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Is Honesty Important In Advertising? Or are scams just a normal way of doing things now.


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With the recent ring in the savings sale, I spent $2,000 on shore excursions, photo packages and other treats to be enjoyed on board the vessel during our cruise.

I was quite proud of myself and thought of all of the savings that I had just successfully made. (Just in time)

 

After the sale was over I entered the new post sale price information in to my spreadsheet and to be honest I was disgusted.

 

Not one of the items that I purchased matched what was advertised with regards to the discount that was advertised during the sale.

 

In fact 3 of the items, the price was no different during or after the sale even though they advertised 45%.70% and 20% OFF respectively.

In fact one item that I purchased was cheaper after the sale was over than during the sale.

 

I love sales and more often than not I will purchase something because it is on sale and if it wasn't, I would more than likely not take a second look at.

 

I don't know why but if I don't purchase something that is on sale, I feel like I am losing the value of what is being saved. (I'm sick - I know)

If something is $100 and there is a 20% discount, I feel that I am loosing $20 if I don't purchase it. (Haven't started looking for a therapist just yet)

 

One example here was the private photo session. The item was labelled 70% OFF (not up to 70%) Price $159.99 after discount applied.

After the sale was over the price of the photo session was ..................... $159.99. ZERO change after the 70% discount was no longer applied. The price should be $520, if indeed there was an actual discount of 70% OFF. If it was not so heavily discounted I know that I would not have purchased this particular item.

 

I know that I can cancel and get my money back.

 

But this is not the point that I am making here, if you make a statement that states a fact that is not true. You should be held accountable or not make such a statement.

 

Would you consider this a scam ? Is it just me or am I wrong ?

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41 minutes ago, R.J. said:

Would you consider this a scam ? Is it just me or am I wrong ?

Not really a scam any more than any other marketing/advertising technique out there.

When all they say is 70% off, are they saying what it is off of?  To me it is ambiguous and I have learned to look at and track the bottom line prices for anything I am interested in and ignore the "sale" banners.  If they are touting a percentage off, it is sometimes stated as off of the onboard purchase price.  The issue there is the onboard prices are not static, aren't posted anywhere, and change from cruise to cruise.  It's best just to ignore the noise and focus on the bottom line price.  

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This is well known about Royal....most here seem to turn a blind eye to it and justify it one way or another or just tell you that's just the way it is.

 

I agree, it is VERY shady and unethical in my opinion..by NEVER setting a base/starting price there is no way to legitimately hold them accountable or fairly compare or explain their  "sales" and "discounts"......

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1 hour ago, R.J. said:

With the recent ring in the savings sale, I spent $2,000 on shore excursions, photo packages and other treats to be enjoyed on board the vessel during our cruise.

I was quite proud of myself and thought of all of the savings that I had just successfully made. (Just in time)

 

After the sale was over I entered the new post sale price information in to my spreadsheet and to be honest I was disgusted.

 

Not one of the items that I purchased matched what was advertised with regards to the discount that was advertised during the sale.

 

In fact 3 of the items, the price was no different during or after the sale even though they advertised 45%.70% and 20% OFF respectively.

In fact one item that I purchased was cheaper after the sale was over than during the sale.

 

I love sales and more often than not I will purchase something because it is on sale and if it wasn't, I would more than likely not take a second look at.

 

I don't know why but if I don't purchase something that is on sale, I feel like I am losing the value of what is being saved. (I'm sick - I know)

If something is $100 and there is a 20% discount, I feel that I am loosing $20 if I don't purchase it. (Haven't started looking for a therapist just yet)

 

One example here was the private photo session. The item was labelled 70% OFF (not up to 70%) Price $159.99 after discount applied.

After the sale was over the price of the photo session was ..................... $159.99. ZERO change after the 70% discount was no longer applied. The price should be $520, if indeed there was an actual discount of 70% OFF. If it was not so heavily discounted I know that I would not have purchased this particular item.

 

I know that I can cancel and get my money back.

 

But this is not the point that I am making here, if you make a statement that states a fact that is not true. You should be held accountable or not make such a statement.

 

Would you consider this a scam ? Is it just me or am I wrong ?

Confusing or deceptive marketing technique -yes.   As its still providing the service (not at the expected savings)

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Yes, all of the cruise lines use "Creative" marketing techniques...you just have to learn to traverse them successfully.

Bottom line....just ignore anything having to do with "% off".  They conveniently leave out the baseline price, so you have no idea what the "percentage off" is based on.  The best advice is to learn what $$ you are comfortable paying and gear your purchases to maximize that price.  Prices vary wildly between ships, sailings, itineraries, times of the year and booking density.

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With Royal it's always 70% off of a price that constantly changes. So, the question is what is the basis for the discount. The hedge against it is to watch the pricing fastidiously on an almost daily basis so you know in your mind what the discounts really mean. I see it with drink packages every time I log on. I know what discounted price will get me thinking about buying it. Actually buying it is rare because I multiply the price by the number of cruise nights, and I pretty much decide that I wouldn't do it on land, why do I do it on vacation. So, I opt for a la carte almost all the time...that way, I don't have that perpetual hangover from all the drinking a package gets you. That's just one example.

Always caveat emptor

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I don't know about the Cruise Planner specifically, but I do know about cruise fares so I'd bet it's the same basic model.

When they say BOGO60 or any specific sale, it's a sale off the price at that time. But then when the sale comes out the cruise fare goes up, making the sale itself not as good as what you had originally (in some cases, other cases better). So yeah, it's still 60% off second guest, but the price increased.

KSF is another example- Kids are free but the price for the first two are higher now than before this sale.  

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And this is VERY common in retail - % off the suggested retail price - lowest price of the season.  If you are basing your purchases on wording, you are just the customer they’re looking for!!  Years ago in CT, Filene’s had the state Dept of Consumer Protection all over them because their linens were always on a percentage sale.  Deceptive advertising because the linens were never sold at FULL price.  So we learned never to buy towels on Monday or Tuesday when they were full price!

As others have pointed out, watch PRICE not SALES.

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Do you ever watch TV commercials for the content?  Almost none of it is true.  My dog isn't happier because I feed him XX pet food.  My weight doesn't drop because I take this vitamin.  The food never looks like the food in the restaurant advertisement.  Cars don't look beautiful and starkly colorful when driving on fresh fallen snow (living in IN, I can tell you they look dirty and nasty).

Most advertisement is embellished to the max... in my opinion.  RCCL and the other cruise lines aren't any different, I guess.

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We call it...Royal's Fuzzy Math!  We have learned a long time ago to not believe in their so called sales.  We constantly check on the items we are interested in from the day we book till we cruise...We learn what the basic price is.  If we find it at a lower price, we know if it's a good deal and we buy it.  If we find it lower again...We cancel the first one and re-buy.  Takes a bit of work on our part to check our cruise planner several times a week but it has payed off in the end.  

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4 hours ago, monctonguy said:

I agree, it is VERY shady and unethical in my opinion..by NEVER setting a base/starting price there is no way to legitimately hold them accountable or fairly compare or explain their  "sales" and "discounts"......

 

9 minutes ago, Psycho and Barb said:

We call it...Royal's Fuzzy Math!  We have learned a long time ago to not believe in their so called sales.  We constantly check on the items we are interested in from the day we book till we cruise...We learn what the basic price is.  If we find it at a lower price, we know if it's a good deal and we buy it.  If we find it lower again...We cancel the first one and re-buy.  Takes a bit of work on our part to check our cruise planner several times a week but it has payed off in the end.  

In regards to base price with something like a drink package I go with the "fuzzy math" thinking too because 20%, BOGO 1/2 off (25%), & 30% sales do not all equal the same base price. They get close, usually within a dollar, but not exact. I write it off as Royal rounding to make it a whole price, if I recall it's usually in my favor. 

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Thankyou all for your responses.

 

I have just checked my cruise planner and it is even worse than before. After I updated my spreadsheet with non sale prices, low and behold there is another sale on.

 

Most of the items that I had booked earlier that I had updated outside of any sale are exactly the same price WITH the new sale offers.

 

The Private Photo Session now is 60% off, however the price has gone up 21% when no discount was offered.

 

First sale the price was 70% off $159.99.

Sale over the price was $ 159.99

New sale the price is 60% off $199.99

 

I'm no mathematician but this is just NOT RIGHT !!! 

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It is what it is which is why most of us look at PRICE not sale banners.  Sounds like that is difficult for you but if you want the best prices, you’re going to have to do it.  Additionally it might stop you from wasting money on things you don’t really want/need just because of the sale banner.  

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After booking cruises, just do what many of us do and keep your cruise planner purchases updated in a simple spreadsheet and price-check your purchases every week or so to see if you can capture any price drops...I always just chuckle at the 40% off sales banner specials. ?

 

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On 1/7/2021 at 9:40 AM, Pooch said:

And this is VERY common in retail - % off the suggested retail price - lowest price of the season.  If you are basing your purchases on wording, you are just the customer they’re looking for!!  Years ago in CT, Filene’s had the state Dept of Consumer Protection all over them because their linens were always on a percentage sale.  Deceptive advertising because the linens were never sold at FULL price.  So we learned never to buy towels on Monday or Tuesday when they were full price!

As others have pointed out, watch PRICE not SALES.

And recently the pillow guy has been under fire for something similar. 
 

anyway, as everyone said, it's best to simply look at the price. All the other numbers are just to entice you to buy. If you  think the cost is acceptable, get it. 

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Such is life.  Car dealerships offer "employee pricing, this weekend only!"  yet it's the same price.  

How about the airline industry?  Next flight take a look around at your seatmates.  No one paid the same price.  There is no "standard price".  You pay the price it is the day you book.  Southwest allows you to watch for price drops and receive a future flight credit for any difference but most airlines lock you in the day you book. 

At least Royal allows you monitor prices and refund/repurchase cruise planner items should the price drop.

My spreadsheet tracks dollar amounts.  I couldn't care less if it's 45%, or %10% or some other amount.  All I look at is the price.  I've saved hundreds watching the price, checking frequently.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Such is life.  Car dealerships offer "employee pricing, this weekend only!"  yet it's the same price.  

How about the airline industry?  Next flight take a look around at your seatmates.  No one paid the same price.  There is no "standard price".  You pay the price it is the day you book.  Southwest allows you to watch for price drops and receive a future flight credit for any difference but most airlines lock you in the day you book. 

At least Royal allows you monitor prices and refund/repurchase cruise planner items should the price drop.

My spreadsheet tracks dollar amounts.  I couldn't care less if it's 45%, or %10% or some other amount.  All I look at is the price.  I've saved hundreds watching the price, checking frequently.

Same here!  I look for a price that I am willing to spend.  Those % are useless as far as I'm concerned!

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Ahhhh... The good ole' Spring "sale" that turns into the same Summer "sale", and so on... ?

As others have stated, learn to trust your own search history and pay no attention to advertising. You're keeping a spreadsheet... I'd say you're one step ahead of your average cruisers.

One thing I didn't see stressed, is your ability to reprice your cruise if there has been a fare drop (What is the Best Price Guarantee Program? | Royal Caribbean Cruises), and the ability to cancel/reprice onboard activities up to 24 hours prior to the activity. So even if you're seeing a better price now, just look on the bright side that you can get it for less than you originally paid!! What a DEAL!

And if you don't have a Travel Agent... now is the time for a shameless plug. They DO still exist, they should be FREE, and a good one should be able to help you navigate all these reprices!

 

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