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Old 09-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
mississaugamom
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Room Downgrade @ Checkin - Common?

We just got back from a Disney vacation and had a one-night reservation at Pop Century after our cruise on the Disney Fantasy. A Preferred room was booked and paid for months ahead but when we checked in we were told that our room was in the 90's building. I asked when that became "preferred" and did not get a direct answer - just a repeat that "our" room was 9336. I continued to press about where the preferred rooms were since that's what I booked, and finally got a mumbled "I guess that's what the note on your file means". She then told us we had been "downgraded" and she would have to refund the difference on the card used to book !!!!!

We were not going to be given a preferred room even if we waited, so we took the refund but I was not happy about it. The room we had was a long way out (annoying with all our cruise luggage!) and it was not an enjoyable stay.

Has this happened to others? Is there anything I could have done rather than just accept this? After this experience, I think we're done with the Value resorts (no available parking, chaotic food court, minimal storage space in the rooms with the refridge addition) but I was very disappointed in getting a downgrade like this.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:50 PM   #2
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I've had it happen to me twice, both times at the All Star Music.

I have to say, I think Disney is dropping the ball on this, big time. I know I know, all you are guaranteed is a room on Disney property, but really? You can't figure out how many preferred rooms you have, and not oversell them? Or would it kill you to upgrade people if something happens and you don't have a preferred room for them?

Please e-mail Disney and tell them that what you ended up with was not acceptable. Maybe if enough people complain they will get the hint that just refunding your extra fee is not ok. If they mess up, they shouldn't downgrade people.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:55 PM   #3
deakam
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I would not have taken a downgrade. You booked and paid for a preferred room. I would have asked to speak to a manager. I have never heard of anyone not getting the room they booked or better....if they had over booked the preferred room category they should have upgraded you to a moderate resort. Or given you a refund of the entire cost and let you stay for free.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deakam View Post
I would not have taken a downgrade. You booked and paid for a preferred room. I would have asked to speak to a manager. I have never heard of anyone not getting the room they booked or better....if they had over booked the preferred room category they should have upgraded you to a moderate resort. Or given you a refund of the entire cost and let you stay for free.
You would think--but it doesn't work that way. I was told in no uncertain terms that a standard room was all that they would give me, and that no other value resort had preferred rooms available. And it was the manager I was talking to at the time.

I don't think it is reasonable at all to downgrade a guest. At all! If it was only for one night, what would be the big deal of upgrading the OP? When I was home from my trip I did send off an e-mail, and someone from Disney called me back. And while I was told they are not supposed to downgrade people, it seems that they continue to do it. After all, they know that there is only so much time people want to spend arguing with them, and if you want a room on WDW property they hold all the strings.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by deakam View Post
I would not have taken a downgrade. You booked and paid for a preferred room. I would have asked to speak to a manager. I have never heard of anyone not getting the room they booked or better....if they had over booked the preferred room category they should have upgraded you to a moderate resort. Or given you a refund of the entire cost and let you stay for free.
Agree. I would have asked for a manager and had a firm conversation with him about this. I'm pretty sure if they were motivated enough they would upgrade me instead of downgrade me and my mission would be to motivate them.

The lesson I take away from the OP's post is that you should try to book your Disney stay before your cruise. Then you have a bit more leverage by threatening to cancel the cruise reservation or getting them to upgrade your room on the cruise.
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:55 PM   #6
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I would never have accepted it. If you are persistent, they will accommodate. You may have to stand there for a couple hours, but they will fold. Downgrade is not acceptable. Nope. You either give me what I paid for, or you upgrade me. Otherwise, the extra money I pay for preferred was basically borrowed from Disney until I arrived and not acceptable.
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:15 AM   #7
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Booking as room is not like booking an airline ticket. You are 100% entitled to the room level you booked, especially if it was prepaid. However compensation would be the answer., stuff happens. But it's a little like ordering a steak and being brought a burger don't you think?
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by snesguy View Post

The lesson I take away from the OP's post is that you should try to book your Disney stay before your cruise. Then you have a bit more leverage by threatening to cancel the cruise reservation or getting them to upgrade your room on the cruise.
You really don't want to do this. Walt Disney World Travel Co. and Disney Cruise Line are two separate entities. Your bad experience at WDW will never, ever translate into an upgrade on a Disney cruise. Also, by the time you check-in for your pre-cruise WDW stay, you will be in the 100% cruise fare penalty phase if you cancel your cruise - meaning you will get absolutely no cash back. So in essence, having a reservation for a Disney cruise gives you absolutely no leverage at WDW.

I think what happened to the OP is unacceptable. When an airline overbooks, they typically offer people perks to change their flights - flight vouchers, hotels, meals, etc. Could you imagine booking a first-class ticket only to be told, sorry, no more seats, you are back in coach. Who would fly that airline ever again? It's bad customer service. They should have switched you to a mod.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:35 PM   #9
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We were "downgraded" at CBR several years ago. We booked and paid for a King room months in advance. When we got there, they had no King rooms, nor would they have any come available during our stay, so instead of upgrading us to a better resort, or refunding the difference, they instead gave us a waterview room. Yes, the scenery was nice, but we walked sooooooooooo far, and the stay in a double bed for the eight days we were there was miserable! I'll never stay at that resort again for this reason alone.
Our next visit, we were upgraded at our stay at WL. We now call it even.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #10
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IMO the CM should have noted that the reservation was for a preferred room and apologized. The person should have been given options. With 25 hotels there weren't any that had a comparable room or an upgrade for these folks? Since it was only 1 night there had to be an empty room at one of the value resorts or mod. The CM should have apologized, offered them a comparable room or upgrade, or told them they could take a downgrade with a refund.

Or at the least, give them the downgrade with no options but give them a resort credit. That's a win-win for WDW. They resolve the problem and typically the person is happy because they get something free for their troubles. That's the least WDW could do...

I agree that problems happen outside WDW's control, just as with any other business however my complaint would not be with the fact that my room wasn't available but how WDW treated me when there was a problem (due to no fault of mine). They refused to acknowledge the problem, apologize, and try to leave me with a positive experience and not a 'downgraded' experience.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snesguy View Post
Agree. I would have asked for a manager and had a firm conversation with him about this. I'm pretty sure if they were motivated enough they would upgrade me instead of downgrade me and my mission would be to motivate them.

The lesson I take away from the OP's post is that you should try to book your Disney stay before your cruise. Then you have a bit more leverage by threatening to cancel the cruise reservation or getting them to upgrade your room on the cruise.
You haven't cruised have you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marthasor View Post
You really don't want to do this. Walt Disney World Travel Co. and Disney Cruise Line are two separate entities. Your bad experience at WDW will never, ever translate into an upgrade on a Disney cruise. Also, by the time you check-in for your pre-cruise WDW stay, you will be in the 100% cruise fare penalty phase if you cancel your cruise - meaning you will get absolutely no cash back. So in essence, having a reservation for a Disney cruise gives you absolutely no leverage at WDW.
I think what happened to the OP is unacceptable. When an airline overbooks, they typically offer people perks to change their flights - flight vouchers, hotels, meals, etc. Could you imagine booking a first-class ticket only to be told, sorry, no more seats, you are back in coach. Who would fly that airline ever again? It's bad customer service. They should have switched you to a mod.
Bolding is mine....
this is exactly what I was going to say. I don't think the PP has ever cruised and understands how it won't bother them or DCL if you threaten to cancel because you are paid in full and you aren't getting your money back at this point! If you don't show, your loss! The only people who might care are the servers who were supposed to take care of you because they may not have people taking your spots are thereby having reduced tips for that cruise, but other than that...You will not be missed! So that is an idle threat that will mean nothing. And really you don't want to threaten cancelling a package either unless you are willing to eat the penalties, it's really best to try to work something out with them.
I agree what they did was wrong and especially the fact that the OP probably would not have been credited money had they not asked about the price difference. That really bothers me! Personally, I think they should have either been comped the night or upgraded to a mod but that's JMHO or given a GC towards a meal or something. Something other than an "oh sorry!"
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:09 PM   #12
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If the OP had a longer stay and gotten downgraded then I could see raising a stink. OP had 1 night booked and if the resort oversold preferred, I'm sure they would rather give the room to guests with a longer stay. The OP though downgraded and inconvenienced got a refund and a decent room for the night. I think that was reasonable for the situation.
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:24 PM   #13
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You should have been offered an upgrade to a moderate resort, and/or offered a very hefty discount on a downgrade. What happened to you is unacceptable.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #14
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Yes, this does happen sometimes, when the preferred rooms end up not being available. I agree with the above post that it does seem sometimes, in the way the cast members handle it, that Disney is trying to pull a fast one, but they will do this if the rooms aren't available. They just probably won't tell you WHY the rooms aren't available.

I've heard all they'll offer you is a room at the same resort and the price difference refunded. They will not offer to comp your room and will try to keep you at the resort you booked. If you want more (like an upgrade - which at a value would mean you will be sent to a different resort) you will probably have to ask for it from a manager and be prepared for them to say no, but if the preferred rooms at that resort are not available for some reason you're not going to get one.

And no, you are not 100% entitled to the room level you booked. In travel, you are not 100% entitled to anything,
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mississaugamom View Post
We just got back from a Disney vacation and had a one-night reservation at Pop Century after our cruise on the Disney Fantasy. A Preferred room was booked and paid for months ahead but when we checked in we were told that our room was in the 90's building. I asked when that became "preferred" and did not get a direct answer - just a repeat that "our" room was 9336. I continued to press about where the preferred rooms were since that's what I booked, and finally got a mumbled "I guess that's what the note on your file means". She then told us we had been "downgraded" and she would have to refund the difference on the card used to book !!!!!

We were not going to be given a preferred room even if we waited, so we took the refund but I was not happy about it. The room we had was a long way out (annoying with all our cruise luggage!) and it was not an enjoyable stay.

Has this happened to others? Is there anything I could have done rather than just accept this? After this experience, I think we're done with the Value resorts (no available parking, chaotic food court, minimal storage space in the rooms with the refridge addition) but I was very disappointed in getting a downgrade like this.
Yes, happened to us at BWI. And we weren't told out right either. We were given a studio at BWV without enough real beds for our party (we got an aerobed for our 5th person instead of the day bed/couch - after we went back to the front desk and asked what what going on). It wasted a bunch of our time and there was no apology. I totally understand Our ressie was also for 1 night.

I do wish check in CMs would be upfront and tell you immediately you will not be getting the room you booked.
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