“Where in the world” is Jeff Loudon?

Part of my inspiration for this blog, was a good friend and colleague at Travelhost named Jeff Loudon, from Yakima Washington.  Washington Wine Country!

In the earlier part of this year, Jeff and I were discussing some ways to make our businesses better, and some ideas to make the Travelhost network even stronger.  After being encouraged by Travelhost to continue our efforts, they went mostly ignored.  So we started asking ourselves, why wouldn’t Travelhost want to apply basic business principles, to make the business stronger (and more profitable)?

Well, the answers became clearer as we dug deeper into the Travelhost business model.  See, Travelhost was making their money as a printer, but claims to be a publisher.  What’s the difference, you ask?  Well, publishers mostly make money from ADVERTISING.  Not PRINTING.  (Travelhost is given away free at hotels, so most people don’t sell subscriptions to this particular publication.)  So we dug deeper…

Why wouldn’t Travelhost want to make m0ney from ADS, like every other publisher?  Well, because they’re overcharging the people who actually “publish” the magazine for PRINTING.  See, the “associates” go out and sell the ads, create and gather editorial, and pay for the production and printing up front. (All at approximately 200% over retail pricing.)  Retail, meaning what anyone would pay, if they went to a commercial printer.  Not to be confused with wholesale, which one would assume to be a lesser price.  A price that all Associate Publishers are entitled to in their contract with Travelhost, by the way.

So it became clear.  Travelhost made its money from the unsuspecting associates, not advertising.  No wonder they didn’t care if we could actually SELL advertising.  Their business model didn’t call for it, as long as your associates credit card cleared its payment, all is good.

After discovering all of this, Jeff Loudon set out to clear the air…he questioned the executives at headquarters, he started a blog, and questioned Travelhost on its practices.  He questioned our “wholesale pricing” that we’re entitled to.  He questioned about following FRANCHISE LAWS.  He questioned about DISCLOSURE to the associates.  (It was our opinion that since there’s a difference in price between what we would pay at any commercial printer, and what we pay at Travelhost, then that would be considered a “FRANCHISE FEE.”  For this franchise fee, many thousands of dollars extra, we received very little benefit.  If any.  Definitely not worth the money we were paying.  So….he emailed the entire network of publishers, and told them about this.

Jeff Loudon was foaming at the mouth like a rabid pit bull, ready to sue Travelhost in court for misleading us all!  Misleading us on our pricing, misleading us on key facts that should have been told to us before we invested in this venture!

And, then…POOF.

Jeff Loudon dissappeared!

Like magic!

Hmmmmmmm.  Why would a guy like this, just all of the sudden…be quiet?  And carry on, as if nothing ever happened?  When you call him, he’s not interested in discussing Travelhost.  Yet, he’s still a publisher in the TRAVELHOST NETWORK!!!!! He doesn’t want to make things better!  He doesn’t care about being overcharged?  He doesnt care about DISCLOSURE?  WHats going on here?

 

Anyone have any ideas out there? What happened to Jeff Loudon?

Anyone know “where in the world is Jeff Loudon?”
I have some ideas, and will explore them soon.  Stay tuned!

2 Responses to ““Where in the world” is Jeff Loudon?”

  1. Duke Says:

    Sounds to me like he got paid to keep his mouth shut! Wonder how much “hush money” he got? And the rest of the people in your network of associates just keep letting the company take advantage of them like that? How can you guys let them keep doing that to you? Isn’t that against the law? Aren’t there franchise laws to protect you against this type of business practice? You guys are crazy for putting up with this.

    Youre right brian, you did scare me from this business idea, I’m not going near that one….THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Brian Says:

    Duke,

    I think you’re right! Only, he’s still a part of the network! Why would he stick around, unless he was getting some kind of a “good deal?”

    He was very angry about the pricing model, and now he’s not? Are you telling me he’s now paying FULL PRICE, and happy to do it?

    I think not.

    Without further speculation, let me tell you that Jeff Loudon is no dummy. And, neither am I. Luckily, I copied his entire blog, before it miraculously disappeared.

    I plan to reiterate each posting, and break it down, for further discussion. Post by post, so that all you potential investors get the real scoop. Then, you can make an informed decision, based on the facts. Facts that Travelhost will not give you before you “buy in.”

    It all starts with the sales pitch. Perfectly executed, it has the potential investor thinking he’s on a job interview, and he/she starts qualifying themselves!

    Check it out in the next post!

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