We went home after our experience at TSD with some hard feelings. I brought 5 divers with me to TSD - 2 of the divers did 4 dives while 4 of us had a 10 dive package. When it was realized that we wouldn't be able to fit in our 10 dives (which was the fault of TSD, not ours) and asked for a refund on the final dive, we were told that it was not possible and we would be given a credit. (I was rudely told that the dive was full.)
I understand this is their policy and understand that it likely has to do with staffing, gear, etc. however this only breeds ill feelings towards TSD. Quite frankly, a credit is not much more than a slap in the face, in my opinion, as we will likely never go back to TSD or Malapascua.
After asking for a refund for our final dives, the 4 of us were treated coldly by the managers (Dino and Maryann – the former joking about coming back to use the refund and latter not bothering to look us in the eye on the final days while greeting all others guests at breakfast and giving us a shirty response when we asked about T–shirts.)
To add to this, we met a friend at TSD who had recently broken his wrist but already paid for 10 dives. Again, TSD was going to offer a credit rather than give a refund.
All other aspects of the operation were great – we saw Threshers, Beds was a great dive guide and the rental gear was all adequate. But there wasn't much to see at the other dive sites.
Heard lots of dynamite fishing nearby so get there soon because all the coral and reef fish could be gone soon, as will the Threshers likely.
P.S. don't do the Manta Point dive as there is absolutely nothing to see if the Mantas aren't there.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 29, 2013
Thank you very much to this guest for his feedback. We appreciate all feedback and do our best to learn from it and to improve our services.
Report response as inappropriate
As the owner, I do not like anyone to leave unhappy, so I always investigate any complaints fully. I have talked to our staff and checked dive records to find out what happened in this particular situation.
I'm so sorry he felt our customer service was lacking, but we do try to be fair with our cancellation policy.
We try to fully inform all our customers of our policies in advance; full terms and conditions are sent prior to agreement of any booking confirmation. This guest had originally booked and confirmed a 12 dive package a few months in advance. However, just before arrival, he said he wanted to make this a 10 dive package. We don't like to do this so close to arrival once everything has been confirmed on both ends, but in this case we were flexible and reduced the requested number of dives.
We get fully booked for times like Chinese New Year (as this was) and turned down many divers for that week. We accept bookings based on the number of dives they say they are going to do and to make sure there is boat space. At times like Chinese New Year, people often arrive on Malapascua without booking. It is very hard to have to refuse them when they are sometimes literally begging to dive with us, but we have to respect and honour our pre-booked divers first. It means we have to find a good balance with our cancellation policy. We try to be as flexible as possible - as we were when we changed the package to a 10 dive package because at that time we did not need to let down other divers needlessly and could fill the space.
During the 5 full days he were here we offered 16 dive time slots in total, and his friend managed to do his dives, so I am a little confused as to how they could not complete their 10 dives. Also we have checked back over all the dives during the dates and it seems there was always boat space in each time slot. We always find a way to make sure our pre-booked divers get to dive, and no one remembers telling his it was full and he could not dive. I am wondering if he was told in error that a dive was full or that he misunderstood. If this reviewer could tell me who told you this and about what dive it would be very helpful.
Regarding the gentleman with the broken arm - it was a misunderstanding and we did not charge for his dives. As he had already paid in advance, his payment was credited towards his final bill.
I am very surprised to hear that staff were rude. I know they are normally very polite to everyone, and after questioned they certainly did not mean to be. So both they and I apologise if it appeared that way.
Regarding the refund, the way that we price our packages is that dive prices decrease the more you do, and it is actually almost the same price if you do 9 or 10 dives - it is kind of"Buy 9, get your 10th for free." So the 10th dive is essentially free. So it would have been a refund of only about P100 ($2). This was not explained to the guest but should have been so I apologise. We thought a dive coupon would be preferable to a $2 refund; it was certainly not meant to offend.
But I'm glad that he at least enjoyed some parts of his trip and I hope he has some great thresher shark memories to take home with his. If he does decide to come back again, that dive will still be there for his.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.