• Report: #1068265
Complaint Review:

Ripoff Report | Touch Corporation

  • Submitted: Thu, July 18, 2013
  • Updated: Thu, May 15, 2014

  • Reported By: Carl — Bradenton Florida
Touch Corporation
464 John Ringling Blvd Sarasota, Select State/Province USA

Go Touch Down Travel & Tours REVIEW: Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa & Touch Corporation 100% dedicated to total customer satisfaction. Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa & parent company Touch Corporation operate under the same philosophy... "Customers are first priority— always." Sarasota, FL; Oakville, ON; Johannesburg, SA..
*UPDATE: Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa & Touch Corporation pledge their commitment to Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy, Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program. A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa and Touch Corporation recognized by Ripoff Report Verified™ as a safe business service.

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Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa and Touch Corporation for their commitment to excellence in customer service.

Ripoff Report’s discussions with Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa and Touch Corporation have revealed an ongoing commitment by these companies to total client satisfaction. Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa and parent company,Touch Corporation are extremely sensitive and responsive to client concerns and view them as an opportunity to continually develop their systems, procedures and products in order to maintain excellent customer service, employee and client relations and exceptional product delivery.

Chief Operating Officer and Director of North American Operations Deon Barnard stated, "Communication is essential. We remain transparent regarding who we are, what we do and how we do it. The Rip-off Report Corporate Advocacy Program is a wonderful way to demonstrate the depth of our commitment.”

Go Touch Down Travel is Ripoff Report Verified
Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

The information provided in this report below is based on comments made by Dion Barnard during an on-site inspection held by a third-party verification company with no biases toward Go Touch Down Travel and Tours.

Go Touch Down Travel and Tours is a registered travel agency specializing in tours to South Africa, as well as offering cruise-planning services. In addition to their sales and services offered, Go Touch Down also markets their business through a store called A Touch of Africa, where clients can learn about unique aspects of South Africa. Leads are acquired through a number of sources, including networking events, travel shows, and other promotional and marketing events. At each of these events, they have a registration table available for clients to gather additional information or subscribe to an e-mail list to receive information on promotions and specials. These marketing and promotional events serve as the first point of contact in the sales process.

At times, customers are not satisfied with the services they received. “We are a new company. When you develop a new process, develop a new business, something in some way will go wrong,” states Deon Barnard, a representative of Go Touch Down. Mr. Barnard states that the few complaints they have received have been regarding the administrative and pre-travel portion of the process, rather than the product and vacation itself. “Maybe we did not do something on an account, or it might be that our staff did not return a call as required and a client feels that the feedback is not there. So that has been the most challenging thing about setting up a new business,” states Mr. Barnard. However, in the 3-4 years that they have been in business, Mr. Barnard believes they have only had three or four serious complaints. “We take it very seriously to correct anything which has come to light,” he states. “We immediately address the problem, contact the client, and ensure that our relationship with the client is restored.” Mr. Barnard states that through their complaint resolution process, he believes each client who brought an issue to the attention of Go Touch Down feels that the issue is resolved and feels satisfied. “We work with the client until we believe an amicable, reasonable resolution has been reached. Any contract a client signs can be canceled. We can accommodate changes in dates or cancellation,” he states.

After a complaint is resolved, Go Touch Down Travel and Tours has a follow-up procedure in place to ensure the continued satisfaction of their clients. “Unless a client unsubscribes from our newsletters and follow-ups, they will continually be serviced through our service department,” states Mr. Barnard They do not remove any clients from their database, unless that client specifically tells them that he or she is no longer interested in their services. To keep complaints to a minimum, the team at Go Touch Down reviews feedback from their clients via an online survey. The feedback is analyzed in weekly operational meetings with the staff in South Africa. Any feedback offered by a client is recorded in that client’s file. The representatives also strive to communicate the sales contract and cancellation policy in full detail to clients in the beginning of the planning process, to make sure there are no misunderstandings. In the event that a client does need to cancel, Go Touch Down does their best to work with the third-party suppliers such as the cruise lines, etc, to satisfy the client.

In response to complaints lodged against Go Touch Down Travel and Tours on Ripoff Report, Mr. Barnard states that the complaint came from a disgruntled ex-employee. “She was extremely good at what she did [in the marketing department]. She was good for the company. But at the end of the day, the relationship came to a point when it was a mutual decision that we part ways… The very next day she lashed out on Ripoff Report,” states Mr. Barnard. Go Touch Down went to court with this person, and states they have since moved on from the matter and are focusing on continuing to ensure that their clients are happy and satisfied.

Mr. Barnard and the team at Go Touch Down recognize the value of working with Ripoff Report and the Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program, and the platform it provides for businesses and clients to interact and resolve issues. “Being a part of this program [and] turning a negative into a positive will benefit us. We understand that Ripoff Report is a voice for the consumer. At the same time, we are grateful for the opportunity that that company can now have a rebuttal. This is the positive and this is what we stand for,” states Mr. Barnard.


" Because we provide such personalized service, superior accommodations and extraordinary itineraries, our travelers return home with memories of a lifetime and the desire to share them with friends, family and colleagues.

Touch Rewards

"UNLIMITED CASH BACK – Rewards with us NEVER expire!

Everyone loves cash back. With our Touch Rewards loyalty program, you will enjoy 1.5% cash back on every dollar you spend in any of our companies. Whether it is for South African tours, Cruises, our Condominium and Resorts membership, for Art and decor at our Touch of Africa boutique or beverages and lite bites at our Afro Cafe. The more you spend, the more you earn.”

Going Solo with Go Touch Down

"No Single Supplements – Ever.”

What is a Single Supplement?

A single supplement is not a vitamin, though it might be much more palatable if it were! The single supplement is a premium surcharge imposed upon solo travelers when they reserve a room. The amount of the supplement ranges from 10 to 100 percent of the standard accommodation rate and applies only to single travelers, not to couples traveling together.

The Great Single Supplement Debate

"Single supplements are fairly standard in the hospitality industry; accommodation vendors justify the charge as an appropriate business practice. The commonly-held notion is that single travelers should pay for the luxury and convenience of having a room to themselves, and secondly, the burden of cost for preparing and cleaning the room must fall upon the single guest. They argue that although single supplements appear unfair, one must realize that travel providers calculate costs of lodging and transportation based on two travelers, the most common way to travel.

Single travelers, however, see the charge as price gouging at their expense. They may prefer to travel alone, or have little choice but to do so. Many travelers enjoy traveling solo as the best way to tailor their own experiences. Some enjoy traveling with a friend but prefer the privacy of their own room. As part of a family or group, a person may be the third or fifth traveler requiring a single room.

Among the many comments online, and particularly on Trip Advisor, we found this one to be most poignant and succinct:

“Single supplements when traveling are nothing more than blatant discrimination against single travelers. Just because it’s an industry norm it by no means makes it right! Singles consume half the water, electricity, amenities and toilet paper but are penalized for having the sheer audacity to travel alone…”

We couldn’t agree more.

Go Touch Down Travel & Tours does not charge a single supplement; never has, never will.

Our Cruise and Land Specialist, Judy Weppler offers her thoughts on the matter, “Some tour companies charge hundreds of dollars. Some offer a share rate, if you’re willing to share a room with another single traveler, but that’s hit and miss. We don’t charge a single supplement for our Cape Town or Safari tours – ever.”


Ripoff Report was pleased to learn that Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa and its parent company,Touch Corporation, are committed to 100% customer satisfaction and have made every possible effort to ensure that all customers have a positive experience when dealing with any of their companies. One of the ways they know exactly what their customers think is through their surveys. The results from these client surveys, debriefing and feedback has proven invaluable in maintaining and improving their service levels.

Touch Corporation and its subsidiaries, Go Touch Down Travel & Tours and Touch of Africa recognize that complaints that might be posted on Ripoff Report (whether true or not) are issues that need to be addressed, not ignored. If handled correctly, complaints can be valuable learning opportunities. The group continuously make organizational changes allowing its clients and employees a more streamlined approach to problem resolution and a commitment to a great client experience.

In summary, after our investigation, which included discussions with Mr Barnard and many of his colleagues, clients, staff, and other past and current associates, Rip-off Report is convinced that Go Touch Down Travel & Tours, Touch of Africa and Touch Corporation are committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total client satisfaction.

Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Ripoff Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

Read about Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, a program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business. This program works.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program they agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can insure that the member business did right by their customer.



Touch Corporation Go Touch Down Travel & Tours aka Touch of Africa aka Deon Barnard aka Leonard Reyneke Touch Corporation and officers Deon Barnard & Leonard Reyneke Refuse to pay me for overtime hours I worked as per the FLSA Law. Sarasota Florida

I write this report with great sadness as I truely had hope that Touch Corporation was not the racist company that other employees have emplied. I worked for this company for over a year and have personally witness several incidents of extreme racial injustice. I was the only black person left when I had no choice but  to terminate all connections with this company and specifically Leonard Reyneke the chief offer that I have delt with up to and including today.

I was the last black employee standing as I watched the others leave with extreme unjustice. We were all treated very poorly even though we were the highest producers for this company. In spite of our tireless efforts to perform we worked many hours of overtime voluntary as we believed in this company. After working overtime on a daily basis for my entire duration of employment I discovered that per the FLSA (Florida Labor Law) that I was in fact entitled to overtime pay for any hours exceeding 40 in a week. I was told by my immediate superior Deon Barnard to not list the hours as they were voluntary on my time sheet. I complied with this the entire first year but as the second year rolled around I began listing the countless hours even though I did not expect to  ever be paid. I just simply had no ideal that there was such a law. I would like to point out that the white employees were paid for their overtime hours and I did question that when I found out. One employee was a new hire doing the exact same job I was and even though I had already been there a year working the daily overtime she announced that she was being paid overtime and the other black employee and I had worked for the past year without being paid. We took this to Deon and he advised her he would not be able to pay her the overtime any longer as he would have to pay us.  For the record she did not work one minute overtime since the decision was made to longer pay her. This is a fact but I continued to work the overtime as I wanted to ensure a job well done.

When I asked for the overtime pay I expected to be fired as I had witness others being let go for questioning anything that had to do with money. My records showed over 600 overtime hours clocked. I was often bragged about by Deon in front of the entire company for working so many hours. The entire company saw me and often asked why. At the Christmas party he gave a brief compliment to each and every employee and his comment about me was my tireless effort to work unpaid overtime even on pay day as everyone else ran to the bank. He said in front of the entire compay he appreciated my efforts and valued me as an employee. After my requesting to be paid he in fact said I would. I hoped for the best even though I had witness extreme racial unfairness. I was eventually paid a total of 84 hours and told that I had in fact not worked that many. This was such a slap in the face that I ended my employment with Touch Corporation. I met with Deon's superior Leonard Reyneke on several occasion and he had promised to review the records and today told me I was overpaid. I find that this company is unethical and anyone thinking of working for this company should be aware of their business pratices.

For the record I have made every possible effort to work this out. When I was in fact told today by Leonard that he was not going to compensate me for my time worked I had no choice but to inform anyone thinking of working here to think twice. This company is from South Africa and it is my sincere belief that many of their pratices are from a culture that has identified people of color as not their equal. It is very sad and I do hope some day that their business will be more fair or equal for anyone of color that happens by unassuming and began employ with them. God forbid.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/18/2013 09:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/touch-corporation/sarasota-select-stateprovince/touch-corporation-go-touch-down-travel-tours-aka-touch-of-africa-aka-deon-barnard-aka-l-1068265. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

Click Here to read other Ripoff Reports on Go Touch Down Travel & Tours aka Touch of Africa aka Deon Barnard aka Leonard Reyneke

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Carl McKee overtime claim

AUTHOR: Deon Barnard - ()

With regards to the allegation of unpaid overtime that Carl McKee is now claiming after him and his wife's seperation with our company; our statement is as follows:

All inbound and outbound calls are recorded on our packet 8x8 management system. All emails and client notes made on the management system is time-stamped in ACT (our SAGE management system). Therefore all hours worked by Carl and other staff can be verified. The overtime due to Carl McKee is current and he was paid. Carl and a Director of the company met on Friday July 12th, 2013 at our offices in St. Armands Circle where the above records were disclosed to him upon collecting his final check.

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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Carmen Celestine and Carl McKee Court Order

AUTHOR: Deon Barnard - ()

Important notice to all clients, staff, friends and family that read this post.

This has been written by Carl McKee the husband and co-worker of Carmen Celestine (aka Unhappy Sammy, Damian, Gary). This is a series of smearing campaigns that was started a few weeks ago by this family. Carmen and Carl has now broken the law by continuing to post on the intrenet as a court order was served earlier this month (see below).

Carmen is an ex-employee that was asked to leave our offices in St. Armand's Circle, Sarasota Florida on June 6th, 2013 after a series of events, threats and bad conduct. When she refused to leave the premises, the authorities had to remove her. Some of our Staff at our offices have proceeded with criminal charges against her and one of her sons. This disgruntled ex-employee arranged her sons to start picketing for days at one of our stores in St.Armands Circle and then she started a series of rip-off-reports and smearing campaigns on the internet about our comapanies and Directors.

On July 2nd 2013 this isolated and serious matter was refered to court and heard in the Circuit Court for Sarasota County. "The Judge has ordered Carmen Celestine, her sons, Agents, her Attorneys, Representatives of this family, and all others acting in concert or participating with her; to remove all the defamatory, disparaging, libelous and false statements about our companies, staff and Directors posted on the internet, rip-off-report, websites, blogs, internet search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing." (this includes postings by Carl McKee* as he is a represenatative of this family and in concert with her)

To date Carmen has not complied with the court order and contempt proceeding are now in process.  The authorities are looking for Carmen Celestine's whereabouts as she has provided false addresses to our company, authorities and the IRS.

The Touch Corporation group would like to apologize again for any inconveniece these posting by Carmen Celestine and Carl McKee has caused during the past few weeks. Please do not hesitate to contact Touch Corporation or any of our subsidiary companies for a full statement, testimonials of travelers, or more information about our show and tell social events.  

Touch Corporation is the holding company for a large collection of internationally based partnering companies, with over 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Our award-winning group employs more 1,000 staff worldwide and has made a significant impression on the leisure market. We proudly boast recognition of being named the Top Marketing Company for 18 consecutive years in of Africa’s leading tourism sectors. Our commitment to customer satisfaction is reflected in the success of each of our affiliated companies.

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