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Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

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Johannesburg, South...
posts: 11
Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

I am a small, successful and independent travel agency and I would like to highlight an incident that has severely affected my one of my clients and my business. In the beginning of September 2011 I made a booking with a seemingly legitimate travel operator in Kenya for an exclusive Beach experience in Mombasa, Kenya for several families .The entire tour cost US$24,000.

I made the booking through Kenya One Tours, who received full payment from my clients in early December 2011.

This January 2012, when my clients tried to check out of Leisure Lodge Beach Resort, they were informed the bill had not been paid. Kenya One Tours never made the payment to the hotel.

My clients called me to help and I immediately arranged an emergency loan to pay the outstanding hotel bill of US$15, 350 out of my own pocket to save my clients from embarrassment and to maintain the integrity of my business and reputation. Had I not been in the position to make these payments my clients would have been stranded.

For the past 12 weeks, I have been unable to get Kenya One Tours to return the money they received for this booking in December 2011, despite contacting them daily / weekly.

I alerted the Kenyan Tourism Ministry as soon as I had heard that the bill had not been paid – in both the Nairobi and Mombasa offices – They found the tour operator and even had the consultant in question in their offices but did not take any action against her. After many calls to Kenya, I feel that they have not taken my complaints seriously and have taken no action against Kenya One Tours or to help return the money to me.

Thankfully, I was able to spare my clients this hassle, but this saga has left me substantially out of pocket and is placing a huge strain on my business operations. While there is not a huge amount that you can do to help me I feel it is only fair that I ask you to highlight these risks to both traveller and travel industry.

What people also need to understand is that Kenyan Tourism is either helpless or not interested in helping you when things really do go wrong.

32 replies to this topic
Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 3,771
reviews: 3
1. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

"I made a booking with a seemingly legitimate travel operator"

How did you ascertain that they were (seemingly) legitimate, before you entered into a business agreement with them?

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 2,546
reviews: 3
2. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

Sorry to hear to this, but you should've done a search on TA before entering into a business transaction with KOT. $24K is not small amount of money.

"Kenya One Tours" .. do not use this tour operator - 17 Jan/07

tripadvisor.in/ShowTopic-g294206-i9216-k9565…

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 30,547
reviews: 159
3. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

Rotten luck and I hope you can recover enough to keep going.

Do you have "Bad debt" or fidelity insurance?

As Stef's post shows, these bandits have not been members of KATO for nearly five years.

Kampala
posts: 1,220
reviews: 14
4. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

Really sad.

I advise all travellers to book their Safaris and Tours with a company registered with KATO.

Have you reported the matter to Kenya Police?, I think they can be of help.

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 3,771
reviews: 3
5. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

One-post wonder?

Telford, Shropshire
posts: 2,381
reviews: 66
6. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

Silence is golden........

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 3,771
reviews: 3
7. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

Hmmm. And I would have thought someone from JHB would know the perils of dealing with agents here in Africa, too...

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 30,547
reviews: 159
8. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

Is JHB really IN Africa?

I would go along with the OPW label except for Stefs other link.

The lady should have looked and exercised due diligence without a doubt but that is not to discredit her post in my book..

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 3
9. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

This Forum is being duped into believing a fabricated story, I believe made out of malice and purely meant to portray Kenya One Tours in bad light and besmirch its name.

The facts are as follows:-

In September last year Kenya One Tours booked clients of Travel IQ at Leisure Lodge Beach Hotel. Travel IQ then paid 25% as deposit payment to Kenya One Tours and Kenya One Tours in turn paid the same to Leisure Lodge and the bookings were confirmed.

Principally, Kenya One Tours entered into a contract with Leisure Lodge for the bookings on one hand because it had a contract with Travel IQ on the other hand.

Sometime in December and behind Kenya One Tour's back, Travel IQ and Leisure Lodge started communicating with each other directly-excluding Kenya One Tours regarding the same booking and they made amendments without Kenya One Tours knowledge, input and/or participation.

At the time for the final payments, Travel IQ paid to Kenya One Tours amounts less than what was earlier invoiced. Upon Kenya One Tours inquiring from Travel IQ the reason for the discrepancies, Travel IQ replied Kenya One Tours copying Leisure Lodge, informing Kenya One Tours about the amendments they did directly with Leisure Lodge and Leisure Lodge confirmed in writing that they made the amendments to our booking.

Kenya One Tours realized that there was direct communication between Leisure Lodge and Travel IQ, of course unethically and contrary to the agreement to source hotel bookings for Travel IQ clients.

Kenya One Tours thus inquired from Leisure Lodge to find out why the above prevailing fundamental breach. This was in the second week of December. Leisure Lodge did not answer to the e-mail queries and the several phone calls from Kenya One Tours. Kenya One Tours thus waited for Leisure Lodge to send the new pro-forma invoice reflecting the amendments for the final payment to be effected.

Two days to the last group checking-out, Travel IQ asked Kenya One Tours if they had paid Leisure Lodge. The question came as a big surprise to Kenya One Tours because it confirmed again that Leisure Lodge and Travel IQ were in communication and were sharing confidential information in utter disregard of the prevailing contractual relationships. Copies of their correspondence landed in Kenya One Tours inbox-Leisure Lodge was asking Travel IQ to pay them directly.

Meanwhile Kenya One Tours wrote to Leisure Lodge asking them to send a corrected pro-forma invoice reflecting the amendments made to the booking to facilitate the final payment. A day before clients' departure, Leisure Lodge wrote to Kenya One Tours purporting to attach the new pro-forma invoice but was actually not attached, therefore the final payment to Leisure Lodge was delayed due to this fact

As per schedule of the clients, on the 6th of January, 2012, Kenya One Tours transferred the clients to the Airport for their onward flight back home.

Now, Travel IQ purports that when clients tried to check-out of Leisure Lodge, they were informed that the bill had not been paid and clients then called for help and Travel IQ immediately arranged for a loan to pay a bill of USD 15K. The questions here are:-

i. Did Travel IQ contact Kenya One Tours because clients were Kenya One’s;

ii. When did Travel IQ wire the money from South Africa - were clients still at the Hotel or they had checked out;

iii. When did the clients check out of the Hotel - was there any delay that clients missed their flights etc.

Lastly, Travel IQ claims that for the last 12 weeks they have not been able to get Kenya One Tours to return the money. Travel IQ has not been in communication with Kenya One Tours regarding any refunds at all, furthermore how can Travel IQ ask Kenya One Tours to refund monies that were paid to somebody else-Leisure Lodge. Besides, until the publication in this Forum, Kenya One Tours were not aware that Travel IQ had paid some money to Leisure Lodge. In fact this is an abuse of this Forum freedom and space of communication.

Karl-Heinz Straus

Chairman

Kenya One Tours Ltd.

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 3,771
reviews: 3
10. Re: Kenya One Tours - Never to be used!!!!

Karl-Heinz, thank you for coming on here to give members your side of the story. I guess what it comes down to, ultimately, is what the contract between yourselves and Travel IQ stipulates with regard to monies paid, although it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the other bad review of Kenya One that Stef posted a link to above?

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