Don’t Be This Travel Client

Don't Be This Travel Client


We're Very Grateful for the Vast Majority of Our TravelSort Clients. They value our professional expertise and trust us to recommend the destinations, hotels, resorts, and cruises that will match their preferences. Many of them recommend us to their colleagues, family, and friends, which we greatly appreciate.

Every once and a while, however, there's a situation that just makes one scratch one's head and wonder what that person's spouse or parent would think if they knew.

It started innocuously enough: a client that hadn't reserved with us for awhile asked for an overwater villa at a luxury resort in the Maldives, during festive season, that would accommodate four adults, for four family members. They didn't want two overwater villas (the client asserted it wasn't a question of money) because they were all very close and wanted to be in the same villa. While there are some overwater villas at certain luxury resorts that will permit two adults and two younger children, they don't permit four adults. The Maldives, at least at the luxury level, is just not that kind of destination.

That said, we were able to find a luxury resort that agreed to make an exception, due to our preferred partner relationship, and we conveyed the offer to the client.

No word from the client for a week and a half. Then an email that says he wants to reserve with points, and what is our fee to “handle the reservation since there is the four person issue.” This wouldn't be a big deal for a first-time client, who might not realize that we don't handle award stays at all, since they don't remunerate our company with any commission, but this client should have known better. Fine, though, let's say he forgot and just needed reminding; that's not what this is about.

Instead, via my resort contact, I learned that this client had written to the resort with a completely different email signature than in his emails to us. In these emails to the resort, he held himself out to be the owner of a travel agency (except that the Web site link didn't go to a real agency site). Needless to say, he wasn't satisfied with the “no” he received on his requests to both upgrade his points reservation to the larger villa type, and to get the exception we had negotiated as part of our preferred partner status applied, so he attempted what looks like fraud, pretending to be a professional in an industry he's not part of, with a preferred partner affiliation he doesn't have.

So, if you plan to invent a travel agency and try to get special perks and exceptions made: please don't. You're wasting everyone's time: the resort's, our company's, and your own.

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