My birthday is on Tuesday. Paul asked what I wanted, and I said, "DISNEYLAND!" So that poor, Disney-indifferent soul had arranged for a one-day, turnaround trip for Tuesday.
Well, then it turns out he's going to be in Southern California on Monday, and it seems silly to take a flight back that evening only to get up at the crack of dawn to haul my Mickey ass to Disneyland, so we decided to stay over Monday night, with me flying out after work and meeting him there.
Because I have an Annual Pass, I get discounts. I called the hotel and got a room at the Disneyland Hotel for $100 less than it would normally cost. AWESOME. One catch - I have to present my pass at check-in. I don't have my pass. It was stolen. I had planned on taking a flight from San Jose that gets me into Orange County at 8:45. Guest Services closes at 8:00. No problem, thought I, I'll just take the earlier flight and get there in time to get the pass. I gave the very nice and helpful reservation agent my Visa card, and made the nonrefundable reservation. The next earlier flight is at 4:45. DAMMIT. Too early. What happened to the 6:30 flight?!?
I tried calling the Annual Passholder hotline to talk to a real-live human to explain my plight. Surely, Disney being a customer service-type company will help me out, right? The hotline turned out to be a voicemail. Nothing more. Oh, but they promise to get back to you within 48 hours. WTF? How is that acceptable customer service?
Okay, fine. I get the general Disneyland phone number for human beings (thank you, MousePlanet) and get somebody. "Hi!" I said in my nicest voice. "I have a problem." I was explaining the situation regarding my stolen pass and my hotel reservation and she cut me off. "OKAY," she said, "You need to go to Guest Services and get a replacement pass." "No, I know that," I said, "but I'm not sure I can get there in time." "Well, that's the only thing you can do," she said. I paused, waiting a beat. Seriously? That was all the help she was going to offer? Not put me through to someone else who could help me? Get creative? Anything?
"Um... okay," I said, "Well, is it possible I could have the pass sent to the hotel?" "No." Again, nothing. No explanation. Whenever someone tells me just "No," I always respond, "Why not?" So I did. "Because we need to verify your photo and you need to pay the replacement fee." Fair enough. "Okay, what if I called Guest Services, gave them my barcode number and faxed my ID? They could send the card to the hotel, where I would verify with my ID and pay the money there."
"No," she said, impatient.
Beat. Beat. Beat.
"Because. Because it's not - er, because it's not our policy."
"Okay, so, you're just not going to help me with this at all, because it's not your policy?"
I hung up on her. I was so mad at that point I couldn't bring myself to be even a little civil. There was no helpfulness in her voice, no sympathy, no inkling that she even remotely wanted to help me. Even a, "Wow, I'm sorry you had your pass stolen. Gee, I'm not sure if there's anything we can do," would have gone a long way. I couldn't continue the conversation any further or even say "thank you" before I hung up on her.
I know Disneyland "cast members" hate Annual Passholders. I get it. But maybe there's a reason why we sometimes act the way we do.
Disneyland: You're on notice.