India was my 44th country that we traveled to and won’t be using/recommending Zicasso or this travel agency.We spent close to $20,000 on this trip (with international flights) thinking that we would be properly taken care of like our other travel agencies but this was a scam. But I won’t make this a rant, and will keep pros and cons.- Agenda: Was good, there are some places (like Deogarh) that have absolutely nothing, that we spend three days and two nights on. As travelers unfamiliar with the country, this should have been fixed by the guide. And the time should of been recommended elsewhere. Overall 8/10 Agenda.- Customer care: Horrible experience: Flight got canceled (not delayed) and the travel agency said it was up to us to pay for the ride to our next location...(first time ever thru an agency where they don’t cover it) When doing so the agency booked a taxi and tried to charge us 4x more than actual. We asked the official sponsored taxis parked at the airport and they told us 1/4th of the price... the agency “covered” the taxi by refunding the airline tickets towards the new taxi fair after we called them out on it.In New Delhi: The agency knew we where coming at 6 am, we even told them a month prior of our flight, but it wasn’t until two days prior that they said we’d need $440 more to book you as there is no early check in (usually with travel agencies they have these privileges but got it) I asked it be online thru our usual payments but they only wanted it in cash.. Shady. (Text messages saved if required)-Traveler Scam: Every single one of our guides took us to these shops to purchase things (the guides would make a commission) We even told our tour agency that we don’t want to go to these places and we still where sent there. They took us to a kashmere place that we spend $300, just had them checked in a textile shop in Seattle and thanks for the fake! What agency would send their tourists into a fake fabric shop. (Explained why there’s no signs and it was in a basement).This happened with restaurants too where they would go to commissioned places that make money from tourist.. how do we know other than the hyper inflated prices? Two of our guides told us....After we ignored our agencies and went to our desired lunch places we where paying a 1/10th of the price.
Bottom line is that this agency had more loyalty to its tour guides, shop vendors and each other than us as the guests. Sorry to say that we will not be using Zicasso to our goal to reach 100 countries.
Use a different travel company.
TRAVEL COMPANY COMMENT
I trust that Linda and you are well. I’m terribly sorry about the delay in writing back after our text-exchange about a fortnight ago. As you get ready to plan the next trip and mark off the next destination on your way to your century, allow me to respond about the not so great stuff that seems to have marred your trip to India.
If I had a magic wand, I would in one proverbial “swoosh” change the way that your guide interactions happened. I agree - they should have batted for you - protected your back - negotiated for you and got you the best deal, rather than play along with the shop's charade.
The reality, of course, is that it will require only a magic wand to make that happen because there is no other logical or ethical argument that can straighten the proverbial tail of the guide, even if you hang to it a brick.
And with another swoosh, I would wish that everything that you bought at the dodgy stores turned into the genuine stuff - instead of it being the cheap knock-off that you landed. That Kashmere was indeed Kashmere - and the Yak’s wool blanket not a polystyrene mishmash.
But to set things right:
- Please send us back all the dodgy stuff. UPS everything you are unhappy with that the guides egged you on to buy, and the concerned shops have graciously accepted to take it back for a 100%. No questions asked - FULL refund.
And to the extent possible - on behalf of the guides and the shops concerned - an unconditional apology is in order, which I deliver to both of you.
And finally - since we live in a ratings-driven world - I would reserve the third and final swoosh of the magic wand with an extra flourish to change the 2* rating of the trip to 5*, and more.
Thank you for graciously telling us that we checked most - if not all the boxes on your trip. I’m glad to read your comment that “The Trip and Agenda were really good in capturing a great part of India”
From all of our team - many greetings and good wishes for your lives ahead. We enjoyed interacting with you and we’d love to welcome you back to this part of the world. And the next time around - we’ll be sure to straighten the guide’s tail with a weighty brick! And keep it there.
With warm regards
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