This post is about 2 weeks overdue but that doesn't make it less timely. As some of my closer friends and family know we are big Disney fans. In fact, if there was one company that I'd even consider working for again, it would be Disney, even if that meant a move to Orlando. So besides all of the great Disney moments that you've normally come to expect, let me tell you about two incidents from our last trip there in early November and Disney's awesome response.
As usual we stayed at our favorite Disney hotel, The Wilderness Lodge. We like the atmosphere and the many options to the Magic Kingdom, plus Artist Point is one of Disney's finest restaurants as well as one of our two favorites (we ate there twice on this vacation). Anyway, when we got to our room, it appeared that either the fridge defrosted or malfunctioned because the carpet in front of it was soaked. We didn't think much of it, so we placed towels in front and asked housekeeping for more. The next day, however, we all woke up with headaches and stuffed noses but went to the parks anyway.
Before hand, we spoke to the head of housekeeping early in the morning and even though she probably thought it was nothing she agreed to give us a VIP cleaning before we returned back. Plus, if we were not satisfied they offered to move us into another room. The next day we woke up without any issues and they again offered to move us, but we stayed the rest of the vacation, problem free (we thought it was mold). The head housekeeper told me she cleaned and disinfected every space in the room.
However, our biggest problem was with Disney's Magic Express Tour or as we call it The Magical Mystery Tour. We called it this because it sometimes takes a lot of time to take the bus back and forth to the airport. If you didn't know what it is, Disney (I believe) subcontracts out to Mears who grabs your bags and delivers them to your room while you take a bus to your hotel. In the past we've let Disney take our bags while we paid for a taxi but our last few times the wait hasn't been too bad so we took the bus. Unfortunately this time it was a disaster.
We checked in as normal and waited about 15 minutes until we boarded a bus. Then we waited and waited. The bus never reached more than about 25% full and there was nobody waiting outside. So after about 20 minutes my wife asks the "Disney Cast Member" when we are leaving and she said she didn't know. I put Cast Member in quotes because this couldn't be a real Disney Cast Member but a subcontracted employee of Mears. So we got off the bus and paid for a taxi, never knowing how long that bus sat there. For all we know it could still be sitting there.
We didn't let this bug us too much and even took the Magical Mystery Tour back to the airport. Then Disney sent us a survey 2 weeks or so later and towards the end of it, I wrote the exact story above with a closing note that said "I know you subcontract out to Mears and I thought your should know."
A few days later I received a call from an executive customer care representative who received my note and survey results. I then told her, "look there is no way that I believe Disney has no idea how many people are coming in, which planes they are on, and when they are supposed to arrive; I bet Disney knows right down to the minute they are supposed to get on the bus. I believe Mears is taking advantage of Disney and not running half empty buses which they should have known they were going to have in the first place."
She was extremely friendly and put a $75 credit on our American Express Card which was totally unexpected. I offered to talk to any other Executive but she assured me they were already informed and thanked me again for bringing this to their attention.
And these two examples prove why Disney's customer service is second to none. I worked at AT&T as a Division Manager and understand how large companies work. Sometimes things outside of a group director's control go awry and it takes a great feedback system with people empowered along the way to make decisions, big and small, to correct problems. Disney certainly has that system in place.