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Warning about Kerala Adventures

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This company is highly recommended, numerous times, in Frommer's 4th edition guide to India, among other guidebooks. I arranged a tour with John Thomas, who appears to run the company, for a trip to India I had scheduled for July 2011. He insisted that we wire the funds up front. He said it was almost entirely refundable, and we trusted the guidebook recommendation, so we sent the money.

Unfortunately, an emergency came up and we had to cancel our entire vacation several weeks before we were due to go. John Thomas promised to return the roughly $800 we were due. We followed up with him repeatedly -- more than 35 emails in all over the course of the next five months -- and he repeatedly said he was about to have the bank wire back the funds. It never happened. When we finally told him we were going to pursue complaints within the tourism ministry and anywhere else we could, he simply stopped writing us back altogether.

Google around, as we did too late, and you'll find out he's done this to other people as well. We were stupid to have trusted the guidebooks and him; I wanted to post here in hopes of countering the positive reviews given to Kerala Adventures in the guidebooks. Do NOT wire him the funds in advance -- and trust me, just stay away from this company.

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