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Deborah Kilcollins
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Member since: December 20th, 2013
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-continued- We find it interesting, however, to note that you consistently direct readers to use another tour operator, one of our competitors, but always the same one by name. It is also worth stating that the company you mentioned, indeed, any other luxury tour operator of merit, would not have provided you with a nearly month-long trip plus upgrades and other services for the amount you paid to Big Five. We daily work with guests who demand a high level of service, which we gladly provide; however, your conduct throughout - during the tour planning, on tour and upon your return, has been entirely unacceptable. I only hope that other companies learn from our experience so that they may avoid the unnecessary problems you leave behind. Our 40-year track record stands on its own, and the high number of repeat guests we enjoy is testament to the work we do. Mahen Sanghrajka CEO Interview With Ashish Sanghrajka, President of Big Five Tours & Expeditions News & Trends 12.20.2013
As CEO of Big Five Tours & Expeditions, I feel compelled to reply to your recent comments about Big Five. We have been in business for 40 years, initially as a ground operator in Kenya, and, later, as a tour operator in the US. We have enjoyed a stellar reputation during those four decades, proudly serving our guests from all over the world. The manner in which you are posting your comments leads us to the conclusion that you are on a personal vendetta. As far as you remarks about your recent journey, we would like to state the facts correctly. In the planning stages, you emailed us specifically asking to visit areas in Northern India and China that are far off the beaten track. We submitted a proposal for you on the July 31, 2013, outlining every service in detail. We also adapted your request to have your journey flow better. We offered recommendations to improve your program while making you aware of our concerns regarding the hotel levels in those remote areas. You opted to add those remote areas back into your itinerary that we previously suggested you remove. It should be noted that these are the exact areas in India where you were not satisfied with the hotels. We continually revised the program sending you detailed proposals, which you accepted in writing. Furthermore, while you were in India, we heard about your concerns about the hotels, and we upgraded you at several properties to higher category rooms, at our own expense - you did not pay anything extra for these upgrades. All in an effort to satisfy your demands as we pride ourselves in working tirelessly to serve our guests in the best possible way. You make claims that we used "cheap, inexperienced guides" for the China portion of your trip. We work from a pool of the best available guides, who enjoy favorable reviews because they understand how important our guests are to us. For your trip, we used the same trusted guides for other guests around the same time, who were extremely happy. The vast majority of the guides we use are those with whom we have long-time working relationships, and that we have used personally. That being said, it must be noted that the guide you had issues with was, again, the result of the remoteness of a rural area you chose to travel, where international tourism is not yet the norm. Even so, we replaced that guide. We have a screen shot of the text reply from you to our in-country manager that shows that you were satisfied with that change. In fact, the evaluation form you filled out for Shangri-La, you listed everything good (4) to excellent (5), with the majority being 5, including that guide. In addition, to the above, your father, who traveled with you on this tour, completed a written passenger tour evaluation form, in which he states that the guides were "excellent, very friendly, knowledgeable" and he rated the drivers "Excellent, experienced, friendly." Every person in our team was doing their utmost to satisfy your demands including delivering extra services to you that you had not paid for and which you clearly did not appreciate. I was personally involved in this effort, but it became clear to us that it would be impossible to satisfy you. For example, we have you on a recorded line being verbally abusive to members of our team. We, like other organizations, will not tolerate that sort of abusive behavior directed to any member of our team, especially when they are trying to help you. We tried to assist you repeatedly through our country managers, who speak for us; however, we have not been able to satisfy your demands even though we have provided you with all services you paid for plus extras such as the hotel upgrades noted above. We see that you seem to be posting your unsubstantiated claims around the internet under various identities; two we know of so far are A.S. and Worldtraveler, which is, of course, your right. We find it interesting, however, to note that you consistently direct readers Interview With Ashish Sanghrajka, President of Big Five Tours & Expeditions News & Trends 12.20.2013
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