Golden Chain Motel vouchers – Beware.
I had read about buying pre-paid vouchers for Golden Chain Motels in one of the popular Guide Books and enquired about them through my travel agent. I was successful in buying 10 vouchers and confirmed that I should be able to take advantage of the 11 nights for the price of 10 offer.
However, when I started booking the accommodation in various Golden Chain Motels in South and North Islands for February and March, I discovered that many of the motels had already sold their allocated Golden Chain rooms (I booked in early August!), but most would be willing to take the vouchers if I paid an upgrade fee. I was willing to pay when that fee was NZ$15 per night, but not when it was NZ$42 or even NZ$55. In the end it was going to cost me well over NZ$250 extra for 11 nights accommodation than it would by not using the vouchers!
I contacted my travel agent and have now cancelled the vouchers. I had to pay £82 to cancel them – one night s voucher and a cancellation fee of £22. That was still cheaper than going ahead and using the vouchers.
So my advice is -BEWARE. One of the managers of one of the popular motels replied that it is often cheaper to book directly with the motel than to go through agents or buy vouchers through agents, paying their commission!
I have never heard of Golden Chain vouchers,
you must be aware that February and March are peak times in NZ especially in the South Island and even if you paid the upgrade you still may have come off better than cancelling- $250 NZ is not a lot of money converted back to pounds.
It seems as though you have done you dough for nothing and its has been an expensive learning curve.
You are always better to book directly unless your travel agent can get you good prices and you pre-pay for convenience and budgeting purposes.