Thursday, January 14, 2010

When is a good deal not such a good deal?

I got a wee bit excited when I checked my email yesterday.  I had gotten an email from Disneyworld touting their most current “promotional deal” that, at first glance, caused me to instantly change our plans of waiting to take the boys to the land of Dis until they were a bit older.  We’ve discussed waiting at least another year, until the boys were old enough to *get* it, but this deal was so shitastic that I would be a fool to pass it up. 


The *deal* included airfare, hotel, multi-day ‘park-hopper’ tickets for each person to all Disney properties AND (THE BEST PART) “a $750 Disney Giftcard” that could be used for Disney merchandise and/or food at any Disney property and/or merchant.  HELLS YEAH, I’ll sell my soul to Uncle Walt (not to be confused with the boys’ UNCLE WALT!) for a free $750.


I log onto SWA’s website to book my travel.  And I notice, in the fine print, that in order to get *the deal*, you must book a room that is clearly marked “sale” or “Free $750 Gift Card Promotion” in order to secure *the deal*.


If you’ve ever tried to book a vacation package on Southwest Airline’s website, or any other travel site’s website, you already know that finding the specific items you need to book in order to get *the deal* takes a PHD in bullshit and linguistics.  I was able to book any room at any Disney property, but none of the rooms were marked “sale” or “Free $750 Gift Card Promotion”.  It took me a good hour and fully-charged battery before I FINALLY figured out that you had to first book the resort you wanted and then choose “upgrade room” to find the rooms that were marked as directed to actually get *the deal*.  Imagine my shock when I learned that the “sale rooms” were EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY THREE DOLLARS MORE than the “regularly priced rooms”.  In other words, I wouldn’t be getting a “free” $750 gift card, I would actually be paying for the gift card myself, in advance, for $93 MORE than the value of the gift card. 


Seriously?  Do people actually do that?  Do they actually fool themselves into believing they’re getting a “great deal” and book this vacation package?  I’d just assume take the room/package at the regular price and pocket my own $843 cash and be able to spend the money the way (and in place I want to) rather than be forced to pre-pay merchandise/food on a Disney “gift” card.  Like, I could stop by a McDonald’s on my way into a Disney property and pay $17 for a crappy breakfast for my entire family with my own money than go to a Disney buffet and pay $47/person using their “gift” card. 


Honestly.  I’d love to hear from someone who has purchased this *deal*!