Grand Circle Travel Warning

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Jun 4th, 2006, 06:41 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 686
I have never booked a cruise through GCT but am very used to booking cruises and in most cases (in all of my cases), one would have a full refund up until 75 days out or so. So, I don't think it is wrong for the original poster to believe what the booking agent said over the phone.

Several years ago - there was a lot of bad press about GCT tours. Many people booked a cruise of a lifetime with them (sorry, don't remember the destination) and when they went to make final payment, GCT raised the price of the cruise significantly and would not honor the price they were quoted when they booked the cruise. Then, people had a difficult time getting their deposit back. It was ugly and there were several people who were affected by this. The story left a bad taste in my mouth for the company.

Ehc - good luck on this. Maybe contact your credit card company and see if they will retract the charges. Not sure if they will but it may be worth a try.
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Jun 21st, 2006, 10:35 PM
  #22
cindiloowho
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please read the following quote from consumerreports re Grand Circle and you will see that their troubles and attitude are not new.
"Best advice, try to learn something about the company you are about to do business with. I did recently and learned that Grand Circle had their membership in the Better Business Bureau of Massachusetts revoked on 10/27/05 because they did not “make diligent efforts to eliminate causes of customer complaints.” They have had over 100 complaints filed with the BBB. Furthermore, the Attorney General of Massachusetts recovered over $100,000.00 for Grand Circle Passengers for Sept. 11 post trip cancellations that Grand Circle had refused to refund. Let that be fair warning."
 
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Jun 22nd, 2006, 11:02 AM
  #23
pat
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,434
Booked a trip with OAT/GC to Thailand. The lady on the phone told me I had two weeks to decide whether to take their insurance or not. I called back a couple of days later, and said I wanted the insurance. I was told, No, that wasn`t possible, and she was quite nasty about it. Said you had to take the insurance at the time of booking, and the nice agent I had originally booked with, would be reprimmanded. I did get my insurance through insuremytrip.com at a much better price, and am now glad I didn`t take OAT/GC insurance.
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Jun 22nd, 2006, 02:00 PM
  #24
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,152
Do you mean the magazine "Consumer Reports" or something else? I read the magazine from cover to cover and don't recall anything about GCT.
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Jun 22nd, 2006, 03:36 PM
  #25
 
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What issue of that mag? What month and yr.?
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Jun 22nd, 2006, 03:37 PM
  #26
 
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To clarify I meant that for Cindi.
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Jun 22nd, 2006, 05:58 PM
  #27
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I subscribe to Consumer Reports on line - www.consumerreports.org - I just looked at it and there was quite a bit of cruise info from 1/05; you may be able to access it without subscribing.
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Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:53 AM
  #28
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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We have taken 6 trips with Grand Circle and have been totally satisfied. Grand Circle has an amazing number of repeat travellers. Let's hear from them.

Jack and Ann
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Jun 24th, 2006, 06:36 AM
  #29
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,087
My sister has traveled with GCT the past few summers and has LOVED her trips. She is taking a 17 day Eastern European trip with them this summer.
There are always going to be problems and complaints. As stated before, read all materials carefully and know what you're getting into.
By the way, if you have an American Express card, they sell travel insurance that is quite good.
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Jun 26th, 2006, 10:12 AM
  #30
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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My experience with GCT last December (Danube Christmas Markets) was outstanding. My three friends on the cruise were on their third and fifth trips with GCT and had only praise.
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Jun 27th, 2006, 09:04 PM
  #31
cindiloowho
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Suffice it to say that GCT has done some good trips...we have taken some of them, but there were no issues or problems. One thing, the "excursions' are mostly optional now, and the cost of that raises the total. But our complaint is how they mishandle problems, and customer service. Also, they add charges after you have paid what you thought was the 'total' and their business practices have been seriously in question for a long time, not only with the Better Business Bureau but in courts of law. Search on 'consumeraffairs.com' and BBB under 'complaints against Grand Circle' before you judge. It is very enlightening and we wish we had this information before we embarked on the last trip which was very flawed. It pays to be informed...that has been our 'lesson learned'.
 
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Jun 27th, 2006, 09:26 PM
  #32
cindiloowho
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On 10/27/05 Grand Circle’s membership in the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Massachusetts, Maine & Vermont was revoked by the BBB due to violation of BBB Standard of Membership "Make diligent efforts to eliminate the underlying cause(s) of any pattern(s) or trend(s) of customer complaints which the Bureau may call to the company's attention." Based on BBB files this company has a pattern of complaints concerning contract issues.

Consumers state that they purchase vacations advertised with specific amenities and itineraries. Consumers state that they are not kept informed of changes made to trips until days before departing or sometimes changes are made while on the trip. Consumers state that the amenities, activities and locations of the hotels are not what was advertised and that adequate substitutions are not made. Consumers state that they are unable to receive refunds or reimbursements from the company. Consumers state that they are dissatisfied with the level of customer service they have received trying to find resolution to these issues
 
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Jun 29th, 2006, 10:53 AM
  #33
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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I looked at the consumer affairs site you posted, and the home page states that the site is supported entirely by advertising. That's not what I'd consider a neutral consumer advocate.
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Jun 29th, 2006, 04:05 PM
  #34
cindiloowho
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Underhill...the posts therein are from real people with real problems and bad experiences....we can't all be wrong. Check out also frommers boards...and search on grand circle. Complaints go on for miles.
 
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Jul 28th, 2006, 11:14 AM
  #35
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 64
We love GCT and OAT trips with no complaints. We will be going on our 7th trip next summer. Many passengers on these various trips are repeaters. A loyal fan of GCT & OAT.
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Jul 29th, 2006, 04:24 AM
  #36
 
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See this thread about my problems with OAT:http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34546783
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Jul 29th, 2006, 11:07 AM
  #37
 
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I'm not interested in checking out other boards, but I still want to know what's going on with your class-action lawsuit. You haven't mentioned it for a while.
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Aug 2nd, 2006, 11:16 AM
  #38
samting
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wow~! There must be something radically wrong with this company to engender such strong emotions..both ways. The mark of a good tour company is how they handle difficulties, and I understand from what I read, that GCT doesn't do a very good job at that.
 
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Aug 4th, 2006, 03:26 PM
  #39
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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On the contrary--from what I can tell there are only a few people who consistently post bashes about GCT. Those of us who have had only good experiences keep asking what has happened with the threatened lawsuits, only to receive no response.

BTW, when you call GCT to inquire about cruises your call is recorded. It should be easy, therefore, to find out what a sales agent actually told someone.
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Aug 4th, 2006, 10:29 PM
  #40
samting
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How do you know that it is recorded? Do you have inside information? Do you work for them? Some folks on cruisecritic and frommers have complained rather loudly and have money returned to them from their credit card companies.
 
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