My 4th G Adventures trip wasn't great (updated)

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My 4th G Adventures trip wasn't great (updated)

Postby ronzer » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:19 pm

I've been a happy customer of GAP/G Adventures since 2004, going to: Bolivia/Brazil, Galapagos, Jordan, and we just got back from Costa Rica. Up until Costa Rica, I had been a very happy customer, referring many friends. Our Costa Rica trip wasn't awful but it certainly wasn't at the same level as our previous trips.

First of all, we tried emailing experience@gadventures.com before and during the trip on different topics and didn't get any responses at all. Not even an auto-reply even though that is the email address we were told to use for this trip. The only support we could get was after waiting on hold on the phone which is much more complicated/expensive when traveling.

Second, we were booking the flights the G Adventures reservation person insisted that our return flight from San Jose had to be after 8 PM even though we were supposed to leave Monteverde at 8 AM. I looked it up and it's a 3-hour drive. I asked if we could get a 4 or 6 PM flight and they insisted that it had to be after 8 PM according to "policy". The only flight we could get after 8 PM was 1 AM so we ended up needing to book a room to hang out before our flight.

When we did drive back to San Jose passing the airport we got to the hotel well before 11 AM, 14 hours before our flight and we couldn't even check-in to our room yet. The extra hotel night cost us $180 via G Adventures (Kayak had it available for $90) and it turns out that didn't even include an airport transfer so we had to book that ourselves. It would have been nice to know that. I know that Costa Rica roads and traffic are bad but I got the impression that this was more about the extra $ than us making our return flight.

Third, the tour wasn't even G Adventures. It was outsourced to a company called Desafio. They were just OK, two of our three hotels were good but one of them, Paraiso in La Fortuna, sucked. Lots of road noise in our room, room AC didn't work well, lots of kids yelling in the hot springs, toilet didn't work great, etc. The worst G Adventures nights we've had. Also, our Desafio itinerary had us do a strange thing were we went from our hotel to another hotel down the street via a shuttle for dinner and then come back. When we asked Desafio why we didn't just stay and eat at our hotel they said any changes had to be made 48 hours in advance and to contact G Adventures. Not exactly helpful. We ended up just skipping that dinner without refund and doing our own thing. Also a first for us on a G Adventures.

When my wife filled out the "How'd we do?" form after our trip with our feedback she got back: "I have passed them on to the manager of our sales and reservations team for review". We haven't heard back hence me posting here.

For me to consider using G Adventures again I hope that we are going to have some actual customer support.

Update:
G Adventures has been very supportive since I posted this. They called me to follow up and let me know the support issues are being looked into and providing us make-goods on the extra night in Costa Rica and discounts on our next trip. We are going to try for a 5th trip, and hopefully, it's like the first 3 :)
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Re: My 4th G Adventures trip wasn't great (updated)

Postby sinecure » Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:13 am

Glad to hear that the team reached out to you and was able to sort some things out.
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Re: My 4th G Adventures trip wasn't great (updated)

Postby g_traveller_206005 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:09 am

Happy to hear of an amicable resolution to the issue. G is "generally" pretty good at customer service. That said, they don't seem to be as good electronically (web, email, etc - easier to ignore) as they are directly on the phone. Example ... feedback forms, I wasn't offered the opportunity to fill out a form for my last 4 trips. I had to ask, then I received all 4 at once. Tough filling it out when one trip was 2 years ago. There are other examples.

I've always booked my own flights to meet my own requirements and not be at the mercy of a commissioned "travel agent". There are plenty of resources (like here) that will help you out with the arrival time in SJ and departure options.

It's been 6 years but when I was in CR for CRQ, Desafio was just an adventure company leading activities in the La Fortuna area only. Guess they expanded.
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Re: My 4th G Adventures trip wasn't great (updated)

Postby kateyb » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:42 pm

Not all G trips turn out as well as you expect. I have been on 4 trips with them (Delhi-Kathmandu, Cuba Colonial, Dunes Delta and Falls and Galapagos). They were all wonderful except for the Galapagos. It was a "comfort" trip and by comfort they meant a boat that leaked, had a broken AC and a poor guide. It rained heavily one night and our room was soaked and my iphone was damaged because of it. The dining room/rec rooms AC was broken and it was so hot and humid for every meal. The guide was awful and didn't make any effort to get to know the other travelers. Thank goodness I have traveled with G on the other trips as I was able to recognize this was not typical of G trips. I do wish those evaluation forms were followed up with however. It would have been nice to have talked to someone as a follow up.
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Re: My 4th G Adventures trip wasn't great (updated)

Postby kat6942 » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:24 am

I had a similar problem. I had 3 great trips with G. My fourth trip was actually a combination of 3 smaller trips with G. The first was fabulous, and the third may have been my favorite trip ever. But the middle portion...... Let's just say that the #1 discussion on the bus and at meals was where our money went. It wasn't bad, it was just extremely overpriced for what we got. I understand that there are people getting a cut and there are profits to be had, but I do feel like there's a limit before it gets unreasonable. My review did reflect the experience and I got that standard email about someone being in touch with me (they weren't). I had a fifth trip I booked at the same time as the fourth and it was fine. My mother insisted on a tour for a trip we were taking so that was #6. I WAS considering #7 but I missed the expiration date on the coupon I picked up at the Travel & Adventure Show. G won't give me a discount so I'm out.

Please be advised that the coupon was for 15% off most tours. That means almost every tour has a markup greater than 15%. If you're doing a cheap tour and you don't mind, no problem. I'm sure many of us will cite a time when we got less of a discount and felt like we got our money's worth with a great time. But I think that does matter for those of us spending 5K or more on a journey every year. Intrepid has better reviews, better prices, and better discounts. Just sayin'.
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