DO NOT travel with G Adventures!!!

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Dec 23rd, 2015, 09:06 AM
  #1
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DO NOT travel with G Adventures!!!

I don't usually write reviews as I just don't have the time, however I feel morally obligated to my fellow human beings to warn your against traveling with G Adventures AT ALL COSTS. I recently returned from a Botswana "Comfort" Safari with them, in fact I actually left early because the trip was terrible - disgusting accommodations, an incompetent "CEO", trip not as advertised with clearly misleading information in the description. Customer service for this company is the worst of not only any travel company but any company I have ever experienced in my life. It is non existent. If something goes wrong, they WILL NOT HELP YOU. This is their standard policy, as we were succinctly informed. We were further rudely advised to take up all complaints with customer service after the trip, that there is nothing they could do for us while we are on it. YOU PUT YOUR LIFE IN DANGER WHEN YOU TRAVEL WITH THIS COMPANY. If there is any problem whatsoever, from a minor inconvenience, to a major annoyance, or, god forbid, a life threatening emergency, you are on your own. And, upon taking the issues up with customer service when we returned home, the response was, "too bad, nothing else we can do." I have traveled with maybe a dozen travel companies over the years, and have never experienced anything like this. Simply stated, this company has no standards or understanding of the travel industry, and should not be operating.
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Dec 23rd, 2015, 09:21 AM
  #2
 
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>>I don't usually write reviews as I just don't have the time<<

BUT you have time to search out Fodors, register and post a screed with not one single detail. Probably running all over the interweb looking for places to post.

I have no idea if the company is legit or not, competent or not, well run or not . . . but your rant carries very little credibility. Just sayin'
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Dec 23rd, 2015, 10:22 AM
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I, for one, don't bother to read any post that begins with screaming caps and words like Beware, DO NOT, Warning, followed by exclamation marks!!!!! Except maybe for a chuckle. She sounds like a poorly brought up child having a tantrum in the cereal aisle.

Warning Lynn, AT ALL COSTS: DO NOT buy travel without doing your homework. If you don't bother reading reviews, we WILL NOT HELP YOU.
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Dec 23rd, 2015, 12:02 PM
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I forgot, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, LYNN !!!!
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Dec 23rd, 2015, 04:48 PM
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To make the time and effort you put into this original post worthwhile, more details are needed.

You mention you are busy, but if you don't invest the time to provide specifics and details, then your plea to avoid this company will be ignored and your time typing this will have been wasted.

Not trying to be disagreeable, just being honest. I've avoided companies that have had terrible reviews here, but there were details provided, so I could judge the bad behavior.

As it stands this looks like an attempt to torpedo a competitor or an unhappy client who is unreasonable. Again, not trying to be negative or rude. Just giving my impression, which I would bet money other readers share.
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Dec 23rd, 2015, 06:02 PM
  #6
 
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I think G Adventures used to be Gap Adventures and a well-thought-of, but quite budget kind of experience, young people being the target demographic. It could be a case of getting what she paid for?
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Dec 24th, 2015, 05:42 AM
  #7
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Thank you for your feedback. I thought it was important to get the message out there as soon as possible. Some additional color below:

1. Trip billed as "comfort" safari. Yet includes dirty run down accommodation, broken glass in common ares, unclean tables, no hot water, no mosquito nets in a malarial area, no food service training for staff (unsanitary food preparation practices observed), holes in tents, dirty bathrooms, ripped linens, etc. What you pay for is not what you get.
2. Promised a "Chief Experience Officer" and driver, and separate tipping guidelines are provided for each. Only driver provided. Driver preoccupied with driving (surprise) and unable to provide tour or animal tracking. Again, misleading info.
3. Claim in trip description to be able to honor dietary restrictions. Not true, no understanding of celiac disease at certain accommodations. Again, selling one thing, getting another.
4. CEO billed as there to make everything run smoothly. Yet he was unable to respond to the most basic requests and just said he had to run everything through his "manager", who in turn was completely unhelpful.
5. Request for mosquito nets met with "oh its really not that risky and I have had malaria 3 times and its not that big of a deal." This is our choice to make about or health.
6. Request to speak to customer service denied. Rude treatment by management for perfectly reasonable request. Informed that the standard policy for the company is that all issues that occur whilst on tour are to be taken up customer service upon return and there is nothing they can do about anything once you are on the trip.
7. Complete dismissal of all concerns upon taking up with customer service upon return.

This last two points are the most important, hence my first message. You rely on your travel company to guarantee your safety, especially when you don't have cell or internet service in remote areas. If there is an emergency, based on the way we were treated and dismissed, you are in trouble. Travel is a service business, and if this company does not have a basic understanding of this they should not be in the industry.
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Dec 24th, 2015, 06:12 AM
  #8
 
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The "biggies" for me were:

2. Promised a "Chief Experience Officer" and driver, and separate tipping guidelines are provided for each. Only driver provided. Driver preoccupied with driving (surprise) and unable to provide tour or animal tracking. Again, misleading info.

Even if this is a budget trip geared to young adventurers, getting half the staff you paid for is unacceptable.

3. Claim in trip description to be able to honor dietary restrictions. Not true, no understanding of celiac disease at certain accommodations. Again, selling one thing, getting another.

If you had arranged for food accommodations at the time of booking and those were not provided this could cost a client's health. If a budget operation won't do food accommodations, that's fine. But it must not promise what cannot be delivered.
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Dec 24th, 2015, 07:35 AM
  #9
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Atravelynn, as you rightly point out, getting half the staff is unacceptable on all occasions but especially since this was billed as a "luxury" safari.

The traveler with celiac disease notified G Adventures well in advance, as anyone with such a life threatening condition would. We arrived at one lodge at "tea time" and they could not understand why she did not want to eat the cake. She explained that cake had flour in it. The response: "Flour has gluten??". Further at dinner, she was assured that the chicken dish was gluten free. However, being rightly suspicious at this point, when pressed to name all of the ingredients, flour was a major component of the sauce.

This has been a beyond frustrating, demoralizing experience as a significant amount of money was spent for the "trip of a lifetime". I sincerely hope this never happens to anyone else.
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Dec 24th, 2015, 11:07 AM
  #10
 
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Very sorry to hear about your bad experience. G Adventures was indeed formerly GAP Adventures. The name was changed after a ship sank in the Antarctic (no one died but passengers spent four hours in life boats). I have been leary about using them, and am glad to read this report. I have had better luck with Intrepid.
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Dec 24th, 2015, 02:12 PM
  #11
 
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I'm kind of astonished at this as I've had nothing but good experiences with G. Nonetheless, things can go south.

But a couple of things perplex me. First, in #2 you say "Only driver provided" no CEO. Yet in #4 you are interacting with the CEO.

Also, on the G website I don't see a Comfort level/style tour in Botswana. Could you please be more specific about the name, trip-code or webpage of the trip you went on. Thanks!
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Dec 24th, 2015, 02:40 PM
  #12
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NoFlyZone, it is the same person: I should have put CEO in quotes or said CEO/driver. Point is, we got one unqualified guy when we were promised a driver and a CEO.

The itineraries have changed for 2016, but I think this is the new version of our trip: https://www.gadventures.com/trips/bo...perience/2642/

Happy to provide additional information, the original itinerary or the full complaint to anyone interested, as I am sure they since made amends to the website based on our complaints (they admitted the CEO driver portion was "misleading" but still didn't offer to do anything about it). Again, my only goal is to prevent this from happening to someone else.
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Dec 24th, 2015, 02:51 PM
  #13
 
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" Again, my only goal is to prevent this from happening to someone else."

It won't happen to me. Thanks.
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Dec 24th, 2015, 05:55 PM
  #14
 
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As NoFlyZone alludes to, it may be better to describe a bad experience with the individual trip one experienced, as a lesson to others to do due diligence, rather than to go overboard with the warnings and have few pay any attention as a result. Tour companies are completely dependent on staff on the ground and at headquarters at any particular time, and it can obviously go south on occasion. To paint an entire company with such a broad brush it, I think, not necessarily giving an accurate picture. I'm never sure what to believe in these cases, is the company lousy in general or was this just one of those times.
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Dec 28th, 2015, 05:16 AM
  #15
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Unfortunately, I don't think any amount of due diligence could have solved the problem here:

-Even if all information regarding the trip is thoroughly read on the website, there is no way to tell which information is false/misleading v. true (such as the false information regarding the number of staff and level of accommodation). I would assume a tour description posted by a company on its website is accurate because otherwise the company exposes itself to allegations of fraud.
-There is no way to research the accommodations at the time of purchase to confirm they are up to standard, as the names of lodges are not provided before departure and can change trip to trip.
-The name of the tour leader is not provided beforehand, so there is no way to confirm whether there have been any complaints against him or her.
-The customer service policy, namely that they cannot do anything for you once your tour has departed and your only recourse is to take you issues up with customer service upon return, is not posted anywhere on the website. Why would it be, this policy is insane and not the market standard for any travel company.

I suppose the only due diligence that could have been done here is to research complaints against G adventures customer service, of which there are myriad around the internet.

So, of course no one needs to listen to this warning, but if you are like me and don't like to risk throwing away money when there are so many competent travel companies who understand customer service out there, you may want to consider all that I have been trying to convey here.

Safe and happy travels to all.
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Dec 29th, 2015, 11:43 AM
  #16
 
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Hi Lynn. Daniel from G Adventures Base Camp here. I’m sorry you had a disappointing experience. We’ve been in business 25 years, we serve thousands of travellers a week, and we strive to create the best possible experience for our community. I don’t have all the facts yet, but do want to make certain your concerns are addressed and am committed to keeping you updated. As has been relayed to you via email, I’ve been assured by my colleagues in customer service that you can expect a response to your complaints before January 8. It’s clear that you’re frustrated; however, we ask that you provide us with more time to fully consider your case. Thanks again for taking the time to bring this to light.
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Dec 29th, 2015, 12:51 PM
  #17
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Dear Daniel,

Interesting, you have had almost 5 weeks to consider this case as we initially reached out to you while on tour on 11/24. You have had extensive submissions for all of the travelers on our tour (not all of which you even bothered to acknowledge unless an acknowledgement was demanded) and you already spoke to the team on the ground. Yet, when you initially responded by email on 12/22 you said the following in a nutshell:

1. Yes, the info about the CEO and driver was misleading, but nothing can be done.
2. We have decided the lodge was up to code and we stand by our 3 star rating in contravention to the gov't of Botswana and your actual experience.
3. You were in what we think is a low risk area for malaria so what's the big deal about not having a net.

Not even addressing the other multiple points (horrible customer service, unable to accommodate dietary restrictions, etc.)

In short, you already had "all of the facts" yet you completely blew us off. When we all responded that, no, you had not actually addressed anything and literally demanded that the complaints be escalated and responded to again, and that we have the name of your legal counsel, then and only then did the "customer experience investigator" agree to escalate this.

Interestingly enough, please note that just today I was blown off when I requested the names of the two managers that we spoke to and that treated us like garbage while we were on the tour. I was told by Britt that since the case had been escalated pending the return of her manager on January 4, she was unable to further assist at the moment. But, I guess the prohibition on responding to me does not count when you are trying to do damage control on the internet. Since you seem to be able to respond to me, can you provide me the names of these gentlemen? I think I have a right to know who exactly spoke to me in this way and what exactly are their positions with your company.

Thank you
Lynn
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Dec 29th, 2015, 01:24 PM
  #18
 
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Lynn - have you tried Twitter as well? That often seems to get results....
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Dec 29th, 2015, 06:31 PM
  #19
 
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Hi Lynn. We're here to make sure that you're in touch with the right people—and, as I'm sure you understand, this requires collaboration between a number of different teams. That means I'm not familiar with the particular facts of your case; however, I'm relieved to learn that you're in touch with those who are. As mentioned above, I’ve been assured by my colleagues in customer service that your case has been escalated and that you can expect a response to your complaints before January 8. While I know that you're in touch with those who are in the best position to offer assistance, we're available to you as well at .
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Dec 30th, 2015, 04:45 AM
  #20
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thursdaysd,

Thanks for the suggestion, I will take the party there next.

G Adventures,

I have been in touch with "the right people" since I first reached out on 11/24, so while well-meaning I'm not sure what your post adds to the discussion. If you are available to me as well perhaps you can get me those names I asked for. Also, feel free to make yourself familiar with the particular facts of my case by reading the complaint forwarded to [email protected] by a fellow traveler after she posted about our experience on Instagram.

Thank you
Lynn
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