So torn right now! I have been working for a local agency since 2007. I am known in town as "The Disney Queen" and really started as an agent-just to be able to share my knowledge with others-my family gets tired of hearing about it! Anyway, I do book quite a bit and helped the agency reach earmarked status. Recently, my boss was unable to give me my whole commission check. A friend suggested that it is time I go out on my own through a host agency. I hate to give up earmarked status-and I also hate to leave a friend. Any advice?
Find a host agency that is an Earmarked Agency, that way you will not lose the Earmarked status.
What was the reason for the reduction in pay? Is the agency suffering economically, or are they changing the policy on how commission is paid to agents? If you do decide to switch, be sure to do your homework well and research all the host agencies. You want to find the best fit for you, and also one that supports your business and pays commissions fairly.
I agree with Cindy, unless there is a change in policy, not paying agents commissioned owed is a big red flag. There are many earmarked agencies that have outside agents. You may even find more support if you go to a Disney exclusive.
Be careful of host agencies. In late 93 I started looking for an agency I can work with in my community which was brick & mortar back then. Most of them would give me 50% but I needed to work at the agency (for free) answer phones and put labels on brochures.
So I found this ad and paid $1500 to get hooked up with a host agency. I had to buy software and did all air through Sabre and had monthly fees. She was great and taught me about airlines but she was awful as far as support. Back then most promos was CRO and Disney sent confirmations by mail and the guest had to make deposits within 3 weeks.
I'd call her and ask where are documents, air tix or whatever and she'd apologize and tell me there is a pile of stuff for me and she'd FEDX it. Every couple of months I would have the awkward call of asking if she could cut me a check. Oh so sorry is $1000 OK? She'd overnight a check. It was very frustrating for me.
One point you mentioned is you don't want to loose a friend. So I assume your boss feels the same way about you. I think you need to open up a dialogue as it seems something is wrong. You work hard and I know it is the guest that is most important and it is the pleasure of helping a family plan their vacation but you have an agreement that should be honored. If there is something wrong then you shouldmove on. There are many agencies that would welcome someone with experience.