Initial response time and the trip planning process went very smooth, Shelby was knowledgeable about Australia and was able to answer questions about local customs and activities. The hotels were conveniently located near food, shopping and attractions and met my expectations. However, I have to rate this company for customer service overall as a 3 out of 5 stars for the following reasons; 1) Everyday I had to remember to contact each activity provider the day before the event to confirm my reservation or risk cancellation. This was very inconvenient and time consuming while trying to relax and learn my way around a foreign country, 2) The transfer service provider in Australia knowingly left me stranded at the Sydney airport upon arrival on Day 1 due to a 1-hour only waiting policy while I was clearing the customs area. After the company was notified about the severity of the issue by me the same day, they took more than two weeks to resolve the issue and approve a refund for the "inferior service" by their provider, 3) I do not feel that the rates charged for air, hotel, and excursions were very competitive after auditing my trip itinerary when I returned back home.
The Bridge Climb in Sydney, touring the Sydney Opera House, and touring Ayer's Rock, Australia.
I would definitely plan my own itinerary (with prices) prior to contacting a travel company with undisclosed rates.
Travel Company's Comments on the review
Dear Ms Battles,
Thank you for your review and I am pleased to read you felt your booking experience with Shelby was positive and the hotels we included in your itinerary met your expectations.Even though I have had the opportunity to speak and email with you at length regarding your experience in Australia I would like to address the additional points you have raised in your review to assist future travelers.With regards to contacting the tour providers to reconfirm your pick up time the day before a tour, we do recommend this for many reasons and it does not need to be anymore than asking the reception at each hotel to make a quick phone call to reconfirm your tour pick up time. Tour companies have a constantly changing pick up manifest as new passengers book onto tours, we simply recommend our clients reconfirm their tours 24 hours prior to departure to ensure they wont be (a) kept waiting unnecessarily if a tour company has changed the time to a later pick up or (b) run the risk of completely missing a tour if the tour company has amended the time to an earlier pick up. We just want to ensure your trip runs smoothly and asking you to reconfirm is one way of ensuring this happens.I understand your disappointment that the Sydney arrival transfer service had left the airport when you had not come through from your flight after 90 minutes. The transfer driver waits 30 minutes after the flight has landed before coming into the airport and then waits up to a further 60 minutes in the airport. It is unfortunate due to the sick passenger on your flight that delayed your disembarking and the length of time it took for customs to process arrivals that day that you missed your transfer but please be aware the driver did not knowingly leave you stranded, when you finally did it make it into arrivals after 1 hour 40 minutes and you reported to the transfers desk they sincerely thought you were not on the flight given it had disappeared off the board by then. As you are aware, after you contacted our local affiliate office they did finally send another car to collect you but by the time it arrived you had already departed the airport by taxi. As advised our company has been charged for both transfers and we have refunded you in full for your costs. It can take time to process a refund once we receive the credits from our Australia affiliate office, however in your case we refunded you before receiving any reimbursement ourselves because we did not wish to inconvenience you any longer and we were in contact with you on a regular basis with status updates.All the rates used by our company are competitive wholesale rates, we welcome our clients to compare our package costs against any they find online at the time of booking and as many of our reviews will testify, clients regularly find more value when booking their trip with us. It is not a fair comparison to source rates found online for immediate travel in May when you returned from your trip, for a package you traveled on in a busy period in April. In addition, our company recommends only the best tour suppliers and accommodations which you seemed to have enjoyed on your trip, trying to plan and include all these superior options individually without the knowledge and expertise of a consultant like Shelby would not have resulted in the same quality of experience, one of the very reasons clients choose to book with a travel company such as ours is for the expert itinerary planning and inclusion of good accommodations and experienced knowledgeable tour companies.
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