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Acct manager: “Please dont accept any free upgrades as it affects client optics. Save them for your personal travel.” Oh sure. Let me cram myself in the middle seat in economy so client feels better

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Yes, you can try to explain things to the client. At the same time they can just think it's an excuse and stick with their perception of "consultants living large on our dime while I'm stuck with Budget rent-a-car while travelling" and not hire your firm next time. You might not see it that way, but project leadership has to worry about long term and protecting the relationship and the business.

I think we are on the same project OP. Just to clarify, some of these clients travel as well each week just for this phase. And it is all about optics. There are 3 dimensions to look at it. 1. Flights- Free upgrades can't be avoided and clients hopefully gets that. 2. Cars- I don't mind driving an Altima instead of Audi, if that makes client comfortable 3. Hotels/ Dinner- Need to be mindful of what is being said in front of the client as I know some of these clients stay at Homewood while EY consultant staying at SPG Luxury.

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And let me kindly ask the flight and hotel desk employees to save all my upgrades for when I go on personal vacations.

likefunny

Sounds like a reasonable request when traveling with clients. If clients are not present, then who cares.

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Make sure you also tell stories about how we are perpetually single, miss kids bdays, live unhealthy lives, and all spend 250 days a year on the road. Drop those stories and the client will start praying that you get upgrades

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Haha...how does the client even know you got an upgrade

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Seriously how would they know?

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Is the acct manager new to consulting?

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This can’t be real.

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Cars make a lot more sense than flight

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Where on a flight receipt is the free upgrade? Do they check boarding passes in public sector also?

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I’d say depends on client. Acct manager may be onto something if it’s a new client and he’s trying to establish trust

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Tf?

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My manager on my last project took pictures of my rental cars on a regular basis because I would get free upgrades to Mercedes, Lexus, etc. Let's just say he's no longer with the firm. Yes please, I'll take the free upgrades for life.

likefunny

If the account manager is concerned about the client overhearing discussion on free flight upgrades, then coach the team to not discuss at the client site. Still don't understand why you would discourage accepting unless the client checks boarding passes

likehelpful

Again, how would the client know? Also, how does this negatively impact optics? People understand that certain statuses garner free upgrade. How is this real?

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It’s totally real at least in the public sector space. They will scrutinize all the receipts. I had to justify a free upgrade to a rental because they were out of the car I booked because the receipt didn’t match what was booked

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OP - I feel the pain! And I guess we are on the same project 😂

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Hints on project (so I can avoid) plz :)

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It would have been nice to see the account manager explain all the things we consultants give up while working on the account, all while ensuring the client that none of the upgrades are costing them anything additional. I guess that would be too much to ask though!

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Had a PPED make one of our managers get rid of his BMW upgraded rental car which was a free upgrade for his monthly rental bc the client saw him driving it. Also had a client see my water bottle from the ritz one day and give me shit... retorted back with “hey the Marriott next door is $50 more a night i can stay there if you’d like”. No more shit from the client after that.

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@m2 yes they have been known to do that. One project matched my boarding pass to the receipt

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