The Survey Results That Travelhost Magazine Doesn’t Want YOU To Know…

One week ago, I placed 10 simple survey questions on this blog, and the results are in.

You can still scroll down below this post to fill out the survey if you wish, as the results will continue to be calculated. However, after a week of exposure, I believe the results are quite clear.

I would like to personally thank all of the people who took the time to complete the survey, as your time is very valuable.

Taking the time to fill out the survey, and the answers that have been provided, have led me to certain conclusions and opinions that I will discuss below. In a nutshell, the results are exactly as I had thought all along, so this survey adds validity to my blog posts over the last few months.

Please keep in mind that the results acquired in this survey reflect the opinions of the people who took the survey. Not all people answered all questions, but we had nearly 300 people who visited the site in the last week, many who answered our survey. These people were not contacted, remain un-identified, and will continue to remain that way. This was an opportunity to participate anonymously, and was a success, in my opinion…especially for the first time out!

To start, 57% of the people who took the survey are current Travelhost Associate Publishers, 29% are past AP’s, and 14% were people who were considering the Travelhost “Opportunity.”

68% of these people believe that Travelhost is NOT an “ethical company,” with 18% undecided, and a whopping 14% feeling that they are an ethical company. I didn’t ask for anyone to justify this feeling, it was just a question of perception.

When asked whether people were told about Travelhost’s success rate during initial discussions with HQ, 89% of people said they were told nothing. 11% say they were told what the success rate was, even though I didn’t ask what they were told. I’m assuming these people may have been told how many people have tried the business in their particular market, not necessarily told that over-all 90% of people fail in this business?

When asked specifically if anyone was told they could make 3 or 400k per year as an AP, 33% of people said YES. Another 38% said they did not remember the specific numbers, but were led to believe they could EASILY make A LOT of money as an AP. The other 29% of people who answered this survey said they were not told this information.

When asked if Travelhost informed them that they would be paying more than double what other publishers pay for printing and production as an AP, 95% of people said NO. Only 5% felt that Travelhost informed them that the publishing prices were as high as they are. Not one person said they didn’t know, which was our third option, which leads me to believe that they were paying attention to the overhead costs portion of the deal!

When asked whether paying Travelhost an extra 30k per year was “worth it,” 70% of respondents said NO. 20% were undecided, and 10% said they thought Travelhost was worth spending 30k per year on. Perhaps those people who own highly successful markets, billing out 500k per year plus feel this way, as they pay far less of a “royalty” to Travelhost as a percentage of their gross sales?

85% of people believe that this extra 30K per year on average paid to Travelhost is in fact a “royalty,’ and 15% of people do not believe it is. If it’s not a royalty, I’m not sure what it is…perhaps just overcharges?

84% of the respondents felt that by becoming a Travelhost Associate Publisher, they would be successful because of the Travelhost business plan. 11% said they felt they would not be successful because of a Travelhost business plan, and 5% didn’t know. So, it’s clear that people knew that a Travelhost business plan exists, as most people in the survey felt that was their “formula for success.” Obviously, Travelhost must not have told them that on average, 90% of people fail with the business plan or they would not have felt that way?

100% of people who took the survey said that Travelhost offered them a marketing plan! This is the one and only survey question that achieved 100% agreement. The only problem I see, is that on the second page of the Travelhost Distributorship Agreement, point #3 states:

Autonomy – Distributor shall at all times retain autonomy in its general business operations and sales practices. No marketing plan, program or system is or shall be prescribed, suggested or recommended by Publisher, and Distributor agrees to be solely responsible for the selection and establishment of its own marketing plan, program or system for selling advertising for inclusion within the Publication, and for distribution of the Publication within the Designated Area. Publisher has not offered to provide and is not required by the terms of this agreement to provide any significant training, advice or assistance to the Distributor. Publisher has not represented and does not represent that Distributor will earn or is likely to earn a profit.

This is straight from the AP agreement that Travelhost wrote. This also happens to be their biggest reason why they don’t think they’re a FRANCHISE. They say they have no “prescribed marketing plan,” yet 100% of the people who responded to this survey said they got marketing help!

Here’s another interesting survey question…when asked if anyone had contacted Travelhost headquarters about a discount on publishing, 22% of people said that they were actually given a discount by Travelhost.

However, 44% were told that Travelhost doesn’t discount at all! And, the other 22% (part of the 66%, or 2/3 of the respondents) were told to just “go out and sell more ads!” (as if that wasn’t the whole goal in the first place, why would someone NEED a discount if they were selling enough ads to begin with?)

Either way, why does Travelhost treat each associate publisher differently?

Why do they lie to 2/3 of the respondents, and give the other 1/3 a price break?

Finally, when asked if people were worried that the Travelhost executive staff has been cut nearly completely, 89% of people said that it worried them.

I agree with them.

The interesting thing is that 11% of people actually said they didn’t care what was going on over at Travelhost HQ…even though their money is going to FUND what’s going on at HQ!

I guess Travelhost has created what is perceived as a “quasi-government” situation, as most people just “pay the taxes” but don’t pay attention to where the money goes? Or perhaps they only care about succeeding in their own market, and ignore the fact that the NETWORK is Travelhost’s biggest asset?

In conclusion, a few things are obvious to me:

1. Travelhost is a franchise that offers a business plan, a trademark for royalties, and a prescribed marketing plan.
2. Travelhost does not follow franchise rules. By not disclosing pertinent info to prospective franchisees, they cause many people to make investments they would not have made if they knew the high failure rate.
3. Travelhost has mislead investors, and has treated each associate publisher differently. Some people get discounts, the rest get overcharged until they go broke. Then Travelhost goes out and sells the franchise to another unsuspecting investor. And the cycle continues.

It’s as plain and simple as that. The rest, I leave up to your interpretation…but this is only the tip of the ice-burg. More surveys will follow, but for now, I leave you with one new survey question to ponder:

One Response to “The Survey Results That Travelhost Magazine Doesn’t Want YOU To Know…”

  1. jilas Says:

    HI Brian,

    I am a former AP who would like to keep my name out because I still owe TH money.I was with TH from 9/05 – to my last magazine Nov/Dec/Jan 2009. Had to lay it down because I pretty much lost all my advertisers due to the economy. I may have been one of the lucky ones for lasting 4 years. I really enjoy reading your posts. I have a question. Are you doing all this to set yourself up for a class action? I’m a ditto to your other post as I was also told that I could make 6 figures by “sell, sell, sell”. When I was close to the end of my time with TH, I asked if I could make payments so I could at least get the magazine out. I was told yes, but the stipulations were break the payments in half. I told TH I needed a guarantee that my magazines would ship and then I would pay them. They told me they couldn’t guarantee that. I told them then how could I pay you off if I don’t have magazines to give my advertisers and get them to my hotels. They basically told me that until they had they’re money, the magazines would stay on pallets. I had already owed them from the last printing. Anyway, needless to say, my Feb/Mar/Apr 09 never went out.You seem to have all your ducks in a row. I’m surprised TH hasn’t asked you to take your blog down like Jeff Louden. Your welcome to use this post if you think it will help. So, is this leading to a class action? If so, include me. I’m broke, but what ever you need from me, let me know. I have about 20 quotes from other printers that I could supply. I was paying $14,500 for12,000 mags. Towards the end, I just bought the minimum, 7500. That cost me$11k. With some of my other quotes from outside printers, I could have got 12,000 magazines with perfect binding, 100lb cover delivered to me from $5k – 8K.Talk to you soon. Keep up the good work. If you would like to talk to me, send me your phone # to jilas3in1@yahoo.com

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