TAGA Safaris

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Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:48 PM
  #21
 
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matnikstym,

Sorry...with my A.D.D. I missed this.
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:51 PM
  #22
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Thanks for everyone's comments on this -lots of different experiences. I guess there will always be mixed views on service and I'll just put this down to a bad experience.

Matnikstym, I hope you are not implying that I have been a pain in the a** (was this what TAGA implied to you?). We have probably spent something like £25,000 - £30,000 (frightening) in the last 3 years on trips to Africa and so, yes, I do expect some element of good service demonstrated by an operator before I am prepared to commit this sort of money. I don't feel this is an unrealistic expectation and so will continue to seek initial proposals from operators before choosing and working with one.
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:03 PM
  #23
 
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no Ruthiec, i was not implying anything about you, nor did you come up in ANY correspondence from Mark...was just saying how frustrating it must be to operators to expend a lot of time on people who are a pain in the a** and nothing becomes of it. if you see yourself as that, i apologize.
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:08 PM
  #24
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Thanks matnikstym, obviously I'm feeling over-sensitive about this because I was so shocked by Mark's email. I may be a bit of a pain in the a** (GovernorPhil would agree ) but it always ends up in us booking with someone.
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:11 PM
  #25
 
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Rocco, I'll give you something, you're never too proud to take onboard advice/ criticism and let your opinions and practices evolve.

I remember back when it was all about price and you did indeed send not just one itinerary but revision after revision after revision not to just one or two or even three operators but to several. I could totally sympathise with their reluctance to continue putting in all that time knowing full well their chances of actually securing the business were slim!

I have said before that it's not all about price and I agree. For me these are the things I look for in an agent or operator:

Accuracy - I hate it when someone is sloppy - for example I specify a boat transfer and a flight one is put into the quoted itinerary, I specify a year and the wrong year is used, I ask 3 questions in an email and only the first is answered.

Genuine desire to provide best possible trip for me - I go for people who will not only give me quotes on what I ask about but will actively take time to get to know who I am, what my preferences and pleasures are and then make additional suggestions based on that.

Promptness - whilst I appreciate that I'm only one of many customers I do not want to waiting forever for each response - the fact that the dialogue is via email rather than in person/ on the phone should not mean it has to take place over months rather than days or weeks. Take on more staff but deal with the workload in a timely fashion.

I am not saying price doesn't enter into it at all but... other factors rank more highly.

Which is why I switched operators between the 2001 trip and the 2004 trip.

My instinct tells me that Mark at Taga IS the kind of person I could work with but I maintain that it's good to hear the broader picture, not just reports from the satisfied majority.

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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:14 PM
  #26
 
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I have said before that it's not all about price and I agree.

Oh lordy, I've started talking to myself.

What I meant was that I still feel the same way!!!

ROFL
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:15 PM
  #27
 
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RuthieC,
I completely agree with you and don't feel that your expectations are out of line at all. If this was your very first email contact with TAGA, then I would say that they are the ones who are out of line. I also expect tour operators to provide a reasonable amount of initial response. Otherwise how could I possibly know if they are the one I want to work with?
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:21 PM
  #28
 
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HAHAHA! Kavey!
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:29 PM
  #29
 
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Kavey,
Oh that just drives me nuts when I receive a reply and only 1 of my questions has been answered! Or when I've asked for Camp A and they reply with Camp B and not as an additional alternative but a complete substitute! Those were the ones that I quickly dropped off from consideration.
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:31 PM
  #30
bwanamitch
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Kavey, technical question:
How do you make it that portions of your text are in italics?
 
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:32 PM
  #31
 
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re: It's not all about price.

I couldn't agree more than you do when you're talking to yourself, Kavey.

However, that's another reason why I appreciate it when people disclose pricing here. I understand, of course, that $$ spent is often a private issue, between us and our accountants only, but it is helpful to know where safari operators are in the price scale.

For example, when alwaysafrica listed the price for her 24 day safari and trek in TZ, I just about fainted. SO reasonable! And I had looked at her operator's web site before and thought, "Oh, they're probably too spendy, doubt I could ever afford them."

Not wanting to waste neither my time nor theirs, I'd never contacted them.

Hmm, what am I talking about again?
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:32 PM
  #32
 
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< i > then the text and then < / i >

remove the spaces

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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:35 PM
  #33
 
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Yes I appreciate price information being given too...

I hate when people say Low or Mid or High budget - every single one of us has different definitions of those price bands and it's just impossible to give or gain decent advice based on those terms.

When I first posted here on Africa board I got royally castigated by someone who got offended by the high price of that 2001 trip and ranted on about how many hungry people it could feed.

After that I hesitated a lot more...

But it IS useful to know...
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:36 PM
  #34
bwanamitch
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Kavey, thank you.
 
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:43 PM
  #35
 
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Being a tour operator myself, my attitude to all of what has been said in this thread is that every tour request, question or request for advice, whether it leads to trade or not, should ALWAYS be answered. These responses should always be done in a courteous manner as well as speedily.

In my opinion there is no place for tour opreators who dont respond, feel that potential clients are pain in the proverbials or most important dont want to hand out advice for free. To want to charge for advice is disgraceful to stay the very least. I have not had any dealings with TAGA so I cannot comment about their service however if RuthieC's description of her experience is correct then I am of the opinion that TAGA cannot be excused. With that said (not trying to malign what your are saying RuthieC) I do believe we should hear both sides of the story before we can all truly comment about RuthieC's expereince.

Just my twopence worth

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:45 PM
  #36
 
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Leely & Kavey,
I agree with you both. I also find it extremely helpful when others post the final cost of their safaris or during their research along the way. Not only so I don't waste a certain tour operator's time, but also because it gives me a better idea of what various accomodations cost and which ones I can include/exclude based on my budget.
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:49 PM
  #37
 
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Bwana, if you have time to be making rainbows, don't you have time to advise me on East Africa?
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 02:08 PM
  #38
bwanamitch
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Kavey,

I'm more like a young child: if I find something new it's the most interesting thing of the world.

What about a trip to Lake Turkana?

Mitch
 
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 02:10 PM
  #39
 
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Hmmmph... well... think of me as a new challenge!
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 02:36 PM
  #40
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Bwana - I like your thinking! Lake Turkana - The Jade Sea!

Home of the largest crocodile populations - two islands/Nat'l Parks right in the middle of Lake Turkana!

Now that would be interesting.
 
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