Overall I think that they did a decent job, but it was nothing beyond that. A lot of little details were overlooked, a decent amount of the scheduling seemed to be thrown together carelessly and it seemed to me that it was not put together by someone who knows and has frequented the country, but by someone using the Internet as a resource. That's fine, but I probably could have done that myself.
We spend about 100k a year on travel so I'm not new to the ins and outs and I think that considering what this trip cost, it should have been put together with much more care.
We had many memorable moments. Shared wonderful meals, witnessed amazing culture, saw beautiful scenery. Hard to narrow down but it was an amazing two weeks that will not be forgotten.
I would use another agent and get things more tailored to who we are as a couple. We are definitely going to visit Japan again, we loved it and can't wait to go back.
Travel Company's Comments
After working together on this trip for a few months, we are surprised to hear that the client was not satisfied with the service provided, and that she would have preferred to work with another agent. Throughout the planning process, we received nothing but positive feedback (e.g. "We’ve read the documents and are beginning to get very excited. You guys do a great job of organising things - which I just love.") This leaves us confused about what details were missing for the trip, as we provide a great deal of information for our clients before and during their travels.
The one issue that did occur on the trip was someone got sick and they called the ryokan themselves to cancel their first night (in Hakone). We are aware that the client claims that her husband was clear that they planned to arrive the next morning, and they anticipated being able to use the room immediately. The ryokan didn't understand that (perhaps language barrier) and prepared for them to arrive at check-in time for their 2nd day booked. The Japan office was called by the ryokan and notified of the cancellation, so they called the client and her husband who explained about the illness, etc, but had no part in the canceling of the room. The next day, when they arrived to Hakone, the ryokan had used what they thought was an open morning to get a carpenter into the room to fix something. The ryokan claimed to have told the clients that the carpenter could be out in 15mins or so. The client claims they said several hours. They went touring to "make the most of their time in Hakone" and the ryokan staff helped them on their way and gave them extra information and sent a bottle of champagne that night, for any possible mix up on the ryokans end. The client contacted us and assumed her husband had spoken with me (no he hadn't) and that we should have stepped in to provide a refund since they weren't "allowed" in the room they "paid for" immediately upon arrival. With that short of notice there was no way for us to recover any funds from the ryokan.
We customized all trips to fulfill our clients' requests, using our years of experience both living and traveling in Japan, and managed to provide our clients with the exact cultural and culinary experiences you were seeking.
In summery the client was demanding a refund for a night that they cancelled, when they arrived there were some repairs going on in the room and they immediately contacted us and said we can not access our room we want a refund. These are small traditional accommodations, there was no other room for them and we were not able to get a refund from the property.
We believe the source of the client's displeasure stems from an incident during the trip we had no control over. If we had been contacted directly during this incident, as is outlined in our pre-departure documents, we believe we could have reached a better outcome.
We hope this helps clarify any issues regarding our service.
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