Fuel Rod swaps now $3 at WDW

flynnibus

Premium Member
I wasn’t lecturing anyone, I was just asking questions. I was trying to get an understanding of why people need chargers with them, because I’ve never run into that problem, but, if there’s a chance that it could happen to me for any reason, then it might be in my best interests to bring a charger with me. No judgement intended.

You questioned people who need juice by making definitive statements like "a phone that is fully charged when you wake up should last until you go to sleep that night"

Pretty much the convention for phone capacity is roughly 1 day.. or less with heavy usage. In an environment like Disney where you are likely doing lots of photos, sharing, lots of browsing while waiting, heavy app usage, etc... for the entire day instead of just being 'out and about' for part of the day.. it's no stretch at all to consider most people's devices would struggle to last a full breakfast to evening fireworks day. You questioned people like 'what are you doing?' as if they were somehow being abnormal.

Even the latest huge iphone 11 phones when new can only sustain about 11hrs of continuous use with celluar data. That's a stress test, but done for consistency purposes. The real world includes network hopping, large data sharing, multiple apps, GPS usage, bluetooth, and more.

Maybe you're the type that doesn't run any background apps, or the type that locks down all the services on their phone except exactly what you want right then... but that's not the norm. And the norm is even in general use.. people typically have to charge overnight or during the day. And a Disney day is far from a normal day.. in both duration and usage patterns.
 

MiddKid

Well-Known Member
For anyone that has their battery running low while they are in the parks and has to carry a charger with them-how often are you using your phone in the parks? Do you not charge your phone overnight? Unless you have a phone with a crappy, need-to-be-replaced battery, or you constantly have your face buried in your phone screen all day, a phone that is fully charged when you wake up should last until you go to sleep that night. Using your phone outside on a sunny day at WDW is going to drain the battery quicker by requiring you to turn the brightness up all the way, but if you can hardly see the screen from the sun shining on it, why not try to save phone time for when you are inside or shaded?

My phone won't even come close to lasting an entire day. And yes, it's fully charged. And no, I don't use social media. In no particular order:
  • MDE App making FP+s, checking dining/menus, checking wait times
  • Poor signal/lots of people causes phone to work harder for a signal draining the battery faster
  • Sunlight = Bright screen
  • 3 years ago we ditched the DSLR and went 100% camera phone...lots of pictures and video for our family of 5
  • Also generally have PhotoPass so we check those photos out in real time
  • Our family of 5 (plus sometimes extended family) guarantees that we're going to split up...which means texts and "Find My" app usage to see where the other people are
  • While our family is generally low phone usage while in the parks (none of the 3 daughters are on social media), there are those times standing in line when we all decide the best way to pass time is to play phone games with each other and/or look up trivia
  • Real life continues while in WDW...there are sometimes texts/emails/calls that need to be responded to
Given the above, zero chance my battery makes it to the end of the day. We always carry two external battery packs with us for extra juice. I'm excited to see how my wife's new 11 Pro Max does on our February trip, but it will likely be fighting a losing battle since I'll be primarily using it for pictures and we're going with a group of nine people...lots of planning and splitting up!
 

awoogala

Well-Known Member
eh. ok. done using them. I have a few real chargers, not worth it unless it's free. I liked how small they were, because we don't do bags, but unless it's free, and my teens can go off and exchange, we will all deal with the heavier bricks that fully charge our phones.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
The customer has to agree to the legalese in some way. Having it on a Web site that customers may or may not see is not legally sufficient. There would either need to be a notice on the kiosk or on the product packaging that you could see before you used the product and had the opportunity to reject and return the product.

This is correct. Beyond that, the legalese isn't automatically fully binding even if the customer actively agrees to the terms. There's a lot of nuance in contract law (adhesion, unconscionability, etc.) that allows certain clauses to be eliminated from contracts without voiding the whole thing (the whole contract can be voided too, of course). This would absolutely be an adhesion contract.

Also, the fact that they had "free unlimited swapping" plastered all over the kiosks makes for a pretty easy argument for the plaintiff's attorneys.
 

trainplane3

Well-Known Member
I wasn’t lecturing anyone, I was just asking questions. I was trying to get an understanding of why people need chargers with them, because I’ve never run into that problem, but, if there’s a chance that it could happen to me for any reason, then it might be in my best interests to bring a charger with me. No judgement intended.
If you need to use the Disney apps throughout the day (which they want everyone to use), you'll learn how bad they are and that's not even including the load timeouts you may get. I hate Disney World app so much that I put my FP+ itinerary into my Google calendar app because that all won't fail to load or hit the battery hard for just checking something so minor.

A small battery that costs about $40, fit in your pocket, and can charge your phone twice is something that is nice to have. Even if it only takes battery anxiety out of your list of worries (which can be a problem if you're trying to make the most of your day. Dead battery=have fun getting a FP at a kiosk). I bought some for my parents and they love having them.
 

larryz

Completely Saponificated
Premium Member
Also, the fact that they had "free unlimited swapping" plastered all over the kiosks makes for a pretty easy argument for the plaintiff's attorneys.
Is there a photo of the alleged verbiage? We've been down this side-street before, with the "forever" refillable resort cups...
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
Is there a photo of the alleged verbiage? We've been down this side-street before, with the "forever" refillable resort cups...


 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
Is there a photo of the alleged verbiage? We've been down this side-street before, with the "forever" refillable resort cups...

Just peel off the "$3 charge to swap beginning 10/1/19" stickers to see. Not that I would ever suggest vandalizing property, WDW or otherwise.

Unlike the mugs, these signs existed in an era when photographs were cheap and easy, so plenty of people documented it. Heck, I bet there were dozen or hundreds of "New WDW attraction" posts on the blogs when they first launched, each extensively documenting the machine from multiple angles.
 

Gringrinngghost

Well-Known Member
Supposedly FuelRod has started charging a $1 fee to swap them out and the extra $2 is Disney's extra charge.

When I talked to them a while back, it was $1 at Airports. This was a perk of those at Disney. This is of my knowledge of Fuelrods Swap prices:
Airports - $1
Disney - Free (Till 11/01/19)
Seaworld - $3
Universal Orlando - $3
Wonder Works Orlando - Free still(?)

There is a competitor to them that charges $50 for, alas they are only at one Orlando Hotel.
 

Tootsie

Member
I read that the fuel rod company is only raising the exchange fee to $1 and Disney is adding the additional $2.
 

AEfx

Well-Known Member
At the end of the day:
“Company reserves the right at any time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Company Services (or any part thereof) with or without notice. You agree that Company shall not be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension or discontinuance of the Company Services.”


At the end of the day, what they put up on a website (that the average buyer never had to visit to begin with) isn’t some binding contract. EULA’s and the like are actually not well legally tested. Just because someone decides to put up wording somewhere doesn’t automatically make it legitimate or binding.

Not so much a comment on this situation in particular, just something to keep in mind - people seem brainwashed into thinking that whatever a company writes is some binding final word. It isn’t for many reasons.
 

homerdance

Premium Member
At the end of the day:
“Company reserves the right at any time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Company Services (or any part thereof) with or without notice. You agree that Company shall not be liable to you or to any third party for any modification, suspension or discontinuance of the Company Services.”

If you use/purchase the product, that was advertised as "Free unlimited", and unless you explicitly agree to the TOS and the location of said TOS, anything on the website is moot. Will be interesting to see how this lawsuit proceeds.
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
If you use/purchase the product, that was advertised as "Free unlimited", and unless you explicitly agree to the TOS and the location of said TOS, anything on the website is moot. Will be interesting to see how this lawsuit proceeds.

Pretty sure that courts have struck down shrink wrap EULAs. IE you can't see the terms until you open the package containing the software, but the terms say you agree to them by opening the package. This strikes me as being somewhat similar. Terms aren't clearly visible upon purchase/usage of product. Heck, by the very nature of the product, if I need to use it, odds are my phone doesn't have enough juice to view your TOS anyway.

I can't see anyway for them to actually grandfather in old chargers that were promised unlimited swaps without a complete redesign of the battery & swap station. Wouldn't be too surprised to see them throw in the flag and just pull em from WDW rather than deal with any hassle.
 
@Touchdown Unless WDW is charging them more to keep the kiosks on location and that is driving the swap fee, I don't think we can legitimately blame Disney for this price increase.

Disney could have included guest consumer protection in its vendor contract. It could have made continuation of the contract contingent on maintaining the same payment system.
 

n2hifi

Active Member
I can't see anyway for them to actually grandfather in old chargers that were promised unlimited swaps without a complete redesign of the battery & swap station. Wouldn't be too surprised to see them throw in the flag and just pull em from WDW rather than deal with any hassle.
More likely a class action suit would result in a refund of purchase price for those in the suit. Probably less than a dollar after legal and lawyer fees.
 

Monorail_Orange

Well-Known Member
Pretty sure that courts have struck down shrink wrap EULAs. IE you can't see the terms until you open the package containing the software, but the terms say you agree to them by opening the package. This strikes me as being somewhat similar. Terms aren't clearly visible upon purchase/usage of product. Heck, by the very nature of the product, if I need to use it, odds are my phone doesn't have enough juice to view your TOS anyway.

I can't see anyway for them to actually grandfather in old chargers that were promised unlimited swaps without a complete redesign of the battery & swap station. Wouldn't be too surprised to see them throw in the flag and just pull em from WDW rather than deal with any hassle.
Could be wrong, but I think this will be the ultimate outcome, although not because of any hassle, but because the value in the product has evaporated. As many others here have already pointed out, there are cheaper and better alternatives that many guests have already in their possession. The FuelRod's main selling point was the free, unlimited swaps. As such, I think they'll now wither away into non-use to the point that it will no longer be a profitable operation at WDW, so the machines will be removed.

Disney could have included guest consumer protection in its vendor contract. It could have made continuation of the contract contingent on maintaining the same payment system.
While you are technically correct, that in of itself doesn't make this Disney's fault...however, there have been some members here that have suggested the fee is split $1 to FuelRod and $2 to Disney. IF that is correct, then this is a moot point because Disney is behind at least part of this increase.
 

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