It was only a matter of time, but I just read about a group of travel agents and agencies (which shall remain nameless for now) have come up with a new scam. I find it to be deplorable.
With the present market having so many price reductions, which usually results in travel agents having to take a lesser commission (because commissions are almost always based on a percentage of the price), many travel agents have been hit with lower income. So what are some doing to shore it up? They ripoff their clients!
Here is how it works: You book a cruise for X dollars and sometime later the cruise line reduces the price of your cruise. Rather than your travel agent truthfully telling you that there was a price reduction, he tells you, “Hey, I have great news! I was able to get you a double upgrade at no cost to you.” That way his commission remains at the higher level and you are not only none-the-wiser you are defrauded into thinking your travel agent is fantastic pulling off such a great thing just for you. (Whattaguy!)
Here is how I do it…and how I believe it must be done: You book a cruise for X dollars and sometime later the cruise line reduces the price of your cruise. I tell you that there has been a price reduction on your cruise and give you the option of taking the savings or, as an alternative, getting you the upgrade.
Simply put, you came to me to book a Category A suite at the lowest price I can sell it to you for. You did not come to me to book you the best suite I could sell you for X dollars. What would give me the right to sell you your cruise for more than you asked me to?
By the way, I have (through various cruise line promotions) been able to secure upgrades and double upgrades for my clients. Those upgrades are such that there is no discount for taking a lower category suite or cabin, so if the upgrade was declined the price remained the same. Those are what we call “Complimentary” upgrades.
In this economy I would urge you to stick with those who you trust. It doesn’t matter if the agency goes out of business and you are left with no cruise because they took your money directly and didn’t pay the cruise line (ala Cruise Value Center) or they scammed you into overpaying for your cruise by deceptively upgrading your cabin. Either way, the travel agency pocketed your money without your knowledge or consent.
I work hard to earn your business and I do that by earning your trust. That is why I am so fortunate to have a very loyal client base…and my integrity.