European Union Investigates Claims Disneyland Paris Charges Different Prices According To Where Customer Lives

Image courtesy of (Sean MacEntee)

In European Union member states, consumers aren’t supposed to be charged differently for products or services depending on where they live. Yet visitors to the happiest place accessible by Paris commuter rail, Disneyland Paris, have complained to the European Commission that the resort charges people differently according to where they’re from.

The items in question are vacation packages, not just regular old tickets to the park itself. The Financial Times provided the example of a premium package, for which travelers from other parts of France were charged €1,346, but people from the United Kingdom had to pay €1,870, and someone from Germany would be charged €2,447.

Disneyland disagrees with the allegations, pointing out that visitors from different places need different services, and that travelers from more distant parts of Europe must book their travel farther in advance, which raises the prices. The company’s vice president explained to AFP that “an English (visitor) will reserve a holiday six months to a year in advance, while with the French it’s four to six months ahead.” The site doesn’t detect where visitors are and show them different prices accordingly, he claims.

While people traveling from different places might see different prices on the website, they are welcome to call in and request the price available to a French tourist: they’d just be responsible for getting themselves to the park using railroads or a car, instead of having transportation charges included in their package price.

Does this explanation make sense? Since the alleged discriminatory pricing happened in France, French investigators are now in charge of the case and will check out consumers’ claims.

Disneyland Paris rejects price discrimination claim [AFP]
Taking the Mickey? Disneyland Paris accused of overcharging foreign visitors [Guardian]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.