Rep/RTA Ben Pittman from Pawleys Island, SC set me straight about the following:
- YTB has a total of 140,000 Reps AND RTAs, contrary to what the financial reports say.
- He is an average RTA and has sold $20K in the last 4 months and is on target to do $100K this year. Math must not be a strong point, but if all the RTAs did $20K in sales that will put YTB at $2.6 Billion for the year. Not in this lifetime.
- YTB will be the biggest travel agency in the US by 2010.
- When confronted about what I was told in recruiting meetings, I was told that is not what they are told to say.Hmm, imagine that!
- When I explained Rod said he had to pay to get back into YTB he said it was policy to allow it for free unless they were kicked out for a policy violation. If you violated the policy, why woudl they want you back anyhow? Oh yeah, the $500.
- When I explained that no travel training went on in the CRTA class, he explained that CRTA training was just an overview of the company and the training is done weekly on phone and webinars. Hmm, why is it called Certified Referring Travel Agent Training? And why is it instructed by Reps and not experts in the industry or with the suppliers?
- He also told me that infusing the industry with untrained people was the plan all along for YTB. He said he has had lunch with Coach at his house and the idea all along was to get the industry flooded with agents and then train them later after YTB was a recognized leader. He also said that very soon YTB will be showing income from travel to be near 60%.
- It was explained to me how Christian the leaders are and that he knows that they would never do anything to hurt the RTAs.
- YTB has complete control over the Reps and RTAs and will throw them out if they do not follow policy.
- He explained that I misread the press release about the franchising. They are just changing the name so the industry will accept them. The Reps will still be selling the program it will just be called a franchise now.
- I learned that the IATAN issue is a temporary suspension, but they don't need IATAN.
- I learned that they do not need Royal Caribbean, but also learned that RCCL has been back at their headquarters several times saying that they made a mistake and want YTB's business back.
- Learned that i his opinion, YTB was not a "real" travel company till Travelocit came to them asking if they could run the back end for them.
But yes, this does once again prove the point that YTB has ZERO control over their Reps and RTAs. How much of what he told me is false or misleading? Rod--so there you have a name...he exists, and I have his number on my caller ID if you want to call him!
I almost forgot, we got into the YTB is as cheap as or cheaper than Travelocity. Opened up two tabs and did the side by side and guess what? YTB lost on all accounts. They were close, but not as cheap or cheaper. I was told that was not a fair comparison because I should know how fast things change in the travel industry and that tomorrow YTB woudl be cheaper!