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Disney Games Terms of Use

The last response I posted to Disney elicited a response from them directing me to their Terms of Use page. Here is the email I received from them:

Dear Mark,

Thank you for your feedback on adding additional information about free accounts.

We are pleased to hear from our Guests and welcome your comments regarding our products and services. We are continually balancing and updating the game as we strive to make Toontown a fun and safe place to play online.

For more information on our submission policy, please view our Terms of Use at:

http://disney.go.com/legal/conditions_of_use.html

We look forward to seeing you in Disney’s Toontown Online soon!

Thank You,

Ruth
Disney’s Toontown Online Member Services

I decided I should take a look at that link before I responded to them, so I spent some time reading what they had posted. It was a lot of the standard Terms of Use legal stuff, but they did have some information about what they consider Solicited and Unsolicited submissions. This applys to pretty much any communication with them, ranging from feedback to creative content ideas. I assume that since I made my initial contact with them via a form provided online at their site, my comments to date, and all responses, fall under the “Solicited Submission” category. So, I fired this response back to them:

Hi Ruth,

I scanned through the Terms of Use at the link you provided. I believe that my comments to WDIG via the original form on your site, and and the subsequent email exchange between WDIG and myself constitutes a “Solicited Submission.” Would you agree this to be the case?

To reiterate my “Submission,” I would like to see that, in the Trial Version of the Disney Toontown Online game, any mission that culminates in a requirement of a paid subscription to complete the mission, that requirement be clearly documented at the start of the mission. Additionally, I would like to see documentation on your site that lets users know some missions may start in the Trial Version of the game, but end in the Paid Subsription version of the game. I have looked in depth at the current documentation on the site (much closer than that average adult would, I believe), and this differentiation is not made clear anywhere.

In addition, I would like specific acknowledgement of this Submission, and not a generic response. I feel that, thus far, WDIG has not clearly nor deliberately addressed the issue this email thread started from. It should be clear that you have already lost a customer – my son – due to the unclear nature of this game. As I have been posting our exchange on my blog (http://www.thunderstruck.com/) and via my Twitter account (GoNorthWest), I have been informed by other users of WDIG that they have experienced similar issues with Toontown. I feel strongly that our concerns should be concretely addressed.

This post, as with the others, will be placed on my blog soon.

I appreciate you taking the time to work with me, as a representative of my 6 year old son, and am looking forward to a definitive resolution to this issue.

Respectfully,

Mark
At this point I just want them to specifically address the concern I have been putting forth, and stop responding with canned email regarding information already available at the site. I like Disney, and I think for the most part they have great customer support, and truly care about their customers. But this particular issue, the one of not disclosing the requirement of a paid subscription to complete a mission started in the trial version of the game, really makes me angy, and I view this as dishonest and deceptive by Disney. I vow to continue this fight until its resolved to my satisfaction.
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  1. Lekumseh
    March 30th, 2009 at 10:31 | #1

    Best of luck in your fight, it is one that I greatly support. Please read my response at Zimbio on the following link: http://preview.tinyurl.com/cjfwfy

    What you state here is precisely the conclusion I myself reached, after a first hand experience with the game. There is absolutely no notification that the “gag quest”, or rather said the INTRODUCTORY quest your newly-created avatar is about to be engaged on was designed in a way were you simply weren’t meant to finish it, meaning that subsequent 10+ hrs that people may decide to invest on the game will prove to be 10+ wasted hours, because there was no way of telling that the free account/trial account, is entirely restricted in that just as you find that the initial “gag quest” is undoable, your advancement further in the game is completely nullified because game mechanics impede you from progressing with the sole purpose of purchasing the game. Is as if Disney bank on the possibility of creating and endearment/addiction on potential players with the intention of later on demanding payment in order to continue enjoying the matters of your endearment/addiction.

    If you yourself ever venture to have a close look at the game, you’ll noticed that all the adversaries within the game are shapped akin to “business” related things, the manner by which Disney leads this business venture (without complete honesty) leads me to believe that ToonTown is precisely a personal parody of Disney Inc. themselves, where the so-called “family entertainment” always comes with a price as top priority.

    It is after my 8-year old brother’s, and my own, experience with ToonTown that I advised him that this game was nothing more than a baiting game, and that his experienced with the game would be absolutely tampered unless he acceded to the demands of showing the dollars. Reason why I advised him to try his luck in other more promising alternatives (that offer a greater range of things to do for nothing, but that gives you perks and exclusive content if you decide to pay for them, without giving you a sensation of being obliged to do so) like Dream Of Mirror Online. I sincerely hope that parents become more conscious of the unscrupulous business sense of those companies that have their little children as prime targets of their advertisement and maneuvering, and take the necessary measures to stifle the effects they may have on them.

  2. April 13th, 2009 at 13:09 | #2

    I think your website is really cool

  3. Shelly
    February 1st, 2010 at 14:06 | #3

    It sux but this is the kind of thing these games do. That’s the designers’ job, to get you involved enough that you “have to” purchase a membership. If it were me, I would have used this experience as an opportunity to teach my kid about not getting emotionally vested in video games. They’re no that important.

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