Friday, September 10, 2010

Disney the Death of Customer Service and The Rise of Policy

Location: Other, Colorado
Industry: Tourism
Annoyed By: Disney Cruise Lines, Disney World

My wife and I through American Express booked a vacation for a Disney Cruise. Our vacation included 5 days at the Caribbean Hotel Resort and 5 days on the Cruise. We booked this in December 2009. During the summer of 2010 a few months prior to the vacation we realized that at the Hotel we would like to purchase the meal plan. We checked the criteria and it said we had to be at a Disney Resort and needed to be longer then a two day stay. I told my wife to give the AX agent a call and have him book it. The AX agent returned me with this.
"If a cruise passenger wants to add on the dinning option to the hotel portion of the cruise, it can not be added on. Since the pre hotel nights are part of a cruise and booked through the Disney Cruise Lines and since they operate separate from the Walt Disney World Resort Vacations, they can add on the transfers, air, park ticket to the booking but the one thing that they cannot add on is the Dinning Packages. The Dinning Packages are exclusive to the Walt Disney World Resort Vacations only. "

Upon readings I was confused and I thought there had to be something done, I fit the criteria and I was paying just as much if not more then the people booking through the Walt Disney World Resort Vacations. They wouldn't just scam the Cruise Liners people out of this option completely.

Immediately I called my agent and was put on a three way conversation with Disney Cruise LInes. I explained to her that I don't take a lot of family vacations and I would like to purchase the dinning plan while I am at the resort for 5 days. After a couple of no's I was transferred to the supervisor.

Finally someone that can make sense of this, the supervisor (Raja) said, "Sorry this policy was enacted in 2010 and there is nothing we can do for you. " I then commented on the fact that in 2009 you were able to purchase these packages. She repeated the same thing and added that they were two separate entities.
I then explained to her that at one point in my life I worked in the hospitality industry and that there was always something that can be done. She repeated the same thing again and told me that she would have to hang up because she didn't understand why I didn't understand that Disney Cruise Lines is a separate entity and had nothing to do with the Resorts .
I was starting to get a perturbed at this point and asked if the Cruise Lines were truly an entity of Disney, specifically asking her if Disney cuts her checks. She returned, "I am unable to divulge that information."
"So you are telling me that you guys are not Disney or you are telling me that your organizations are unable to communicate between each other and you have no ability to talk to the resorts and straighten this out."
She again reiterated the same thing and that she did not understand why I could not understand.
Again perturbed, "But you admit I fit the criteria."
"Yes, you fit the criteria."
I asked her why then , "Why the cruise lines are able to sell land packages if they cannot sell the entire package. Doesn't that not elude to false advertising."
"She said your agent should have told you this and if I have problems with the booking I should be talking to him."

I told her that that is the reason I am calling to straighten this out. And that this information was not brought forth at the time of the booking in 2009. My agent would not have known. "
She said that I could cancel my reservation and book through Disney resort, I explained to her that I am average Joe that takes a vacation once a great while and I am going to the magical kingdom where I am not feeling very magical at because nothing magical is happening. I also told her that I did not have time to rebook everything over.
She said, "Sorry I felt that way. And that I would need to handle this through my reservationist."
I explained to her that this would be completely different if I was trying to scam something but all I was trying to do was pay for a meal package.
She repeated the policy again.
I asked so there is nothing at all you can do and you're our not affiliated with Disney.
Her reply was the same reiterating the policy.
Blown by the lack of customer service, by the price I was paying for the trip and by the entire policy itself, I explained to her that this was the worst customer service I had every had and hung up.

My conclusion was that there was over 15,000 dollars invested in this vacation and that Disney does not care about customer service. They feel that they can scam their way into making more money by enacting policy that do not allow Cruise Line people the same options as the Resort people even though they fit the criteria completely.

Recently I have cleaned my son's closet out of all Disney related stuff and I have turned the TiVo off of all Disney related shows. I have no interest in this policy making money grubbing cooperation at this point.

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