I found this article interesting because I have interacted and know many of the members of this organization who are working with wounded warriors. When I was at Brooke Army Medical Center they had representatives there and they did hand out free shirts and toiletry kits to soldiers, including me, when they were evacuated from theater. They also sponsored some rehab trips and movie outings, but it wasn’t until it was brought to my attention exactly how much they take it that I realized, as you point out, that not much goes back out. The really make no large contributions and have no major programs that justify the large exposure. I didn’t see you mention it, but part of there costs are attributed to suing other charities who used the name “wounded warrior” in their names or used any emblem that looks like black and white shadow of a soldier. This has caused a lot of people to also question their motives since they’re spending money to prevent other charities from receiving money that would go to veterans causes anyway.
I liked the article. However, I’ve become a bit skeptical of at least element of Hilton’s business model – the time share. As a long time Hilton Honors member I’ve always enjoyed the perks and program, but I was quite disturbed with what I saw on my most recent visit. I went through the timeshare “pitch” that they offer and from my interactions with others, the timeshare in many ways is marketed in a misleading way. They try to tell people they they’ll definitely be able to use their time to visit new places and try to avoid the clear issue of most members trying to use their timeshare over the holidays and major travel days. Currently on Consumer Reports they have a 1 star rating because so many people have bought into the time share and realized that they can never use it, unless they’re retired and can travel during very off-peak times. Additionally, when you challenge or bring this up to them, as I did, they basically throw you out (I’m not kidding). Ultimately, I feel like the whole thing was so shady and so reminiscent of a used car salesman pitch that it was the catalyst for me to leave the Honors and move to Starwood. So, while I agree the company is great for the most part, I can’t help but think the timeshare has just been an elaborate way to trick unsuspecting consumers to buy into something they’ll likely never used nor be able to resell at anywhere near market value.
JC, I really like this concept. It seems that the product must be pretty good to be accepted so broadly, and particularly in France, where food is held in such a high regard. I wonder if if think that this model, or company, could expand to the US? Or has it expanded already outside of France? Clearly distribution and other aspects would be difficult, but there clearly seems to be a market for it in major cities where cooking extensive meals is a challenge.