Requesting a new room.

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Joined: 07/18/2012
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Requesting a new room.

Has anyone had a bad experience with being put in a room that didn't satisfy them, or wasn't what they had requested?

Our bad experience last year happened at POR-R. Since we're traveling from a small town on the west coast, it literally takes ALL day to arrive. Also factoring in a loss of 3 hours. We arrived on Magical Express after 11pm. I had checked us in via the Internet much earlier in the day. We had reserved a "water view" room. According to the Internet, this is a room with a river or pool view.

I had originally not booked any type of preferred room, because through my research, I knew the "view" was from a walkway outside the room. I had also booked the room with a food plan before I knew anything about free dining. I'm basically saying this, because, at no point was I ever trying to get an upgrade or not pay for something. We extended our trip by one night, and a water view room was the only one available for the entire time of our stay, now 6 nights. Since I had been waffling about a water view earlier, and since by then I had discovered free dining, I was ok with the price of the upgrade. I also requested queen beds, since I knew the resort rooms were being remodeled, and the remodeled rooms contained queen beds.

When we arrived, there was no bellhop at the entrance. My SO took off in search of one, or a luggage cart. After about 10 minutes, a bell hop (apologetic, solicitous, and surprised to see us) showed up and took our bags, and I booked into the lobby with my son. There stood my completely befuddled SO, saying "honey, are we at the right resort, they say they don't have our reservation; didn't you even check in already?". We were the only guests in the lobby, there were 2 CM's. After much confusion on the part of the CM, necessitating a conference with the other CM, they did find our reservation with no explanation why they weren't "expecting" us. The online check-in didn't take or something, I even had the confirmation. They yanked papers out of an arrival folder and stuffed our papers into it.

We wandered around the resort in a drizzle, looking for our room. The search took longer since I was under the impression we were facing the river. Our bell hop finally found us and helped us to our room. It was now around midnight. Well, when I saw where our room was, I was NOT happy. But, I had to pee in the worst way by that time, and while I was in the bathroom, my SO had sent the bell hop on his way. The water view room was, in fact facing a green construction fence surrounding a pool and also the huge metal pipe/pump system for the pool. The room was incredibly worn. Stained and threadbare carpet around the door, faded bed coverings, scratched bathtub finish, and really banged up and scratched furniture. The worst part, it was dirty. There was boy pee spray on the back of the toilet seat and gross mosquito blood squishy yuck on the walls in more than a couple spots. Fresh, it was not.

I called and got a general Disney operator, then had to wait for the front desk to call. My first instinct was to complain about the location of the room, and ended up with the CM arguing with me, that water view is a pool view, not a river view. First of all, is it really necessary for a CM to argue with a pretty nice guest at midnight? I pointed out that I didn't in fact have a pool view, I had a fence view and a dirty room. She said she would "upgrade" me, like it was a big favor, but the room would be in the same area 10 rooms down. Fine, whatever, I just wanted to get into bed, but not the dirty room.

It took the bell hop at least 40 minutes to get back to move us. (in all of this, he was the sweetheart). Our next room was infinitesimally better in location. (at least not in front of the pool pump). Still in view of the construction fence, with a peek at the river if you stepped ouside the door. The room was still just as worn, but the bathroom was clean. I was done fighting this battle for the evening. The room didn't feel like an upgrade, which wasn't what I wanted anyway.

The more I looked around the room, the more ticked off I got. I really could not believe how worn the furniture was. The fridge cabinet looked like it had been kicking around a fraternity for the past 10 years. Yucky spatter marks on wall near headboard (shudder), same worn carpet and coverings. At 5am, I was annoyed and frustrated with trying to get a good nights sleep in a full size bed. I wondered if I should suck it up and ignore the room and enjoy our vacation, or spend time trying to fix this....I couldn't ignore it, (really, the room was laughably, appallingly bad) so I trekked to the lobby at 6am, in person to request a nicer room.

I ultimately got what I was looking for. A clean room with queen beds that didn't look like a shabby interstate motel room. As an added bonus, it did have a very nice view and was newly remodeled. Not once did a CM apologize, or seem to show any interest in the problems with our first 2 rooms. When I tried my in-person approach the CM originally told me they didn't have a room for me to move to at that time, and I had to tell her that's ok, we will be at AK all day, and you can store our luggage for the day. I got the impression we were "problem" guests, from the demeanor of the lobby CM. She also told me they would text me our new room number when the room was available (she gave me new room keys, but for security reasons couldn't give me the room number). I never got a text and had to stand in line that evening to find out what our room number was.

This whole fiasco still annoys me to this day. I can't believe Disney allowed those rooms to get so run down before remodeling. I can't believe no one ever apologized. I also felt very taken advantage of by our late arrival. I don't know how they assign rooms to guests, but I really did get the impression that the CM who assigned that first room to us thought we wouldn't complain since we arrived so late. I also can't believe it is such a surprise/inconvenience when a guest requests a new/nicer/clean room in a resort of that size.

That's my bad experience.

dontthrowsand's picture
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Joined: 05/28/2012
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I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I expect high customer service and high accommodation quality. I will have no problem complaining until they make it right if I don't feel my expectations have been met. Here's hoping a fairly new resort will be clean and well taken care of. I have no room requests other than the selected Nemo room.

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Thankfully, we have never had to request a different room. We have been in locations once or twice I was not thrilled with but we had not requested not to be so we just stayed where we were. Even more thankfully, we have never walked into a dirty room.

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Yikes! Sorry to hear about your bad experience! I would be upset too if I showed up to a dirty, worn down room at midnight and had to fight the CMs to make it right!

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I've never heard of an online check in not taking before. I'm very sorry that you had such a difficult trip, it sounds like an unpleasant room situation was even more difficult due to the hour that you chose to arrive. However, there's really no excuse for a dirty room, EVER. I'm glad that they were able to finally accommodate you.

As someone who has worked more than one hotel front desk, sometimes, it can be much harder than you think to move a room. This is especially the case when some of your rooms are out of service for remodeling and when the grounds are also under construction. Resorts need maintaining (as made obvious in your post), but very few guests what to be around when it's happening. It's truly a catch 22 for the resorts, and the best that any guest services staff can do is acknowledge the problem and try to make it right. The desk clerks don't have the intimate knowledge of what housekeeping issues are in any given room. In many cases, they haven't been in a room on their property since their original training. A number from a list on their computer in the lobby doesn't offer them the type of housekeeping information that would perhaps have put you in a more suitable room.

I had a room reassigned once (not due to any actual problem) and learned that Disney cast members have VERY limited ability in reassigning rooms, and everything has to go through the supervisor. They really don't seem empowered to make things right on their own in the way that many hotel staff outside of WDW do.

Front desk (especially during the 11pm-7am shift when there are limited hotel resources around) is a really difficult position to work, because even though you don't always know what's going on with each and every room, you're the point of contact and have to make the problem right. I don't think they were taking advantage of you, but they had limited resources to work with upon your arrival.

I'm glad to hear that the problem was taken care of.

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Kristen K. wrote:
I've never heard of an online check in not taking before. I'm very sorry that you had such a difficult trip, it sounds like an unpleasant room situation was even more difficult due to the hour that you chose to arrive. However, there's really no excuse for a dirty room, EVER. I'm glad that they were able to finally accommodate you.

Yes, the late arrival pretty much exascerbated our difficulties. That, and the CMs acting dumbfounded about our arrival and taking 30 minutes to get us checked in. I guess looking back, that was the worst part of it. I mean, I had been planning the trip for months, put lots of thought into the choices, spent plenty of money, and "I" knew we were arriving! It was disheartening to say the least to not have the CMs at least FAKE welcome us and pretend to be sorry we weren't happy.

It was cathartic to tell my story and I really don't expect to have these problems again.

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My family complains to me all the time because we usually leave at what they term dearly as "stupid o'clock in the morning". We live about two hours from the airport, and you have to be there two hours early, then there's a 3 hour plane ride for us. Wrangling everyone through the airport is it's own little torture. Even living in the Midwest it makes for a really long travel day just getting to WDW.

I know that by the time we get there frequently the only thing I want to do is unpack, eat dinner, and rest up for the next day. I think if I was met with confused looks I'd be frustrated no matter what time of day! I'm glad it helped telling your story!

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On our first ever WDW trip we stayed at POR and upon arrival they had no idea who we were or why we where there! We had all our paperwork confirming our stay and dates for POR and there was even a package waiting there for us but they had no idea why we didn't exist on the system! After much bashing away at the computer keyboard they eventually assigned us a room and apologised for the delay, they still couldn't explain why they didn't have us in the first place - makes me wonder what hotel had out names down actually!

Have done a room swap once, we stayed at SSR and really wanted a room in The Springs section because we like being near the main building. It took much mussing and fussing but we did eventually get moved. The room in The Springs was much more worn than the original room but it was still clean and tidy and of course, the locations we had originally requested.

Sorry you had such a bad time of it all, hopefully your next stay will be much improved!

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campbell87 wrote:
On our first ever WDW trip we stayed at POR and upon arrival they had no idea who we were or why we where there! We had all our paperwork confirming our stay and dates for POR and there was even a package waiting there for us but they had no idea why we didn't exist on the system!

Had you done the online check in as well?

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I will be staying at POR for the first time this year and I pray that we don't run into any of this when we arrive. I am truly sorry for the bad experience OregonMom...such a thing should never happen when trying to enjoy a trip you have been looking forward to. I have never done online check in because I feel like you have better luck when checking in with a CM. I also plan an early flight at "stupid o'clock in the morning" as Kristen said...much to my DH's dislike...because I use the Magical Express and want to get to the resort early in order to handle any problem so there ever be one.

As far as room change requests I did in fact make one on our second trip to CBR in 2010. The CM was being sweet and assigned us a room with a king size bed, since I was 6 months pregnant. We were happy with that since we had a king size room at that resort on our first visit. Only difference was that our second visit room had a view of a parking lot and a nice large RV parked at the corner spot (the first visit room view was on the gardens). I slept there the first night since I was tired from the trip and didn't want to have to deal with any room change. The next morning we went back to the lobby and explained very sweetly (all smiles and syrupy voice) that I appreciated the effort by the CM to place us in a king size room but I didn't like the location. They were very nice and said that they only had rooms with double beds available in the building that I preferred. I said it was not a problem at all and they gave us a room with a pool view and once you stepped onto the balcony you saw the river and the main pool located at Old Port Royale.

I am going to check-in upon arrival this November, once again foregoing online checkin. I paid for a river view room located in the Alligator Bayou section, and hope we have a pleasant checkin at POR as we have had at CBR.

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We have done on-line check in numerous times and never had a problem, sorry you did!. The one problem with requesting the most popular rooms is that they get worn and abused alot more then less popular rooms. But, they should not be dirty! that is inexcusable. Here to hoping you never have anything less then a "Magical experience" when checking in ever again Oregonmom. stars

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I'm so sorry for all the problems you ran in to. I work for the front desk of a hotel currently and have worked for others and understand where Kristen K. is coming from but the CMs should have at least apologized. From most of the hotels I've worked for unfortunately the person who works the 11pm-7am shift is never nice, always grumpy and not willing to help and I guess that's the case with Disney hotels as well yuck I'm not familiar with Disney policy and what not but maybe in the future ask for a manager. Most managers want to accommodate you and make your stay as magical as possible so I'm so sorry for the inconvenience Sad hopefully next time will be better!

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Bifader , I beg to differ on that one. We have stayed at many Hampton Inn's and I have never come across a grumpy person at the front desk not that there may not be some, but I have never ran across one. Maybe they are more strict with their hiring process , but I rate them 5 star on personality and politeness pretty much every time.

When it comes to Disney CM's at check in, we have had nothing but Magical experiences every time. We've been greeted with personal serenades, have been treated to Lei ceremonies, & have had resorts send flowers, balloons and photo albums & pictures to our rooms just because we are celebrating something. I have to think most CM's take their job to heart, and I respect everyone of them for that.

I am sorry for the less then Magical experience that OregonaMom went through and the CM's should have apologized profusely and made things right immediately.

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I think there have been several trips where we've had to move several times and unclean rooms are simply unacceptable. Sorry you had to go through all that! Sad

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You know when I was less than satisfied with one of our stays I emailed Disney a letter. You can go on the Disney World web site, go to contact us. About a week and a half after I wrote we received a phone call from a real person wanting to know all the details so they could fix what went wrong and not have someone else have the problem happen to them. We also got a very sincere apology and the satisfaction that no one else will experience the problem we had.

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2 out of 3 trips we had the "Whats the name again?" at check in. The first time they had to call in a supervisor and the next they were able to find us after looking again. Both times they had our welcome packages. They just could not "find"us in the computer. It never took long to straighten out, but it was a heart stopping moment the first time. I spent so much time planning and you don't have me? eek

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We've stayed at POR-R twice and never had a problem. Our rooms were always clean. The CM's were very friendly and helpful. So sorry you had such a nightmare.

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angels444 wrote:
2 out of 3 trips we had the "Whats the name again?" at check in. The first time they had to call in a supervisor and the next they were able to find us after looking again. Both times they had our welcome packages. They just could not "find"us in the computer. It never took long to straighten out, but it was a heart stopping moment the first time. I spent so much time planning and you don't have me? eek

angels444 wrote:
2 out of 3 trips we had the "Whats the name again?" at check in. The first time they had to call in a supervisor and the next they were able to find us after looking again. Both times they had our welcome packages. They just could not "find"us in the computer. It never took long to stratighten out, but it was a heart stopping moment the first time. I spent so much time planning and you don't have me? eek

That's funny. That same thing has happened to us at POP before.

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Hardy0109 wrote:
angels444 wrote:
2 out of 3 trips we had the "Whats the name again?" at check in. The first time they had to call in a supervisor and the next they were able to find us after looking again. Both times they had our welcome packages. They just could not "find"us in the computer. It never took long to stratighten out, but it was a heart stopping moment the first time. I spent so much time planning and you don't have me? eek

That's funny. That same thing has happened to us at POP before.

That happens almost every time I go to any hotel.

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The Cookie Crumbler wrote:
Hardy0109 wrote:
angels444 wrote:
2 out of 3 trips we had the "Whats the name again?" at check in. The first time they had to call in a supervisor and the next they were able to find us after looking again. Both times they had our welcome packages. They just could not "find"us in the computer. It never took long to stratighten out, but it was a heart stopping moment the first time. I spent so much time planning and you don't have me? eek

That's funny. That same thing has happened to us at POP before.

That happens almost every time I go to any hotel.

I get that a lot when I check in because I book it under my boyfriend's name and he is usually sitting somewhere waiting for me to call him to come sign paperwork. Unintentional I'm sure, but I think they are looking for an asian woman every time I tell them the name the reservation is under.