There are problems with this $100 per household.
Under the former arrangement, everyone got the same items included with their tours (whether you wanted or needed them). Then, it went to one guidebook per household; some liked that, others really didn't. Really, really didn't.
Now it's $100 per household. So...if I book a $3000 solo tour, I get $100 to spend. If I book a family tour and pay for 5 people ($15,000), I get $100 to spend. I apparently can't even get around that by booking the 5 separately; it's per household. Gee, I guess we could all share the same suitcase...
I know this crazily obvious disparity simply had to have come up when this idea was being tossed around. I just can't imagine how everyone ended up deciding this was a fabulous idea.
What am I missing here? It must just be me (not!) because this is really bad customer service. And don't tell me it's nice for RSE to 'give' me any gift at all; that cat's already been out of the bag for several years now (FWIW, the retail cost of the previous 'gifts' - that were built into the tour price, of course - were around $90-100). Under this new scheme, some get waaaay more 'gifts' than others, and if you choose not to accept this very generous gift then I'd like the option to take some portion of that as a discount off of everyone's tour price. Some people get to take $50 off for each tour taken; what about those who have already spent well into the $100s - perhaps even $1000 or more - at the Travel Store ? I suppose we can all take advantage of the $100 Shopping Spree, then open an eBay account... ;-) OR...I just load up my cart with $100 in guidebooks or travel videos and gift my local library. Maybe buy a bunch of backpacks to give to needy students. Oh, but not a bunch of backpacks - I forgot; my husband and I will have to share that $100 Shopping 'Spree'...
I realize that the old scheme of 'giving' everybody a swag bag - whether they wanted any or all of it - wasn't perfect, either, but at least it was (for the most part) the same for each tour member.
Guess how many couples and families will enroll using every family and work address they can come up with?
I think a 20% (or more) discount on Travel Store purchases would have been more appropriate.
(Psst...come closer...Those of you who've given away your swag and now need a moneybelt, I've got one to sell you......well, as soon as I go shopping...)