Sunday, 16 September 2012

Eurodisney sucks - why extract so much money?

A rant. Apologies in advance

We went to Eurodisney this year. We took the Eurostar from Ashford directly into the Eurodisney resort, where we stayed at the Disneyland Hotel.

All of it was booked online in advance. I have come to accept the surcharge for Credit Card bookings for everything nowadays, although it does seem picky after I spend so much with them and I often use a Debit Card, which carries no surcharge when I think that the charges are unreasonable or I just feel like saving the money and there's enough in the bank.

Eurostar was just fine.No Debit Card charges and the booking went swimmingly.

Eurodisney wasn't so successful. Because of the value of the booking, my Credit Card provider, Capital One wouldn't accept payment, despite being well within my Limit and as it was the weekend, couldn't obtain authorisation, so Debit Card was called for.

As an aside, I have no issue with Capital One and would recommend them as I have been a happy user for years, now. They are tighter on security checks and I do get calls to validate occasional recent purchases to make sure everything is in order. I would rather it was that way round than have to wrangle over unauthorised transactions due to a cloned card. Oh, and they pay 1% cashback in January each year, just in tine for the Christmas spending. No connection etc....

Anyway....Eurodisney charges for Debit Card transactions. Why? It gets the money immediately, so no risk to them, interest can be earned by Eurodisney between then and the holiday and it's very much the exception than the rule. Does it really cost Eurodisney £14 to collect money electronically off me?

Yes, I know that £14 is small beer in comparison to the cost of the holiday, but it's still £14 of my kids' post-tax inheritance that's gone.

I have exchanged several emails with 'customer services' asking why they can justify this charge and have been stonewalled by them. 'It's the way it's done, here in France', 'It's in the Terms and Conditions', 'no, we have no intention of reviewing it', 'We're Disney, what are you going to do about it?'

Well, I'm sorry but Eurostar is an AngloFranco set-up and it seems to manage to not charge. I cannot think of any other company that I have used (On principle I would never travel with certain low-cost Irish Air carriers) that charges for Debit Transactions.

Just because 'we have always done it this way' and 'its in the Ts & Cs' is no excuse. You can't say We're Disney, tough'. Eurodisney needs to move with the times. It's the adults that pay for the holidays, not the children and if the adults are left with a sour taste in the mouth, they are less likely to suggest a future trip for themselves or recommend it to others. When I was looking at booking, the initial cost was similar to flying to Florida instead. By the time living expenses had been added, it would have been better, the weather would have been better and I'm willing to bet that Customer Service would have been better.

Goodbye Eurodisney
Speaking of sour taste, €5 for a can of Fanta in the minibar? €8 for a Hot Dog and a few chips? I thought about buying a furry Disney coat but decided that I'd been fleeced enough.

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