I was working with this hosting agency and learning the ropes of what it took to become a travel agent and out of the blue I was dropped. They originally told me that it was because of not bringing in a set amount of work (but I was doing a t least 3-5 trips plus my own while setting a trip for 20 to Aruba). Then I was told it was due to some other issue. I just didn't understand the situation but this experience made me leery of dealing with host agencies.
We appreciate your post and the opportunity to clarify the issue.
You we're suspended nearly 9 months ago for 2 reasons.
First, you were only booking yourself. This violated your contract with us as we require at least 3 client bookings for each self booking. We have this requirement as we're not a consumer discount organization.
Second, you posted spam from indiegogo which we took down as it was in violation of our Terms & Conditions. You then re-posted the same spam.
We communicated both issues to you via email and we received no reply so we terminated your account. We honestly had no other alternative.
As always, we're here to help if you need anything at all. We're just a phone call away.
I came from another agency that was not supportive, nor helpful. When I called OA, the first person to answer the call was an owner. Yes, an owner. He didn't try to twist my arm. He knew that I was just trying to get information. He was upbeat and personable. It did not take me long to join and leave my old host behind. They bent over backwards to help me and give me the OK on a CLIA card that I earned with the other company I was with and they would never allow me to have. My business has grown at my own pace. If I have questions, there are easy avenues to get questions answered. Form the chat system to message boards to live help - I am covered 24/7. I can also help others!
The new Agent Genie is a godsend! Industries best technology! Thank you OA!
Outside Agents is by far the best host agency out there today. They are always quick to help you out in any situation and I am amazed that I can speak directly to the owners! The technology is amazing and so easy to use. I don't have enough hours in the day to do all of the training that they offer. I could not be happier that I chose to become a part of their team!
They are extremely hard to get in contact with. They changed their website and now I can't log in. I am currently on here looking at new host agencies.
Dear Mr. Williams,
I apologize that you are having trouble getting in touch with us.
I checked our phone server logs and found no voice mails from your phone number we have on record and no support tickets submitted from you.
We've been sending out notifications about the change for weeks. You should be able to use your email to retrieve your password. If not, just give us a call at 866.208.5604. My personal extension is 210. I'll be happy to help.
Also, you should have received, as all our agents do, an email from Steve and I, the owners of the company, with our personal cell phone numbers. You're always welcome to call us with any question, problems, concerns, or just to say "Hi!"
If you are not receiving our email communications, please give us a call and we can check to see if it is a spam related issue.
As always, just let us know if you need anything at all.
WARNING!!! Wish I didn't have to give 1/2 a star. The old saying "you get what you pay for" is true here! The "back office" here is something from the stone age and their new system they are so proud of is just "ok" NEVER NEVER agree to their website host Agent Studio. I had to get nasty with them for help after paying $21 a month for their service. I own a Real Estate Agency and I have years of success as a business owner and I can honestly say this was one of the worst experiences I have had in a while. THIS IS NOT A TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED COMPANY!
Dear Ms. Jennings,
My name is Chad Burt. I'm one of the owners of OutsideAgents.com.
First, let me express my regret that your experience with us and our technology partners was not what you had hoped it would be. With nearly 5000 agents, we are recognized as one of the leading host agencies in the industry today. This having been said, I understand that in no way does "one size fit all."
I do, however, need to address a few of your points.
First, in terms of our technological prowess, we've been awarded CLIA’s Hall of Fame Award for Innovation and have received multiple other awards for our technology and forward thinking culture. I'd like to think that we received these awards from the highest levels of our industry because we're doing something right. Of course, one person’s treasure is another's trash. So, I completely understand if your vision of technology in the travel industry is different than ours.
Next, I'd like to explore further your statement that, "I had to get nasty with them for help after paying $21 a month for their service." If you'll look at the full exchange you had with AS (which can be seen here) you'll see that within an hour of signing up, you asked a question and, as is normal procedure, the staff at AS asked that you do a basic training so that you would best understand the functionality of your subscription level. Your immediate reply was, "Looks like I'll be cancelling!!" While I understand your frustration, we at OutsideAgents.com do the same thing. We ask our agents to take less than 40 minutes of training before we answer questions that are covered in the training. It is simply the best way to do things. It's kind of like having to take English 101 before participating in English 201…it's only fair that you take the time to learn the basics before engaging the professor one on one.
After your reply, AS again tried to assist you, to which you replied, "I'm not an idiot and you still haven't answered my question. You are supposed to be SUPPORT why can you not answer my question." They tried to explain the cause of your issue and a possible resolution, to which you replied, "I said forget it I'm canceling you've already made me mad and I don't want to deal with you." All of this within 24 hours of registering.
I'm not sure how they could have better assisted any agent in this situation. In addition, you, like all of our agents, have the personal cell numbers of both the owners of OutsideAgents.com. I truly wish you had called either of us, as we would have bent over backwards to help you. Ask any of our agents, that's just how we are.
In conclusion, let me say that we respect the opinions of all of our agents. Further, we strive to be partners to each of our agents rather than just a service provider. As such, we are always here to help. A simple phone call is most often all it takes to resolve any issue. Again, I truly wish you had taken the opportunity to give us a call to find a resolution rather than just get mad. I'm certain that you, like thousands of our other agent partners, would be much happier having made the call than just walking away mad.
As always, we're here to help. Please don't hesitate to give us a call.
I can't say enough good things about Outside Agents. After being with another host for a long time and being totally discouraged with their policy changes such as lowered commissions, higher fees and reduced agent support, I got out of the biz for a year. Just took a break to reboot. Fortunately, I have a lot of clients & friends that wanted me to get back into it so I decided on OA as my host agency. The start up fee is inexpensive, commissions are the best in the business, and they don't nickel & dime you for everything. They don't run your business, you do. I have my own agency, with my own identity and my own clients. I read one review on here that their system was hard to understand. Couldn't be further from the truth. It's simple & straightforward. And they now have a new CRM system that keeps track of everything related to your business. Like anything, you get out of it what you put into it. Some people are just not ready or equipped to be business owners, travel or otherwise. It takes commitment & hard work to succeed. And, if you ever do have an issue, the owners, Chad Burt and Steve Muraca are always available to help you, as are all the other support personnel at their headquarters. I highly recommend Outside Agents.
Simply the best!!!!
OA was my first host agency as it was mentioned on the DIS boards. I didn't have any expectations as I was new to the industry -though I took a travel course out of high school too much had changed in 20 yrs.
I felt I was floundering my first year and half. Though it was not due to the training of OA. They offer the same supplier training and support as most other host agencies. It was my own mindset. I didn't like having to piece my business together with the CRM here, Technology there, website etc. I wanted it all in one spot... with one log-in.
After leaving OA & signing with another agency (which has far fewer reviews on here than OA) due to their technology (having it all in once place); I am looking back with clear eyes. OA may not offer the website or CRM but this can be a good thing as you have complete autonomy of your business. YOU get to decide what is on your website - I don't now. You get to decide what type of client you wish to book. YOU make the choices for your business. Chad & Steve are there to advise and guide you but they don't want to to take over your business. YOU get to grow your own brand instead of growing someone else's brand.
I got what I asked for with the other agency but it comes with a lot of fees. I see the person in an above review whine about $39 - oh dear, you need not be in this business if $39 makes you upset. This is half the monthly fee I pay along with 30% of my commission and other fees at the end of the year to my current host. Hind sight is always clearer.
Another comparison - the agency I am with now caters to the top tier of agents and those starting out & working to build as the ones who aren't invited to FAMS, don't get the benefits and supplier offers as the top tier agents - who have been in the business for many years mind you. I never felt that way with OA. I always felt invited, included, and important.
Other hosts boast about having the most allowed commissions from suppliers. OA has that too with a better agency/agent split.
The only reason I didn't mark 5 stars is b/c of the reservation, CRM, Website technology not being all in one spot with one log-in. But as I mentioned that can be a good thing. If you don't sell a certain product then YOU get to decide if that is on your website - the agency isn't promoting that for you. You really have very little to lose by going with OA. If you decide to leave they aren't rude, nasty, or binding. I'm looking forward to my contract with the other agency to end and return to OA
I have wasted my time with other hosts promising leads and training. We don't get leads from Outside Agents but the training and programs they have are the best I have seen in the 4 years I have been in the industry. There are 2 owners and you might not get ahold of them immediately (usually do) but they get back to you in more than a timely manner. I do not think most owners are going to be that available. Again I don't care how new or experienced you are I do not think you can beat Outside Agents.
I am only on my second week and I must say, the communication with OA and me is wonderful. They give a fast response and is very helpful, I have completed some of the training's and will be doing more today. Outside Agents provide everything you need to be successful and the community of support is outstanding. I am hoping to be in this business for a very long time and I'm glad that I chose them to guide me.
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