Despite its wholesome brand image, Disneyland Paris is facing a probe by the French government after an accusation that the theme park resort prevents British, German, and Italian visitors from securing certain price promotions.
BBC News reports that the European Commission is ordering the French government to investigate Disneyland Paris’s pricing policies after receiving “a number of complaints” from non-French customers, according to an European Commission spokeswoman. British customers seeking Paris vacations, for example, were allegedly paying 15% more for a one-day ticket than French customers.
Specifically, there have been cases in which French customers paid €1,346 for a premium package while British customers paid €1,870 and German customers paid €2,447 for the same package.
Assuming the accusations are true, the European Commission is concerned that Disneyland Paris is deliberately shielding non-French customers from pricing deals available to French customers, said European Commission spokeswoman Lucia Caudet. Under European Commission law, companies are not allowed to prevent consumers in member states from finding the best deals.
Customers from at least three countries — the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy — have filed complaints with the EC.
However, a spokesman for Disneyland Paris denies the allegations, claiming that it is simply a misunderstanding. Disneyland Paris offers the same prices to everyone in the European Union and also offers different promotions during specific times of the year to coincide with events like school vacations and national holidays.
The spokesman also denied that his company is engaging in “geo-blocking,” a practice in which deals and promotions are denied to people who access computers in a certain country. However, he did say that the problem may be due to an unintentional security measure Disneyland Paris employs. Some promotions cannot be purchased directly from a French website unless they are paid for using a credit card with a billing address in France.
“It’s an anti-fraud measure,” the spokesman said.
“Disneyland Paris is a tourist attraction visited by French citizens and non-French citizens alike,” says Alley Bradley, Managing Director, Paris Copia. “So much so, that Disneyland Paris is considered to be one of the top visited entertainment resorts in all of Europe. As a result of the pricing probe, holidaymakers with plans to visit the theme park should do their research to ensure they are receiving the best deal possible. Be sure to call the Disneyland Paris local reservations office, it’s worth the long distance call to ensure you are receiving the best price.”