Travel Indochina Ripoff - Charge double!

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I recently booked a holiday to Vietnam with Flight Centre but they in turn used Travel Indochina to do much of the bookings, including booking a 1 night/2 day sail trip around Ha Long Bay. We went with Indochina Sails and had a lovely time but I wish I had booked directly with them because Travel Indochina charged us twice what Indochina Sails charges online.

Now I don’t mind paying a little extra for a travel company to do the leg work but charging double the price is just taking the micky! In asking Travel Indochina to justify why they charged double the price the response from their National Manager was “We are very clear in our pricing and breakdown the cost of each element on invoices, so if at the time of booking you were concerned about the cost of this cruise or found it cheaper online it could have been cancelled without any fees.” In other words, they don’t deny they are ripping people off, you just need to do some research yourself instead of using a travel agent!

Jaco0000 14/02/13    General travel chatVietnam Link Report

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As far as tours to places like Halong Bay in Vietnam you get prices all over the place. You can get a $500 cruise or a $200 cruise? It all depends on what you want! Having been there many times I find that booking from the local agency is a much better way to go. You can bargain and if it is low season you can get the cruise for very cheap. I was on one last year and my partner and I were the only ones on the boat! Cheap!!!!!!!! If they are hungry for business you will get a deal! If they want to much go to the next one!

Living in Asia you learn to deal with the double standard, but never be shy about walking away! Many will chase you down as you go out the door and the price comes down!

Prices go up when the demand is high! When the deman is low you get a bargain! When you involve more than one vendor, they each get a cut! Go directly to the source and you will see how cheap it gets!!!!!

Time of my life 17/05/13    Link Report

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I’m a former Flight Centre agent. Our job revolves around meeting new clients, qualifying them to understand what they want out of their holiday, then using a very large pool of preferred wholesalers to quote and book what will serve those needs. Travel Indochina is one such wholesaler.

A major frustration of the job is in knowing that Travel Indochina charges ridiculous rates. They once quoted me airfares within Vietnam for almost double the price of already inflated Australian prices (everything is cheaper in the country it’s consumed in). As a middleman who presents these quotes to traveling clients, their prices are embarrassing. That’s because I become responsible for the prices (as if they were my own), and my experience of the industry leaves me well aware how poor value it is.

If I were to send my clients on a trip such as yours, I can say goodbye to repeat clientele and therefore future business success as a consultant. In the end, I began using Travel Indochina for their excellent brochures and to give me a rough idea of trip outlines for specific itineraries. I would then use that information to quote clients using alternative suppliers.

But sometimes, despite the odd 10%-25% time limited discounts we get on various styles of trips, we have no access to those amazing rates for small trips and tours in far off places. It is the trade-off of the travel industry. Pay more to have everything sorted and decided in advance, or pay less and wear the risk.

The inexperienced Flight Centre consultants won’t think this way – they’ll merely obtain quotes from whomever sold them the best (we have product nights and sales reps bring us lollies etc) and spit them out the other end to the client.

Therefore it is up to YOU the client to make sure your consultant is a good fit for you and your shopping style (efficient and expensive, or takes time but shops around for you). It is also up to you to question the rates that have been quoted without being unreasonable.

That is, you wouldn’t slash the profit margins of your mechanic, painter, builder, hairdresser to zero now would you? Respect that and the consultant will respect you.

Andy 15/02/14    Link Report

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I don’t quite understand your post. You say you booked a holiday to Vietnam with Flight Centre. They
used Travel Indochina to do much of the bookings, including booking a 1 night/2 day sail trip around Ha Long Bay. You say you went with Indochina Sails.
Travel Indochina is a tour company offering group tours. How could Flight Centre use them for part of your trip?

I’ve just looked at Indochina Sails and checked their price for the 2day/1night tour and prices range from $330 to $528. That’s expensive and more than double what I paid last year, even three times higher. I went with Vega.

Captain Courageous 16/05/13    Link Report

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If you are a western traveler you will have to get use to the double standard. You pay more for admission, tours, transport, food etc. It’s still cheap. I have lived in Thailand for a number of years and I still pay sometimes, although I am now retired and if I show them my visa, I get the local price. I lived in Ho Chi Minh City and in Vietnam you will pay unless you go to a restaurant that has English and you still pay at least you know the price. In the western world prices are what they are. In the east they are what they ask. BARGAIN! It is the game in the east! You say no and walk away and they say ok “300 baht” and you say 200 and they say 250???? You can bargain your way, but over the internet you pay without the option to bargain. Many scams, but never feel that you have to pay what they ask, but what they will take.

Time of my life 18/02/13    Link Report

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I’m a former Flight Centre agent. Our job revolves around meeting new clients, qualifying them to understand what they want out of their holiday, then using a very large pool of preferred wholesalers to quote and book what will serve those needs. Travel Indochina is one such wholesaler.

A major frustration of the job is in knowing that Travel Indochina charges ridiculous rates. They once quoted me airfares within Vietnam for almost double the price of already inflated Australian prices (everything is cheaper in the country it’s consumed in). As a middleman who presents these quotes to traveling clients, their prices are embarrassing. That’s because I become responsible for the prices (as if they were my own), and my experience of the industry leaves me well aware how poor value it is.

If I were to send my clients on a trip such as yours, I can say goodbye to repeat clientele and therefore future business success as a consultant. In the end, I began using Travel Indochina for their excellent brochures and to give me a rough idea of trip outlines for specific itineraries. I would then use that information to quote clients using alternative suppliers.

But sometimes, despite the odd 10%-25% time limited discounts we get on various styles of trips, we have no access to those amazing rates for small trips and tours in far off places. It is the trade-off of the travel industry. Pay more to have everything sorted and decided in advance, or pay less and wear the risk.

The inexperienced Flight Centre consultants won’t think this way – they’ll merely obtain quotes from whomever sold them the best (we have product nights and sales reps bring us lollies etc) and spit them out the other end to the client.

Therefore it is up to YOU the client to make sure your consultant is a good fit for you and your shopping style (efficient and expensive, or takes time but shops around for you). It is also up to you to question the rates that have been quoted without being unreasonable.

That is, you wouldn’t slash the profit margins of your mechanic, painter, builder, hairdresser to zero now would you? Respect that and the consultant will respect you.

Andy 15/02/14    Link Report

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