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View Full Version : Decline In WDW Operator Friendliness


Briar_Rose
04-04-2007, 01:48 PM
We have not been to WDW since Sept 04. I distinctly remember the CRO and WDWTC staff being very friendly and helpful when I made my resort and dining reservations. They really made me excited for my trip and made me remember the Disney difference in customer service. The experience I have had planning this trip have been in sharp contrast to my previous experience. They were not really rude, but cold, impersonal and extremely "efficient," which is to say that I felt that I was pushed through the assembly line at warp speed by a woman that might as well have been a robot. I have gotten friendlier service from the phone company. It was the same with all of the calls I made, which were on different days at various times of day. Has anyone else felt this way and/or knows what has caused this? Where would I send a complaint? I did the little survey after my call, but I would like to send an email somewhere. It is a small thing, but it really left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Are the CMs at the parks and resorts just as friendly as ever?

Sammie
04-04-2007, 01:55 PM
Some are and some are not. A few rotten apples in all departments. I just try to stay focus on the fact that not everyone is like that. But yes you will encounter some in the parks and resorts who do not appreciate the Disney spirit.

girt25
04-04-2007, 01:59 PM
I agree with all your observations except "efficient".

I also don't remember the last time somebody said "have a magical day" which was pretty standard a couple years ago. It's a little thing, but I always liked it.

TheRustyScupper
04-04-2007, 02:23 PM
. . . They were not really rude, but cold, impersonal and extremely "efficient," which is to say that I felt that I was pushed through the assembly line at warp speed by a woman that might as well have been a robot . . .


1) Unfortunately, there is a good reason.
2) CRO & WDTC (now called DRC) used to be there to help.
3) Now they are there to SELL.
4) Each reservation person is on a sales quota system.
5) If they make the hourly sales quota for the month, they get a bonus.
6) The bonus can be up to twice their hourly pay.
7) If they do not make quota for three months of the year, they can be fired.

8) That is why you are prompted for how many visits you have made to WDW.
. . . there are four levels of caller
. . . from newbie to well traveled
. . . the DRC operator talks to three levels
. . . the most experienced level must be passed along to another DRC group
. . . each level has a different hourly sales quota
. . . example: operators with frequent traveler needs maybe $1500/hr in sales

NOTE: It is a matter of life. If the operator spends time simply chatting (like they used to) they can't make their hourly average quota for the month and risks their job. Thus, "efficiency" is the name of the game.

mickeyluv'r
04-04-2007, 02:35 PM
How interesting. I usually avoid responding tothe prompts, even though I've been to WDW numerous times..from now on I'll be sure to respond to that one...

nbodyhome
04-04-2007, 02:36 PM
This is true, they have to keep up their numbers (and they get extra commission if they do well).

The one thing I've noticed this year is something that is a big no-no, or used to be. It's not unusual for DRC agents to hang up on me first anymore. It doesn't happen all the time, but often enough to be noticeable. When I worked at DRC in 2001, we were told that the guest was to always hang up first. I am not sure what has changed in the last few months, but I get a lot of hang-ups now!

tinklvr64
04-04-2007, 02:39 PM
I love when The Rusty Scupper is online and posts. Thank you for all of your insightful information!:thanks:

Kira G.
04-04-2007, 02:59 PM
I'm sorry you had less than stellar service making your latest reservation. My last experience with Disney reservations was WONDERFUL - including a manager working with me very graciously to resolve a stupid Disney gift card problem.

I hope that your trip makes up for it!

disnut8
04-04-2007, 03:03 PM
I might be in the minority here but when I make any hotel/motel/resort reservation that's not a Disney one, I make it on the internet because I feel phoning gets such an impersonal response. I can't even tell you how many times I've asked for something specific, like a higher floor for my mother-in-law, only to be told that "all our rooms afford a view".

With Disney, I want to talk to that person. Maybe I've just had good luck but I've never gotten off the phone with a Disney operator and not had good service.

I guess I compare Disney to any other resort chain and Disney still kicks butt.

Sammie
04-04-2007, 04:18 PM
Rusty covered it in a nutshell and many times, not saying this is true of the OP, but others on here have remarked they felt the agent was rude, but in truth they were just not chatty or spreading pixie dust.

Many, want to chat up the CMs, and share how excited they are, etc, etc. and as Rusty said they simply do not have the time anymore or the incentive to tie up their phone lines listening.

So if being quick, to the point and not chatty is considered a decline, then I am afraid it will be something you will just have to accept.

AllAboutDisney
04-04-2007, 04:19 PM
I experienced a not so friendly CM while making dining ressies. He got irritated that I didn't want to leave a cell phone number as a contact. I told him they cuold reach me at home or at the GF. I went on to make another dinner ressie and he said there were no openings at all for the day I chose. I hung up with him and immediately called back and got a 7:20pm ressie. Mot so magical....oh well all's well.....I can't wait to go!

MomOf2DisneyKids
04-04-2007, 04:28 PM
the other night, for the first time ever, I quickly ended a call and called back again to get a new person...and this was just for making ADR's. :confused3

finedice
04-04-2007, 04:38 PM
Ok, so I'm not on the WDW frequent flyer program... But I have been 5 times in my life, and my previous reservationist(s) were much more friendly, courteous and gracious than those for our most recent trip. It appears (according to previous posts) that if you want great service, just opt for the "I've been 4 or more times with the most recent visit more recent than 2004" option. In three calls to disney in planning this most recent trip - only once have I felt I was being treated by someone who knew they were in the service industry.

rie'smom
04-04-2007, 04:47 PM
I feel very lucky. Every CM that I've dealt with over the years has been wonderful,including the CMs booking my May trip.

AggieTexan
04-04-2007, 04:57 PM
I've made three calls in the last 10 days, and all three times I was very pleased with the service. All the calls ended with, "Have a magical day." Maybe it's just the luck of the draw.:confused:

This is the first time I've booked a trip to a WDW resort, so I don't have any past experience to compare this reservation to.

CarolMN
04-04-2007, 05:38 PM
...(snip)... It appears (according to previous posts) that if you want great service, just opt for the "I've been 4 or more times with the most recent visit more recent than 2004" option. ......I decided the exact opposite. Punch in that this is your first visit.

I bet that the agents who deal with the "experienced" visitors have higher quotas - because "experienced" visitors probably don't need as much help/advice/hand holding and know that they want, thus the averge call time should be shorter. At least that is how I would set the quotas, LOL.

mirthmaiden
04-04-2007, 05:43 PM
I agree with all your observations except "efficient".

I also don't remember the last time somebody said "have a magical day" which was pretty standard a couple years ago. It's a little thing, but I always liked it.

I've called probably 15 - 20 times in the past 3 months. I've heard that once. I remembered it because it was out of the ordinary.

BC1836
04-04-2007, 05:53 PM
We've been to WDW three times in the last 11 months (and we drive from NJ every time). We change reservations, alter resort stays, make requests and ask questions---and every time we have spoken with the most friendly and courteous folks.

GreatLakes5
04-04-2007, 05:54 PM
Good report here too - made our reservations for '08 today and had GREAT service!:cool1:

BroadwayGirl
04-04-2007, 10:03 PM
The one thing I've noticed this year is something that is a big no-no, or used to be. It's not unusual for DRC agents to hang up on me first anymore. It doesn't happen all the time, but often enough to be noticeable. When I worked at DRC in 2001, we were told that the guest was to always hang up first. I am not sure what has changed in the last few months, but I get a lot of hang-ups now!
Now there is an after-call survey for a random sampling of callers. I know I've heard the prompt a few times when I called. If the CM didn't release the call first then the caller wouldn't be able to take the survey. From what I hear, old school CMs don't particularly like the new way of doing things. Then again, due to the focus on sales first and service second, many of the old school CMs are gone because of not making the sales goals and many of the new people being hired are straight sales oriented rather than guest service oriented so they just want to get through the call and on to the next one.

rentayenta
04-04-2007, 11:24 PM
I spoke with 3 CMs today. One in reservations, one in Dining, and the last in Grand Gatherings. They were all extremely helpful especially the one with reservations. She told me what her kids favorites were with regard to parks and food. She found me a package PIN because all I had was a room PIN. She went above and beyond.



I am sorry you received less than stellar service. :sad1:

finedice
04-05-2007, 03:33 AM
I think a lot depends on how you book your trip. When I booked my upcoming trip through Travelocity...($25/night savings) for POR, no one will help me, or even speak to me about my reservation. I am told that it's because Travelocity owns the reservation, and no one at Disney can touch it. Either way, I am still going to be a disney guest! I'm just hoping that as the date gets closer, where I made the reservation becomes less of an issue, and I'll be treated with the same level of magic that any other resort guest would receive. 16 Days to go!:surfweb:

tink55
04-05-2007, 07:32 AM
Now there is an after-call survey for a random sampling of callers. I know I've heard the prompt a few times when I called.

I get asked if I want to take the survey every single time I call - is that weird? I'm a Florida resident, AP holder, and frequent visitor. I always call using the 800 number and I always agree to the survey (although sometimes I forget to stay on the line). I wonder if the CMs know when the caller has agreed to evaluate them using this online survey? Maybe RustyScupper knows? Because if I knew I was being evaluated on the spot, I would be more inclined to provide the best service possible.

And yes, I am usually pretty happy with the service I receive.

HockeyDadof2Boys
04-05-2007, 07:43 AM
We are taking our first trip since 2001 and decided this time we are going to stay onsite for the first time. We have been four times and always stayed offsite. I don't know if I got lucky or what but both of the people I spoke to at reservations were great and one of them did tell me to have a magical day. :thumbsup2

CanadianGuy
04-05-2007, 07:47 AM
It would appear everybody gets asked the survey. Every single time I have called in the last 12 months.. I got the survey thing.. several times in one day even.

cybertheo
04-05-2007, 08:02 AM
I work in the quality assurance department for a major call center, so anytime I call anywhere the customer service representative is quietly being ‘graded’ in my head.. I think the survey after the call is genius.

I’m going to name names’.

I have always had good to great experience with when making reservation except once. The cast member’s name was ‘Wednesday’ and she didn’t engage me as a customer and there was lots of dead-air. Luckily, I had pressed ‘one’ to take the survey and she got 2 and 3’s. However, the next night for another reservation, the cast member was Posie. She Rocked! She was friendly, engaging, and sincere. I had pressed ‘one’ but forgot to take the survey. So the next time I called back, by chance I got her again. I couldn’t wait to give her all ‘five’s.

saikai
04-05-2007, 08:03 AM
I just finished planning a "spur of the moment trip" yesterday. I chose the option of less than four visits and had VERY good CMs every time. :cool1: The man I spoke with yesterday was so helpful with park advice and special programs for the kids, we were on the phone for over an hour! I 've called four times in the last couple of days and only heard "have a magical day twice". But I'll be hearing alot of it next month!! :cheer2:

johnvree
04-05-2007, 08:33 AM
It's hit or miss I find. Some are very good at their jobs and very friendly. Others are not so good and not so friendly.

clkelley
04-05-2007, 08:50 AM
We too, just called for a last minute trip that we're going on in early May.

We were asking for the impossible, but the CM we got was very patient and looked up each of the value resorts for each weekend in May and checked all rates, first Passholder, then AAA, then rack.

Nothing at all for a two-night stay any of the first three weekends in May.

She seemed very genuinely upset that we couldn't find anything.

After we hung up, I started piddling around on the Passholder website and for three nights starting on Thursday, there was availability at All-Star Sports for the 2nd weekend in May, so we grabbed that. We thought about calling and cancelling the first night to get the two nights we wanted, but changed our minds and are taking an extra day!!!

When I called last night to make a couple of dining reservations, first off, I got cut off three times in a row before even speaking with someone, and the fourth call, the CM I got seemed bored. She made our ADRs very efficiently, so I guess I can't complain to bad.

I get asked about that survey EVERY time I call. I've gotten to where I know the sequence of questions and answers and just hit the numbers. I'm tired of the whole automatic thing. Especially on MY nickel.

seven dwarfs
04-05-2007, 08:53 AM
When I called the other day it was if I was talking to a machine. The lady could not have been human. I will say it was awful. I really like when you get someone who "loves" Disney. You can really tell when they do. It seems as the years go by so does customer service. But, it is not just Disney, it seems like it is everywhere. A sign of the times....:sad2:

ktink
04-05-2007, 09:57 AM
I've only had one bad experience w/ a CM and she was just having a BAD day. I just called back and low and behold got her again so I just hung up and waited until the following morning.

During planning for this trip I've had nothing but extremly helpful CMs that have gone out of their way in helping. The last call I made to Dining I spoke w/ a gentleman that took the time to go over all of my ADRs and correct some mistakes that had been made by another CM, hence the BAD day lady. Anyway she had mispelled our last name and entered the phone # incorrectly and he fixed all of that. That way when we get there we'll have everything printed out under the correct phone #. That lady had made a mess of our ADRs so I was very pleased w/ this man's help. We were on the phone for about 45 mins. I know that they should provide this kind of service w/ the $$$$ that we're spending on these vacations.

ewspy87
04-05-2007, 10:17 AM
I used to work a help desk so I know what it is like to deal with people. When I called to make my reservations I had all my info researched from online and had a short list of questions. It went smoothly and the CM i talked was very nice. It took all of maybe 10-15 minutes.

You will get various results no matter what call center you contact. People are people.

Briar_Rose
04-05-2007, 02:34 PM
I fully realise that Disney is a business, but since they have touted their customer service as being some of the best in the industry, I do not think it is rediculous to expect their operators to be better than my phone company's, instead of much worse. I thought I had read somewhere about their new quota system. It shows. Previously the operators were nice to extrememly friendly. I can't say that any of the CMs were rude or did not get me what I wanted. However every single one of them was cold and made me feel like I was a number to be moved through the assembly line as quickly as possible. They certainly did not sound like they liked their job and there was no "Have a Magical Day." One of the women actually did sound like a robot, like one of the PPs mentioned. Oh well, no big deal, just disappointing. So much for the famed Disney customer service. I am really happy to hear that others have had better luck though. Maybe we just had really bad luck. Hopefully the CMs at WDW will be just as friendly as we remember. Otherwise we may have to rethink that DVC purchase.

DznyLvr2005
04-05-2007, 02:42 PM
I will never forget this...
last year in Sept, we were at the MK, I think it might have been either at MNSSHP or a last EMH night there... anyway... We were getting our food at Pecos Bill and we exited the side door..
Well some cleaning CM put a cone in front of the door, as in, not to enter that way... well, we have trays in our hand and we tried EXITING that door... I got the door half way open before I realized there was a cone on the other side, but since I was stuck with a tray with food and drinks, I excited the door anyway...
I have never seen a CM get so ANGRY :mad: !! I mean, she screams out "DON'T YOU SEE THE CONE??" I said "No I didn't see the cone, it was on the other side of the door and I can't see because I'm carrying a tray" then she goes on and on about how we went out that door. I couldn't believe it!!!
That was the only time I've ever encountered a rude, impersonal, CM....

DznyLvr2005
04-05-2007, 02:44 PM
I fully realise that Disney is a business, but since they have touted their customer service as being some of the best in the industry, I do not think it is rediculous to expect their operators to be better than my phone company's, instead of much worse. I thought I had read somewhere about their new quota system. It shows. Previously the operators were nice to extrememly friendly. I can't say that any of the CMs were rude or did not get me what I wanted. However every single one of them was cold and made me feel like I was a number to be moved through the assembly line as quickly as possible. They certainly did not sound like they liked their job and there was no "Have a Magical Day." One of the women actually did sound like a robot, like one of the PPs mentioned. Oh well, no big deal, just disappointing. So much for the famed Disney customer service. I am really happy to hear that others have had better luck though. Maybe we just had really bad luck. Hopefully the CMs at WDW will be just as friendly as we remember. Otherwise we may have to rethink that DVC purchase.
Have you taken the phone survey at the end of your call?? There's always a survey to take when you get off the phone with a CM. I think they have it recorded who you talked to, etc...

Claire&TheBoys
04-05-2007, 04:02 PM
I called to make another ADR yesterday and talked to the nicest lady! It was my 3rd call (the others were a month ago) and I did the survey each time. All the CMs I talked to were nice, but this lady was very friendly and when she found out we were staying at SoG, she told me her son is in the Air Force and how she took him to WDW when he was about 2 and they did the Character meal at Crystal Palace and he loved it. I would believe that they get bonuses on what they sell, though, as she asked if I"d like to book for Cirque - the most expensive ticket at WDW! But she was great and pleasant and I happily gave her 5's.

GreatLakes5
04-05-2007, 04:05 PM
I've never known anyone who works at WDW at that level - can't help but wonder sometime what they earn and what their benefit package is. I thought about this a couple of times when were there in January spending our $ to be there - could these people afford to be going on these vacations on what they make? I know - no excuse - but I can't help but wonder.

dawgsgirl
04-05-2007, 05:15 PM
I really HATE to call Disney. You never know what you will get. I have gotten great CM's, rude CM's, and CM's that did not have enough English for me to understand. My biggest frustration is the info they give out. It's basically different every call. Disney should at least be able to give out the same information no matter the personality of the CM. I have one golden memory of the worst CM ever! Several years ago, it was one of those mornings that AP rates had been released. I called right at 7:00 and got this CM who started yelling, and I mean yelling, about people who read stuff on the internet that was not true, etc. I did not have time to get shocked or deal with him at all. I had an AP rate to get! Right in the middle of his rant, I just hung up and called back. The second call was golden. It was only later in the day that I stopped and realized--I had been yelled at by a CM! I do feel sorry for the folks who have to put up with the quotas and low wages. Disney should be ashamed of themselves!

brisus
04-05-2007, 07:47 PM
I have noticed a HUGE change in the reservation department. On my trip back in December I became so upset with the service that I actually dealt with the manager of customer service. I feel that the quality of individuals working here now is poor and they are very short and rude. I have even been hung up on at the end of a call without even a goodbye or thank you for calling, just a plain hang up in my ear. In my opinion, this is not the Disney magic I am used to. I used to look forward to calling because this seemed to be the only place left that you would receive such friendly service, not any more. I even booked this April trip through travelocity, which in the past would have been out of the question. I am so disappointed in the change of service. I think it is quite clear that it is not even close to what it used to be.

Flagondry
04-06-2007, 11:31 AM
I agree with all your observations except "efficient".

I also don't remember the last time somebody said "have a magical day" which was pretty standard a couple years ago. It's a little thing, but I always liked it.


Someone said that to me today at the end of making ADR's.:)

MissionMouse
04-06-2007, 01:07 PM
Rusty provides some very interesting insider information in regard to their call center positions.

Disney is adopting principles of many other corporations. Their staff is most likely plagued with high turnover, on the job training, and stressed out staff. Their system is designed to continually monitor the minute by minute performance of individuals by measures which may or may not have correlation to customer satisfaction. These types of systems also create a poor relationship between employees and management due to the stress it creates and the trust it erodes if goals are set unrealistic. I would expect these groups operate in a continual stress-survival mode. Also, these types of system can often be manipulated by some of your more intelligent employees who possess a rebel element in their personality.

Most of the magic is not in Disney...it is in the individuals who visit Disney.

JustUsGirls
04-06-2007, 01:55 PM
i'm so glad you started this thread bc i have been really wow'd by the rudeness-i am tired of kissing their butts and trying to be so up and cheery and nice so they will be nice and helpful to me. i find it really bad business and i assume it is more than half of them (and not just one or two bad apples) that are disgruntled and burnt out.

thirtycats
04-06-2007, 02:30 PM
I feel Disney service has gone downhill.

BUT...I don't know if my memory of the past is realistic. I was a child/teenager and maybe had rose-colored glasses. I saw Disney World as a place that wanted to make people happy. I didn't realize it was a business run by real people with real moods.

Also, my interaction was probably minimal with cast members. They probably dealt mostly with my parents.

I do have higher expectations for Disney World. Well, I DID have higher expectations. Now my expectations have gone down.

I've had a few very nice cast members. But most have been mediocre. Some have seen impatient and bored.

In terms of Disney customer service, I think it's about equal to any other company now. Sometimes you get lucky and get someone really nice. Other times....you don't.