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Old March 26th, 2014, 05:55 PM's Avatar is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ashburn, VA
Posts: 1,679

As I stated; an agent may have a group rate that they booked many months ago when the rates were lower, so you may be able to get space in their group. For example, our company books over 50,000 cabins into group space and those prices or amenities will be different.

As for discounting or providing OBC outside of any group just for the sake of discounting is something to be very careful about. Keep in mind that when an agent does this, they're actually reducing their commission. So often they have to sell more to break even and thus they concentrate more on quantity than quality. Sometimes they may even have extra fees associated with bookings to help with the extra costs. And more than 95% of the time, as in the case of large online companies or the cruise lines, the people you talk to; 1) work in a call center, 2) are not certified travel agents, 3) have worked for the company for less than 6 months, and 4) have never been on a cruise or to any of the ports. Their job is to sell, not to provide service.

I always find it amazing that people think an agent should always give them something, yet they never ask their doctor, dentist, or auto mechanic to give them something. A small business person works hard for their income, just like you work hard for yours. Would you think it appropriate if someone was always asking you to give some of your income back to them if they do business with you?

Everyone thinks agents make alot of money and get alot of perks. Nothing could be further from the truth. Based on over 35 years of experience, I can honestly say that less than 10% of agents actually make enough money to count it as a full-time job, but they're still not up to the average middle-income salary.

Many agents are simple hard-working small business people who are trying to do a good job, build a reputable business, and provide for their families.

Travel Agent/Cruise Specialist w/13 yrs exp and 48 Cruises on 11 cruise lines! Favorites: Paul Gauguin - Tahiti: Uniworld River Cruises - Europe; Celebrity Solstice-class ships; Holland America - 12-nights Baltics & Russia; RCCL - 14-nights Greek Isles, Turkey, & Croatia; Holland America - 14-day Alaskan cruisetour; 10-night Canada/New England cruise; 21 days Hawaii w/7-night NCL cruise; Oceania - 25 days in Asia; more than 3 months touring Europe by train. And many all-inclusive resorts!
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