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BigBlue Nov 14th, 2005 04:31 PM

Compass Consistency
My first contact with Compass came as a direct result of Craig's describing his excellent experiences with them. As a result I sent Durjay a note describing a trip my wife and I wanted to take to Rajasthan. He was quite responsive and replied with a good proposal in short order. At that time I decided to travel with someone else.

Last month I decided to try Compass again and sent Durjay another note. He was courteous in his reply and said that he was in the middle of his season but that he would have his top person, whom I'll call Vee, get in touch with me.

Vee did so and was quite responsive. Then I read from Craig that he was being asked to put up 100% of his hotel deposit at time of booking (if I read this correctly). That prompted me to send a note to Vee asking her for their terms and conditions. She advised that we would be asked for 15% of the hotel deposit at the time of booking. However, she also advised me that should we cancel, at any time after booking regardless of how far in advance we cancelled, there would be a US$250 cancellation fee per person or 10% whichever was greater (ours would have been greater).

We are not willing to do business on the basis of nonrefundable deposits when we are booking now for next November. I'm just wondering if Compass has a consistent policy or if it varies with the client.


Craig Nov 14th, 2005 06:48 PM

Sounds like the policy is ever-evolving. You are going to have to make some kind of financial commitment no matter what agency you use to hold your reservations. It may vary by client - ask what the latest date would be that you can provide the deposit - there will probably be some flexibility since your reservations are so far in the future.

rhkkmk Nov 14th, 2005 07:54 PM

to be honest, i think compass may be proceeding with hind sight in mind...if they scheduled or outlined a trip for you which seemingly you were happy with, and then you decided to go with someone else, and now you are back to them asking them to do it over again; i think they probably have said to themselves that they are in business to make money and can't be stopping what they are doing at their busiest time to help a person whom they have already helped, but who choose to go with someone else....seems normal to would you feel if you did a lot of work for someone only to be told i'm sorry i'm going to do something else, and then some months later having that person come back to you and ask you to do it all over again...i would ask for some sort of guarantee and that is what they have done...

btw, i also have asked durjay to outline a trip for me and he has informed me that i would need to pay a deposit in april for a nov/dec trip...

i have been very forward with you here, hope you don't mind...

BigBlue Nov 14th, 2005 08:56 PM

The amount of effort they put into the first proposal was bare minimum. In fact, I provided them a very specific itinerary and all they had to do was fill in the blanks. I thought I made it clear that I had no problem with Durjay handing me off to Vee. When they gave me their initial proposal I compared it with what I had gotten from others and thanked them for their time and interest. They did not have to do very much to respond to me that time.

If they had been asked to do the same thing over again then it strikes me that very little work would be required. In fact, I asked them to expand the trip somewhat which only means more money for them in the event.

I naturally expect to be asked to put up a deposit. What I do not naturally expect is to be asked to put up a nonrefundable deposit a year in advance.

What I'm addressing is inconsistency of treatment from client to client. In this case, they are apparently giving me more favorable treatment than they are to an established client. I certainly don't take exception to your forwardness. My interest is in determining whether or not this company is dealing from a straight deck.


agtoau Nov 14th, 2005 09:06 PM


Here's a thought - right now every Indian tourist outfit must be up to its neck with the immediate task at hand given that the high season is just starting. At this time I would simply dip my toe in to take the water temperature. You might want to actually dive into the actual details sometime in March or thereabouts. A year out is an eternity to these fellows and you (or your travel arranger) are unlikely to get a realistic estimate of hotel rates etc in India so far in advance.

hobbes Nov 15th, 2005 01:05 AM

BigBlue I agree with you that it is a TAs job to make itinaeraries on a speculative basis for clients hence this cannot be a reaction to your asking for a first itinerary then not acting upon it. That is par for the course for the agent. I also do not think a year in advance depsits are the norm. Certainly, we did not pay one for our India trip. I think it is also important to be flexible in your arrangements e.g. we booked in March for an April trip last year. I had wanted to stay at Samode Haveli which we could not get at such short notice so we ended up, on the TA's reco, at Raj Mahal - whcih we LOVED. On the flip side I asked the TA to change Sher Bagh at 2 weeks notice coz I realized that for mid April travel non a/c tents would be a problem and he did that without any financial cost to us.

Craig Nov 15th, 2005 01:44 AM

I have reread the original post and the subsequent responses. I did not pay a 100% deposit when I used Compass - mine was more like 10%. In a recent correspondance with Durjay, he told me that for this year Compass would be requiring 20% and that they, the agency often put up 100% to hold hotel rooms. I would again though repeat my suggestion to ask what the latest date is that you can provide the deposit - we made our arrangements almost a year in advance with a firm itinerary but I did not provide any type of deposit until about 3 or 4 months prior to the trip.

BigBlue Nov 15th, 2005 06:34 AM

Thanks to all for their comments. Craig, as a matter of interest, Vee told me this morning that when I asked her for terms and conditions she sent me those for General Clients. However, she went on, as I came as a referral they did not apply to me and that they would not require a deposit from me until October.


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