They say change is inevitable… however sitting here with the wisdom of my seventy plus years, the rate of changes and the extent of them is often mind boggling! George and I have been in the accommodation business since 1994 with Secrets on the Lake. When we opened with our heritage cabin called The Whistle Stop, the key was left under the mat for guests to let themselves in! It was a simple world where guests gave us a call and made a booking by talking to us directly. They either posted us a cheque with the deposit or gave us a credit card number and we posted their booking confirmation out to them… the original snail mail. There was no middle man and in general getting away was pre-planned event worked out between you and I communicating.
I don’t have to tell you how different it is now in 2018. That personal touch seems lost but it really doesn’t take much to re-establish that connection. “A simple booking” on the surface seems so easy… but it is not. There are all sorts of complications and hidden charges. Huge multinationals are now poking their large noses into our business and a simple transaction has become crazy. Let me explain…
Secrets has a vacancy. You are wanting to come stay. Instead of calling us or visiting our website (best found by keying In the actual website www.secretsonthelake.com.au) and hitting the BOOK NOW button… there are hundreds of booking sites out there vying to take commissions (anything up to 30%) out of the tariff that we need to charge. They then ask us to offer discounts or they themselves offer discounts out of the commission so our agreement to offer the same tariff is undermined. They don’t ask us for permission to do this, they just do it. Meantime you, the guest, are often paying more for your stay than if you had contacted us directly. Nobody wins but the international booking sites.
But it doesn’t stop there! Other things complicate what should be a simple personal process. For your convenience, we have a Paypal account for when guests purchase a gift voucher online. Paypal charges a merchant fee of 3%. The latest ideas include Zip Pay and Afterpay. These allow you to pay off items in 4 regular payments in a regulated timeframe but have the use of them now. The cost to the accommodation owner is another 6%. Can you imagine the book keeping involved and the nightmare of keeping these complicated listings and accounts in order?!
We ask our wonderful customers to bear this in mind and remember the simple way… by using our BOOK NOW button OR give us a call (07) 54785888 OR email us through our contact page. Bring back the personal touch and reap the advantages… you have the pleasure of discussing which treehouse you would like, or taking advantage of our money saving midweek specials, or getting some answers to your individual questions, or requesting a tailored version of a package, or a payment plan that suits you. The joy of it is, in addition to saving some money on your stay, we can begin to make a personal connection with each other again in this impersonal world. Those connections often leading to friendships… some of which are now up to 20 years old.