As YTB's annual convention kicked off last week, George Dooley interviewed one of the company's staunchest supporters, Doug Bauknight, to get a viewpoint from a defender of the company. To balance it out, Dooley followed by publishing an interview with YTB critic JohnFrenaye, who analyzed the company's financial figures. Needless to say, the comments are flowing in quickly.
YTB critics were the first to chime in on the matter.
Rosie seems to just plain hate the company, writing:
YTB is a blight on our industry. The worst thing from my perspective is not the MLM concept, which anyone familiar with it knows is nothing short of a Ponzi scheme..."join us, get others to join us and eventually you'll be rolling in the dough" only most everyone who does never really makes money, they lose it", the worst thing for me is fighting the perception that a YTB "travel agent" is comparable to myself or any other true professional in this industry. And I know they insist on claiming they are travel professionals...but I have to laugh when they do show up at industry functions...and without fail they attempt to RECRUIT myself and every other agent present into YTB...at the same time telling you they're also a teacher, a nurse, a real estate sales person, a singer....I've heard so many! If you're one of those you are not a travel professional...you can't do it all. When people ask me what the value of using an agent is after they've dealt with a know nothing YTB fraud...it'
JJ, meanwhile, sees potential in the company if it makes certain charges, stating:
I think John Frenaye wrote a very valid, balanced piece. I have also talked to those involved in YTB and don't get it either. They would make more money, get better training and respect if they left to join a host without the MLM component. If YTB wants to be a serious seller of travel they need to get rid of current management and/or sell to someone with Industry experience. The Tomers have burned too many bridges to be taken seriously.
Simon says he's sympathetic toward YTB members, commenting:
At first I was angry with YTB people trying to get all the perks with none of the work in the travel industry. Now I feel sad because there are quite a few YTB victims who really wanted to make a career in the travel industry and were duped, conned and scammed. I'm sure "Coach" sleeps well at night on his expensive mattress, you all paid for it.
Eventually, Robert Cooper, an admitted YTB agent, joined the discussion not to attack any commentary made about YTB but to state his personal case, which later received direct responses from other users. Cooper said:
Frenaye's numbers maybe correct and I respect his opinion but I have been a RTA with YTB for 7 months now and Its working for me. I own a home based business making a residual income, enjoy discounted travel, taking quality TA classes online all for 49.95 a month, not to forget about the great support team backing me. if theres a better agency for the buck please let me know and I'll check them out!
Responding to Robert's comment, DB said:
@Robert Cooper if you did ANY type of investigation into the TRAVEL business and not the RECRUITING business, you would know the others. If you read any TRAVEL trade press you would know. Your "training" is not free. It costs $149 for FCT and then you pay per installment of the Mancini stuff. The stuff you hear on your phone calls is nothing more than what legitimate travel professionals hear from their sales representatives when they visit their offices or call them on the phone PERSONALLY.
Loretta followed DB's lead, adding:
But Robert, are you earning any of that money actually SELLING TRAVEL? Or are you just recruiting "your competition and mine" to keep building your "residual income"? I'll grant you that income is income in these down economic times, but please don't think that actually validates YTB membership as a true seller of travel opportunity!
Meanwhile, Tom H. seems to be somewhere in the middle and looking for some fair, non-targeted criticism, saying:
Having read Mr. Frenaye's blog for the past couple of month's, I wouldn't exactly hold him up as an impartial source of information. While I can't dispute the numbers he uses in this article, it is obvious that his interest is doing all he can to kill off YTB as a company.
What he fails to point out when he states that"While the rest of the industry is being battered by the economy and seeing business being off anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent, YTB’s numbers are off 52 percent (travel commissions earned 08/09)." is that none of the other host agencies in the travel industry has been subjected to the attacks, constant and vitriolic that YTB has. I'm not trying to absolve YTB of any of any responsibility that they have in their current plight, but who could withstand the constant criticism on blogs like John's along the constant reference to the settled and/or thrown out lawsuits?
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