THIS WAS THE LETTER i SENT TO THE COMPANY AFTER OUR TRIP WITH THEIR dRIVER AND VEHICLE - PLEASE READ ON TO HEAR WHY YOU SHOULD NOT USE THEM:-Dear Saurav,It is with considerable disappointment and displeasure that I write to inform you of our experiences of the ‘service’ which you provided for our recent India trip.Having been assured by you that the minibus we would receive would be comfortable and ‘fit for purpose’, the deficient vehicle you provided was far from this.
A brief list of our observations includes the following:-The vehicle was old, with uncomfortable seating, the interior smelt unpleasant and the seating was unclean. This continued until the last day, (after the staff had been given two ‘free days’) when the van smelt slightly fresher, (perhaps as it hadn’t been slept in the night before!). I have never ridden in such a sub-standard bus, and it was well below Western Tourist standards.Despite informing both you and Sanjay the Driver of the dangerous state it was in, the worn Driver’s side front wheel was never changed, though you assured us it would be. The horn and the head-lights were also faulty, (the former couldn’t be easily silenced, and the latter couldn’t easily be dipped).
Both these factors again increased stress for the Driver, annoyance for other drivers and made us feel unsafe and anxious.Our Driver arrived three hours late on our first day – supposedly due to traffic problems, and was obviously worn out from lack of rest and too many ‘hours on the road’ – thus our journey began badly, and we were seriously concerned for our safety, especially as the MP roads were poor, our tyres deficient and our Driver exhausted. Sanjay should have been sent to Bhopal the day before, and provided with money to stay at a Driver’s Hostel, ensuring he (and the van) arrived on time and fresh and clean.It was evident that both the Driver and his Assistant Manuj were using stimulants to stay awake. Chai, beedies and Pan are all very well, but at times we felt the driving was somewhat reckless, and we didn’t always feel safe. A more calm and careful approach was required, and it didn’t help that on the first day Manuj’s friend (another Manuj!) had also come along for the ride, and they were more interested in their mobile texts and dozing, than in ensuring that Sanjay stayed awake on the rough MP roads AT NIGHT!
Sanjay, to his credit, never appeared drowsy, but he was annoyed by Manuj’s inattention, and also the ‘relaxed’ manner that Manuj had – he made us all late again for our long trip from Agra to Deogargh by appearing ¾ hour late with a lame excuse, and did very little to help. Given that we were an English-speaking group, it would have been a kindness to provide us with a team, at least one of whom had a basic education in the English language, given the complexity and length of our trip – this was not so, and as a result it was a struggle for all concerned.We put our faith and trust in you as a Transport Operator that we had travelled with before (albeit through a Travel Agent), expecting that you would be thoughtful and considerate of our needs, and provide us with a comfortable and safe service for the £1,000 which we paid you in advance for our 4-person 10 day trip, (only 5 days of which included significant transfers). You did not, and there is no way that we would ever consider using you again for future Indian trips. Our Travel Writer friend who also experienced your ‘Service’ will also now dissuade anyone enquiring about using your firm, and you have consequently lost future business through your lack of care.After all our correspondence and careful planning, you have been the main disappointment on this trip, and I hope you will reflect on the affect you have had on the experience and perceptions of guests in your Country, and that you will be more considerate in your dealings in future.
Good service will serve you far better than considering money before all else.Yours sincerely,Jonathan Symondsp.s.Be assured that this email will also be posted on Tripadvisor.