Travels – Berlin

SPOILER Alert: There is nothing related to pianos in this post.

I was back in Berlin recently. This being my 3rd trip, I’m beginning to feel like I know my way around a little. However this time it was freezing and dangerous since clearly nobody shovels snow in Berlin and every single walking surface was […]

Factory visits

To recap my philosophy, I do not see the worlds true high end makers as competitors. With the idea of “tonal diversity” firmly in mind, I think these makers support each other in trying to reach prospects who might otherwise have, from pure marketing exposure, a narrow idea of what represents true quality in […]

Brand Loyalty

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I travel a lot, so I should be a prime customer for a number of travel related companies. If I had a bigger travel budget things might be different, especially when it comes to hotels and maybe air lines. However in this business one has to keep travel costs down. For that reason I am rather brand ambivalent except for a couple of cases.

Hertz
I really won’t price shop for a car rental because Hertz is so very good at getting me into the car and out of the lot. Hertz is usually more expensive but the discount I get from my status at one particular airline helps mitigate the difference. I’m also a Gold member which gives me no price advantage but is the secret to the easy in, easy out benefit. I go right to be bus, get dropped right at the screen which tells me where my car is. Show my license on the way out and I’m gone. I have a membership at another leading car rental company but even then I have to wait while the type endlessly on the computer…what are they typing anyway, they already have my info.

Hertz trains their people well. They aren’t warm and fuzzy in a fake way, just crisply efficient and cordial. I’ve had a couple of hiccups here and there. Their staff at DCA really have not gotten the memo on how to treat customers. Going to the Gold desk in that airport garage means getting the impression that you are really bothering them and taking them away from whatever they are doing at the computer terminal. Once is a fluke, twice is a pattern.

All rental cars are older and crummier now but they spiff me once in a while with something nice. I’ve got an Impala with a sun roof for this week of distance driving, but the AUX input jack doesn’t work. Oh well.

Hotwire
Ok, this is not the brand loyalty the hotels want me to have, but I book all hotels through Hotwire. Once you figure out the ratings (never ever go with 2 stars) you can get from adequate to really nice hotel rooms for real bargains. Not always the same bargain each time but I can really count on them to set me up right. I wish they did international hotel bookings.
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More travels – Midwest Old Home …hour

More traveling, this time to the midwest, and more driving. First a visit to a new customer in St. Louis, then a long drive to Elizabethtown KY to visit the warehouse at Keyboard Carriage. This is about a 5 hour drive but it is through some very beautiful scenery. You have to love the […]