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To travel agent or not to travel agent?

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I would like to chime in with my 2 cents in explanation and advice please... When we first book for a couple we always discuss whether they prefer to book the rooms for themselves and guests using a group contract pricing or whether they prefer to let the guests book on their own individually.

With group rates, as this one above was described, the couple sign a contract confirming the pricing, and room block and they put a deposit up for the rooms, typically $100 per room. The rates are guaranteed not to go up, and the rooms are yours and cannot sell out. Also, the hotel will list amenities you will receive..typical for the Now chain is a very generous package of free nights and upgrades for the bridal couple based on how many guests are booked at the final accounting time.

The prices are confirmed for the room and transfers from the airport only and do not include the price of air. Final payment is due for groups normally at 60 days prior to departure.

If the hotel does drop their prices and they advertise it on their own website, we can ask for a price adjustment and I have never had a hotel decline to accommodate that request.

What the above client is describing, I think, is that one of her guests used an online search engine program and found an air/hotel combo that was lower in price. Depending on the current price of air that CAN happen. That type of online booking generally does not include the cost of transfers from the airport, and often when added back in, the price IS back at comparable to the group rate structure, but it can happen that it might be a little less.

It is two very different styles of pricing. With group pricing you know you have the rooms and a solid price, with individual bookings the hotel could sell out or raise the rates and nothing can be done as there are no guarantees on rates and no amenities for the wedding couple.

If someone DOES go outside your group block and book their room with an online search engine, their room would no longer count towards any of your complimentary rooms or upgrades and they are actually not even allowed for us to oversee their reservation or acknowledge them as part of your group at all.

If we are doing individual bookings for you and your guests, then yes, we can price match to any rate they find online, typically, but it must also be booked and issued and paid in full the same day the price match occurs.

When we first begin to work with a couple we always discuss these two pricing options as they are quite different.. apples to oranges so to speak, and we determine which will work best for the clients.

Hope that helps explain a little!

TA Wendy

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WOW! I am actually sitting here shocked, calling me out as a liar. Why would I make any of this up. I too have the emails.

I emailed her March 2nd.

"Hi Teresa,
I wanted to touch base with you since it has been months since I have
received any correspondence from your office in regards to our trip.
Is there any way you can provide me with a list of all of our guests
who have booked their trip? I would like to also confirm their arrival
and departure dates so if you can send me that information I would
appreciate it. Also, please let me know if there are any outstanding
issues with our reservations that need to be addressed."

 

YES she sent me a list on March 2nd -

her response

"Hi Sharon,

Nice to hear from you.  We usually don't correspond with you unless we are
missing something... Your group's rooming list has been finalized per the
attached rooming list.   We will follow up with your guest regarding final
payments on March 14th which is the due date.  Once the group is finalized
the resort will provide the hotel confirmation numbers so we can prepare the
Hotel Vouchers which we will send via email to each guest and it will just
need to be printed and presented to the hotel upon check-in."

 

Exactly as I said she does not email you reservations when people book unless you ask. I just assumed there would be more communication...

So I never received another list after I asked for it. I emailed about a month later for another list and she said it was the same. It clearly wasn't because we had 2 more guests book after she sent me this and their reservations were not in the system when they tried to check in.

Whether it was her or the resorts fault I had emailed her from the resort to ask if she could make sure the rest of the guests had reservations. I am sorry I again assumed she would have called them to make sure...

Also, most of my guests did say they never got receipts...again why would I make this up. As I ended the 1st post again I will say every time I needed something she did get back to me. My original post was not to bash her it was me merely giving my opinion which I thought forums were for...

 

 

Originally Posted by Tammy Host View Post

Sharon,

 

I just got a response from Teresa and it looks like the mistake was not on her end at all.  The reservations were never NOT confirmed.  

 

In addition, she did send you a rooming list.

 

I read the emails and they did not sound rude.

 

I think it would be helpful to other brides if you were more truthful with your statements.  

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Originally Posted by Karleen Edwards View Post

 

I am dealing with Barbara Vong from Wright Travel Agency. Has anyone ever worked with her before?

I have been working with Babs since the end of Feb. We changed resorts in the DR and it was seamless. It didn't affect my guests at all. I had a recent issue with not being able to get a passport for my son and had to change the wedding from being in the DR to being in FL. She has been really great with my indecisiveness. I finally selected a resort in Ft. Lauderdale but it was not one that her suppliers have a contract with. She worked to have that resort added. And she even told me that if they weren't able to add it she would work with them directly without using her suppliers. This whole process has been really stressfull for me and it is great to have one less thing be stressfull.

 

You will like working with Barbara. She has really been a life saver. She is also really good about her response time. I swear there were times we were emailing around the clock back and forth.

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Sharon,

 

I am not interested in getting into an argument with you.  I just found your post not fully truthful.

 

You mention that you had issues with your check-in.  Did the issues have anything to do with the fact that you wanted 1 room category but booked a different room category? (with multiple confirmations stating what room category you wanted?)

 

You mention that your friend's reservation was not in the system.  It was in the system and there was a confirmation. The resort was just was slow finding it because the lead name was another male name.  It probably would have been helpful if you guest had mentioned, "oh, i am sharing a room with john doe"...that would have probably expedited the process.  Again, NOT Teresa's fault but an issue with the communication between your guest and the hotel and the hotel being slow to find the room.

 

You mention that with the amount spent she could at least let you know when people book.

 

1. 27 people is not a really big group so it is not like she hit the lottery

2. some brides DO NOT want to know every detail of who has called, booked, paid etc.  If brides communicate with us that they want rooming lists, we send them.  We usually send a final rooming list as well, if that is what the bride/groom wants.  We do not just send them emails for no reason.  Communication runs both ways.  If you had a question, concern, needed something you should have let her know instead of 

 

You are upset because she has not emailed you in several months BUT you admit that she always responded to your emails.  Communication runs both ways.  If you had a question, concern, needed something you should have let her know instead of expecting her to read your mind.

 

What did you want, her to just email and chat with you.  She responded that she only emails if there is a need to and you think that is rude.  I have read the email below that you bolded and considered rude and it isn't.  

 

 

Originally Posted by Sharon99 View Post

I would tell her the prices so she can match or use someone else.

 

I also used Teresa & was not impressed and felt like once they got our depositsbookings they didn't care. I did not hear from them from when we signed until the month before when I asked for an update to who was booked. (about 6 months) I thought that was also a little ridiculous. With the amount of money spent you could at least send an email with a hey here is who booked so far or the booking deadline is coming...anything. I had questioned the lack of communication to Teresa & her response was they dont do that...

We also had some issues with guests checking in including US. I emailed Teresa from the resort about it & to make sure no other guests had issues & to make sure their reservations were confirmed. She responded rudely to me and basically said they had rooms. Yeah, they had rooms because WE resolved the issues from that day. She never even bothered to check because the 2 days later a guest who supposedly had a reservation was not in their system. 

Also, most of our guests complained that they never received email confirmations and receipts and a few responses were "lost".

I will say on a positive note that every time I emailed I did receive a response. I guess I just expected more seeing as she made out with our group block. We had 27 guests in total...

Good luck to you. 

 

 

 

Quote:

WOW! I am actually sitting here shocked, calling me out as a liar. Why would I make any of this up. I too have the emails.

I emailed her March 2nd.

"Hi Teresa,
I wanted to touch base with you since it has been months since I have
received any correspondence from your office in regards to our trip.
Is there any way you can provide me with a list of all of our guests
who have booked their trip? I would like to also confirm their arrival
and departure dates so if you can send me that information I would
appreciate it. Also, please let me know if there are any outstanding
issues with our reservations that need to be addressed."

 

YES she sent me a list on March 2nd -

her response

"Hi Sharon,

Nice to hear from you.  We usually don't correspond with you unless we are
missing something... Your group's rooming list has been finalized per the
attached rooming list.   We will follow up with your guest regarding final
payments on March 14th which is the due date.  Once the group is finalized
the resort will provide the hotel confirmation numbers so we can prepare the
Hotel Vouchers which we will send via email to each guest and it will just
need to be printed and presented to the hotel upon check-in."

 

Exactly as I said she does not email you reservations when people book unless you ask. I just assumed there would be more communication...

So I never received another list after I asked for it. I emailed about a month later for another list and she said it was the same. It clearly wasn't because we had 2 more guests book after she sent me this and their reservations were not in the system when they tried to check in.

Whether it was her or the resorts fault I had emailed her from the resort to ask if she could make sure the rest of the guests had reservations. I am sorry I again assumed she would have called them to make sure...

Also, most of my guests did say they never got receipts...again why would I make this up. As I ended the 1st post again I will say every time I needed something she did get back to me. My original post was not to bash her it was me merely giving my opinion which I thought forums were for...

 

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i'm working with Babs too! She's been so helpful! If I need something, I ask her for it.  and she responds right away! My girl Babs is rockin...HOLLA!! (that's what she says to me!)

 

Communication is so key in this TA/client relationship.  It def works both ways. Also, if possible, try to have phone conversations, following up an email.  It's easy for an email/text to be read in a different way than it was intended.

Originally Posted by Karleen Edwards View Post

I am dealing with Barbara Vong from Wright Travel Agency. Has anyone ever worked with her before?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oct 2012 Bride View Post

I have been working with Babs since the end of Feb. We changed resorts in the DR and it was seamless. It didn't affect my guests at all. I had a recent issue with not being able to get a passport for my son and had to change the wedding from being in the DR to being in FL. She has been really great with my indecisiveness. I finally selected a resort in Ft. Lauderdale but it was not one that her suppliers have a contract with. She worked to have that resort added. And she even told me that if they weren't able to add it she would work with them directly without using her suppliers. This whole process has been really stressfull for me and it is great to have one less thing be stressfull.

You will like working with Barbara. She has really been a life saver. She is also really good about her response time. I swear there were times we were emailing around the clock back and forth.

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Originally Posted by Tammy Host View Post

 

Sharon,

 

I am not interested in getting into an argument with you.  I just found your post not fully truthful.

 

You mention that you had issues with your check-in.  Did the issues have anything to do with the fact that you wanted 1 room category but booked a different room category? (with multiple confirmations stating what room category you wanted?)

 

You mention that your friend's reservation was not in the system.  It was in the system and there was a confirmation. The resort was just was slow finding it because the lead name was another male name.  It probably would have been helpful if you guest had mentioned, "oh, i am sharing a room with john doe"...that would have probably expedited the process.  Again, NOT Teresa's fault but an issue with the communication between your guest and the hotel and the hotel being slow to find the room.

 

You mention that with the amount spent she could at least let you know when people book.

 

1. 27 people is not a really big group so it is not like she hit the lottery

2. some brides DO NOT want to know every detail of who has called, booked, paid etc.  If brides communicate with us that they want rooming lists, we send them.  We usually send a final rooming list as well, if that is what the bride/groom wants.  We do not just send them emails for no reason.  Communication runs both ways.  If you had a question, concern, needed something you should have let her know instead of 

 

You are upset because she has not emailed you in several months BUT you admit that she always responded to your emails.  Communication runs both ways.  If you had a question, concern, needed something you should have let her know instead of expecting her to read your mind.

 

What did you want, her to just email and chat with you.  She responded that she only emails if there is a need to and you think that is rude.  I have read the email below that you bolded and considered rude and it isn't.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

    By no means was a I trying to right a negative review.  I was simply trying to give my fair and balanced opinion of everything related to accommodations for our wedding.  Reviews aside either positive or negative, the nature of your response seems aggressive and somewhat harsh.   While I still do not feel there were any glaring problems with our trip, there were questionable items which occurred.  While there was no blame being necessarily pointed.  My husband booked our room with Teresa and had no problems at all, he stated numerous times that he had no issues.  He booked the room we wanted and paid for it all up front.  The questionable part came to when we got to the resort and they had us booked for a different room.  The concierge even asked to see our voucher to show what room we booked, almost as if he didn't believe us, luckily my husband had it.  The Vacations 4 Less voucher did say the right room, exactly as we requested.  Where the mix up happened, who knows...but was not putting blame directly on Vacations 4 Less.   As for the friend who arrived the day we did.  He was the one who originally booked the room and was the first to arrive.  One would have expected the room to be found under his name.  Once again, not a complaint just a description of what occurred.  Another couple that was in our party that arrived on Tuesday was told they did not have a room booked for them.  The hotel asked for another deposit for a room and asked if they could stop back in a few hours after having lunch and some drinks.  After about 2-3 hours when they stopped back at the front desk, the hotel stated that they did find the room.  Once again, not pointing blame anywhere, just giving an description of what occurred.   Communication preferences are subjective and each person views them differently.  Just as I had my thoughts, you had yours.  Like I said it was subjective and not made to offend anyone.   As I stated above, nothing I wrote was meant to be negative.  My only goal was to write an honest description of what occurred.  If you took all of this to be negative, than there is nothing else to say about that.  I will say however that the tone of your response was rude and almost disrespectful, writing things like "hit the lottery" and "what did you want her to do" is just not needed.  I am here simply to express my experience and not be criticized.  I understand that you refer people to Vacations 4 Less and that is fine, but try to be impartial and let people express their opinions...which is why people come to this site to begin with.
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