FOTL for HRH Guests

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Feb 10, 2001
I have been reading various posts on this topic. It seems from what I am gathering that HRH and Port guests who already have reservations and were promised this perk all day every day are now being changed on midstream.

I don't know if it is true or not, but one time per ride per day is hardly considered much of a perk. In fact, I'd say this goes so far as to constitute breach of contract. I have printed out numerous web pages along with my own receipt of this perk with no restrictions on it not to mention two names of folks in reservations who told me directly it was all day every day with no exceptions or exclusions.

I think if this does come about as it seems to be, then folks like me who had their reservations long before this change is made might have a claim against the bill of goods they were sold. One of the primary selling points for us to stay at HRH was FOTL.

I guess I'll see and if it is changed against me, then Universal will have a real headache on their hands in the form of me. I hope I won't be the only one as this is ridiculous. If it is, oh well, I've never been one to back down from a position like this.

I'd like to hear from others on this.

Travel Junkie
I have also received a formal response from Universal very specificall that the supposed change to FOTL for on-site guests is merely rumor. Although some on the board regard "Earl" as an all-knowing mysterious prophet, I can't believe he is the only employee at US who is in on this change. However, if this is the case, it is certainly a most blantant mis-representation in it's classic form and they will surely have some explaining to do as far as I am concerned. We'll just have to wait & see.

I just got done reviewing the posts of the past couple of weeks since I was last here. I have been coming here for about 2 months, but never registered until recently ala yesterday now.

Anyway, I noticed this is a rather hot topic of recent and did not know it. As a result, I did not mean to rehash something, but I do find it troubling that if Universal made this commitment to folks who are paying the extra dough to stay on-site they haven't bothered to contact them and let them know of the impending change and whether or not they'd like to cancel free of charge due to it.

For my wife and I the FOTL was the perk that tipped the scale for us to stay at HRH. Yes, the other things are nice, but they weren't the scale tipper for us.

Then this baloney that I read that your no more special if you stay on-site obviously comes from someone who has no idea what customer service is. My guess is, if you take away on-site perks, you'll see occupancy levels drop precipitously which is why they offer them.

Jon360 made the point well. People like me aren't so stupid to pay twice as much to stay on-site just because we like to part with our money. We do it because of all the extras you get for staying there and not just because I like paying $200 a night for a hotel as some obviously non-customercentric Universal employee stated.

In the end, I may not succeed in retaining what I was promised even after several phone calls of assurance, but I would think if Universal cared a dime about those who spend the extra money to stay on-site they might at least let them know and give them an option to cancel penalty free or upgrade because of the inconvenience irregardless of the 'changes may occur' baloney always in microscopic fine print.

Its called customer friendly.....

Travel Junkie

I agree. That is why Universal should not implement this system until next year. Too many people are buying packages and hotel stays based on the "UNLIMITED" FOTL Perk.

Universal simply taking the word UNLIMITED off of their website and not posting a notice that the policy has changed is deceitful.

Even if Universal were to refund my hotel stay, US Airways will not refund my airfare so I am stuck with my trip. If I knew that FOTL was once per ride I would be making one trip to Universal this year instead of 3.

Universal made me book trips for a product that will not be delivered. Of course I am still skeptical that FOTL is being taken away because EVERY other employee I speak with about this has no idea about the change. How hard is it for Universal to send out a company-wide e-mail about the changes???

You would think that The Hard Rock, Portofino, and Universal customer service employees would stop telling me that it will be unlimited for my trip next month! But no, I am constantly told it will be unlimited no matter who I call.

Earl obviously understands the practical need for the change however he does not at all comprehend the PR ramifications of the change.

I don't know Earl well enough to comment on him or any of the others except for the one moronic comment I read by some self-indicated Universal employee that I am just someone who likes to pay more for hotels but am not entitled to anything for it.

Point is if Universal is changing this, and I am skeptical at this point though I won't say it isn't happening, they are basically challenging customers who made reservations quite some time ago to go ahead do whatever they feel they need to at their own expense rather than doing the right thing which is to take care of its customers.

I am skeptical because I last checked in 2 weeks ago with the Universal agent that I first talked to when the phone was answered and then I talked to her supervisor who then went and indicated the same which was FOTL All Day All Rides(with notable exceptions known ahead of time) with no limitation and it would be in place when we were there.

I then asked to speak to the HRH general manager. They kindly transferred me over. The phone was answered and they had inadvertently transferred me to the Port. Since I was there, I decided to ask the on-duty manager at the front desk about it and she confirmed what I had been told by the previous two individuals. I then asked if she would transfer me over to HRH which she did.

They answered the phone at HRH and I talked to the general manager, or so I was told. She indicated the same as the 3 previous folks.

Now, if I found 4 distinctly different individuals that all represent Universal and Loews who told me the same thing and obviously need to know the right answers are wrong, then these companies are in big trouble. They are the first contact with customers and if they aren't giving out the right answers, then someone at Universal and Loews is going to have to bite the bullet and make it up to customers they have misrepresented this too repeatedly.

Ultimately, if intercompany communication is this poor, it isn't surprising why Earl and CoasterFEV are so agitated.

My only point is you get what you pay for and allow yourself to be messed over for. Fortunately for me, I am not one of these sheeple who allows companies to just manipulate me and my families vacation as they see fit. Legally, they might be able to do this, but if that's how they view there customers then my family and I won't be so foolish as to continue to visit Universal and make it a priority destination.

Travel Junkie

You havent read about this anywhere or been told by Universal because you received the information before it became official. March 1st is the date according to CoasterFEV.

"Universal made me book trips for a product that will not be delivered." Come on did they "make" you?
You can continue carrying on but you are only upsetting yourself. It clearly states and no it is not "always in microscopic fine print", SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

I also believe and yes Jon, it's my opinion, that you are now resorting to ficticious post names in order to continue your rants on this board. I suppose you are entitled to them, I just hope they have been productive for you.



I want to assure you I am a completely different person than Jon360. I wish you'd at least give me that much credit. I sent Barry a private email about a basic question I had, so he will in a way be able to verify my identity as being distinctly different from Jon360.

As for 'ranting' as you put it, are you saying then that Universal has no obligation, either legally or being a good customer centered company, to notify those who made reservations a while back about this change considering its magnitude?

You may think FOTL is no big deal, but when you only go once a year and unfortunately you have to go near the peak season due to job constraints FOTL kind of plays a large role in deciding where to stay since they did play it up so big. If it was a minor perk then why in the world was every webpage I went to about HRH, Port, and Universal Vacations touting this wonderful perk first and foremost as well as the reps I talked to?

By the way, I do live in CT if you haven't already noticed that. We are driving to Lorton, VA to take the AutoTrain down to FL like we did last year. We'd like to continue to make it an annual thing with Universal, but if this is the kind of treatment they endow on their consumers without notice, then visitation there will cease.

Its the principle and treatment of the consumer that counts. Rather than institute change immediately(which it must be since reps on the phone still are saying FOTL is All Day All Rides unlimited), why not institute it at a point down the road when the off-season is big so they can work the bugs out and also allow consumers who booked under the old assumption of FOTL to enjoy the perk as told?

I'm not begging anyone to agree with me as I can lodge and battle my own complaints and have done so successfully when I got shafted by many large companies, but I shouldn't have to if Universal cares so much as some of their reps posting here say.

Its not about whats legal, its about what is right for the customer.

Travel Junkie
If you'd take that chip off your shoulder, the world would seem so much brighter!

"Compose your final, loathesome dirge!"
One comment in this thread that I've seen similar comments too that really befuddles me ... "People like me aren't so stupid to pay twice as much to stay on-site just because we like to part with our money."

Maybe I don't know about some super-secret Orlando resort that is an incredible bargain, but what hotel that is comparable to the HRH costs half as much?
Hi thefoyboy,

My post was in no way addressed to you. Sorry if I gave you that indication. Have a great day :D


I don't know if your comment about the chip on the shoulder was to me or not, but if it was I ask why you think such?

Travel Junkie

Well it depends on how you make your comparisons.

If the comparison is service compared to other hotels that cost half as much, then I'd say there are several that can meet or beat HRH on that front based on what I have read here and at other boards. The excuse of they are new and working the bugs out doesn't wash with me. If that is what they are going to use as their line, then they ought to charge people staying there now, their guinea pigs, half as much or not even open until ready.

If its location and being able to walk into 2 of the 6 major parks in the area(US, IOA, SEA, DIS, EPCOT, MGM), well, then its about a wash I'd say since you can find hotels half the price that are proximate to all 6.

If its room quality, well, from what I have seen, read, and heard I'd say there are several hotels that can compare there that cost half as much. Theme wise obviously HRH is unique.

Finally, HRH's major advantage is the perks you get in relation to the Universal Parks. The FOTL, being able to walk to the parks, back to the hotel, to Citywalk, movie passes, one free meal, etc.

We are trying it because it is a new and uniquely themed hotel, nice perks indicated at the time of booking, and we plan on visiting US/IOA/Citywalk several times over our 6 days there.

Overall, the only real true difference between similar businesses anymore besides the obvious built in perks is service, service, service. If the service and the promises that go along with it are not going to be delivered, then don't be making them.

Travel Junkie
I just got off the phone with a representative and her boss at Universal Vacations. I have the official story in hand and shall explain, so please be patient.

First, what Earl and CoasterFEV said was true. They were going to institute the FOTL of onsite guests to One use per ride per day. That is now null and void for the near future and was only made null in the last few days.

They found that they were having problems instituting this system for onsite guests as well as the complaint level was reaching a fever pitch. So until further notice FOTL is All Day All Rides unlimited in both parks.

One addendum to this issue as well. Those that had made reservations some time ago under the assumption of FOTL All Day All Rides unlimited were still going to get that even with this new system coming online. The way that was going to happen was via those guests getting a special card to ID them as being eligible for FOTL for unlimited.

Now, the FastPass system is still going to be coming online and implemented for the Multi-passes and Universal Express system and related tickets, but onsite guests will still enjoy the FOTL perk unlimited.

I have names and commitments on this, so it wasn't arbitrary on some other board I heard this. It came straight out of Universal Vacations who are getting the information first(versus getting it after training has begun on it) now due to the embarrassment this change caused them and the heat they were feeling from customers when they heard about it.

I am now glad I reserved judgment on Earl and CoasterFEV because what they were telling everyone all along was accurate and then in the last two days the system for onsite guests reverted back to FOTL unlimited.

I appreciate what I am learning here and hope I can learn more to make the vacation more fun. Ultimately, I believe Universal has proved itself in this to be very customer friendly and my tendency to want to rush to early judgment on them I apologize for.

Travel Junkie

I wasn't sure if you were referring to me as Jon or not, thus I took the questioning tone though I did come off sounding defensive to you and I apologize for that.

I hope to learn more from you and others here and I thank you, Barry, and others for having this forum.

Travel Junkie
I'd like one example of a hotel with comparable room quality or service that is comparable in price to the HRH, never mind half the price.

I've stayed at the HRH twice and PBH once ... and it was worth every penny, and I don't know of any hotels in Orlando that offer comparable services and amenities (never mind location and USF/IOA only perks) to both the PBH and HRH.

Grand Cypress ... more expensive
Grand Floridian ... more expensive
Marriott World Center ... more expensive
Wyndham Grand Bay ... more expensive
Peabody ... more expensive
Swan/Dolphin ... more expensive

Where are these better hotels?
I made reservations for June 4 weeks ago. How should I go about ensuring that I receive the FOTL "card"/"perk"/"whatever" name they are going to assign to this change??
I won't change resorts since I want to be close to US/IOA.
I would hate the disappointment, you know, you check-in, and they say "sorry in March blah,blah,blah, etc.."

HRH/CBR in June

Embassy Suites for one since we stayed there last year. Clarion in some locations though I don't know about here since I haven't stayed there.

We'll end up agreeing to disagree I believe on this one.

Travel Junkie
New Groove,

I assume you made your reservations through Universal Vacations, but even if not do this.

Call up Universal Vacations and/or the hotel you have the reservations at. Get the verbal commitment over the phone and make sure you get a name, both first and last, along with time and date and ask them to send you a confirmation of this fact.

That would be about the best you could do.

Travel Junkie
Embassy Suites is roughly the same price as HRH, and the quality of amenities at the Embassy Suites is not as high as HRH. Of course, as with any suite only property (Embassy Suites, Residence Inn, etc.) the room is bigger, but the furnishings are not as high quality as the HRH.

Same price, not as nice (though admittedly more room).

Clarion? Not even close ... half the price, yes ... also half the hotel ...
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