Grand Floridian RPC - Horror Story

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by WeLoveDisney, Aug 10, 2002.

  1. WeLoveDisney

    WeLoveDisney Mouseketeer

    Apr 7, 2002
    We are just back from an 8-day stay at the Grand Floridian Royal Palm Concierge. Although before we booked our trip we read many negative posts about it, we decided to give it a try and form our own opinion. We have always had very enjoyable stays in Disney before this trip, and had every reason to be this trip would be just as good, if not better. Boy, were we all wrong. Each day brought more and more problems and our complaints to the concierge and to management were either not responded to, or responded to in a truly offensive manner. We will never again return to the Grand Floridian, and if this trip had been my first to Disney, we would have never gone again.

    This review will be very detailed, because I think to make such a statement requires me to tell you what aspects were not acceptable to me.

    Background - My husband and I are both in our late 30’s, with 2 teenage children. We are very fortunate to travel frequently on both business and pleasure, and have stayed many times at Disney deluxe resorts, both concierge and non-concierge level. I think my expectations of this trip were appropriate.

    This trip was for a very special reason. My entire family (parents, brothers, sisters, spouses, and all the grandkids) were going to celebrate - my father just sold his business and my mother just finished a long course of chemotherapy. It was the first time we have ever all vacationed together since we were kids. Where else would we go? We are all Disney fans and have been since our first trips there as children. We booked 4 rooms at the Grand Floridian Royal Palm Concierge. My parents owned their own business all of their lives, up until a few months ago, and this was their first vacation in a very long time. It had always been my mother’s dream to stay at the Grand Floridian and was so happy that we would all be there together to celebrate her end of chemotherapy and my father’s retirement. We booked 4 rooms on the 4th floor of the main building.

    The troubles started before we got there. I heard the word “no” more times than I can count. The reason we chose the Royal Palm Club was to have the extra level of service promised. I don’t think the requests we made were unreasonable. “No service” would have been preferable to the “Obnoxious service” we received. A few weeks before our trip, my husband and I made a one-night stay at the Grand Floridian, thinking they would remember us and help with special requests (not exceptional requests - here’s what we asked for: close to the elevator, suggestions for the 7 grandchildren with us, and a character breakfast). We were told they would make this stay the magical stay of our dreams and not to worry. We were told that someone would contact us and make all of our arrangements. Well, a few days before the trip when no one had still contacted us, I called and was told I’d have to send an email, they were too busy to talk to me and take my requests over the phone. I emailed my priority seating requests, some room requests for extra towels and blankets, and left for the trip.

    Throughout the eight days, here’s some examples of what we encountered. While each incident seems small, please remember that there were several every day, and we never did receive satisfaction on any of them.

    -The priority seatings I had requested were reserved incorrectly (wrong dates). They told me that my email must have been wrong and truly seemed bothered that I asked them to change them all. (I looked at my email and it was right).
    We were also told the character breakfast could not accomodate all of us. There were no suggestions made to separate the party, choose another restaurant, etc. Just a NO.

    -The room keys didnt work in the concierge elevator. I asked why I had a blue key instead of a gold one I expected and they told me it didnt matter. 3 trips to the concierge later and it still didnt work.

    -Length of stay passes could not be arranged for my children who were leaving earlier than me, even though I was told several times before that this would be no problem. When I went to purchase them I was told it is too complicated to do in the reservation system and my bill would be wrong.

    -The extra towels and blankets were not in my room. They were not delivered for the first 2 nights even though I called about 4 times for them.

    -We received slippers in the room, my daughter (age 14) asked for an extra pair and was told “no, only 2 per room).

    -My mother called for an extra bathrobe that was never received.

    -Park tickets were not on the room keys although we paid for them and we had to stand in the rain at guest services in MK for 30 minutes to straighten out.

    -Food on the buffet often ran out too early, and there were no replenishments. Our request for a single cookie, when coming back from EPCOT was met with “They’re G-O-N”. I think he meant G-O-N-E.

    -The turndown service never turned down all the beds in the room, or made up the daybed in the morning. I asked repeatedly that this be done and it was never done correctly. Concierge told me it was housekeeping's problem, housekeeping told me they were not getting the requests from the concierge. I was in the middle and not getting the service I wanted. I understand sometimes mistakes are made, but in eight nights this was never done right and I called every day.

    -Very important and something I had not read here before, is that the A/C in the rooms is motioned sensored. If you are not moving around, it shuts off. We called to complain several times that our room was too warm, and we were told to move around more. Even during the middle of the night when I told them it was too warm to sleep. I am serious. It was impossible to nap or read in the room during the day, which we like to do.

    -The buffet attendants were very rude (except for one, Juan). Besides us being told that cookies were “G-O-N”, we were also told that if we wanted the good stuff (ie chocolate covered strawberries), to “get there earlier”. For clarification, they were put out on the 8-10 buffet serving but gone by 8:30 - 9 each night.

    -The buffet attendants actually made fun of a guest in her bathing suit after she left the lounge. All the other guests heard this. If that had been my daughter or sister I would have demanded their termination. As it was I felt very uncomfortable.

    -There was no help from the concierge staff when we needed them most. The day I left I realized I left my wallet behind. My sister who was still there retrieved it and asked the concierge to overnight deliver it to my home. When I called for a tracking number they told me they had no record of receiving it from my sister. No one was returning my calls, and I finally called the manager who found it (it was not yet in the mail 2 days later). He told me there would be no charge for the mailing (there was).

    -My sister lost her eyeglasses in the Magic Kingdom and they offered no help, not even a phone call or extension for her. When she went to the concierge desk they told her to go back to her room and dial zero. I would think at a minimum they would have made a call for her.

    -My brother in law collects Disney coins and asked for a list of machines (he was given this at the WL). The concierge didnt know what he was talking about so he went to the front desk who helped him (politely and accurately).

    -After the screw ups with the park passes, my parents noticed that their bill was wrong and they were doubled billed for the passes. They pointed this out and was told it was too late, it was in accoutings hands and check back in 14 days to make sure it is credited.

    There are many other examples like those, and my sister who was with me in a different room will also be posting about her own experiences. The main point of the story is that there was no special service, too many “no’s”, and too many rude comments.

    Now, I will tell you the most offensive part. After spending each day talking to the concierge or the manager about my problems, I finally spoke to one of the managers, Kristen. Kristen apologized and told me that my expectations were certainly in line and that she would personally ensure that things would get better. When I was asking her if she thought my expectations were unrealistic, I also asked her what I was paying extra for the concierge service for. She told me that she would credit my account (no amount was ever discussed and this was her idea, not mine). Upon checkout (and I had to call twice for my bill to be delivered when they are usually put on the door), I noticed there was no credit. I called the concierge to ask about it and was told someone would call me back. In the time that took, I decided to count my losses, not go through the hassle, (I wasnt expecting a large credit, more of a token apology) and go home. When the concierge Chris called back, I told him not to worry about it. He should have left it at that. Instead, Chris told me that he spoke to Kristen who said she never said that. He also said that a review of my problems showed that they were not all that significant, or were resolved. He then insinuated that I exaggerated these issues in order to get a credit. Needless to say, I was furious. Being late for a flight I took his managers name (Kristen) and the GM of the hotel and left. This was all ridiculous. The entire reason I booked at the RPC is that I dont mind paying for service THAT I ACTUALLY GET. I would have gladly spent more money receiving the service that I wanted than spending a week on the phone complaining about the BS for a discount.

    Also to note, the GM (Georgine Suzanne) has not returned any of my calls. I am so upset by this entire trip that I will not let this drop until I receive a response. This is the first bad experience I have ever had at Disney, and have been vacationing there since I was a child. I am not looking for any monetary credit, I am looking for a response that restores my faith in Disney.

    This trip was so important to my parents, who paid more for this vacation than they did for their first house. I told everyone at the concierge how special this trip was and they received nothing. No warm words, no special acknowledgement, nothing. Well, they did receive rude comments and ignored requests.:mad:
  2. Luv2Roam

    Luv2Roam DIS Veteran

    Jun 3, 2000
    :eek: :eek: But after reading what happened at the Poly with the digital camera (Poly woes thread) am I surprised? No.
    I hope that you get some sort of resolution. You obviously dropped a bundle expecting good servoce and perks and received what anyone would not have expected or wanted -- anywhere. Sounds like a Holiday Inn would have been an improvement.:(
  3. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort.


    to hide this advert.
  4. HookedOnDiz

    HookedOnDiz Mouseketeer

    Feb 16, 2002
    I'm sorry you had such a frustrating time with the staff... I think everyone expects the staff to make a mistake once in awhile or forget something, but the poor service you received when you brought these matters to their attention was inexcusable. We expect better from Disney...
  5. snowwhitemom

    snowwhitemom Going down the road feeling bad!

    Oct 7, 2001
    Wow, I am so sorry to hear this but I must say I'm not surprised. We stayed there for the first time in Oct.2001 and for reasons just as yours I willchoose other resorts from now on. I was upset with the service level that we received and we did not have Con. Ser. , I can't imagine spending that and that happening, I hope your family had a great time in the parks and made some great memories despite GF. :D
  6. Blondie

    Blondie ~*~*~*~<br><font color=blue>This TF always enjoys

    Aug 18, 1999
    Sounds like GF Concierge really dropped the ball with your family.

    I'd be upset as well, especially considering the amount of money your family must have spent.

    This is not the first time I have read discouraging remarks about GF Concierge though. Hopefully they'll straighten things out and get it back to being what it once was.
  7. KimOhio

    KimOhio <font color=green>Was on a quest for a Haunted Man

    Jul 25, 2000
    dont expect much from the Disney staff we finally got our call back on wed from a trip over July 4th week she said we will try to fix the problems and thanks for informing them that was it guess they figure they got us we are DVC members have been to disney numour times and this was the 1st one that was really bad all around not just a few things
  8. Tinkbell

    Tinkbell <font color=purple>We called it, "Attack of the Sp

    Jun 24, 2000
    I read your sister's post too. The service should have been top notch over there. I would have been upset too. I can't believe they didn't do anything special at all for your mom. I've read reports where certain concierges will make a big deal over a birthday or anniversary. Your mom should have had surprises everyday because her reason for this vacaton was much more precious than a birthday. I hope you were still able to enjoy your vacation and I wish the best of health to your mom.:D
  9. WeLoveDisney

    WeLoveDisney Mouseketeer

    Apr 7, 2002
    Thanks for your nice words, Tinkerbell (and all of you)
    We still had a good time because we were all together, and the hotel itself is beautiful and we enjoyed the rooms and pool.

    I agree that they should have done something nice for my mother. I told everyone about her situation (and also, since she had chemo she lost all her hair - they could have definitely noticed who I was talking about). She was so looking forward to her chocolate covered strawberries and I told them it was so important to me that I would pay to have them there, but it still didnt happen. She was also the most bothered by the A/C motion sensor issue that I spoke about because she wasnt able to nap during the day (she is still not feeling back to normal). We asked them if there was a way to by-pass the sensor and they said yes but they were'nt allowed to. My brother in law actually pryed off the front on the last day and re-wired it.

    As you all can see, my sister and I are both very upset and hope to get some response from Disney. We also tried our best to hide a lot of these issues from my mother because she was the one who chose the GF even after the bad posts we read - we tried to get her to change to the YC but she had her heart set there. Good thing she doesnt know how to use the Internet message boards!
  10. Princess49

    Princess49 <font color=CC3333>It's a great big beautiful tomo

    Jul 14, 2002
    I'm so sorry for your expirience, and feel so badly about it. Of all of the good things I can say about WDW- I think the one thing that I would complain about is HOW they handle complaints. We had few problems our last trip- we lost a piece of paper in our room & called housekeeping about it & they told us we were "welcome to look in the dumpster if we wanted to" I was Disgusted. We complained about that & a few other things to the manager & she said a simple- I'm sorry & that was it. Isnt there some higher source we could talk to? How come when you're shopping "the customer is always right"? But in WDW (so magical) you dont get the same treatment. There has to be a Disney person some where that would be appalled that people are having this type of expirience. We were told to fill out a survey & I did for almost 2 hours & nothing came of it. I hope you and your family had a good time in spite of all of that. & Good health & luck to your parents!
  11. Purrrrfecta

    Purrrrfecta <font color=blue>A little cat named Lorelei. She i

    Apr 1, 2001
    I know that many of us choose to stay at Disney for the wonderful service they provide.

    I have seen other companies where this has happened as well. Companies have financial problems, lay off people, hire people who are substandard, and the quality of service goes way down. I am not saying this is the reason, but I can't help from wondering of this could be one of the reasons why service is not the way it once was.

    In any case, I am so sorry to hear about your trip.
    I am just glad you have been able to voice your troubles here on he dis boards.

  12. izzarelli

    izzarelli Mouseketeer

    Apr 11, 2002
    I just wanted to say how sorry I am about the problems on your trip. It's so upsetting after planning a huge trip like that, and the worst part is that there was no reason for it happening. I hope you decide to write & let the chain of command know, hopefully something will come of it. Unfortunately they can't give you your vacation back but maybe it'll help in the future.

    I have to agree with Princess49 about how Disney has been handling complaints. A lot of times all it would take is some kindness and sincerity from Disney to turn a situation around.
  13. VickiVM

    VickiVM <font color=blue>Not above flirting with Tag Fairi

    May 3, 2001
    After reading both yours and your sister's report, I don't see how anything less than a monetary "credit" would be sufficient. I typically don't support this because I rarely hear about service so bad that a sincere apology and more attentiveness couldn't correct the situation. But I can only imagine how much money your family of 16 contributed to WDW only to receive such horrendous service.

    My DH's cousin is in remission from breast cancer and last year we were in Seattle where the weather was in the 50's to 60's and she was constantly hot...never wore a jacket because that's what the meds did to her. So I can imagine how uncomfortable your mother probabaly was (and perhaps never mentioned it because that sounds like the kind of person she is.) I think in the interest of her well-being they should have made an exception and by-passed the A/C sensoring system.

    Honestly, you can get better service from a 16 year old at a McDonalds.

    Please keep us posted. And God Bless your family.
  14. zurgswife

    zurgswife WDW is my Shangrala...and I'm is bett

    Jan 9, 2000
    Our family has found that if you complain about problems start at the top and state what you expect should be fair compensation for your dissatisfaction......

    We have had small problems at different times with different stays and we have always found that the squeaky wheel is heard at disney.....

    The worst problem we had was have 1 room out of 18 check out early (IL's 50th wedding anniv. reunion) and them being told they owed the room rate for the room....we had paid for all 18 rooms in full 2 months earlier.....I sent them on there way and a CM at the front desk told me I could be arrested for leaving without paying......It got nasty at that point...

    We wrote and talked to everybody we could and we finally got an apology and a satisfactory compensations...

    I think you should keep writing letters until something is you said you paid for the service and never recieved the level of service that GF concierge should have extended....

    Good Luck..
  15. ebhurleys

    ebhurleys Mouseketeer

    Mar 6, 2001
    I would like to know the deal with the air conditioning. When we were in the CR Towers and complained, we were told to leave the drapes closed when we leave the room and it would stay cooler. Sure enough every day when we returned housekeeping would leave them open (even after being asked to leave them closed). Our room would be in the high 90s. I can't imagine we were the only ones complaining. It seems like motion sensor air conditioning is not an option in Florida.

    I also agree that the reason you pay for concierge is to get a little extra attention and some service. I can only imagine what 4 rooms cost. I would persue this as high as possible. There is no excuse and I hope that someone listens with an open mind.
  16. freediverdude

    freediverdude Was very touched by the Tapestry of Dreams parade

    Jun 16, 2002
    I wish your family all the best. I was horrified when I saw your's and your sister's posts. I was considering possibly trying the GF, but I certainly won't now. Frequently staying at Disney, and being a premium annual passholder, I know about how much that stay probably cost your family, and it's no joke that it probably cost more than some families' first houses. After reading all the posts on this subject, I am about ready to drive the hour or so from my house over to the GF to confront the hotel manager myself with printouts of all this. If it had been myself, I would probably have demanded to talk to Michael Eisner himself before I left LOL ( well at least knowing me, I probably would have not left the property without talking to someone above the hotel manager LOL). Again I sympathize, and i think you need to keep asking for someone higher up to help you or to write to, even if it means calling up CRO or one of the hotels and making some inquiries about who is the head of all the Disney World resorts, who the resort managers report to, without telling them what is going on, just to find out the name of who you should be talking to. I imagine most of the hotel cast members know who the resort managers report to, and it's just a matter of getting them to tell you. I will be at a Disney resort over Labor Day weekend and may even ask myself. I also am curious about this A/C with sensors, as I have not encountered those before, although I'm not usually in a deluxe resort. Does anyone know if these A/C units are in all the deluxe resorts? I was thinking about splurging on a deluxe this fall, but for the price I would be paying, I WILL NOT lay in the bed and sweat at night. One night, and I would be transferred to a resort without those units LOL. But anyway, I'm sorry for your experience, and I hope they offer you another vacation or something, or at least a few nights free.
  17. pollyanna

    pollyanna ZZZZGal

    Aug 18, 1999
    I'm confused as to why two different DISers are posting the same "problems"????...are you Laurie,also?:confused:
  18. jgates

    jgates <font color=teal>Must vow NEVER to toggle the tags

    Oct 12, 1999
    I think she mentioned her sister was posting also as there were some problems joint & some problems that were individualized.
  19. WeLoveDisney

    WeLoveDisney Mouseketeer

    Apr 7, 2002
    Yes, we are sisters. This was a family vacation and we had 4 rooms at the GF concierge
  20. Laurie528

    Laurie528 Earning My Ears

    Jul 27, 2001
    Our posts are almost identical because we were on the same vacation with just a few days different
  21. manning

    manning Just for that I have requested it

    Feb 12, 2002
    click onto the address below. it will send you over to the Rumor and news forum. this address will give names and addresses to write to at Disney.


    They're lucky it wasn't me. They would have been carrying me out of there kicking and screaming!!!!!!!!!

Share This Page