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  1. #1

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    why don't return guests get treated right?

    I always found it funny when we call WDW for questions or to book our next trip and they say "Oh Mrs. V. we see here you've been to our resorts every year for the past 12 years. Welcome back" then when I ask "do you have better deals for returning guests they always say - "oh... no"
    the last time I called I asked why do you make us say how many times we've been in and how many times since 2002 if you don't treat us any different then someone booking for the first time or someone booking for the 50th time. the answer...... it's just for marketing purposes.
    hummm not exactly the answer i was hoping for.
    so - why is it that if you were staying at the Hilton, Holiday Inn, Hampton Suites etc... you can get a preferred client card and get discounts on future stays but Disney doesn't do anything?
    is it because they know we'll still come down regardless? or are they just so clueless that they are missing the chapter that says treat returning guests a little better because THEY RETURN.
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  2. #2

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Maybe it's because those who tend to stay at Hiltons, etc. are traveling on business and that's a market those hotel chains can't lose.

    With Disney, sure lots of us will come back, but overall not as often and as frequent as business travelers. So a "point card" or that sort of system wouldn't work as well since you wouldn't get points at other hotels at other destinations.

    Also, I feel that would cheapen the Disney brand to make their resorts just like the others and with "free nights," etc.

  3. #3

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    is it because they know we'll still come down regardless?
    Yes.

    They are not clueless.

  4. #4

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Those other hotel brands give perks to return guests because they return several times a year. Rental cars and airlines do the same, and the perks are also for people who do business with them several times a year. Most WDW visitors go there at most annually, and I bet most of their best customers go there every few years and the average customers just a couple times in a lifetime.

  5. #5

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Quote Originally Posted by cooknthyme View Post
    I always found it funny when we call WDW for questions or to book our next trip and they say "Oh Mrs. V. we see here you've been to our resorts every year for the past 12 years. Welcome back" then when I ask "do you have better deals for returning guests they always say - "oh... no"
    the last time I called I asked why do you make us say how many times we've been in and how many times since 2002 if you don't treat us any different then someone booking for the first time or someone booking for the 50th time. the answer...... it's just for marketing purposes.
    hummm not exactly the answer i was hoping for.
    so - why is it that if you were staying at the Hilton, Holiday Inn, Hampton Suites etc... you can get a preferred client card and get discounts on future stays but Disney doesn't do anything?
    is it because they know we'll still come down regardless? or are they just so clueless that they are missing the chapter that says treat returning guests a little better because THEY RETURN.
    It's because they don't have to. The reason is in your post - you list several different hotel chains, all of which have competition (each other) where Disney doesn't. WDW is a unique place with no direct competition. Only way this might change is if other theme parks offered a frequent visitor discount and even then, it probably still won't happen due to the uniqueness of WDW.

  6. #6

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Quote Originally Posted by cooknthyme View Post
    ...is it because they know we'll still come down regardless? or are they just so clueless that they are missing the chapter that says treat returning guests a little better because THEY RETURN.
    The former, not the latter. Your visitation behavior has indicated to them that you are an anchored customer in a very captive environment. While outside hotel chains might offer frequent stay cards where you earn points and such...the Marketing divisions (Hilton, Sheraton, just about all of them) will often pass you by on special promotions because you are indeed already a proven customer.

    Target Marketing programs (generated by what is sometimes called CRM software, for Customer Resource Management) often skip over the "best customers" and instead target only those that are not good customers. It's the oldest game in the world...almost like selling drugs where the "first one's free" or at least very cheap, but once you're "hooked" you never see a deal again. They quite simply figure they already own you, and instead might offer discounts to others to try to hook new warm bodies, or at least increase their visitations.

    I've always seen this first-hand with Starwood and Hilton and all the majors. When I'm top level in their frequent stay program...I hardly ever get special promotions or rate offers from them. But go a year with little or no stays...and they start flooding you with price deals and bonus point offers to try to get you back.

    It's just Target Marketing. It's common these days in many industries.

    However, most of these companies have some other way to recognize frequent stay visitors. Whether this be a simple "Welcome Back" comment or perhaps something more tangible, like a fruit basket. Most do something. But they rarely cut their prices unless they feel they have to.

    And in the case of regular visitors...they obviously don't feel they have to.

    Edited to add: Looks like Pasha and I were writing much of the same at the same time!
    Last edited by Opus1guy; 03-12-2007 at 11:23 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Yep, I can get frustrated all I want to about not being able to get a room on site cheaply or despite the fact that I have been there the last 5 weekends in a row, they don't care. They know I will be back regardless, but then WDW never has to "try" and get people to visit, they just do. The name speaks for itself.

  8. #8

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigPigletFan View Post
    Maybe it's because those who tend to stay at Hiltons, etc. are traveling on business and that's a market those hotel chains can't lose.

    With Disney, sure lots of us will come back, but overall not as often and as frequent as business travelers. So a "point card" or that sort of system wouldn't work as well since you wouldn't get points at other hotels at other destinations.

    Also, I feel that would cheapen the Disney brand to make their resorts just like the others and with "free nights," etc.

    Yes, and one of the things when traveling for business, is that price is not as big of a factor. I have some latitude when choosing my flights and hotels though work. I am supposed to go lowest cost, within reason. If there are two flights that are withing $40 of each other, but one has an hour layover and the other is a direct where I also get priority baggage handling because I am a frequent flyer, you can be sure I will pick the second one. However now look at a family of four or five, that $40 a head starts to add up and if this vacation is tight on the budget, that layover does not look to bad.

    There is not too much business travel to WDW - there is some, but its not their bread and butter.

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  9. #9

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phonedave View Post
    There is not too much business travel to WDW - there is some, but its not their bread and butter.
    There is a fair amount of business traveler at WDW. It's just that they usually aren't individual business travelers.

    Most of the business travel to WDW is convention or conference...and those are usually all on contracted rates via Convention Sales and Marketing.

  10. #10

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    Cool Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Aren't there hotel discounts for APs? Wouldn't they, by definition, be returning guests most of the time?

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  11. #11

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    Hilton, Holiday Inn, Hampton Suites etc... you can get a preferred client card and get discounts on future stays but Disney doesn't do anything?
    actually, I work at one of these hotel chains mentioned, the "frequent" guest card you are referring to, does not entitle you to a discount, but, rather to earn points that you can use for free nights, etc.




  12. #12

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    To the OP:

    Have you ever noticed that Walt Disney World is perhaps the ONLY major company that advertises a telephone number that is NOT a toll-free number???!!!

    Everyone else's mother's sister's cat has a toll-free number for their new pickle-slicing machine they're trying to sell, but Disney does not advertise an 800 number (I know they have several, but they don't publicize it).

    Disney is very shrewd. They know they don't need to offer you a perk like a free phone call. They know that you are not going to bring the kids to Great Wolf Lodge or Club Med or Universal Studios instead of Walt Disney World because the other places have 800 numbers and WDW doesn't.

    How many tens of millions of dollars do they save on not having publicized toll-free numbers? How many tens of millions of dollars do they save on not having a frequent guest discount?

    When they start losing money over things like this, THEN you'll see commercials and read about the new "Mickey Miles" or "Come Home to Disney" promotion.

    Until then, they have us right where they want us. And I say this with admiration, not disdain.

  13. #13

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    What makes any of you believe that WDW caters to returning guests or why they should get better treatment over other guests? I have been returning to WDW over and over since 1972 and as time passes, I feel I get treated with less appreciation of my business. Unlike in the airline business, where kissing corporate frequent flying butts are the norm (in hopes of making profits and keeping plane seats filled), WDW on the other hand is reeking in dough due to the many initiatives they have in place where quality reduction to save money and maximize profits have eroded the very essense of what this resort once was: first class. So, they honestly do not need to cater to returning guests with perks or discounts. Now, if all of us started boycotting WDW, well.. maybe, just maybe.. they may be nice to some of us returning guests and locals.

  14. #14

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    I always find it odd when people start asking for discounts for their continued patronage. If you like a particular hotel then go there because you enjoy it, not because they offer you a discount.

  15. #15

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    Re: why don't return guests get treated right?

    For quite a few years I know DL has acknowledged my past visits. "Oh it's been __ years! Welcome back!"

    I wouldn't, however, expect them to offer discounts just because I'm coming back. I can't imagine what incentive there is for them to discount visitors just for having come by once before. Discounting vacation/cruise combo packages or something I could understand, but just because somebody comes by once a year? Eh?

    It makes even less sense than AP discounts, APs can rightly argue that they're paying for the discounts even if they don't use them.

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