Friday, October 23, 2009

Jetsetter.com - Flash...And Most Definitely NOT Seabourn!

Conde Nast Traveler is now partnered with an outfit called Gilt.com which, in turn, has created Jetsetter.com as an "exclusive" and "by invitation only" website where you allegedly can get some great bargains on a limited number of luxury items including a few close-in sailings on Seabourn.

I discovered this alleged great new luxury site in an article in the New York Times.  It noted that Conde Nast has had something like a ten million dollar ($10,000,000) loss in advertising revenue this year and is looking for new ways to market itself.  A red warning flag if I ever saw one.

So desiring to check out the competition I took a look...and found out Jetsetter.com is not exactly "exclusive" or "by invitation".  I simply entered my name and email address and -you guessed it - I received my invitation to join.  I logged on, started to take a look...and then I wanted to take a shower.  YUK!  It is exactly the type of travel agency you never want to do business with.  As I am not in the habit of bad-mouthing the competition, let me give you some details.

First, if you want to place a Seabourn suite on hold while you think about making the commitment you are required to pay a non-refundable deposit equal to 10% of the total cruise fare.  If you then choose not to take the cruise you have one year to spend it on another item.  Wait a minute:  Placing a suite on hold is a no cost option with Goldring Travel.  So what makes Jetsetter.com so special that it requires a10% non-refundable deposit?  I dunno! To me it sound like nothing other than a ripoff.

Second, you are not dealing with a human being.  You get to book the cruise for an unspecified suite and then, as they say "deal with it".  By the way, I tried to call Jetsetter.com yesterday at 4:26 p.m. and there was a message that it was closed for the day and should call back tomorrow.  Huh??

Third, you better know the product before you purchase it.  There is almost no information about Seabourn, the ship, the itinerary, what is included, etc.  But I digress and ask, "Your 10% deposit gets you...what?"

Fourth, and I will end my analysis with this:  After you pay your non-refundable deposit for an unspecified suite on a cruise for which you have  been given merely the minimum of information...Wait, you are going to love this...Stay with me...the price is no different than that which Goldring Travel can provide to you...and Goldring Travel also provides you with a complimentary tour in Da Nang or a $300.00 onboard credit! 

If there ever was a way NOT to sell a Seabourn cruise, Jetsetter.com is it.  Now, let's all say it together:  Slick advertising and websites don't assure a quality travel agent, a better deal or really anything other than, well, slick advertising. 

Let the buyer be ware.