The quotes keep getting lower!

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Aug 22nd, 2004, 05:02 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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The quotes keep getting lower!

Last week I gave a 20% deposit to a travel agent for my trip to S.A.and Botswana. I went away for several days and when I returned, I had an e-mail from a reputable travel agent that was much less. I would like to get my deposit back, but I guess I will have to pay the cancellation penalty. Since it is only 7 days since I gave the deposit, I wonder if I still have to pay the penalty.

I want to keep the same hotel and camp arrangements. Is the new travel agent able to pick them up?

I hate to do all this but the savings are quite substantial. I'm going to have to call the new agent to verify the details before cancelling.
mollybee is offline  
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Aug 22nd, 2004, 05:05 PM
  #2
 
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Give your current agent the opportunity to either match the quotation or come close enough to it that you still come out more ahead than you would with the cancellation fee. That's how I would handle it. Tough break for the lower priced operator but had that operator responded in a timely manner, this situation may have been avoided, altogether.
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Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:13 AM
  #3
 
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If for some reason your current TA cannot match the greatly reduced second quote (and the cancellation fee is less than the difference), and you wish to go with the 2nd TA, you *must* ask the first agent to cancel your bookings. The new TA cannot just pick them up and if he/she tries to double-book you, the camp owners will get upset. I know because I had this problem and in my case it was only a *provisional* booking. A TA refused to cancel the bookings even though no money had changed hands, there were only 2 phone calls exchanged and little time invested on his part. In my case it wasn't a better quote but I discovered he had lied. He also refused to breakdown the quote for a custom itinerary which another TA was happy to do. How can you know if you want to eliminate one camp unless you know what it's costing you? Good luck and let Fodor readers know what happens.
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Aug 23rd, 2004, 07:31 PM
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Well, I did some investigation, and found that the 2nd TA gave me 2004 camp prices. She did not even call to get the 2005 prices or a rough estimate as to what the cost would be. She also lowballed me on the airfare. We didn't have good vibrations.

I thought about this, and I called her back and told her not to do anything, which she wasn't able to do until Tues. morning because of the time difference.

Tonight I received a scathing e-mail. She accused me of not responding to her faxes. How could I respond when I never got them? It would seem to me that if someone sent a fax which required a response, the sender would call to check. She sent me 3 e-mails last Thursday evening, but I was away for the week-end. When I got home Sun. night, I replied to her e-mails with an explanation.

I can't believe how nasty she was. My husband feels that she realized her erroneous quote and took an aggressive posture to get out of it. He might be right. We did all the work, checking the airlines to get the flights, selecting the camps.

I'm just glad that I didn't cancel anything with the first TA. It really pays to check everything. If something is too low, something is dfinitely wrong.
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Aug 23rd, 2004, 08:56 PM
  #5
 
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mollybee, I would be curious to know who the second TA was if you feel comfortable sharing it confidentially in email - [email protected]. If not, that's fine.

Yes, it is astounding how some TAs can be when you yourself have done all the work.
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Aug 24th, 2004, 04:37 AM
  #6
sandi
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For Anyone Requestion Prices for African Trips in 2005 -

New prices for the coming year are issued sometime after September 1 for travel beginning November '04 thru end-October '05 (likewise for subsequent years).

So if you are requesting prices for travel in 2005, be certain that your quotes are for 2005 and not the current 2004 prices. For travel in general, price increases are often in the 10% range, but there are times when they are more, or less, and even unchanged. So always check.

The situation that mollybee encountered is indicative of what can cause misunderstandings and some grief.
 
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