Posted on: October 10, 2012
Silversea clamps down on rebating
In a memo to travel agents on Wednesday, Silversea said that the luxury cruise line is tightening its rebating policy.
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Starting Oct. 15, travel agents won’t be allowed to advertise or promote prices below those published on Silversea’s website.
Agents may promote amenities beyond group amenities only if their total value does not exceed 5% of the advertised cruise fare.
If a booking is transferred to another agency or canceled and rebooked by another agency within 30 days of the initial booking and before final payment, the originating agency will not be paid a commission, and the new agency of record will be paid a 10% commission.
If the booking transfer or cancellation/rebook occurs more than 30 days after the initial booking or any time inside the final payment window, a 10% commission will be paid to the originating agency and no commission will be paid to the new agency.
In 2005, Silversea began requiring agents to charge the gross amount when customers pay by credit card. Silversea’s president of the Americas, Ellen Bettridge, said further restrictions were necessary to prevent the “poaching” of customers by retailers who rebate a portion of their commission or tack on value-added amenities worth more than 5% of the fare.
Bettridge said the new rules help “create a level playing field.” Violators of the new rules could be punished with reduced commissions and/or marketing dollars, and canceled group contracts, Silversea said.