Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Family size discrimination....

Does anyone else experience this? Family size discrimination....specials, offers, phone plans, cars, vacation packages - all designed for a family of four - no more, no less...well, I have a family of SIX and I don't think that's so unusual. We've experienced this "family discrimination" in many ways....for example, at Great Wolf Lodge we had to book a suite so that we'd have enough room to sleep all of us - which happens quite often - hotels offer two queen beds or a king - and, sometimes, for an additional cost, a "suite" which contains a fold-out sofa sleeper so we can actually sleep six of us. At Great Wolf, we picked a suite that had bunk beds so everyone would have a place to sleep but guess what? The package only came with FIVE water park passes. FIVE. Even though the suite slept six. Could we add a water park pass to the package? No. Could we purchase it separately? No, because the water park passes were for guests with reservations only. I had to haggle and bargain, and practically beg, to get a sixth water park pass so we could all enjoy the fun. Ridiculous. Another example is our cell phone plan. Our T-Mobile account only allows five lines per family plan. Because, you know, no one should have more than three kids! Except we DO. And we cannot add a sixth line. We can split our lines and have TWO plans, but that will cost almost twice as much. So, five lines or nothing. Discrimination! How about contests? They advertise that you can win a "family" vacation, which supplies airfare, accomodations and other fun times for a family of....four! So, I guess if we ever are lucky enough to win one of these "vacations" we'll just pick which two kids we like best? Don't even mention cars....we are practically forced to drive minivans. For one thing we need six seats - which are only available in larger SUV's and minivans. If any of the kids wants to bring a friend - well, let's just say we picked an 8 passenger minivan so we could at least take two extra kids with us. We had to pay a premium price and deal with less than ideal gas mileage just to fit us all. Many special offers have a reduced price for a "family" which is defined as two adults and two children. So, we pay extra for the other two kids. Now, some might argue that we CHOSE to have four kids, but in reality, our blended family is a matter of circumstance and we are certainly not the only ones like us in the world! A lot of families, especially blended families, have more than two kids. So, why not offer options for larger families? Quantity discounts? Would it really be that difficult? I once asked a hotel reservation agent what she suggested since the hotel did not have suites and we needed six sleeping spots. She said we were "required" to book two rooms. When I said I was uncomfortable leaving my children unattended in a room, she suggested we split "the parents" up and each of us sleep in a room with two kids. What married couple wants to spend their vacation sleeping in separate beds? (Wait, don't answer that....you get my point!). Anyway, I'm tired of family size discrimination....what the heck do the big Mormon and Catholic families do? It all comes down to spending a lot more money, when quantity discounts should apply. Big families ultimately mean more business so why not offer a little incentive to patronize establishments?

3 comments:

Mimi/Papa said...

This is exactly what we used to face when we had you four kids and the two of us...!! We used to have to get two rooms with an adjoining door and open up that door...you four kids in one room, your dad and I in the other. The snacks were always in your room and we had our drinks in our room!! I'm sure you remember this. We never thought too much about it really as that was just the way it was! But now that everything is so much more expensive, I can't imagine doing anything like we used to do like traveling and "vacationing." You should write this to one of your local papers and see if you get any interesting offers!! haha Good Luck! Love you all very much! Mom and Dad

Sarah said...

I've often wondered the exact same thing. I didn't know the cell companies did that though - that is really bad.

Start a movement!

Robin said...

Hi,
We are a family of six, and after experiencing this ourselves last night, I searched "family-size discrimination" today, and found your stories. I could totally relate to what you experience. It's not fair, and I don't get why companies are so unwilling to be more welcoming to large families. Thanks for sharing!