Crystal Cruises Evolves Pricing Policy to Discourage Rebating
By Theresa Norton Masek
June 13, 2012 5:49 PM
Crystal Cruises has updated and tightened its anti-rebating policy, which was originally established in 2007, to protect agencies from onboard client solicitation and discourage clients who “shop” their future booking made while on board. The luxury line said it made the changes “in response to thoughtful, constructive recommendations from many of its travel agent partners and consortia leaders.”
The new policy states that when guests make a future booking with Crystal’s onboard cruise consultants and subsequently ask that it be transferred to another agency, only 5 percent commission will be paid to the receiving agency regardless of when the transfer is processed (including cancel/rebook). This is effective immediately for all new bookings and any agency unassigned bookings as of June 12. Agency-transferred bookings that originated on board will also be excluded from any earned overrides and group tour conductor credit. Conversely, when the onboard booking remains with the original agent, the full commission will apply.
Crystal also reaffirmed its long-standing anti-rebating policies that state: No travel seller may advertise or promote Crystal Cruises to the general public at a price lower than our currently applicable, authorized fares (effective November 2007); travel sellers may advertise added-value amenities with a total combined value not to exceed 8 percent of the cruise-only fare, including any national accounts or group amenities (effective November 2007); shipboard credits from national accounts, group amenity programs, travel agencies, Crystal or individuals may not be redeemed for cash (effective April 2012); for any booking subsequently transferred to another agency (including cancel/rebook) after deposit and prior to final payment (except for the onboard booking policy above), the receiving agency will be paid 10 percent commission only (effective November 2007); Crystal Cruises will follow up on any documented violations to our anti-rebating policies, and may reduce commission, marketing support, overrides or any other agency consideration as a result (effective November 2007).
“While there may not be a complete solution to the rebating issue, we sincerely hope our continuing policy evolution will help provide a level playing field,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s senior vice president of marketing and sales. “We believe that a Crystal cruise vacation should be marketed and sold on the unsurpassed ‘World’s Best’ customer experience, and that all of our retail travel partners should compete on marketing creativity, knowledge, sales skills and service—not by giving back hard-earned commission.”
Crystal is the latest upscale cruise line to introduce or refine anti-rebating policies. In May, both Paul Gauguin Cruises and Prestige Cruise Holdings -- parent to Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises -- implemented anti-rebating policies.