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Author: ralphtomaccio

Joined: 10/28/2010
Posts: 3
Traveler Since: 2011

April 12, 2012

Hello Harriet,

My wife and I have been fortunate enough to do the Sicily Tour with GCT last September with an extended stay on our own in Rome for 4 days. It was a trip we will never forget.

As much as we enjoyed our trip with GCT, there is something both my wife and I are truly becoming upset with. That is the frequency of mailings we receive from all your companies. We are not fortunate enough to travel yearly, or more, as many of your other clients are able to do. It took us a number of years to afford the Sicily trip. We have no idea when, or even if, our next trip may be. In the meantime, we receive all these lavishly produced catalogs, invitations, flyers and pamphlets which we cannot afford to take advantage of, causing us to trash them as soon as they are received. It is a tremendous waste of natural resources and mailing expense.

I noticed on the back of the most recent mailing, the Grand Circle Cruise Line catalog, that GCT apparently subscribes to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Since you are concerned with sustainable forest management, why don't you give all your clients an opportunity to go one step further and ask if they would like to be taken off you various mailing lists? It would make our forest production that much more sustainable. I know, you'll say you'll loose your marketing edge. I don't believe so. Any client who has been happy with your service will always remember you did an outstanding job and come back to you when they are ready to travel again. I know I certainly would. And they could always ask to be put back on your mailing list.

Whether or not you're bold enough to offer such an opportunity, I do respectfully ask that you at least take me off all your mail lists ASAP. It frustrates me to have to continually throw away expensively printed pieces I am unable to take advantage of. It took me at least six requests to stop all your email solicitation. Hopefully, you'll be able to handle this request the first time asked.

Thank you,
Ralph Tomaccio

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 386
Traveler Since: 2002

April 13, 2012

While my situation is a bit different from Ralph's, I share his belief that GCT seriously over-informs previous clients with beautifully illistrated, slick-finished catalogs. I would like one, or at most two, catalogs a year. Instead, I get several per month. And many of the same tours or cruises are presented in detail in multiple mailings. I do not have Ralph's will power. I have to look at each catalog I receive before disposing of it. But dispose of it I do. I understand economies of scale, and I understand marketing techniques (that was one of my professions). I understand that the marginal cost of sending the 10,001st copy is considerable less than the cost of the 1st copy. Tell me the plans, for example, for the Great Rivers of Europe Cruise for 2013. But tell me ONCE, not once a month.

I surmise that many, if not most, GCT clients have Internet access and therefore are very capable of reading on-line the same information that is provided in the catalogs and brochures. Make it a little easier for me to opt out of the multiple mailings and make the Internet web site the main source of information about new and existing travel opportunities. I can speak for myself only, but I will book a new GCT trip because of what I read on-line as quickly as because of what I read in a catalog.

I also agree with Ralph that I will not "forget" about GCT if I do not get the catalogs. I have taken eight GCT trips and have the ninth booked. You are my travel provider of choice. Regardless of the mailings, you can't hide from me.

Author: rwhansen

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 61
Traveler Since: 2010

April 14, 2012

We receive just as many mailings from Viking and we've never traveled with them!  Perhaps it is an industry practice and needed by GCT to compete.  Go GCT!

Now.................What can be done about the frequent and unneeded distribution of Yellow Pages?

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 511
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji

Traveler Since: 2006

April 14, 2012

I am inundated with catalogs and brochures from OAT and GCT; occasionally I get a small brochure from Viking. Like another poster, I get several brochures of the same trip, I've had as many as five within a short time period. Most go right into the recycle bin. But I pass on some of the catalogs with beautiful wildlife photos and maps to a neighbor who has school age grandchildren.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

April 14, 2012

Over the years, I've been inundated with mailings and catalogs of all kinds.  In most cases, it's because I had ordered something once from one company and then I guess my name is added to the various lists that get sold.  I've tried to get myself off using a website that purported to notify the sender to remove my name.  It didn't work.  When I moved three years ago, I thought it would all come to an end, but the post office told me "they'll find you."  And they did.

With GCT, I have managed to stop the mailing of OAT brochures as I never travel with them.  It simply took one statement, almost in passing, at the GCT office in Boston.  And the right person overheard me and said she could take care of it.

So now, I only seem to get things I've shown an interest in by checking off on surveys.  Except for the extremely LARGE catalog that came the other day on Small Ship Cruises.  I had a lot of trouble getting it out of my mailbox.  Interesting to read, though, before it went into recycling.

And I do sometimes get them from other travel companies.  I read them only to make a comparison with GCT, and GCT always comes out ahead.

I agree that it seems to be counter-productive to use up all that paper when we can get the same information online.  When I worked managing a library for a business and got multiple copies of the same announcements at work and at home, the publishers told me that it would be too expensive to re-program their computers to get rid of the extras.

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 386
Traveler Since: 2002

April 15, 2012

Quotation from rwhansen:

"We receive just as many mailings from Viking and we've never traveled with them! Perhaps it is an industry practice and needed by GCT to compete. Go GCT!

Now.................What can be done about the frequent and unneeded distribution of Yellow Pages?"

I receive three or four catalogs per year from each of several tour and cruise companies, most of whom I have never traveled with. Some I have triggered with an on-line inquiry, but some have evidently bought my address from another vendor (GCT is but one of the multiple suspects). I receive considerably more GCT mailings than all other vendors combined.

Next: I get at most one yellow page book from each company. The fact that there are multiple companies printing and distributing yellow page books is not at all equivalent with the multiple monthly mailings I receive from GCT.

Author: rwhansen

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 61
Traveler Since: 2010

April 15, 2012

To captainlarry:

It is really sad when one makes a comment, partially in jest, and then is quoted in entirety by you along with needless additional comments after you have previously expounded on the subject.

Back off, captainlarry! 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 386
Traveler Since: 2002

April 15, 2012

I'm sorry if I misinterpreted your comments, rwhansen. Maybe I was being a bit "thinskined" but  I took your comments as confrontational. You certainly have the right to say what you will, in jest or in earnest. But I also claim that right. I was not being intentionally disrespectful to you. I quoted your post to leave no doubt as to the intent of my post since there had been several intervening posts. I hold no ill will and I beg that you will forgive my perhaps inconsiderate comments.

Author: jandb

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 33
Traveler Since: 1999

April 16, 2012

 We have been recycling every thing we can for at least 40 years, sometimes at a degree of inconvenience to ourselves.  That being said, I can forgive GCT and OAT their multiple catalogues when I consider the work the Grand Circle Foundation does in the countries they tour.

We have several ways we use the catalogues.  My husband uses photos and text from  the small brochures to put together, with information from the Internet, a packet to take on trips with us. Especially on long bus rides these packets become popular reading with our fellow travelers. They are lighter than travel guides and specific to the trip we are on.

We hand out catalogues to friends who express interest in trips we have taken and several have used us referrals to book their own trips with monetary advantages to them and us.

I like to compare current trips with features from the previous year's trips. 

The last resort is the recycle bin.  If too many catalogues is the major complaint against GCT and OAT they are doing a lot right.

Author: jayge

Joined: 3/10/2010
Posts: 144
Traveler Since: 2004

April 16, 2012

We enjoy the beautiful catalogues sent by Grand Circle.  It keeps us "dreaming" of our next rivercruise with them. 

Harriet, we are so glad that Grand Circle and its wonderful riverships are not doing as some of the other rivership companies are doing...trying to make super deluxe accommodations to look like the huge ocean cruise ships lines.

  We like the "drop down" beds and enjoy reading with the light on the wall next to each bed.  They are quite "cozy" beds and "comfortable" for us.  We have been on some of the 18 story "superliners" in Europe in the beginning of our travels and prefer the accommodations which Grand Circle provides and the meeting of so many great travelers.

We hope you are able to add a trip from the Ukraine to the Black Sea in one of your current ships; we loved the Russia Revealed trip so much!  Keep up the good work!

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 157
Traveler Since: 2005

April 17, 2012

I remember getting a letter from GCT/OAT a few years ago that suggested leaving their old brochures in various waiting rooms of business that you patronize (i.e. doctor, dentist, hospital, beauty/barber shop, etc.)  .

Just curious: Has anyone ever done this; and if so, got any referral money* out of it?  

*Your name and address is on the brochure (unless you cut it off). 

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