ED Magedson – Founder
Best Single TravelBoca Raton, Florida USA
Best Single Travel - Sheryl Weinberger - Tours are us company, inc Complete rip off Boca Raton Florida
We could have paid much less for the same trip or cancelled altogether but were not given enough information to cancel. We purchased the Island hopping plus athens tour from BST in Feb 2013 , for $2,890 each, after a $100 early booking fee was applied to the trip cost.
We made our final payments on June 15. Days after making the final payment the trip went further on sale. While we understand BST has the right to offer discounts, the optics are just plain bad to send an email to a customer that just paid more for a trip that is now available for less. To her defense, Sheryl, on our second complaint on the issue, included one additional tour to compensate for this difference. Our first answer was 'no'.
So the rule here it would seem is booking later is better with BST.
On july 13 we emailed Sheryl for information related to the chat room that was supposed to be set up one month prior to departure. We received a link, but no information regarding signing up. Not a big deal, but another frustration nevertheless. During this exchange we were incidentally told our trip was combined with another tour, due to lack of participants in the tour we paid for (Island Hopping). This was news to us, as we had been told at the time of final payment there was about 6 people, possibly a 7th, going on our trip. In actuality, there was only two of us that had signed up at the time of our final payment. After numerous emails requesting information, including requesting a full refund due to our lack of confidence in BST, we were told our tour itinerary matched the tour (Jewish Singles Tour - JST). When we asked about the price difference (you could book the JST for $1990 at that point) we were told we had an extra day, an extra tour, and upgraded accommodations. So we proceeded with the BST trip as planned, satisfied with this answer.
This is where our biggest issue with BST begins... while on the trip we had the same accommodations as everyone else who paid $1990. In one instance, JST travelers had a suite for a room and we had a basic room. All other accommodations were equal, not upgraded.
So while, yes, our trip did indeed match what we paid for, our issue is that we could have paid so much less for the same trip. We were not given enough information to cancel our trip and book with the JST rate prior to departure. It would seem we subsidized their upgraded trip.
Of interest, is is significantly cheaper to book a tour away from BST website with the tour guide, rather than pre booking. I paid $30 for a tour that would have cost $45 prebooked on the BST website.
We paid a lot more for the same product. Upon our arrival home, we emailed Sheryl and explained our concerns and requested a partial refund. We received a reply stating Best Single Travel is the one who defines the tour and hires the local tour operators and agrees to the final details.
The reason the other group was changed from their original tour to the cruise was so she didn't have to cancel our vacation at the last minute. The Jewish travelers were supposed to have inside cabins but the cruise was sold out so they were upgraded to the outside ones.
The fact that the cruise was sold out and the others were upgraded to the ouside cabins isisn't much comfort given that we paid full price.
I called the toll free number today August 22, to get information on the corporation as to who I may contact for a complaint, and was told it was Sheryl and that she was away until the following week. When I asked the name of the person that I spoke with she refused to give it to me, and hung up without saying goodbye.
After this I file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Her response was that she did not pay any additional price for the upgrades the others got and that we had the one day extra excursion. Originally we were told that the 2 groups did not have the same excursions, and that we had upgraded accomodations. Other than the one extra day, all excursions and accomodations were the same. So we paid 700$ more for 1 extra day.
The point I am trying to make understood is that one minute Best Single Travel is saying one thing and the next it is another. They are the ones making the booking, and if they cannot guarantee what they are selling then who can? And if they cannot, should the customer not have the right to know what they cannot give as promised? They did not gives us all information to make a proper decision to cancel or stay on. They gave us information to make sure we did NOT cancel. This is just not right nor is it fair, regardless whether or not I had a good time on the trip. This is far from being Best Practice for any company.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/17/2013 05:59 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Best-Single-Travel/Boca-Raton-Florida/Best-Single-Travel-Sheryl-Weinberger-Tours-are-us-company-inc-Complete-rip-off-Boca-1085115. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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