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TA ever charge a consulting fee??


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Has anyone ever had a TA try  to charge a consulting fee for their time and expertise in helping them in planning a booking?

 

This recently happened to a friend of mine and I find it a bit unethical.   The TA asked for a check to be written out personally to her after the cruise was cancelled due to COVID 19.

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37 minutes ago, Condocat said:

Has anyone ever had a TA try  to charge a consulting fee for their time and expertise in helping them in planning a booking?

 

This recently happened to a friend of mine and I find it a bit unethical.   The TA asked for a check to be written out personally to her after the cruise was cancelled due to COVID 19.

Time to find a new T/A.

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There's a poster on the Celebrity board that says they're a TA and never gives any perks and his clients pay him extra for his expertise. Claims he has all the clients he can handle and is not accepting more. I wonder how he's faring now?

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I would  think if the fee was discussed up front it is not unethical

You have the choice to use that agency or go elsewhere

Asking  for  a cheque  to the TA is a bit dodgy

 

Some agencies  do charge  a fee for their services  ..but usually taken off the the booking

 

Some people have no qualms about going to a smaller agency & getting personal care    then go to a discount agent to book the holiday

It takes time away from  the TA  when they could be spending it with clients that are serious about  booking with them

JMO

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My TA books flights and performs other tasks , for which there are no commissions, for clients that wish her to do so. Some of her clients want her to take care of everything for them. She tells them upfront of any fees for certain transactions. 
 

She doesn’t charge for services for which there are commissions paid by the service providers. Just as some travelers fire their TA, sometimes TA fire their customers. Two way street. Some customers are more work , and pain, than income they provide. 

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14 minutes ago, cayman09 said:

Personally I'd tell them where to deposit the check! Then run to a new TA. I've been traveling for work or pleasure for 50+ years and I've never been asked to do this.

 

Some clients  are a lot of work  so some agencies charge a fee  as long as you know upfront you can choose to use them or run to another  agency

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Has anyone ever had a TA try  to charge a consulting fee for their time and expertise in helping them in planning a booking?
 
This recently happened to a friend of mine and I find it a bit unethical.   The TA asked for a check to be written out personally to her after the cruise was cancelled due to COVID 19.

My understanding is that TAs are compensated by most cruise lines when the cruise line cancels.
I would ask the TA to provide a statement from the cruise line regarding their refusal to pay any commission.


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I used to be a TA and knew of some agents who did that and continue to do so. A large part of travel agent work is research and planning and often times you may spend days on arranging someone’s trip and then they don’t want to take it. Generally, the few agents that I knew who do that specialized in luxury land travel in Italy and Asia which required a lot of leg work to arrange including making long distance calls. Having been in this business you get a lot of shoppers as well as people who quite frankly consume a large part of your time but then again as the professional it is your job to cut ties with people who require great time and no commitment. The travel agent I use is an old colleague of mine and he does not charge fees and always gives incentives when booking cruises. He is savvy and does his best to let go of prospects that do not seem to want to make a commitment. 

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As to work that an agent does...it comes with the job.   You get duds and lookie loos and you get big spenders.   It's all part of the job...like real estate or selling any product orservice  not ever effort is  rewarded... but  thats the natire of the job.   

  On the other hand there are some agents who are going to push for as much $$$ as they can wrangle or squeeze... like time share salesmen, they try to push a client as far as they can.....    They are disciples of old W.C Fields who said " Never give a sucker an even break"     And Gordon Gecko  "  Greed if Good" .     

 

  If an agent asked for money for his time it is clear he is working for himself and not you.    The guy who brags he charges  his clients and had all be business he can use,,  Is selling a line...  Promoting a con he hopes suckers will buy into.     If business was that good... why would he bother to to brag?????????????/

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Dan;

 

I have had complex flight arrangements that I have had to call the airlines to properly book. Doing it on line was not feasible. The airlines charge a fee for that service for which I gladly paid. 
 

Why do some here get bent out of shape, if a TA completes any arrangement they may not want to take the time to do themselves when no commissions are involved?
 

Let me assure you there a jerks out there that book 4-5 cruises, with all the flight and other arrangements, every year and routinely cancel all but maybe one. Some TA just fire them, others charge them for their efforts and make money where they can!

 

You might remember Oceania even started cracking down on people booking multiple cruises and then cancelling last minute. A $750/$1500 deposit, which is fully refundable, is chump change for many O cruisers. 

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18 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

As to work that an agent does...it comes with the job.   You get duds and lookie loos and you get big spenders.   It's all part of the job...like real estate or selling any product orservice  not ever effort is  rewarded... but  thats the natire of the job.   

  On the other hand there are some agents who are going to push for as much $$$ as they can wrangle or squeeze... like time share salesmen, they try to push a client as far as they can.....    They are disciples of old W.C Fields who said " Never give a sucker an even break"     And Gordon Gecko  "  Greed if Good" .     

 

  If an agent asked for money for his time it is clear he is working for himself and not you.    The guy who brags he charges  his clients and had all be business he can use,,  Is selling a line...  Promoting a con he hopes suckers will buy into.     If business was that good... why would he bother to to brag?????????????/

It’s business. I may not necessarily agree with all of that model but a business conducts itself as it sees fit. I am selling my coop (condo) at the moment and the real estate made me sign paper work stating that I agree to pay any administration fees (For advertising and the like) if I elect to back out. In addition, airlines charge customers fees for making changes and even booking on the phone. Of course when you become a travel agent you do realize that you will go through a lot of people who waste your time but for some agents they see fit to charge for their time. 

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On 7/22/2020 at 9:42 AM, nycruiser80 said:

It’s business. I may not necessarily agree with all of that model but a business conducts itself as it sees fit. I am selling my coop (condo) at the moment and the real estate made me sign paper work stating that I agree to pay any administration fees (For advertising and the like) if I elect to back out. In addition, airlines charge customers fees for making changes and even booking on the phone. Of course when you become a travel agent you do realize that you will go through a lot of people who waste your time but for some agents they see fit to charge for their time. 

My point of contention  is charging fees up-front    I understand cancel fees are appropriate as a penalty for work expended and not able for commission compensation.   The UK has that down..   Cancel a UK booked cruise and you loose the deposit.   Fair enough as they say in UK.

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5 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

My point of contention  is charging fees up-front    I understand cancel fees are appropriate as a penalty for work expended and not able for commission compensation.   The UK has that down..   Cancel a UK booked cruise and you loose the deposit.   Fair enough as they say in UK.

Here the problem Dan..after the person has done all the work for hours and hours and the client cancels there is no way he will gladly pay a cancel fee and all your work has been nothing but a big waste of time..if the person is legitimate and really wants to go on the trip he will not mind paying a fee up front for the knowledge and dependable recommendations he is getting..

Jancruz1

 

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+1 to Jancruz!

 

I have friends that have ran brick and motor businesses with service representatives to help the customers. Most suck up the info and then 

order on line where there is no rent, no customer reps, no nothing!
 

Screw those people! My friends go out of business, and people can breed with what they intelligently garner with what’s online! 

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RANT AHEAD

I remember MANY years ago  pre WWW  ( yes I am old)  some brick & mortar agencies  were charging  $35 -$50  if you wanted to sit down & work on  a holiday plan

If you ended up booking with the agency  they would just deduct the fee from the total  bill

some did have a clause if you cancelled with  a penalty fee

 

If you have  sat on the phone to an airline or a tour wholesaler for sometimes up to 1 hr  at a  time  then have the client  come back & say well we changed our mind what about this place  then you would appreciate the work of the TA  & pay their fee

 

Now with the WWW it is  easy  but with many online places  they will book the cruise/holiday  etc... no problem

if you run into a problem  most  will just blow you off & you are on your own  ..but you got  a good deal    RIGHT

 

Yes it is part of the job of the TA to book the holiday  but also time is money  to them also

 

I remember one client in my other life   that wanted a trip to Ireland  ..touring around etc..

 I spent 3 days  researching  & writing up  a proposal  for him based on his list of wants & needs

spent a few hours sitting in the office  discussing everything  he wanted to do see with his family

after many changes  ..he decided  to rent a car  & DIY

Do you really believe  10%  we earned on the cheap airfare covered my time  which I could have spent with real buyers & not tire kickers

 

I see some posts here  & I would certainly fire those clients  😲

 

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15 hours ago, Jancruz said:

Here the problem Dan..after the person has done all the work for hours and hours and the client cancels there is no way he will gladly pay a cancel fee and all your work has been nothing but a big waste of time..if the person is legitimate and really wants to go on the trip he will not mind paying a fee up front for the knowledge and dependable recommendations he is getting..

Jancruz1

 

Jan, with all due respect, if that is the nature of the industry I would find another way to make a living.    What is the motivation to remain  in such a situation.... I would be long gone if I were being subjected to such abuse.....   Why stay in such an abusive situation...just like an abusive marriage or relation...   I do not get it,sorry  There are plenty of other ways to make a living.

 

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1 hour ago, Hawaiidan said:

There are plenty of other ways to make a living.

Thank you Javanka. Just pick up a stethoscope and open a Dr's office or get a suit and become a lawyer.

Of course, there is an opening at the local McD.

Edited by Paulchili
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1 hour ago, Hawaiidan said:

Jan, with all due respect, if that is the nature of the industry I would find another way to make a living.    What is the motivation to remain  in such a situation.... I would be long gone if I were being subjected to such abuse.....   Why stay in such an abusive situation...just like an abusive marriage or relation...   I do not get it,sorry  There are plenty of other ways to make a living.

 

I guess Jan has done alright. 

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Our agent charges a consulting fee when putting together a complicated itinerary or one with lots of moving pieces.....it is quoted up front and collected up front.  The fee is then deducted from our final payment or returned to us if all payments are direct to suppliers.  I think that is very fair and do not feel she is gouging us.

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7 minutes ago, basor said:

Our agent charges a consulting fee when putting together a complicated itinerary or one with lots of moving pieces.....it is quoted up front and collected up front.  The fee is then deducted from our final payment or returned to us if all payments are direct to suppliers.  I think that is very fair and do not feel she is gouging us.

You are given the choice  to use  them or not.

it is not like  after the booking  they spring the fee on you  like some think

probably worth every penny they charge  😉

 

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22 hours ago, basor said:

Our agent charges a consulting fee when putting together a complicated itinerary or one with lots of moving pieces.....it is quoted up front and collected up front.  The fee is then deducted from our final payment or returned to us if all payments are direct to suppliers.  I think that is very fair and do not feel she is gouging us.

That seems like a very fair system for those that use a TA for planning and research.


I never use a TA for planning and researching vacation options.  I suspect this is the becoming very common.  There are so many free tools available on line. 
 

 I use a TA to get a discount or OBC.  Normally I never cancel a trip, but I would never book with a TA who charges a cancellation or change fee.  IMO my TA spends very little time dealing with my bookings.  They are getting some commission for little or no work.  I feel that I am doing them a favor by not booking direct.

 

Of course today’s COVID environment is terrible for TAs with all the cancellations.  I feel terrible for the industry.  I hope they were able to get some Government assistance, because the current situation is not their fault.  I will remain loyal to my TAs once cruising and vacations start again.


 

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