StudentCity representatives on campus earn free trips
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 23:03
After signing up to be a campus representative for the spring break planning website StudentCity, senior Paul Riccardi will end up going to Cancun, Mexico for his spring break without having to pay for any expenses.
As a campus rep, Riccardi said he had to get at least 15 other students to go on the vacation in order to go for free. He works as a liaison between the students and the company when it comes to students changing roommates or trip destinations as well paying by the desired dates.
“I wouldn’t say it was hard but it definitely was time-consuming and frustrating at times,” Riccardi said. “People frequently kept changing their minds about what they wanted.”
He said the job is worth the effort if a student knows others who will sign up through the representative.
Like 15 other students on campus, Riccardi represents the company on campus in order to increase publicity of the travel planning website. So far, about 450 students have used the representatives to sign up for these trips.
Senior Dan Rosenzweig, who has been a campus rep for StudentCity for the past two years, said there is also incentive for the representatives to get even more students to sign up outside of their friends.
“If you get 16 to sign up with you then you get a free trip,” Rosenzweig said. “Anyone that you get to sign up over the first 16, you get commission on.”
Rosenzweig said he estimates about 70 students have signed up to go to Panama City, Fla. through him. After his requisite 16, he receives about $15 dollars for trips outside of the country he signs up and between $10 and $15 for trips in the country.
Riccardi, a member of fraternity Kappa Delta Rho, said he mostly got his close friends to sign up for the trip with him but emailed other Greek organizations to boost his sales even further.
He was able to sign up over 40 people, but most either canceled their trip or never paid. Riccardi said he ended up with a total of 16 people, the cut-off for the free trip.
Campus reps’ other responsibilities include answering any questions students have, according to Rosenzweig.
Rosenzweig said he did not find it to be that much work, but since he booked a bus for students to travel to Panama City Beach, Fla. he would definitely prefer promoting a trip outside of the country where students would fly to their destination.
“I wouldn’t say the whole process was stressful, but I would say that it does get annoying when people are asking you the same questions over and over,” Rosenzweig said. “But I would definitely do it again for an out-of-the country trip because then you wouldn’t have to worry about how everyone is getting there.”
Both Riccardi and Rosenzweig said they got involved with StudentCity after going on spring break themselves and being asked if they would like to work for the company as campus reps.
Senior Jen Harmon and seven of her friends decided to use a StudentCity representative to coordinate their trip to Panama City, Fla., for spring break this year. She said since she and her friends have started planning the trip in November, she has had several issues with their payments.
The group put down money for one room but their campus representative signed them up for a different, more expensive room. After calling the company, she and her friends were informed that they would only have to pay for the first, less expensive room they signed up for. After this was cleared up, however, their accounts still showed charges for the more expensive room. She said this happened at least five times.
Harmon and her roommates were also told they could have an extension for their deadline to pay for the bus, but they received a late fee once they paid it. She said they also received a $100 charge last week that was never explained but was soon taken down.
Each time Harmon and her friends dealt with representatives from StudentCity, they were “very disorganized” and “very unprofessional.”
Harmon said she would use the organization again, however, because there aren’t really any other options for students.
“The only reason I would [use StudentCity again] would be because there’s no one else really like them that organizes spring break trips,” Harmon said.
She said she would recommend other students who use the group in the future to be cautious of where and how much they are getting charged.
“I would just warn people to be careful and watch your account,” Harmon said.
Kelly Lyons contributed to the reporting of this article.