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Client who insists on booking your travel

Client who insists on booking your travel

Old Feb 12, 19, 1:56 pm
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Client who insists on booking your travel

Any ideas on how to deal with a client who insists on booking your travel and using their preferred car rental agencies (Budget), airlines (American) and hotels (Holiday Inn Express) even when yours (Hertz, Delta and Four Points by Sheraton) are cheaper? I don't think the client realizes I know the points game because it's obvious what they're doing.

How have you handled this? I don't want to lose the project but when my preferences are cheaper it's absurd to fly his preferences.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 2:02 pm
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You have answered your own question. If this is a big deal to you, tell them that it is a a big deal and you either book your own travel (presumably within a budget) or they find someone else. But, if as you say, you don't want to lose the client, you suck it up.

Don't forget that for clients this is often not about points, but about efficiency and negotiated rates. You may think that you can do it cheaper, but if they are using a corporate TA and negotiated rates with preferred vendors, the billing may all go into the accounting software without the need for finance people and the rates they pay may be far below what you can get.

But, that is really irrelevant as only you can make the decision as to what is important.

I would never allow a client to handle my travel. But, it is not out of the ordinary for a client to require you to use its corporate TA and its preferred vendors.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 2:03 pm
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My client who tried this (only for airline reservations) wasn't very organized, so my technique probably won't work for you. I used their in-house TA for two or three trips, if I remember right. They messed up my reservation on the last one so I unilaterally dropped them. I explained why and didn't get any push-back.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:09 pm
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The client might cluelessly think that they're doing you a favor to arrange your travel. Have you tried offering to do it since it's faster and more convenient for you to just do it yourself or perhaps even saying that (if true) you have an eager assistant who enjoys doing the travel arrangements for you and is extremely good at it? Certainly it should be obvious that from your end, it's easier if all travel is arranged in the same way, on the same calendar, etc., if only to avoid potential conflicts and other mistakes.

It may be too late, but control of your own travel (and whatever guidelines, or just include it in the total price) should be part of your contract with the client.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Don't forget that for clients this is often not about points, but about efficiency and negotiated rates. You may think that you can do it cheaper, but if they are using a corporate TA and negotiated rates with preferred vendors, the billing may all go into the accounting software without the need for finance people and the rates they pay may be far below what you can get.
I saw the booking confirmation from Budget for the rental car. It's over $100 more expensive for a smaller car than Hertz. So it's clearly not about discounted corporate rates.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 3:39 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The client might cluelessly think that they're doing you a favor to arrange your travel. Have you tried offering to do it since it's faster and more convenient for you to just do it yourself or perhaps even saying that (if true) you have an eager assistant who enjoys doing the travel arrangements for you and is extremely good at it? Certainly it should be obvious that from your end, it's easier if all travel is arranged in the same way, on the same calendar, etc., if only to avoid potential conflicts and other mistakes.

It may be too late, but control of your own travel (and whatever guidelines, or just include it in the total price) should be part of your contract with the client.
I'm do a pro bono project as part of my good corporate citizenship so I didn't include my normal travel requirements in the contract. Yeah, my fault.

Here's what I just emailed:

[redacted],

I appreciate your willingness to book my travel arrangements, but in one case this has added considerable time to my travel because instead of taking a nonstop flight on Delta I'm connecting with American. Moreover, the rental car you've reserved is neither the most economical booking nor the most logical, as it's $100 more extensive and a smaller car.

As I've agreed to help you on this project on a pro bono basis I would appreciate the consideration of making my own travel arrangements. I didn't insist on this because you indicated you had special rates, but everything I've seen so far is actually more expensive.

Hopefully, we can continue working together.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:31 pm
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I would have written a shorter and "softer" email. Good luck.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:34 pm
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They are paying for your services so I think they have the right to book your travel. You can always reject the client. But do it too many times and word will get around that you are difficult to work with.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:37 pm
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I’d also correct your letter, and fix the “extensive” error in the first paragraph.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:37 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
I would have written a shorter and "softer" email. Good luck.
Agreed. It seems like he is kind of throwing it in their face that he is doing them a favor.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post
They are paying for your services so I think they have the right to book your travel. You can always reject the client. But do it too many times and word will get around that you are difficult to work with.
You understand what Pro Bono is, right?
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post

You understand what Pro Bono is, right?
That wasn't in the OP and that's what I was responding to. It doesn't really matter though. I wouldn't want to work with someone who has a chip on their shoulder regardless of the expense.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:43 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post


That wasn't in the OP and that's what I was responding to. It doesn't really matter though. I wouldn't want to work with someone who has a chip on their shoulder regardless of the expense.
The post was made at 1:39pm today. Your post was made at 8:37pm. Seems you should read the thread fully before responding to avoid looking foolish.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 10:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post

The post was made at 1:39pm today. Your post was made at 8:37pm. Seems you should read the thread fully before responding to avoid looking foolish.
If that's what you think then so be it. But I don't feel foolish. I do volunteer work weekly. I don't treat those people any differently. If you can't be nice and respectful then just don't bother.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by readywhenyouare View Post


If that's what you think then so be it. But I don't feel foolish. I do volunteer work weekly. I don't treat those people any differently. If you can't be nice and respectful then just don't bother.
If you did volunteer work, and they insisted on you using a bus pass, that took you 3 hours each way, instead of 30 minutes each way in your car, whom is showing disrespect?
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