Well, I have to say it is far more persistent than even I thought.
As we all noted, it would be different if that had our travel agents listed. And if they called and said "we can credit your travel agent for the commission even if you book directly with us."
But the problrm is deeper - the KNOW that some (probably most) people don't really believe that commission are "free" to the consumer, and if the direct caller just hints they can save money by buying direct (and who doesn't basically believe that in most purchases anyway?) - then a person will be easily misled into thinking a direct buy will be cheaper than using an agent.
PLUS - I have had people tell me their caller said they had access to offers travel agents don't get. The day THAT happens we will see a revolt.