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View Full Version : What's the point of making reservations if.........................(update)......(final chapter)..


JimB.
02-04-2001, 02:54 PM
The campsite you have reserved........and paid for in advance.........is not available when you get there??

This happened to us this past weekend. We reserved a preferred site 3 months ago, paid for it (extra cost of course) & confirmed it a month ago.

So what happens when we pull up Friday night?? No preferred sites left. No explanations. No apologies. Just a "Take what we have or leave" attitude from the 2 managers on-site (Gail & Dave).

Within 5 minutes, 3 OTHER parties with hosed up reservations came up with similar problems. One couple had a HUGE motor home, confirmation letter in hand, and no RV sites available. "Oh well, too bad. But you can dump your tanks here if you need to."

As a conclusion to the Disney Seminar in Mangerial Excellence, another lady with 4 children was threatened to "Take what we have or I'll call security" by one of the managers on site -------- DAVE --------- was his name if anyone cares.

All in all a really crappy experience.

Has anyone else ever had this happen, or was it just our lucky day???

And does anyone have a mailing address to the President of WDW?? I've got one to the head of Ft. Wilderness, but I feel this overwhelming urge to personally communicate to his boss also.

"You can only be young once, but you can act that way forever........"

[This message was edited by JimB. on 02-07-01 at 05:28 PM.]

[This message was edited by JimB. on 03-16-01 at 09:24 AM.]

griff
02-04-2001, 03:10 PM
In reading your post, am I to understand that in your presence, you saw 4 parties, including yourself, drive up with reservations to be turned away? I have reservations in hand for June and I would be one highly agitated cajun to find I drove 750 miles to be turned away. I would be interested in whatever results your complaint turns up. Please keep us posted.

Disney Campers
02-04-2001, 06:00 PM
Wow, I am so sorry to hear of your bad experience. I have never had a problem with getting a site we had reservations for, and its quite disturbing to hear this has happened to not only you but the other guests as well. Did they have other sites available or did they send you off property??

I would definitly pursue this with management.

Please keep us informed on this, I personally would like to know what Disney's response is.

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TinkerbellRules
02-05-2001, 09:37 AM
I'd be just as interested in knowing why this happened to you as well as the others. How in the world can they turn you and the others away when you have confirmed reservations? Also, how was the campground full in Feb?? I don't understand this. I can't believe they can turn people away with confirmations! Please write to WDW headquarters. We had a horrible CM at the stables when we went horseback riding. I didn't do anything about it when we were there. We just tried to forget the embarassing and rude behavior while we were there (she did apologize to me during the ride after she heard me state I was going to complain!)

After we got home, I realized I should have complained then. I emailed HQ and someone called me within days and apologized and said she would call the manager. She also stated I should always take matters like this up with the managers at the time of the incident. If the managers were "Gail or Dave", I'm sure I wouldn't have gotten very far with them during our trip anyway!

Please keep us updated!

Been there, done that, going back!

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WishUponAStar
02-05-2001, 12:57 PM
GRIFF! i doubt if floridians have any concept of what an angry cajun is capable of. we also have res. for june (16-26). also would be "somewhat disapointed" if i were turned away after driving the apx 850 miles.
for everyone else- one might ask if there is somewhere WDW is letting "overflow" stay. i understand they do that on occasion, although i am not sure under what circumstances. you might stay at a resort and not the campground. i suppose while i was there and had driven so far i would trot on over to the WDW corporate buildings and see if i could get any action. people make mistakes and so do computers. if you can manage to be understanding and somewhat patient i am sure someone at WDW could and would help you out of a bad situation. anger, threats, yelling, etc. rarely help at all. try to work with them and i am sure they will try to work with you.

lisapooh
02-05-2001, 01:23 PM
If I had a confirmed reservations fully paid for in advance I would have asked to see his superior. They have no right to sell something that has already been paid for and should have found somewhere for you to stay at their expense. I would now send a letter to Guest Relations explaining the incident and asking how they plan to remedy this, so this situation does not occur in the future.
I would have been one ticked off guest to even drive the 200 miles from home and be told I don't have a room or site.

Pooh

Lisa P.
02-05-2001, 01:36 PM
In the original post, I don't see anything that says that someone with a reservation had no place to stay. What it looks like, is that they'd paid for an upgraded location/hook-ups and were told that they would have to take a lesser location or partial hook-up site. This would be *VERY* upsetting to me too. But it's not the same as being told I couldn't stay. Perhaps, they could have switched to a better site the next day. When this happens in a hotel, the affected nights are often comp'ed and/or some small offer made to please the guest (like a meal). Bad atttitude from the front desk or management is outrageous.

I remember a year ago there were complaints because the Yacht Club and Beach Club resorts were overbooked and people were frustrated at having to switch to other Disney resorts. Unfortunately, Disney only operates one campground so that's not an option.

I had a horrible experience with a manager at FW a few years ago after our Resort ID didn't work at the parks for charging, several times. It created a real nuisance and the manager was hostile to me when I sought his assistance - serious attitude problem. It left me with the feeling that Disney doesn't choose the strongest customer service people to work there. A letter to Disney resorts' complaints later was met with a staisfactory response but I always wondered if that manager would stay. From the sound of things, either he stayed or he trained his successor. :( Very, very sad. It's such a neat resort.

griff
02-05-2001, 02:43 PM
After reviewing the original post, I can see where the writer may have meant they were just not able to get the preferred sites they had reserved. But he does go on to state,"One couple had a HUGE motor home, confirmation letter in hand, and no RV sites available. "Oh well, too bad. But you can dump your tanks here if you need to."
This portion of his post does sound to me like someone was turned away.

In the 4 previous trips I have made to WDW, 3 of which I stayed at Fort Wilderness, I have never had the slightest problem. In fact the FW management bent over backwards to make our stay even more enjoyable. I hope things haven't changed

kingdomqueen
02-05-2001, 06:29 PM
We have just returned from FW after 5 days, and the staff couldn't have been nicer. We requested a specific loop, but there was no space there. The cast member suggested 2 other sites for us to choose from. I understand that people have bad days, this sounds like a VERY bad day, byut no excuse for being rude. We have been to FW 10 times and have always had a wonderful experience including the time that WE messed up our reservations, and they had been cancelled but the FW staff worked with us and found us a site for the two weeks that we were there over 4th of July. (Can you believe that!)I agree that you should pursue this matter, but please dom't let it prevent you from giving FW another chance.
Val

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lisapooh
02-07-2001, 10:20 AM
Sorry but if you have paid in full for a preferred site which costs more that a regular site then that site should be there when you arrive.

Pooh

JimB.
02-07-2001, 01:37 PM
Here is a copy of the letter that I just mailed to the FW General Manager.

Breathlessly awaiting his reply..........


February 7, 2001

Mr. Cesar Gonzalez – General Manager
4510 N. Ft. Wilderness Trail
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Dear Mr. Gonzalez:

I am writing this letter to you to in an attempt to enlighten you as to what transpired with my family and friends on our recent visit to your campground.

We had confirmed reservations for a preferred campsite, which had been fully paid for in advance for February 2nd, and 3rd. When we arrived for check-in at about 7:30 pm, check in was initially pleasant and uneventful. Unfortunately, that was the high point of the evening. As we were receiving our “materials”, our clerk gave us our site #, and told us it was a “full hook up” site. When we verified our site number, we pointed out that this was not a preferred campsite, which we had reserved and fully paid for in advance. Our clerk then stated that there were no more preferred sites available. When we inquired about the obvious, he could not give us a reason why, but got on the phone to his supervisor and told us that he could adjust the rate to the regular full-hook up site price. He made NO attempt to do any pricing adjustment prior to this, leaving us with the impression that we would have paid the preferred price anyway. Obviously, this was not to our satisfaction, so we parked and went inside to speak directly with the manager on duty at the time – Christie.

While speaking with (and admittedly, at) Christie, she failed in every way possible to give a reasonable explanation about why our reservation was so mortally screwed up. She just kept repeating the mantra “there are no preferred sites available”, and gave a couple of weak excuses about people extending their stay and the exceptionally lame excuse of “trees falling on campsites”. What makes this worse is that she kept exhibiting the attitude of not caring one bit about our/her/and now YOUR predicament. Her basic attitude was “take what we have or go someplace else”, which for a fine company such as yours (of which I am a (admittedly small) stockholder in) is absolutely unacceptable.

Having decided that we were “beating a dead horse”, we went on to spend the weekend at a full hook up site and had a perfectly lovely time, no thanks to your staff.

By the way, I failed to mention to you that our reason for the preferred site was that we had with us a child that is totally blind, and it is the location above all else that would have helped to ease our burden. Oh well, C’est La vie.

Another item, which should interest you, is that while we were dealing with our problems, there were 3 other parties in the lobby going through the same hassles. A couple with an RV that had confirmed reservations in hand and no site available, another party in the same predicament as us, and yet another party (consisting of a single mother and 4 girls of various ages) whose reservations were no longer in your computer. And to top off this fine demonstration of Disney Managerial Excellence, I myself heard your other exceptionally professional manager – Dave, tell this woman (who was expecting accommodations at $34/night) to accept what he was offering her (which was a Wilderness Home @ $185+/night), or he would CALL SECURITY AND HAVE HER ESCORTED OFF OF THE PROPERTY.

Hopefully this is not how you train your managers to treat your clients. If it is, perhaps I, and the rest of the world should rethink how we will invest our entertainment dollars. Trust me when I say that there is probably no one who enjoys spending time at Disney World more than my family and I, but in 29 years of coming to Disney, this has to be the absolute low point (and coincidentally at a time in my life when I have the most money to spend…………….. please think about this cause and effect relationship).

Having spent portions of my life as both an Officer in the US Navy, and a manager in the civilian sector, I know it is an effective strategy to plan ahead for the unforeseeable. If in fact, people HAD extended their stay beyond their reserved dates, I will assume that this is a relatively common occurrence. This means that you should plan for this and be prepared to deal with it in a manner other that “take what we have or leave” attitude demonstrated by both Dave and Christie. Think maybe it would be a reasonable thing to keep 5-10 sites open and unreserved to deal with this “overflow” situation? I think it is reasonable to assume the loss of $5-600 dollars in direct revenues every night would be more than offset in the client goodwill you foster.

I am eagerly waiting to hear your thoughts on this and how you will prevent this unprofessional scenario from repeating itself in the future. Looking forward to your reply!!!

Sincerely,

JimB.

"You can only be young once, but you can act that way forever........"

Camping Griswalds
02-07-2001, 06:03 PM
I had a like situation however mine turned out much better!! We arrived and were given a different loop. I showed how my reservations even showed 1400. I was told tht the gen res staff at Disney do not know the difference between full hookup and preffered and that the price I had pre-paid was not for a preferred loop. Even though every piece of paper and their computer showed that I had requested loop 1400. I informed them that they needed to change their policy, i had ressies for 12 nights, and my inlaws for 6 nights, so I pointed out that fact and that I had just dropped 1200 for AP's. They were appologetic, yet I still paid a little more (47 total for both sites) but I got to be in loop 1400. Next time I am quoted a price from the reservations, I will make sure that that person knows the difference between preffered and full hookup. I think if I had not had such stron opinions on this that I would not have gotten my site. I guess I should appologize to you though, because I may have gotten your preffered site. The worst part is that I felt like I had to do someone elses job. I don't mind when mistakes are made, but this incident did take 90 minutes to get resolved. Oh well...live and learn. Keep us posted if you get a reply.

Disney Campers
02-07-2001, 10:17 PM
Funny they would mention falling trees, reminds me of our trip in July 2000, we had a branch fall through the roof of our trailer


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JimB.
02-08-2001, 04:11 AM
OUCH!!!!!

"You can only be young once, but you can act that way forever........"

TinkerbellRules
02-08-2001, 10:10 AM
I think that's an excellent letter! I would cc it to Disney HQ as well though.

My thoughts on people extending is just what we were told at Santa Rosa Beach campground. If we extended more than two days, we would have to move to another site since our site was already reserved. That's the way an extended stay should be when the site is already reserved. You might want to mention that option as well.

When we visited in Oct, I had some "comments" about our site. The person just stood there looking at me. I finally said "shouldn't you be writing this down?" He did, but I'm sure it went into the trash. I also noticed there isn't much "maintenance" done around the campground (falling trees, sites needing repair, etc). I had to remove a fallen tree at our site. Kind of scary to think trees could fall on your camper like the one pictured above. We're already getting our repaired from hail damage ($4,200). Thank goodness for insurance!

Been there, done that, going back!

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Off-site 87, 88
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sltrawick
02-08-2001, 05:25 PM
Disney CAmpers,
oh my gosh...I remember that! You were in the same loop as me at the same time. That storm was awful. I have never been more scared...ever when we camped.
But the wind and lightning scared the "crap" out of me. I remember going for a bike ride after it was all over with and seeing your camper in our loop. Wow....

º0º
Sharon in Florida
Wife to Cameron for the past 15 1/2 years (July 2)
Taxi Mom to: Christopher-12 1/2 & Kayla-8.90
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Next Trip: June 15-25, 2001
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bianca
02-09-2001, 07:45 AM
I can understand being upset that a premium site is not available after being paid for. I have seen many situations like this at FW, and it usually just a matter of someone not checking out on time and therefore making someone elses' check-in late. Another problem I have witnessed, and this one is hard to believe ..... in December 1999 (for the millenium) there were people that simply did not check out when it was their day. They actually became "squatters" and FW personnel were at their wits end trying to get these people to move. The problem was that they would just leave during the day, come back at night and not address the issue, or refuse to move AGAIN. The park was full, people had new ressies and these people would not go. It was not an isolated incident. I'm sure that this has happened at other busy times during the year, as well. You just usually don't find about it because they don't make a big "production" of moving the violators out!

Camping Griswalds
03-14-2001, 12:33 PM
Haven't heard from you, was your issue resolved??

DJBounce
03-15-2001, 11:17 AM
We took our first Drive-Down trip in Feb. We drove from Terre Haute, In..which took 16hrs start to finish. We got checked in and got our site with no problems whatsoever. We are even looking foward to buying a pop-up camper this sumer and doing a quick trip next Feb. down to Ft Wilderness. I can't even imagine what it would be like to get down there after 16HRS in the van with 3 kids under 8. But what even gets my blood pressure even higher is the way that the managers handled the situation. I really do hope you get a reply back, and I do hope they make restitution to your inconvenience. BTW, we had our 5yo DD who has CP with us, and we requested a preferred site for the same reason..location, location, location. We were there Feb 3-10.

DrewJ
The measure of a true hero is not the size of their strength, but the strength of their hearts.

JimB.
03-16-2001, 05:21 AM
I recieved a call from the Manager of Guest Service Operations last week. She took a while to get back because she had spent a great deal of time to research the night in question and to have some concrete answers.

SHe said the main cause of the problem was that one of the 5 (yep, that's right, 5, count 'em 1-2-3-4-5) systems that downloads into the main reservation inventory had failed to do so properly, so that they were overbooked by 11 preferred sites. So there were 10 other happy campers that were.........uhh, unhappy that evening.

Allegedly this problem has been rectified. Sure hope so.

She also indicated that she had had the 2 managers in question standing before here to explain their attitude "difficulties". Seems they had developed a bit of a "seige mentality" about the night in question. She told them that it was not acceptable, and that it will not happen again.

She did not offer any sort of compensation, monetary or otherwise, which was OK, because that was not the point of my letter.

One part of the letter I sent that I did not post here was that my DW & I are descending upon FW again on Memorial Day Weekend w/40+ Cub Scouts + parents. We already have reservations for 8 preferred campsites that HAVE to be next to or across the street from each other. The point here was "What are you going to do to make sure this debacle does not repeat itself??" She has told me that she and one of the campground managers are going to personally "Babysit" (their words) this reservation to insure that it does not encounter any difficulties.

Time will tell...............................

Bottom line, still a bit miffed over what happened, but I realize you "can't unring a bell". But I was pleased that they responded to my concerns, and had some real answers and did not try to blow a "smoke screen"

P.S. The Guest Service Manager left 5 messages on my answering machine over a 3 day priod before she finally got to speak with me. Gotta' admire her persistence.

"You can only be young once, but you can act that way forever........"

Dagny
03-16-2001, 08:25 PM
I am very surprised that Disney did not offer to compensate you for your upcoming trip in May. Even if you didn't ask for it, I would think that would have been appropriate considering they overcharged you previously. I hope they do a good job of "babysitting" your ressie.

As an aside, our family will also be at FW Campground over Memorial Day weekend. Hope to see you!

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