Discontent Provider

File this under "We just don't get it." The American Society of Travel Agents has helped create an unusual telephone message that members play for customers on hold--a rant against booking your trips online. About 1,800 of its 26,000 members play the recording. "The Web contains tons of fraudulent misinformation," declares a confident voice. "There's no guarantee that all your reservations will coordinate as you hoped." (Travel site Expedia Inc. insists its error rate is minuscule.)

The 15-second mini-screed concludes with a reminder: "Unlike trying to do it yourself on the Internet, they [agents] have expertise to save you time and money. So why put yourself through the hassle?" Uh, maybe because the Net doesn't put you on hold?

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.