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  1. #1

    • Elven Queen of Caffeine
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    DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Ok, so this idea has been floating around in my head for a while, and I was going to pipe up in one of the discussions re: the price increases, but in an effort to not de-rail another thread, I thought I'd start a new one, and if the mods think it belongs somewhere else, by all means move it. =)

    What bothers me the most about the dramatic increase in price is the dramatic decrease in basic customer service at the DLR in the past several years - most especially the AP guest relations. Disney used to be known for being top in customer service and now...well, to say I'm unimpressed would be an understatement. As an example, yesterday it took 2 hours, 3 calls, and 4 CMs to register for the Early Entry for this summer. I know its a perk, but if I had just paid $650 for my pass (I paid $500 instead) and I got a CM who told me, quite plainly, that "I'm sorry there is nothing I can do for you" when one of the things I paid for was the ability to take advantage of these perks, I would be livid! As it was, I was...annoyed might be putting it mildly, but you get the point. As someone who has been in customer service for a long time, one of the basic tenets is that you NEVER tell the customer that there is nothing you can do for them. There is always an acceptable alternative even if it means you take a loss to keep the customer. And Disney used to be great at this, it was one of the things that made the "magic" happen whenever you were at the resort.

    Now...not so much. And that makes me sad. I love Disney and spend 90% of my entertainment budget on trips to the DLR, but I'd like to feel that they valued me on some level, and I just don't anymore. ::sigh:: I hate to add to the whining and moaning on this forum, so I hesitated to send this, but I was just wondering....is it just me? Or has guest relations taken a major downward turn in the past...I dunno...20 years or so?

  2. #2

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    I try to give them the benefit of the doubt. After working in Customer Service, I accept that, sometimes, things are out of their reach. The person I'm directly dealing with is probably not at fault. Yes, these days bureaucracy gets in the way of decent customer service everywhere you turn. Should I have to drop $5 for a replacement debit card after being a Bank of America customer for 5 years? Probably not, but that's how it is and the person telling me so isn't the person responsible for the policy.

    Considering early entry for APs is a fairly new endeavor, I would probably be less harsh on them for working out the kinks. I've had some excellent experiences with CMs, as I'm sure we all have, but we rarely hear about those. We always take away the absolute negative and give a blanket "Wow, customer service has really declined!" when we don't get what we want.

  3. #3

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    As an example, yesterday it took 2 hours, 3 calls, and 4 CMs to register for the Early Entry for this summer. I know its a perk, but if I had just paid $650 for my pass (I paid $500 instead) and I got a CM who told me, quite plainly, that "I'm sorry there is nothing I can do for you" when one of the things I paid for was the ability to take advantage of these perks, I would be livid!
    What was the trick/who did you finally talk to? I'm having the same issue!

  4. #4

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    I'm gonna guess that it (customer service) has gone down. If the business of running DLR had to rely on repeated paid business and positive word-of-mouth -- you know, like in the olden days -- then customer service wouldn't have decreased. Since over half of the guests paid in advance, such qualities can be cut without a drop in net income.

    I recommend that you rethink your entertainment budget. If enough people did so, Disney just might notice.

    The big issue with these Early Entry events is that there is not enough room for every AP holder (1 million AP'ers, at, say, 20,000 per event, would be 50 days). And this is due to the existence of such a program for a high-quality product like DL (and to a lesser extent DCA). If there were only 10,000 or so AP'ers, there could be lots of little perks. Such programs are great for products with a lot of upfront costs and low variable costs. DL is the opposite of this: low upfront costs, as they've already been paid for over the past 57 years, and high variable costs, which vary with the number of guests among other drivers.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  5. #5

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    ...I was just wondering....is it just me? Or has guest relations taken a major downward turn in the past...I dunno...20 years or so?
    Sadly, the world class customer service that Disneyland once was famous for went the way of many Disneyland traditions under the Eisner regime, and has not returned to its former level. The standards of employee hiring, employee pay and especially employee training (as other posts attest) are a fraction of what they formerly were.

    When you get high quality customer service from today's Disney, it's because of employees who have brought those skills and attitudes to the job with them, not because of Disney's hiring and training practices.


    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    What bothers me the most about the dramatic increase in price is the dramatic decrease in basic customer service at the DLR in the past several years - most especially the AP guest relations. Disney used to be known for being top in customer service and now...well, to say I'm unimpressed would be an understatement.
    It would be a mistake to expect it to change. Today as in the past 20 years, Disney does not invest a dime of the profits from its dramatic price increases to raise its standards of employee hiring, employee pay and employee training.
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 05-24-2012 at 10:05 AM.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
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  6. #6

    • Elven Queen of Caffeine
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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    First of all I want to clarify that the issue over Early Entry was an example, of which I have many, of what I am talking about.

    brenden: I don't necessarily blame the CM I was talking to - I realize that sometimes there is nothing you personally can do - but what they were telling me was that there was nothing the COMPANY could do. And that is always false. That there is nothing they would do I do not deny, but there is always something they can do if they care. But I know that it wasn't the CM's fault. Mostly I blame the company for a) not having any options besides the flawed online system for registering for this event (much as I was disgruntled that you could not go to the last AP event without picking up your voucher at the park - when not all AP holders have the privilege to come down to DLR at a moment's notice) and b) not empowering their CMs to do something to help guests with issues.

    booth22: I think the last CM I got was **** (?) but basically they had to go to their IT department and have them fix a glitch. Just keep calling, and good luck to you!

    sediment: I wish I could remove my money from the company, but DLR is my perfect escape on many levels, and whenever I get a chance to get away, it is kinda my go-to. I guess I realize on some level that they are absolutely correct: If I don't spend MY money there, someone else will, so they needn't bother with things like customer service...it just still makes me sad.
    Last edited by penguinsoda; 05-25-2012 at 06:42 AM. Reason: CM name removed per board policy

  7. #7

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    I just have to wonder how they managed to tick off most of their hard core, loyal customers in such a short amount of time. Between the angry and frustrated Club 33 members and now the army of annual passholders in addition to the $7.00 hike in a one day pass, they'll be looking at a park full of dissatisfied customers this Summer.

    Add to that the fact that many of the cast members will probably be blaming the AP holders for the fact that they can't sign people in over the Summer and will have to be bussed in from the stadium and just about EVERYONE at that resort will be grumpy about SOMETHING in the coming months.



    I think guest relations will have their hands full this Summer.
    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 05-24-2012 at 10:02 AM.

  8. #8

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Our last interaction with Guest Services concerned a hat my grand had bought at the Animal Kingdom at WDW. It had 5 unique pins around the top and one of the pins broke. I wrote guest services and told them what happened. Within a couple of days I was asked for a pic of the pin. After 2 weeks from the first contact, my grand was mailed a new pin for her hat! It was slightly different than the one that broke, but it was a better pin. I was quite pleased with what happened.

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  9. #9

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Realize when we say theres nothing that can be done at this time, thats basically what we are told to say, in a nutshell.
    Example, this past saturday I went into the office and the guest information and ticket sales team(GITS) was with a 130 people que. I was asked to take phone calls for something Ive never done nor had ANY training on. Im really good on the phone and talking to our guests so it was an easy day for me. A lot of calls were,(on sunday) can i get yesterdays rates. No sorry you cant. On saturday we had NO information, i had to come here to get the link on our website to find the pricing for everything. A lot of us answering the phone this past weekend, and this week for the AP early entry have NEVER done this before. Also complain to the COMPANY as we at the GITS and WDTC didnt know about this till you all did so NO ONE had notice.

    As for as complaints or compliments if a cast member does a GOOD job, or something that make your say he/she was pleasnt to speak to OR were very helpful, as if theres a place to call to send a compliment. Often times people will complain but never compliment as they feel its a given that it should be done. I dont disagree to a point but compliments are ALWAYS nice and makes me as a person feel great. I get many guests that say " you were awesome, I felt like i was right in the park and I haven't even stepped foot in there yet" I love hearing that, but unless a guest says " is there a number i can call to give YOU feeding back about YOUR service" it really goes unnoticed

  10. #10

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    brenden: I don't necessarily blame the CM I was talking to - I realize that sometimes there is nothing you personally can do - but what they were telling me was that there was nothing the COMPANY could do. And that is always false. That there is nothing they would do I do not deny, but there is always something they can do if they care. But I know that it wasn't the CM's fault. Mostly I blame the company for a) not having any options besides the flawed online system for registering for this event (much as I was disgruntled that you could not go to the last AP event without picking up your voucher at the park - when not all AP holders have the privilege to come down to DLR at a moment's notice) and b) not empowering their CMs to do something to help guests with issues.
    The early entry thing for APs is a brand new implementation. Your experience was probably frustrating, but I don't know how that correlates to customer service quality declining over the past 20 years. Did you get your early entry settled after all was said and done?

  11. #11

    • Elven Queen of Caffeine
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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    MacDaddy - yes.

    HiddenMickeyBook - I am glad you had such a wonderful experience! Its good to hear that they still do things like that.

    And I have had good experiences with some CM's as well. I had the best server at Blue Bayou this past weekend, and I told her so and tipped accordingly. And one of the HM CMs made for a great experience on Tuesday night. I guess it has been my experience with actual Guest Relations that has been sub-par...when really one would expect that they would be the best equipped to handle guest complaints. Again, I don't fault individual CMs, but rather the systems in place for handling guest issues.

    ---------- Post added 05-24-2012 at 11:39 AM ----------

    brenden: it correlates because it is an example (which I think I've said twice now) of how they are handling business nowadays. As Kevin Noty points out, they are told to say "there is nothing I can do." Epic fail IMO. Did they fix it eventually? Yes. Should it have been the issue it was? No.

    I wasn't planning on listing all the ways they have disappointed me on this thread. The purpose wasn't to air all my grievances individually, but rather to question whether others had noticed the decline in business policies that I had. If you are telling me that I am alone, then I will gladly chalk it up to bad luck and assume, with pleasure, that it won't happen again.

  12. #12

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    If you are telling me that I am alone, then I will gladly chalk it up to bad luck and assume, with pleasure, that it won't happen again.
    You're not alone. The posts on this forum in the last seven years documenting the decline of customer service at DLR and WDW number in the many hundreds, if not thousands.
    "With the acquisition of Marvel and now of Lucasfilm,
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    imagination or art. All you need is a brand."

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  13. #13

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    booth22: I think the last CM I got was Kim (?) but basically they had to go to their IT department and have them fix a glitch. Just keep calling, and good luck to you!
    Did you just get a new pass too? Just curious if we're in the exact same situation- I did the print at home option for our new APs, and they've told me without the actual pass# they can do nothing, despite the fact I've paid for it and will have the ticket on the day I need to present it....

  14. #14

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    And I have had good experiences with some CM's as well. I had the best server at Blue Bayou this past weekend, and I told her so and tipped accordingly. And one of the HM CMs made for a great experience on Tuesday night.
    Did you ask to talk to their lead?

  15. #15

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    Re: DLR Guest Relations...What Happened?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Noty View Post
    Did you ask to talk to their lead?
    Did they recount their experience with 'the best server at Blue Bayou' on MiceChat? Or the great experience they had on the Haunted Mansion?

    ---------- Post added 05-24-2012 at 12:50 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyNimrodelle View Post
    Did they fix it eventually? Yes. Should it have been the issue it was? No.

    I wasn't planning on listing all the ways they have disappointed me on this thread. The purpose wasn't to air all my grievances individually, but rather to question whether others had noticed the decline in business policies that I had. If you are telling me that I am alone, then I will gladly chalk it up to bad luck and assume, with pleasure, that it won't happen again.
    You're definitely not alone. We all have experienced bad customer service at one point or another. I don't think you need to list your grievances, but I was replying based on how your post reads. (Your example of not getting your way the way you expected to get your way is basically your main complaint.)
    Last edited by brenden; 05-24-2012 at 11:51 AM.

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