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jfrenaye
10-05-2007, 04:19 PM
I wanted to post this on the public side as well. Lately, there have been many MLM travel opportunities popping up--no doubt you may have received a solicitation.

In a nutshell, you can book travel on their website (mostly automated with limited people backup in a call center). They recommend for problems that you contact the supplier directly. If you are looking to make a lot of money, you can buy your own website and then recruit others to do the same...and the chain continues.

Personally, I feel these folks are cheapening the industry. They are taking experiences and making them into a transaction. They are not "selling" but referring. They are not travel agents, they are web site operators.

I feel that the leaders of our industry need to take a stand on this issue. After all, because I buy TurboTax, I cannot call myself an accountant.

The industry has never had any policing and it is about time. I developed this online petition (sorry about the ads, I did not want to pay to have them removed) that I would like you to look at.

If you agree, please feel free to sign your name. Emails are confidential and not sent to me (the petitioner) unless you specifically say so. It is my hope that with enough signatures from agents, travelers, and even suppliers, we can present this to ASTA, ARTA, CLIA, and other associations and suppliers to see if we can affect change.

Thanks for the consideration--

John


Here is the link to the petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/NOMLM/petition.html

weblet
10-17-2007, 05:31 PM
Update for all our non-agent friends here on Tripso. John's petition has taken off and currently has nearly 1500 signatures. We welcome members of the public to sign also - please, if you feel the same way we do about MLMs, sign the petition.

Coincidental to the start of the petition, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has now cut off sales to YTB (Your Travel Biz) and Joystar, and are looking at a third company. We congratulate this supplier for taking a stand.

If you are not sure just how this affects you, ask. We'll be happy to answer any questions....

REAL AGENT
10-26-2007, 11:46 PM
Here is what he posted on our Forum at Travel Planners:
As most of you probably heard, RCI has terminated their contract with YTB and two other MLM (Card Mill) agencies. I have been battling these types of business models for a while now and last Friday established an online petition ( http://www.petitiononline.com/NOMLM/petition.html (http://www.petitiononline.com/NOMLM/petition.html)) to present to our associations and suppliers encouraging them to do exactly what Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Azamara have done this week.

I have met with ASTA and Carnival and spoken and emailed with many others in the industry attempting to get their backing. So far it has been successful. OSSN, ARTA, ASTA, Carlson Wagonlit, American Express, among others have all endorsed the idea.

The main issues I see with the MLM model are as follows:

* Suppliers allowing them discounts, free travel, FAMS, and other perks merely for referring themselves and their family to a website
* Suppliers paying top commissions from day one, when we have to work years for a few points
* The MLM companies idea of help to the consumer is to refer them to the Travel Agent Only toll free number of the supplier
* The solicitation of our clients with slick unethical and misleading marketing materials
* The solicitation of travel agents themselves to join their "downline"
* Consumers believing that they are booking with a "friend" and ultimately it is being handled by an untrained person in a res center
* The promotion of their business with the focus on "free travel"

Think about what you sell in a year and how valuable you are to the suppliers. YTB has stated that in July 2007 they paid nearly $1M in commissions. That seems impressive on the surface. But they had 106,102 "agents". Of that number, only 17,644 sold ANY travel to earn an average commission of $57.05 for the month! ( http://www.ytb.com/downloads/RTA_Earnings.htm (http://www.ytb.com/downloads/RTA_Earnings.htm))

I am encouraging any travel agent, supplier, or anyone sympathetic to our industry to sign the online petition so we can send a clear message to our suppliers and our associations. This is a grass roots effort and a viral one. Please pass it along to anyone you know if you agree.

Currently we have over 800 signatures in a week. This went live last Friday. These 800 signatures (as best I can tell) represent over a BILLION in annual travel sales. I encourage you to join us and add your name to the list. You do not need to identify your agency if you do not want, but I do encourage everyone to include any designations you may hold--CTC, CTA, DS, ACC, MCC, ECC. And feel free to insert any comments you feel appropriate. Your email is NOT disclosed but the software will verify it.

I appreciate your time, and I hope that you can help us out. This is a serious issue in our industry and it is about time that agents--the legitimate ones, take a stand!

The petition is located here
http://www.petitiononline.com/NOMLM/petition.html (http://www.petitiononline.com/NOMLM/petition.html)