Only a spider trusts the web

I stole this strapline from a Trailfinders T-shirt which my son owned in his rugby days, but this is probably even more relevant now than when he acquired it about five years ago

As a Travel Counsellor I offer personal service that you just would not get from the web or a call centre. For a start I do all the necessary research to narrow down choices. I offer emergency service 24/7 and 100% financial guarantee on everything we book. I can add on car parking, excursions in resort and many other extras. My clients have my mobile number so they can add services even when they are in resort they can text me. As well as that I contact hotels directly with any queries, concerns or special requests, I provide directions, maps and information.

If you book on the internet, are there hidden charges, is there an emergency telephone number if anything goes wrong, who do ask if you have any questions?

1 will give you a few examples from the last week alone

Client 1

Asked me to match a holiday price from verycheapholidays.com. Could you honestly trust a company that makes no attempt to hide the fact that they want to put as many bums on seats as possible for extremely low profit margins. If it is your aim to get the cheapest possible holiday then keep you fingers crossed that nothing will go wrong because they will probably follow the path of many before them

Client 2

Found a holiday about £50 cheaper on a website but failed to notice the terms and conditions. The 2% debit card fee would have cost almost £24 (ours is nil) so this client felt that my service wasn’t worth £26. Is this a client I want to keep? Definitely not, so I happily let that one walk even after spending weeks researching it

Client 3

Asked me to match a staff discount because my service is better. Enough said

Client 4

Asked me to check various destinations before booking flights directly because they were cheap. Of course she hadn’t reckoned on the fact that the chosen destination was in peak season and also having a boom year, so the budget set aside for accommodation was totally unrealistic

Client 5

Nearly booked Ryanair because it was cheap until they realised that the luggage would cost £120 and the booking fee a further £24

Client 6

Booked their own accommodation then realised there was no practical or cheap way of getting there

Client 7

Wanted to go to the USA and was completely unaware that he did not have the correct documentation to do that

Needless to say I have had the job of sorting these clients out at various stages. It is true that almost anyone can book a flight on the internet but it’s often not quite that simple and it pays in the long run to pay an expert a modest fee for peace of mind

While I do not claim to be good at doing accounts, floristry or dressmaking, I do have 40 years experience in the travel industry and I do try to get the best and most suitable choices for my clients and it is really frustrating to have to pick up the pieces of DIY disasters

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