I’m scrolling through Facebook tonight and reading the random posts on various pages when I come across one that is posted to the official Walt Disney World page. It’s a post from a couple that have allegedly been ‘scammed’ by a Disney Cast Member.
In their claim, they say they directly paid a Disney cast member $1900 to book a vacation for them. The cast member told them that she got a promotion and could no longer help them and would request a refund for them. After limited communication – they reached out to Disney to confirm the refund was coming and were told that the reservation was made – but was never paid for. It was then clear to them that the cast member stole their money.
This couple have taken to social media to complain that Disney will not reimburse them for the money they allegedly gave to the cast member.
After reading the posts and the couple’s responses, there are a few things that bother me about this story:
- They clearly gave this person money because they believed they were getting some kind of deal – maybe a cast member discount? Does that mean they knew the cast member personally? Why else would they give the money directly to this person vs. through a travel agency or Disney itself?
- They paid them through pay pal – I don’t know about you, but I don’t pay large companies via pay pal. I don’t shop at Best Buy, The Disney Store or Alamo and submit my payment that way. If they asked for a pay pal payment – I’d be suspicious, but that’s just me.
- Disney isn’t accountable for what their cast members do when they’re not on the job. If this cast member was ‘on the job’ – they wouldn’t be paying for their vacation through pay pal (see point above). This is like asking McDonald’s to pay a bank that their employee robbed. Would you ask a movie theatre to reimburse you for the bootlegged video you bought from their ticket taker? I think not.
If this cast member really does work for Disney and was using that privilege to scam people – you can be sure that they won’t be working there for long. That is what Disney will and should do to address the situation.
If in fact these people lost their money, I feel bad for them. It’s a horrible thing to be robbed and $1,900 is a lot to lose – but how it that Disney’s fault? There are many people on social media posting that Disney is supposed to be ‘all about customer service’ and they can’t believe they aren’t ‘making this right’ – but it isn’t Disney’s to fix. This is a matter for the police and if they have all of the receipts and communications that they say they have, the police should be able to handle it quickly.
Too often people think they can force a company like Disney to pay for their mistakes by bashing them on social media, and they may just get what they want. While $1,900 is nothing to a company of this size, it speaks to the larger issue of guests believing that no matter what goes wrong “in the name of Disney” – that they will fix it. This isn’t a culture that Disney should encourage, and I hope that they don’t give in.