When Mark Brady, Travellers Choice member and owner of travel agencies in Tweed Coast, Ballina and Byron Bay, was asked by a neighbour “how’s travel going?”, he decided to put his answer in a clever and poignant way, that could be easier to understand.
The light-hearted, yet emotive words below are that of Mark Brady, owner of Ballina, Byron & Tweed Coast Cruise and Travel, after being asked by a neighbour about the kind of challenges travel agents have faced as a result of COVID-19.
Mark used language that his neighbour would understand, to try and allow a new perspective of understanding and compassion for the industry.
Through the eyes of a Paver
I have a neighbour who has a paving business ask me how travel is going last week, as he is travelling to London in September and just wanted to know if he is going or not.
Let me try and explain this through the eyes of a paver.
You get a call from a prospective customer for a new and large backyard paving job. You meet with them on several occasions giving all of your years of advice and knowledge until such time as they receive a detailed quote and make the decision to go ahead with the job.
A long but very worthwhile process.
Once finished you are both extremely happy with the outcome. Your customer even shouts you a couple of hard-earned beverages.
Then out of the blue, you receive a call from the customer that was so happy, advising you that the Government are no longer allowing those pavers to be there as they are a health issue.
You now need to come back and pull them all up and return the space back to the way it was, and by the way, the customer wants a full refund.
You then advise them that the paver company will only offer you the wholesale refund price and not the retail price that you had sold it for on their behalf.
On top of that, they will only give credit for the ones you had laid prior to the 13th. The ones laid on the 14th can be refunded, but for any laid after that date they haven’t yet made a decision and you will just have to wait.
You then advise the customer that as most of the pavers were laid on the 14th you will be able to offer a 90% refund for those, but as you are advising them you have just received an email letting you know that this new email supersedes any others you may have received and they are now only offering a credit for the 14th as well.
You then do all the work again, and more, as the deconstruction was actually more time consuming than the initial construction, and at the end of it you are asked to return your original labour charge for the first job as well, as it was not their fault that you have to come back at tear the job up and return it back to its original state.
Your customer then advises you that that they have a mate – Muzza, who once laid some pavers for himself, and he tells me that Channel Nine’s A Current Affair has said that you have to give me all my money back or I can do a chargeback on my credit card.
You have somehow navigated all this confusion and the paver company changes its mind again and will now provide you with a full refund for the 12th only, but as you didn’t put them down that day it does not apply to you, so you will now have to apply for a refund and this may take 3 months – and you have to decide by this afternoon.
All the while you are being told by your customer that A Current Affair has advised them yet again, that we are stealing their money, and supposedly I have it in my bank account and must by law give it back or they will go the to the ACCC.
This is all happening while Dan Murphy’s puts a limit on your medicinal purchases.
Now, are you sure that you want to know how travel is going?
No, thought not. I’ll come back to you on the London trip, but don’t get your hopes up.
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