I attempted to book a tour with TourRadar for a portion of my holiday while I was travelling abroad. I selected a tour online and left a detailed message explaining I would be out of contact for 10 days following as I was in a regional location and that I would be back in contact 2 days before my selected tour and could finalise anything required then. At the end of the 10 days I found an e-mail explaining I had selected a tour for 2 people and as I was solo I would be required to pay extra and that once I confirmed this price change I would receive confirmation. After confirming the price change I called the office to find out how long confirmation may take as I would need to make travel arrangements swiftly. At this point I learnt that while the tour I was booking was in Asia - the on ground company was based in South America, but TourRadar offices were communicating from Vienna and Berlin. This meaning that confirmation was subject to bouncing between these 3 international locations. As such I chose to shift the start date of the tour back another day to give some time for confirmation. However the next day I still had not heard confirmation and so after another call to their offices I shifted the tour start date back another day and explained that I could not afford to shift the dates anymore or wait for international offices to correspond while I was on the ground in the country of the tour. Chatting to the officer over the phone and explaining this situation I was informed that this officer would call the Berlin office as soon as it was online today to find out what was happening but this would take several hours time. We agreed that In the mean time I would explore other local options and that TourRadar would call me back with a status check in a few hours hours before confirmation or money payment was taken incase I had made local plans. As such I did speak to a local company and was able to tailor a tour for me within 30 minutes, as well as make travel arrangements and include meals in my tour for a total price that was half that of TourRadar's. I then come back to my e-mails a few hours later to find that TourRadar had confirmed my tour and attempted payment request - without phone call to me as was agreed. I then explained to TourRadar the situation at which point I was told that I would be required to pay the full cost of the tour as it was a cancellation on my behalf and despite the phone call TourRadar does not call clients before confirmation. Ultimately I was informed I would receive a refund and be required to pay a smaller fee for costs incurred, along with comments that I was so difficult to communicate with and that in future I should book locally. What is most disappointing about this situation is that everything I did was only in accordance with the online directions or the instructions and options provided to me via TourRadar's officers over the phone. Yet somehow it is my responsibility to pay a loss for the outcome rather than the company being accountable for the breaks in policy coming from their own end. I would also expect the company to direct me elsewhere from the beginning if they believed my requests were to time stringent to accomodate for their organisation. Furthermore every time I contacted the company I dealt with a different officer which was frustrating as each one was differently informed. All in all - a very poor experience.
6 years ago
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