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View Poll Results: Should DVC implement more restrictive policies toward reservation modifications?
YES 100 35.21%
NO 184 64.79%
Voters: 284. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-25-2015, 09:51 PM   #1
DVC Data
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Question "Walking" a Reservation 🚶



I am posting a poll asking if DVC should implement more restrictive policies toward reservation modifications, or if this is just not necessary.


BOOKING FLEXIBILITY

DVC allows members to add and remove days from an existing reservation. While this provides great flexibility to members if their plans change, it also creates opportunities to potentially “manipulate” the system to one’s advantage at the expense of others.



”WALKING” A RESERVATION

One such controversial practice is called “Walking a Reservation”. This is a method some DVC members have devised to help secure some hard-to-get reservations, which involves reserving a room days or even weeks ahead of the intended travel dates and then continuing to add and delete dates over time.

This has been a controversy for years, but I am still surprised by the number of DVC members who are unaware of this practice.

There are two main groups of thought on this practice:




One group of people states that though the flexibility of the booking rules enables this practice, it is considered an abuse of the reservation system. They question whether it’s fair or considerate to other members to take advantage of relatively unknown “loopholes”, that it messes with the reservation system, and that it seems kind of like cheating or “gaming” the system. The “walker” is effectively blocking other DVC members from booking a room they want, that the “walker” has no intention of using.




Others think since that the rules allow these practices, it’s not their fault that not every DVC member isn’t aware of them. The rules allow it, everyone can do it, and walking a reservation is therefore not breaking any rules. It is not illegal or unethical. Others are taking advantage of it, so why shouldn’t they? Is it really a problem, they ask? Or is it just merely a scapegoat for people who are unable to book a hard-to-get reservation? Is it a bunch of hoopla over nothing?





HOW DOES IT WORK?

How does it work? You make the first day of your reservation start earlier than when you really intend your vacation to start. You then call into Member Services every day moving the start date of your reservation back one day and extending it on the end by one day. Eventually, you'll end up getting the actual vacation dates you originally wanted to book in the first lace. This theoretically gives you a head start on all of the people who were unaware of the “loophole” and followed the rules and waited until eleven/seven months from their actual vacation dates.

This is unnecessary most of the time, but some members feel it is necessary for them to be guaranteed a difficult to get reservation, such as between Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.

AN EXAMPLE

So, let’s assume you wanted to book a Grand Villa from December 24 through January 2. Instead of making the call on January 24, eleven months out, you start calling on say, January 15, booking what you can. Every day you call, you drop the first day, and add another at the end. You get a seven-day jump on the night of the 24th by doing this, and the best chance of getting one of the few Grand Villas during a popular time of year.

There are variations of this method – some call every day, others call every few days, others call every 6th or 7th day. The purpose is to beat other members to the reservation dates. If you wait until January 24 and call and ask for December 24 through December 30, it is possible that the first six days would be booked up because someone called the day before.




IS IT REALLY NECESSARY?

I would challenge anyone who says this is really necessary at the 11-month window for most dates and room types. Frankly, I think some folks are walking reservations where it is simply not necessary.

At seven months, it has a logistical issue – you get the jump on those people booking at seven months – but there is always the chance that an owner has already booked a night in the middle. For rooms where there is a very small inventory remaining at seven months, the chances of a hole in your reservation is pretty high.

So you go through a lot of extra work and tie up Member Services staff (increasing everyone's dues) to do something that generally isn't necessary at seven months.

I guess one unintended side effect of this post may be having people who read it begin to believe that it’s necessary to walk a reservation. So let me repeat: walking a reservation is simply not necessary for the vast majority of DVC reservations.





SHOULD ANY CHANGES BE MADE?

Bottom line, the practice most likely gives a person an advantage over those who don't walk a reservation.

So, should DVC implement more restrictive policies toward reservation modifications? Placing restrictions on booking is going to harm the flexibility of the reservation system, which is one of the things that many enjoy about DVC.

Would added restrictions that would degrade the flexibility of DVC be worth it to fix this “problem”?

Those that see “walking a reservation” as an abuse of the system have called for charging a fee to modify a reservation, or to make every change to a reservation a cancellation and rebooking. Others say a simpler solution would be for Disney to give you a limit to the number of times you can change a reservation (i.e., no more than 2-3 times).

However, most members would most likely not want such limitations placed on them, and they worry about the unintended consequences of these types of changes. They worry that “the cure may be worse than the disease”.

Those that do walk reservations would like to see the ability to modify reservations added to the website, to reduce the volume of calls to Member Services that this practice causes.




Personally, I don't see DVC taking action on this. Most members are simply unaware of the practice so they're not going to complain. The practice doesn't harm Disney, and there's no reason for Disney to take any action at this point. Placing restrictions on booking is going to harm the flexibility of the reservation system, so I'm not sure I'd want any changes.

I have never walked a reservation, and someone walking a reservation has never harmed me, as I have never been locked out of booking what I want. I get the reservation I want - 100% of the time - because I book my home resort at the 11-month window and I don't book he hard-to-get types of reservations. So, I have no skin in this game and am fine with the way things work now.

That's my opinion. What's yours?




Last edited by DVC Data; 06-24-2015 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:16 PM   #2
MMC1
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If they decided to restrict this... what tactic do you think they would use? One week restriction to change reservations? I am just trying to think what the new rules would be.

Are their any other changes that should be made in the back of your minds?
I have always wondered why hotels do not restrict a weekend reservation to a 2 day requirement. It seems this was used occasionally by some hotels in the past. The reason why I ask? I am thinking the Grand Californian in particular just because it has a "local" membership. I know I would have a lot of fun booking Saturdays only to stretch my fun with ownership and would grab every holiday for a one nighter. I do not own at the Grand Californian so I wonder if any local/members have been blocked out because all the Saturdays are gone. You can book Thursday and Friday and Sunday but not Saturday would be very frustrating.

Another question I have always wondered about : How would Disney be able to stop rentals if they ever wanted to restrict rental reservations?

This is fun to worry about make believe problems instead of solving all my real problems. I never rent or walk or book one nighters. But I have a lot of real world issues I would love opinions about!
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:22 PM   #3
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Ironically, is the "solution" to the "problem" of needing to walk reservations making it *easier* to modify reservations?

Here's my thinking. Why not allow the simple extension of a reservation online without involving a phone agent? Under this process, you would simply book the first day of your reservation online and then on subsequent days log in to your account and extend it by a day. Admittedly, you're still modifying a reservation every day, but I presume this eliminates both cost to DVC reservation agents and the cost to members of reservation day churn making bookings at T - 11 months + 1-14 days harder because of "fake" bookings.

I see the same fees that airlines are starting to charge for award reservations coming to DVC - redeposit fees, change fees and phone booking fees. I'm not exactly happy with these fees, but I suppose as long as they end up being fee income that reduces my maintenance fess I'd be ok with them.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:28 PM   #4
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The rules state you can book your home resort 11 months prior to check in. NOT 11 months less 2 days or whatever duration one would walk, so technically walking is not following the rule.
It is like the people who get up at 7 and put pool towels on chairs they will not use till noon or the people who grab a table at a counter service while someone waits in line to get food. People with trays walk around not able to get a table because the people who do this.
Sadly some have a me me me mentality that the rules do not apply to them and have no consideration for others.
If everyone walked, they would have to hire extra cms to handle all the changes or our wait times would increase further.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:32 PM   #5
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Personally, I think(purely a guess), that 90-95 percent of DVC owners do not know what walking is or how to walk. I would guess that until this poll 50 percent of MO's do not know how to walk/what walking is.

I truly feel walking is a scapegoat for people who don't get, hard to get reservations.

And thus is not meant to be condescending. Until being a member here I had no idea either. And didn't fully understand it until I tried it.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:33 PM   #6
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i say let it be. more rules could make things worse in ways that we have not yet imagined.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:35 PM   #7
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Maybe they should only allow an extension to be added on to only twice. That way it couldn't be extended for a week which I am sure most people that do this do.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:36 PM   #8
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I would love to see a follow up poll about the morality of booking a room at eleven months with no plan to keep it if you can get something more desirable at the 7 month window.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:36 PM   #9
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Here is how I was affected by someone walking:
I got online at 9:15 am to book a December stay at the Boardwalk the day my 11 month window opened. It was already sold out.
I considered using my other contract and booking AK, but we prefer BW for theme park trips.
I got on the next morning at 8 and booked my reservation starting a day later than our arrival figuring I would stay somewhere else the first night.
A few days later our first night was available so I booked it.
Had I booked AK that first morning, I would have taken a room someone else wanted that day. I might have not gotten the BW later.
What I am saying is when someone books a room for days they have no intention of using, they take rooms other people who use the system as designed would like to have available.
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle & Ariel View Post
Here is how I was affected by someone walking:
I got online at 9:15 am to book a December stay at the Boardwalk the day my 11 month window opened. It was already sold out.
I considered using my other contract and booking AK, but we prefer BW for theme park trips.
I got on the next morning at 8 and booked my reservation starting a day later than our arrival figuring I would stay somewhere else the first night.
A few days later our first night was available so I booked it.
Had I booked AK that first morning, I would have taken a room someone else wanted that day. I might have not gotten the BW later.
What I am saying is when someone books a room for days they have no intention of using, they take rooms other people who use the system as designed would like to have available.
This is exactly my point, it was 9:15. Just because it became available how do you know it was being walked?
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