vacation home.

    As a single owner, no one will suffer enough damage to justify a lawsuit. A group of owners can pool their resources to get things right. Also, a large group of owners can be intimidating enough to convince DVC to rollback without the need of a legal action.

    BTW: this year they've increased the cost of studios by the maximum allowed without members' vote (up to 20% per year). It could be just the beginning. If unchallenged they can continue to do so, 20% after 20% until your 5 points difference, become 20.
    I didn’t miss anything. I read all the document when we made our first purchase. DVC has a lot of “unfettered discretion” to do a lot of things - like limit me to using points only at my home resort, or change any and all booking rules at any time. This reallocation simply does not concern me as much as you. I have no desire to “pool my resources” with anonymous people on the internet because a company took “the maximum allowed” action they could. The key word being “allowed”. If you are successful, it might benefit me but it might not. It depends on when and where I’m staying in 2020. You may actually cause many people who benefit from the reallocation to lose out because you force DVC to revert back to an old point chart. Good luck with whatever you are trying to accomplish. I’m going to be relaxing in a grand villa at my home resort tomorrow.
    June 2004 ASMO; Dec 2005 POP; Feb 2007 POP; March 2011 POR; March 2014 POR; Feb 2015 BWV; Sept 2015 PVB; Jan 2016 AKV Jambo (kind of); Feb 2016 OKW; Sept 2016 PVB; Feb/March 2017 BWV/PVB; Aug/Sept 2017 BCV; Feb 2018 BLT/CCV

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dadknight View Post
    I didn’t miss anything. I read all the document when we made our first purchase. DVC has a lot of “unfettered discretion” to do a lot of things - like limit me to using points only at my home resort, or change any and all booking rules at any time. This reallocation simply does not concern me as much as you. I have no desire to “pool my resources” with anonymous people on the internet because a company took “the maximum allowed” action they could. The key word being “allowed”. If you are successful, it might benefit me but it might not. It depends on when and where I’m staying in 2020. You may actually cause many people who benefit from the reallocation to lose out because you force DVC to revert back to an old point chart. Good luck with whatever you are trying to accomplish. I’m going to be relaxing in a grand villa at my home resort tomorrow.
    If you book GVs you're going to benefit greatly from the change, I can understand you're happy to pay less points.
    I wish you a great vacation.
    Last edited by zavandor; 12-28-2018 at 10:23 AM.

  11. #11
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    I guess I have to put you on my ignore list here too.

  12. #12
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    Surely Disney has had a lawyer, or two, look at what they chose to do before doing it. I mean, do you really think they didn't?
    I'd put their lawyers research up against yours any day.

  13. #13
    Senior Member hizouse's Avatar
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    What does "the total number of Home Resort Vacation points existing within a given Unit at any time" mean?
    Does "exist" mean something like "required to rent for the whole year" or just something more like "allocated to" or "sold with reference to"?
    And is a Unit a particular room, or something else? The whole resort? A block of points?

    At any rate, I don't think either of the first 2 highlighted sections require or imply anything about reallocating among different categories of rooms, unless there is something special about the definition of Use Day or Vacation Home not referenced above. zavandor may be right about Vacation Home, but increasing or decreasing "within" a category doesn't imply that the yearly required total for that category doesn't change. Seems like zavandor would need his third underlined section to say or mean something like

    the total number of Home Resort Vacation requirements of all the Use Days within a given Vacation Home during the given calendar year may not be increased or decreased because of such reallocation.
    instead of
    the total number of Home Resort Vacation points existing within a given Unit at any time may not be increased or decreased because of such reallocation

  14. #14
    Senior Member kmc8826's Avatar
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    My biggest problem with the reallocation is that the one bedrooms went up as well as the studios. The two bedrooms might have gone down a little on certain seasons but they are still more points than what we could use right now. Studios going up makes some logical sense and was somewhat expected but the last to book one bedrooms does not. It is disheartening and depressing but Disney has the power built into the contract to do what it wants. I read through the paper work when I signed and for me that was the bottom line.

    We are doing our first DVC trip in a couple weeks. Our plan after that is to reassess what we want and the big eternal question of if it is “worth it.” Between the huge hike in dues and the point devaluation for us for what we want to book we might just sell our resale BLT contract we have had less than a year. I would keep the direct for now...getting the DVC Gold AP’s instead of having to buy the platinum was pretty sweet. :)
    Kim


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    Quote Originally Posted by kmc8826 View Post
    I would keep the direct for now...getting the DVC Gold AP’s instead of having to buy the platinum was pretty sweet. :)
    Yes, that is a great deal but.. remember that it is a perk that can be taken away at any time.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by capeokw56 View Post
    Yes, that is a great deal but.. remember that it is a perk that can be taken away at any time.
    Yes thank you I am quite aware of that. If anything the last recent events have only emphasized for everyone (not that it is a surprise) that DVC is a timeshare fundamentally only interested in its bottom line and owners have limited recourse. For now at least it suits them to emphasize the divide between resale and direct.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Strangeite's Avatar
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    I have only now started looking at the 2020 point charts because we are planning a trip in 2020. However, I personally know two different lawyers that are DVC members, one of which specializes in class actions. Believe me, if there is any merit in this, he will be all over it.
    I am @GrtBigBeautiful on DizTwitter

  18. #18
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    VICTORY!
    The 2020 point charts have been reverted to the 2019 version, just adapted for floating seasons.
    I've talked with the head of regulatory affairs twice and voiced a few concerns and I know others have done the same. This is the email I, and all who have contacted them, have received today:

    Dear Stefano,
    Thank you for reaching out to our team.

    Disney Vacation Club Management has revised the 2020 Vacation Points Charts originally posted on the Member website on Dec. 19, 2018.
    As we have stated, the reallocation of vacation point values is outlined in the Membership Agreement and is an important part of meeting Members’ needs and expectations.
    The originally posted 2020 Vacation Points Charts were consistent with the Membership Agreement. However, Disney Vacation Club Management listened to our Members’ feedback and decided to more closely align them with the 2019 Vacation Points Charts, with some adjustments for the 2020 calendar.
    This will give Disney Vacation Club Management time to further analyze demand and usage patterns, along with Member feedback, and adjust Vacation Points Charts for 2021 and beyond, as appropriate.
    Thank you,

    Director Club Management & Regulatory Affairs

  19. #19
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    IANAL, It would appear that the changes were not really legal based on the fact that they changed the charts back regardless of their CYA notes in the letter they sent you. As they say, actions speak louder than words.

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