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Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

Boston, MA
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Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

Ok, I shopped around all over - latinescapes, latintravelmall, etc. and stumbled upon Virgin Vacations package for Peru. It went really well initially, but AFTER I paid my deposit (isn't that always the way - they have your $$ and can stop being pleasant) I didn't get calls back from the person I was dealing with and when I pressed "0" for help I got someone else who was totally annoyed that I had the nerve (!) to ask her to assist me on a trip that she didn't book! I then called a supervisor, after getting unsatisfactory responses (and a huge attitude to boot) and HE was rude! I am now freaking out...I never use a service like this - I've been around the world (Panama to Egypt, all of Europe, Asia) and always book the pieces of the trip myself. This time I'm going with a friend who is very nervous about all of that so I agreed to go via a tour. Now I'm wondering is this typical of tour companies in general, is this a Virgin Vacations issue or what? I am afraid that I'm going to end up in Peru with services (tours, etc) that are far different from what I paid for. Anyone else have this bad of an experience with Virgin Vacations?

Boston...
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1. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

Is this who you are talking about?

virgin-vacations.com/south-america-travel/pe…

Lima, Peru
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2. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

I found the same on the web and probably it is

Boston...
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3. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

If that is the case, she should consider calling Sir Richard Branson.

Lima, Peru
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4. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

and tell them you will be cancelling your tour with them and look into the travel agencies recommended in this forum

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

Yes - that's it. The price was good (I shopped around) and it included all of the sites I wanted to see (many others didn't include the Nazca lines). I was apalled, quite frankly, at how rude they were.

Lima, Peru
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6. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

and supossedly they are in the "service business"

Boston...
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7. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

You should let Richard Branson know of your problems.

http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/

http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/ask/

Edited: 9:13 am, April 05, 2011
Lima, Peru
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8. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

and please tell us what came of your complaint....

seattle
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9. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

I work for tour companies and all the big ones would be using a local Peru tour operator. Virgin contracts out their services but so would any tour operator. I signed up for a tour but its with a company I deal with and like yours I'm sure it will turn out okay. I'm not sure I'd trust the 'locals' who recommend their own services. With the internet I'm afraid a lot of things are a stab in the dark.

By the way, checking that website it looks like Gate 1 travel which has a good reputation. I was going to book with them but they don't offer a land only pkg. I think you'll be fine.

Edited: 6:12 pm, April 05, 2011
Boston, MA
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10. Re: Virgin Vacations service awful - did I just make a mistake?

The idea that I would just cancel is ludicrous - I've already paid them and can't get my $$ back or I would have done that already!

That's what I thought - they all use a local operator - but at least with Virgin I expected to get none of the BS that I got when I contacted some of the others (it felt like I was buying a used car with many of these companies...lots of "bait and switch" and other unpleasant high-pressure sales tactics). The guy was wonderful at first - once they had my $$ it went downhill, fast. I have heard of Gate 1 but I usually book all of this on my own (hotels, domestic flights, etc.) and didn't really see any value in paying a tour company to make the same arrangements. But my friend insisted, so I conceeded. Never again! With sites like this, along with Fromerrs, Fodors, Lonely Planet and the internet the only value they have is reassurance (and someone locally to sue if things go wrong!). Virgin failed miserably to deliver that reassurance. I should have just booked it all on my own. Oh well, live and learn!

As for locals...well you can hardly fault them for self-promotion but I appreciate what you are saying -take everything with a grain of salt...and a margarita!

I will try to contact Virgin.com but I'll have to check more into it...I wonder if Virgin Vacations.com is a subsidiary or....?