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Another Crystal rant

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
A friend's daughter is doing a season as a chalet host with Crystal this Winter. A group of us, who have been skiing with her since she was a kid, booked with Crystal to go and see her. Holiday was fine, no problems with that at all, but my issue is with trying to get the (measly) 5% friends and family discount out of Crystal.

When I first tried to book, Crystal said I needed her employee number. She hadn't got one yet, so she made some enquiries and eventually got hold of it, after having had the responses 'you should have an email with it on' (nope), and, 'it's on your payslip' (she hadn't even started working for them yet, it was still November). I phoned back with the number, and they said 'Oh, she needs to email us from her Crystal email address and request the discount'. But she doesn't have an email address, she's still in England, it's November 17th.... So they told me to get her to do it when she finally got an email address. Except that they never gave her one.

She went out to resort, got tied up in training, Christmas, and New Year, and we went out on Jan 7th for our holiday. Shortly after we got back she got the chalet manager to let her email from their address, and she got told that as we'd been on the holiday already, we couldn't have the discount retrospectively.

Cue letter from me to Customer services. Last night I got this reply from them -
I’m sorry for any misunderstanding surrounding the friends and family discount but I would like to explain that in order for us to apply the discount we would have needed an email from her within 7 days of booking from her work email address along with her employee number and your booking reference. If she didn’t have her work email address, she could have just said and we would check with recruitment for confirmation.
As you have already travelled we are unable to apply the discount and I can only apologise for any confusion.


Not happy - no-one even mentioned it had to be done before we travelled, let alone within 7 days of making the booking, and there was no mention of sending it from a different email when I said she didn't have an address yet.

They seem to want to make you jump through so many hoops that in the end you give up. Contrast that with when my son worked for Inghams, and all I had to do was tell them over the phone what his name was and where he was working, they checked it out immediately, and the discount was 10%.

Rant over.


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sat 11-03-17 9:16; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks for venting snowHead
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@karin, you may want to edit your friend's daughter's name out of your post. I suspect it could have implications for her with Crystal that you have gone public with this.
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karin wrote:
Contrast that with when my son worked for Inghams, and all I had to do was tell them over the phone what his name was and where he was working, they checked it out immediately, and the discount was 10%.


It's easier to offer a bigger discount when you're charging more Wink
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sj1608 wrote:
@karin, you may want to edit your friend's daughter's name out of your post. I suspect it could have implications for her with Crystal that you have gone public with this.

+1
Please, for goodness sake, have some respect for your friends daughter and take her name and location out of this. I would expect her to be mortified that you're doing this.
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karin wrote:
(she hadn't even started working for them yet, it was still November


And here lies the crux of the problem.....
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Firstly take the name out though I suspect it will be pretty obvious to whom it refers or even delete your post. On balance I agree with the post above.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@karin, WTF would anybody want to book with Crystal?????

YIKES.............. that would be because Crystal have a super-dooper client feedback score because of their super-dooper service!!!!

Why would it be any different?

Madeye-Smiley
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rant rant i want my measly discount mean cheap rant rant.

That feels better.
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For goodness sake, all for 5%?
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There's a discount that the OP feels entitled to and didn't get... Why wouldn't they feel annoyed? Puzzled

Honestly it continues to be a mystery to me why people buy package ski holidays, when there's no difference between going skiing and having a random walk in the hills, .... But if a company claims to offer something then they ought to honour it. No? Puzzled
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Old Man Of Lech wrote:
For goodness sake, all for 5%?


For a family holiday that could be a pretty reasonable sum of money....poo-poo, even for someone on their own it's gonna be circa £40 and that's not to be sniffed at. I get where OP is coming from, but the fact that the 'friend' didn't work for the company at the time means I'm less sympathetic.
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@Pyremaniac, package makes things easier. For my first few ski trips it was what I opted for.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@karin, I think people need to read the OP's first post carefully:

- They booked with Crystal in order to go and see this person
- Crystal therefore had a significant amount of revenue from the OP which they would not otherwise have had
- It was booked after a contract of employment appears to have been agreed with Crystal
- The OP strove to do what the company asked, although not all the conditions were made clear in communications with them
- 5pc can be significant on a high season holiday

I suggest doing what I have found I have needed to do when things such as this happen (such as when I got bumped off a FIRST CLASS booked seat to Singapore, by British Airways - AFTER I had checked in !!!) - be ever so nice to people, explain that the situation is making you very sad but not angry, and that wouldn't it be good for their reputation if they put the situation right (in my case I asked ever so calmly, and explained I was on governmental business (entirely true) and I would like to be on a Singapore Airlines flight out of Heathrow within 10 hours, or I would miss a meeting with a minister, and wouldn't that be bad for everyone...in the end I enjoyed my Singapore Airlines flight a lot more than the one I would have had on BA, newer plane, better bed). Finally, take into account that all companies experience a lot of scammers, and they may think it's someone who booked, and THEN were told that they could get a discount and THEN tried to get it. Explain that this is NOT the case, and that there was an effort to comply with all conditions before departure, but the situation conspired against it. Perhaps, if you are intending to ski next year, ask for a letter committing them to 5pc for the next booking.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
My take is:

There are rules to be followed to obtain the discount. These rules were not followed. No discount was given.

Follow the rules, get the discount. Simple.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
karin wrote:


Jim went out to resort, got tied up in training,didn't sort the paperwork.


FIFY


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Sat 11-03-17 0:45; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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karin wrote:
A friend's daughter is doing a season as a chalet host with Crystal this Winter. A group of us, who have been skiing with her since she was a kid, booked with Crystal to go and see her. Holiday was fine, no problems with that at all, but my issue is with trying to get the (measly) 5% friends and family discount out of Crystal.

When I first tried to book, Crystal said I needed her employee number. She hadn't got one yet, so she made some enquiries and eventually got hold of it, after having had the responses 'you should have an email with it on' (nope), and, 'it's on your payslip' (she hadn't even started working for them yet, it was still November). I phoned back with the number, and they said 'Oh, she needs to email us from her Crystal email address and request the discount'. But she doesn't have an email address, she's still in England, it's November 17th.... So they told me to get her to do it when she finally got an email address. Except that they never gave her one.

She went out to resort, got tied up in training, Christmas, and New Year, and we went out on Jan 7th for our holiday. Shortly after we got back she got the chalet manager to let her email from their address, and she got told that as we'd been on the holiday already, we couldn't have the discount retrospectively.

Cue letter from me to Customer services. Last night I got this reply from them -
I’m sorry for any misunderstanding surrounding the friends and family discount but I would like to explain that in order for us to apply the discount we would have needed an email from xxx within 7 days of booking from her work email address along with her employee number and your booking reference. If she didn’t have her work email address, she could have just said and we would check with recruitment for confirmation.
As you have already travelled we are unable to apply the discount and I can only apologise for any confusion.


Not happy - no-one even mentioned it had to be done before we travelled, let alone within 7 days of making the booking, and there was no mention of sending it from a different email when I said she didn't have an address yet.

They seem to want to make you jump through so many hoops that in the end you give up. Contrast that with when my son worked for Inghams, and all I had to do was tell them over the phone what his name was and where he was working, they checked it out immediately, and the discount was 10%.

Rant over.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Ummm, you've quoted rather than edited
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@karin, you quoted yourself rather than editing the post..... click on the scissors.

I've changed mine to remove the name....sort of wink
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Yes I know, I'm on a phone, it's late, it didn't save my edits, it quoted it instead and I'm nowhere near a computer. I'd delete the quote but I don't seem to be able to do that either.
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@karin, Maybe ask a mod to clear out the names and tidy up the thread. They aren't a bad bunch and they work hard to keep a balance.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Should have been sorted before you went out to resort and probably before actually booking. There was never going to be any chance of getting a discount retrospectively, even a credit note would have been highly unlikely.

7th Jan isn't likely to be incredibly busy so could have probably left it a while longer to book

If the young lady in question was really bothered about getting you the discount she'd have made the effort before you travelled out. I'd imagine she would've felt a little embarrassed asking a new employer for a discount so soon.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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My take on it is that Crystal advertised to all their seasonal staff that they could get a discount for their friends and family. Karin et al booked with Crystal for this specific reason. Crystal then came up with a number of excuses not to apply this discount, rather than either a) applying it, or b) admitting at the point of booking they weren't eligible.

Quote:

When I first tried to book, Crystal said I needed her employee number.


Karin then made numerous attempts to get the discount applied before they traveled, but each time was told she needed something else. Lots of people suggesting the discount wasn't available because the employee in question wasn't actually employed at the time of booking. If that is the case, then Crystal should have just said so from the start - it must actually be a pretty common situation. The % isn't the point - if you don't want to offer a discount, don't offer it! Karin could have easily gone out to the same resort, and stayed in another non-Crystal chalet - the discount was clearly a factor in choosing to book with them.
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We had no problems getting our discount.
1. Pay holiday in full, request discount at this time and give employee number.
2. Tell employee to confirm, via email, that you are family (or friend).
3. Get 5% paid directly into bank account that was used to pay holiday.

This was because we were a late booking. Had we not been a late booking the discount would have been deducted at time of purchase.

I doubt your friend's daughter was an employee when you booked. As pointed out by @anarchicsaltire,
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Third world problems....

Im sorry for sounding unsympathetic but to me it sounds like the person you know wasnt an employee at the time of booking.

Regardless of that point how many TOs would apply a discount after time of booking, let alone after the holiday itself..
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Quote:

I doubt your friend's daughter was an employee when you booked. As pointed out by @anarchicsaltire,


But Karin states they got hold of her employee number, it sounds more like the issue is that they didn't get in touch with Crystal to confirm the discount until after the holiday. It may be poor communication on both parts here, but it seems Crystal are only really at fault if they mis-informed and/or went back on their word. The OP suggests they did, but its not totally clear that's actually the case, so a bit unfair to judge without more info.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
When do you ever get to apply any sort of discount on a holiday after it's over???

Why would you possibly think this would be the case.

Sounds like your friends daughter wasn't bothered to send the email (she xdefinjtely did have five minutes to spare between training, christmas and new year!), and it's cost you. Fairly ignorant by her given all these people were coming out to visit
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Well, sounds like Crystal admin department is not very efficient and I agree that Crystal probably could have communicated and explained the family and friends discount procedure better.

I would be surprised a restropective discount would be given. Was OP actually told or she just assumed?

It also sounds to me the OP's friend daughter did not make an effort to sort this out for OP in a timely manner.

So I could say all 3 parties contributed to the issues due to poor communications between all parties.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Note to self, don't post on a forum if you're not going to be able to come back and respond/defend yourself until over 24 hours later! Apart from the quick glance last night that led to my botched attempt to edit the original post.

@SnoodlesMcFlude, not sure Inghams was really any more expensive

@anarchicsaltire, @dode, she had accepted a job offer, she had an employee number, so they knew she had a job with them, but no, the actual employment period hadn't yet started. However,@hammerite, the chalet she would be working in was already too booked up to accommodate us all, so we already hadn't booked soon enough.

@valais2, @Gämsbock, exactly, thankyou. 5% of over £5k is definitely not an insignificant amount.

@skimastaaah, @Pyremaniac, believe me, I don't normally book TO's, it's DIY, self drive to France normally. However, couldn't find any chalets within walking distance of where friend was working, we weren't going to drive that far so wouldn't have a car in resort, and by the time you'd added flights, transfers, and the hotel cost up, I couldn't do it for anything like the TO was offering.

Yes, there was a bit of delaying on our part, but at no point did Crystal point out it needed to be done before we went, let alone within 7 days of booking. I would have hoped that the person I spoke to on the phone would have realised that winter staff wouldn't be out in resort within 7 days of our conversation, but they didn't say anything about emailing from a different address as she wouldn't have a Crystal one within 7 days.
@rogg, if we'd been told all the rules we could have tried to stick to them!

Anyway, I shall be writing a polite, but very disappointed reply to them. I expect I won't get anywhere. But I've had my rant and kind of wish I hadn't.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
karin wrote:

Yes, there was a bit of delaying on our part, but at no point did Crystal point out it needed to be done before we went,


Am I the only one who thinks this would be common sense

Sorry Karin, I really don't wish to sound rude, its just I'd never expect a discount after I had booked something, let alone expect a discount be applied after I had paid in full and taken the holiday, regardless of the circumstances. (ok with the exception of negative issues whilst on holiday that were the TO's fault)

I'm all for calling out TO's for poor performance, in fact I have a general dislike for TO's, but in this case in their defence this wasn't their fault. If your friend had given you her Staff ID number on time and if you had sorted things sooner then you would have got the discount - surely alarm bells rang when you came to pay the full balance??!! If it were me at that point I'd not have paid in full until I'd got the discount, OR at that point I would have realised my mistake and accepted the increase.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@PaulC1984, Ok, tbh i didn't think about the logic of needing to do it before the holiday, but even if I had, they didn't make it easy - I did quote the employee number when I made the booking but that wasn't good enough. I had to pay in full because it was less than 8 weeks till departure, so no, it didn't raise any alarm bells when I paid the full balance. They said she had to apply for it for us once we'd booked, so I assumed that was their policy, why query it, but it had to be from this mythical email address that she never got given.
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@karin, Ah ok, makes a little more sense being only 8 weeks to go. Sorry to sound an back bottom btw Happy
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I guess given the hoops you need to jump through the important thing is to book to go later in the season. When the friend working for them is settled, in resort and can send emails from the chalet email address.
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The Crystal MD used to post on here. He might respond.

Crystal is a respectable company. If the discount was due under the rules of the scheme, I am sure they will apply it when they have looked at the case. But,
i) there is a problem with privity. Karin has no legal standing as the F&F scheme is offered to the employee, not to the public;
ii) such schemes are described as concessions, specifically to avoid creating contractual rights, even where employees are concerned;
iii) the person concerned may not have been eligible under the rules if they were not at the time actually employed. (I don't know.)

The F&F discount originally reflected the standard travel agent's commission. It dates from a time when most people booked their holidays in the high street at an agency. If the agent was bypassed by the employee taking the booking then an amount equivalent to the commission was discounted.That has been much whittled down in the age of the internet. Most people now book their holidays on the internet. It is often cheaper to make your booking on the internet, as inernet discounts will not be available when booking over the phone or however you need to book to get the F&F. Staff concessions are usually applied to some notional "brochure price" rather than the current internet price.
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Discounts are always difficult after the event as once something is booked and paid for it is 'banked' in the system as profit . . . and there are only thin margins in the travel industry. If you then give a retrospective discount/payment it comes out of already booked revenue / profit so becomes a disproportioately bigger problem . . . . it has to come out of someone's numbers rather than a small number going into someones numbers. No net difference really but feels very different from the finance side of things.
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@hammerite, yes, I felt a bit mean and unreasonable hassling her about sending the email that early in the job.

On the 4 occasions we've tried to go and stay in the chalet of the person we knew doing a season, it has only worked out the time we went end of season. The other times when it was January, by the time they knew what chalet they were working in, it was already booked up. And the big TO's seem to move staff around so much that you've no guarantee your friend will still be in that chalet by the time you go out anyway!
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