Last April the Disney Vacation Club altered its rules to disallow certain perks to those who purchased memberships second-hand and not through Disney. Now one DVC member has purchased an interesting domain name on which to air his grievances: kenpotrock.com. Ken Potrock is the senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club but, as the Orlando Sentinel reports, the domain was purchased by Timothy Delasandro.
If you visit Delasandro’s site, you’ll see nothing other than an open letter that reads:
Dear Mr. Potrock,
I procured this website in order to get your attention. I am a member* of the Disney Vacation Club. I am deeply distressed by your recent 4/4/2016 changes to our Club. You have effectively created 2nd class purchasers. This change shatters the perception that this is a Club. In effect, you’ve stepped out of character on stage.
Sadly, this change was unnecessary. You have recent evidence that when the Polynesian Village and Bungalows (PVB) is priced at $168/point, then the average sell rate is 75-80 thousand points per month, obviously below your expectations. When you discount points to an effective rate of $153/point, as you did with your 25th anniversary incentive, you sold 136 thousand points, double an average month. This incentive was so effective that you created a similar incentive (that also pegs points in mid $150’s/point) and extended it to October.
It’s not the resale market that is affecting direct sales; it’s the price per point.
DVC is an expensive product. I bought in part because I wanted to believe that it’s a Club. I know, I know, it’s a (gasp) timeshare. That said, Disney and DVC have a reputation for being so much more. That’s why resale values are so high, and it’s why you can sell direct points at the price you do.
I know this change is an industry standard. “All timeshares do it”, frankly, is and should be beneath you. It’s an excuse, and a sad one at that.
When you purposely create 2nd class purchasers (not members by your own definition), you attack the special bond that DVC is otherwise well-suited to inspire. Mr. Potrock, those 2nd class purchasers are your customers, too! They attend your parks, buy in your stores and restaurants, add on via direct contracts, and so much more. All purchasers, resale and direct, are committing to spend tens of thousands of dollars over decades with Disney. That should not be slighted. Indeed, you are sending this message of class distinction at peril to the entire program:
If DVC will strip member benefits from one class of buyers, why not all buyers? That’s a chilling message, for all buyers, resale and direct.
I feel as though in some ways you don’t understand the value of your product, what makes DVC so special. Obviously, you’ve never received your long awaited and anticipated membership card in the mail! If you ever had, you would not be denying that essential magic. Honestly, refusing to give purchasers a membership card is a cheap shot. It’s like reserving “Welcome Home!” to members* and “You Again?!” to purchasers.
I want to believe that we are creating a fifty year relationship with each other. Instead, you’ve sent the unmistakable message that DVC members are only worth consideration while the ink is drying on the contract, that you only care about the next sale.
Mr. Potrock, say it isn’t so! Please tell us that you aren’t creating a dangerous schism within the Club (members vs. purchasers) just to create a scapegoat for having to discount points to a price where they sell well.
I know I’m not supposed to be affected by this change. Except. I am. You’ve pulled back the curtain. You’ve given lie to the idea that this is a Club. You’ve made a demonstrable move towards being “just another timeshare”.
Some of the pixie dust is gone, not because I didn’t believe; because you didn’t.
That makes me sad, and that’s why I’m writing to you.
Delasandro says he was able to purchase the domain for a mere $10 and has no other plans for it. He says at this time he has received no response from Disney and the Sentinel reports that the company had no comment on the page.