I am sooooooo mad about this. Am I in the wrong? You tell me.
I used a specific travel agent to book a very expensive trip to Australia a year ago, and also used her to book a very expensive trip to Hawaii this year. When it came time to get info on the Punta Cana trip, naturally, I went to her again. Well, she didn't work much in the Carribean, so she sent me to her employee.
This new woman, I thought, was a bit short with me from the beginning, but whatever. She looked up some info and pricing for us, we thought about it - then put it on hold because I was moving - and then picked it back up again. The price in that timeframe had gone up, so we started comparing things on our own. Irish found a decent price elsewhere, but it was at a different hotel. I said that to be fair, we had to give her the chance to price that hotel, so we could compare apples to apples. She came back with a price that was MORE expensive than what we'd found, but she said if we sent her the info on what we'd found, she could beat it or match it. (My question is, if that's the case, why didn't she quote us that to START with?) Well, I sent her the information, and she sent an email that read "good news! I can get you that price for $$$." So I called USAir vacations (the other source of the good deal) to make sure we were pricing the same flights and such, and they gave me the EXACT SAME PRICE, actually, they did $10 better. So I went ahead and booked it with USAir vacations. Why go through the agent, when I now thought I was being played and I could get the same deal directly?
So I sent her an email explaining that I felt bad, but that these people could beat her deal and we'd book with them directly.
An hour later, I got a call from the agent I'd used to book Australia and Hawaii, basically making me feel guilty about this and chastising me. I stood up for myself and told her that I had every right to book the best deal, and that if this other agent could've gotten me the better deal, she should've done that to start out with, instead of pussyfooting around and quoting me prices that were hundreds higher. If we thought we were getting a good deal, then we wouldn't have even looked elsewhere. Plus, she was putting us on these ridiculously early flights with 5 hour layovers when there were other, equal cost flights that had only an hour layover.
The original agent said that now she doesn't get paid for all that work (we did as much if not more work on this than she did) and that for only $10 difference, we should've booked with her. Implying that I was a bitch and had done this on purpose, "using" this woman. She said normally she charges a $100 deposit to ensure people book with her when she does the work, but since she'd worked with me before, she didn't ask for that. Plus, she'd done some preliminary work on a trip to Greece for me that she didn't get paid for either. I told her that I'd booked 2 very expensive trips through her, that I'd been a good client, and that I didn't think I got a good deal with her coworker. I also told her that I schedule at least one big trip a year, and I didn't want to work with an agent who thought this way of me, or made me feel guilty.
In case you can't tell from the rambling, I'm still kind of perturbed about the whole thing. Should I really have booked with her? If travel agents can't get me a great deal, why work with them? Grrr Argh.