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What wins it for you, Price or Service


What wins it for you, Price or Service  

40 members have voted

  1. 1. Price vs Service

    • Price - I always want the cheapest offer and dont care who its with
      9
    • Service - I would pay a little bit extra to know I am getting looked after
      31


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We have booked with Bolsover Cruise Club for years and would not use anyone else as we know we will get looked after, as we have been when we have had numerous health issues.

However speaking to people on board there are some that didnt even know which agent they had booked with, only that it was the cheapest they had tried.

So what do our forum member say, are you loyal to one agent, be it Bolsover or who ever, or do you call multiple companies and just go with the cheapest regardless?

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Have not answered the survey because it all depends on the price difference. Perhaps a small amount of difference in price wouldn't make people to swap TA's but we always shop around and have sometimes got a cheaper price and extra OBC which makes it a considerable difference. We have used numerous TAs over the years and have had problems with some in the past, including Bolsover, so there is no loyalty from us.

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I now generally use numerous companies when booking cruises and other things, I don't always go for the cheapest option (within reason) but the best option to suit my personal needs.

From experience I've learned loyalty to one company generally ends up costing more, whether that be car, house, life insurance or cruise bookings etc.

I used to pay my renewals without checking making the assumption that being "loyal" would be cheaper for me, but we all know that's not true, it's the same with cruise agents.

I'm certainly not suggesting Bolsover or other agents don't reward their loyal customers, but how can one know if it's a good deal if one doesn't compare with other agents?

Knowing your agent is one thing, but I for one am not prepared to pay over the odds for the privilege of peace of mind.

HLM.

 

 

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Bit much to ask for good service and a lower price but you can have the best of both worlds if you shop around?

At least Bolsover answer the phone, unlike one big agent who advertises there service and no one answered the phone , got a call back after 2 hours ,the deal had gone by then.

We were pleasantly surprised at the service a high street travel agent offered even booked our coach for us and gave us a small discount....   DAvybe

 

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I agree with the point HLM makes that loyalty these days is overrated in most scenarios. An example of mine would be with Sky recently whom I've been with for a while. It was up for renewal and the price quoted was considerably higher than I had been previously paying and with none of the new tech that is now available. I queried this and was told "as a loyal customer we'll knock 10% off your monthly bill for you". Well as a new customer I would have got it ridiculously cheaper and even though I pointed that out to them they still insisted their argument was correct when it certainly wasn't. I called around and got other prices from Virgin etc but in the end wound up cancelling my Sky package and rejoining the following day as a new customer but in my wife's name. Needless to say we got a much much better deal. 

With that in mind, I do take your point HLM and I do think that applies to many things such as insurance etc but in my experience thus far, I've always been looked after with Bolsover and they've given me no need to consider looking elsewhere. I always do my due diligence before calling them, just to make sure for certain but I never really need to as they always match up on price for what I'm looking for if not better with the cashback scheme they have now. As for seeing something that is considerably cheaper, my first thought these days is "how can they do it for that price?". Having cruised for a while and seen numerous agents fall by the wayside, I'm extremely careful with who I give my business too. As the saying goes "if it seems too good to be true, it probably is" hence my tick in the box for service on this poll.

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This is a difficult one. I've voted for service but only because although I'm now retired and have travelled overseas many times in the past, I still like to ensure I've tied up all the loose ends when going away on holiday and I find that booking with an agent helps make that happen with far less effort required on my part. I've worked hard all my life and now prefer to let others do the hard work for me. I've booked with Bolsover a few times and always received excellent service. Their staff are very friendly and always seem happy to help, even if it's what they might consider to be a silly query. I like that about them whereas with other companies over the years that I've booked holidays with, it can feel like you're no longer important once your deposit/holiday balance is paid. That's why I've chosen service. Price is always important but as long as their competitive, I'll stick with someone who looks after us in a way that I expect.

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Most people want prices to be good but service is great if you need someone to help you but mainly that is down to getting the best insurance you can never skimp on this item it may save your life it's also great to know you will be taken care of if you got ill miles from home remember the ship will drop you off and get you to a hospital but then you are on your own so insurance has to be good.

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When we first started cruising I looked in a Saturday paper to get what we wanted. This was with a Welsh company. Having enjoyed the cruise we went back to them to book another. The day came to pay the balance. I did this over the phone. 2 days later, I was at work and my wife took a phone call from Cunard to tell us that this firm had gone bust. It was 7.30pm when I got home to be told the news I rang Cunard not expecting to get an answer but did. Cunard came up trumps and away we went. Wanting to go on another cruise I dropped in the shop on the ship to ask for help, to be told as I live in Chesterfield go to Bolsover cruise club. On returning home I contacted Bolsover and WOW I was blown away with friendly and helpful everyone is. So yes we use a travel agent and it is Bolsover. As we are 2 years retired we now go to the travel centre and sit down with a cup of tea and go through it all with one of the advisers. Well done Bolsover.

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I normally cruise with P&O.  Sometimes I have booked through Bolsover, at other times I have booked direct with P&O.  To be perfectly honest, it doesn't seem to make much difference - I get the same prices like-for-like and the paperwork comes through just the same. Presumably Bolsover get commission from P&O but I end up paying the same price either way.

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I would not vote because although I like a good deal I expect good service. We have 2 cruises booked the first one was booked with a travel agent who offered the best discount but was also the friendliest and most helpful. The second cruise we received no additional discount, but the only agent to call P&O and check when the price came up higher than it should. got our business. The first two agents quoted us double the price we were expecting but their attitude was 'take it or leave it' the third phoned P&O to check and came back with the correct price.

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I agree with smtcan, I know exactly the cruise I want and I don't care where my cabin is so a travel agent doesnt do much work except for book it for me. My parents always have booked with Bolsover therefore I do but if the price was dramatically cheaper elsewhere I wouldn't hesitate to book with another company. There isn't much service in it, book the cruise and send me the paperwork!

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I completely understand where you're coming from MG16 and smtcan. I too do a lot of the research into the cruise I'm looking for before actually picking up the phone to Bolsover. Sometimes I do ask them to do a bit of the legwork for me in finding something I'm particularly looking for but most of the time, it is me that decides before calling. That said, it's quite often the case that they are equal to the price of others so that reassures me I'm booking with a decent agent on both the price front and the service front. For me though, it's been the service I've received since being diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2010. I've unfortunately had to cancel two cruises since that time due to ill health and the service I received from Bolsover both times was first class. They looked after me so well and took care of everything. If I had any questions they were dealt with straight away, not put to the back of the queue because I was no longer relevant. I raise this point because in 2013 I booked a holiday with Thomson and had to cancel again due to ill health as I was unfortunately rushed into hospital. They were dreadful and wanted nothing to do with me as soon as the word's "I'm going to have to cancel" were spoken. It was like I no longer existed to them and getting a cancellation confirmation for my insurers was like trying to get blood from a stone. I had to speak to so many different people, all of whom didn't have a clue what the previous person had said to me, and all gave me different answers to my question. With Bolsover I get the consistency I'm looking for and with my circumstances, it only supported my preference for service, hence my vote on this thread.

In no way am i saying you're wrong because it's all down to personal preference and you do what is best for you.

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I'll add another element to the debate: 'Back-up!'

All of us surely head off to our cruises with high hopes of having a wonderful time on-board, but just occasionally things can and sometimes do, go wrong.

It's a long time ago now, September 2006 to be precise. Our very first booking with Bolsover CC in fact, having been recommended to try them by a considerable number of members of the then P&O  CC cruise forum. 

We'd booked a Q4 grade stateroom on QE2, that on the deck plan looked huge (and it was!) but there the 'wow' factor ended, as the entire cabin was looking desperately tired, poorly maintained, shabby and unloved. We tried our best whilst on board to get things repaired, repainted, bathroom/ lacquered, wobbly bathroom floor tiles resealed. All to no avail. We even agreed to vacate the cabin for an entire day from 9am-6pm, so that they could attend to the wardrobe doors that were close to falling off and the veneer stripping of those doors replaced. Keeping to our word, we kept away, only to find on our return at 6pm, that nothing, and I do mean 'nothing' had been done at all. The (female) deck supervisor, just passed it of as 'other things on board that day, taking priority'. The Pursers Office staff showing similar disinterest and complete apathy to our situation.

I think they call it 'banging our heads again a brick wall', whilst the only thing banging in our head, were those loose floor tiles!! 

I'm a great believer in keeping one's powder dry, rather than completely lose the plot and most likely the argument too. So we kept our powder dry, rather than spoil what otherwise was a very nice cruise, but QE2 herself was already showing signs of quiet neglect, when no longer the Cunard flagship.

We'd taken loads of photo's of the Q4 stateroom, and once home, were not slow in contacting Cunard direct by recorded delivery mail, on our complete disenchantment with our accommodation. It took them 3 months or more and a long distance phone call 'prompt' from me to illicit any reply at all. In essence the reply was " We are sorry to hear of your concerns, and look forward to hearing more positive news from you, after your next Cunard cruise"

Absolutely furious with the tame and complacent Cunard response, I got in contact with Bolsover CC, (Photoset included) to see if they could shed any light upon the matter or possibly intervene on our behalf??

Could they? Would they?? They most certainly did and very effectively too. Bearing still in mind that this was our very first cruise booking with them as a company, it was a very impressive demonstration of extraordinary customer care & support, and it's something we have never forgotten.

We've held Bolsover CC very close to our hearts for many years now, and they still handle the 'lions share' of all our cruise booking business, and they've handled those bookings, with many cruise lines, for departures all around the world, not just our UK departures.

A World Class company, respected not only by its customers, but also by all those World Class Cruise Lines too!

Peter.

PS. Just to maintain balance, I have cruised with Cunard twice since:

QM2: SYD - Cape Town in 2010 + Queen Elizabeth: 12 nights Round Britain cruise in June 2016. We bear them no grudge!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our first cruise, in 2008 was for our 40th. Wedding anniversary and we booked through a travel agent (shop) in town. Several people we spoke to on that cruise recommended Bolsover and we decided to give them a try for our second cruise. We have never looked back. We had planned, three years ago now to go to Egypt but with the unrest in the area, P&O changed the itinerary(quite understandably) meaning that several of the special places we had planned to visit were taken off. I contacted P&O (can't think why but I emailed them directly) and we were told we could move our deposit to another cruise, but that there would be a £50per person admin charge! I then contacted Bolsover who were brilliant. They told me to write another email to P&O but to send it to Bolsover for redirecting. This I did, telling them that we were regular P&O travellers and that we felt the admin fee was too high. Thanks to Bolsover, the admin fee was waived completely!

Over the years I have phoned Bolsover with diffent questions and queries and have always had a call back with an answer and/or advice. We are happy to stick with them. Valerie

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On 2/27/2017 at 7:58 PM, Valerie said:

Our first cruise, in 2008 was for our 40th. Wedding anniversary and we booked through a travel agent (shop) in town. Several people we spoke to on that cruise recommended Bolsover and we decided to give them a try for our second cruise. We have never looked back. We had planned, three years ago now to go to Egypt but with the unrest in the area, P&O changed the itinerary(quite understandably) meaning that several of the special places we had planned to visit were taken off. I contacted P&O (can't think why but I emailed them directly) and we were told we could move our deposit to another cruise, but that there would be a £50per person admin charge! I then contacted Bolsover who were brilliant. They told me to write another email to P&O but to send it to Bolsover for redirecting. This I did, telling them that we were regular P&O travellers and that we felt the admin fee was too high. Thanks to Bolsover, the admin fee was waived completely!

Over the years I have phoned Bolsover with diffent questions and queries and have always had a call back with an answer and/or advice. We are happy to stick with them. Valerie

It's precisely for reasons like this that I stick with them too Valerie. They have always looked after me so well and I've never had a reason to be upset over the price either. 

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  • 5 months later...

We found bolsover some years ago on recommendation and we have never had a problem.Their policy of having your own consultant allocated to you works perfectly,mine is LAura.

We recently had to cancel two cruises for health problems and LAura and all at B0ls0ver were all support and kindness.They were totally helpful and provided all documentation promptly and gave us advice on how to proceed with our insurance claim making us aware of things we knew nothing about.

This was all given freely even though they were losing a lot of business.

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I have read on a few threads about having your own consultant with Bolsover. We've booked quite a few cruises with them now ( currently got 3 booked over the next 18 months)  & I've never spoken to the same person twice. Whenever I've phoned them whether it's to book, pay or just ask a question I've been dealt with by whoever answered the phone so how does this personal consultant thing work?

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