Denny’s Daily Zinger: Cheap Companies Hire Cheap

Heidi Vargas of iCruise/CruiseCheap responds to Denny Hatch.

Big Data is B.S.
Many companies can’t even employ Little Data.

In January 2014, I found a possible cruise adventure with Cunard—Rome to Venice around the Italy boot and the Sicily soccer ball.

Went to Cunard and found the price. Very reasonable.

Went to iCruise/CruiseCheap to see if I could get a better price.

Got a response from Heidi Vargas, who had been assigned as our “Trip Advisor.” She wrote back:

You can help me quickly find the best deal for you with just a little more information.

  • Have you been on a cruise before or is this your first one?
  • Is anyone traveling over the age of 55?
  • How flexible are you with your travel dates?
  • Why did you select this particular cruise?


Actually not okay.

Heidi Vargas was our trip advisor exactly one year ago, when we booked a transatlantic crossing with CruiseCheap on the Queen Mary 2.

Heidi’s replies contained my information from her database. She addressed me as “Dear Alden Denison Hatch” (the name on my passport) and correctly had my date of birth.

Yet she greeted me as a complete stranger.

Even though everything about Peggy and myself is contained in the CruiseCheap database relating to last year’s cruise.

Two Takeaways to Consider

  • When a family spent $3,000-plus with you a year ago and they come back a year later for more business, you’re a bloody idiot to treat them as total strangers.
  • Duh.

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His new book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at or contact him at

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