TravelQuest, P O Box 3054, Somerset West, 7129, South Africa, is a company offering services in the area of travel and holidays.nIn September 2009 they organised a promotion in my place of residence, which I attended.nThe emphasis of their activities was arrangement of/assistance with holiday accommodation, something in which I am not interested. Because of the international image they conveyed, I asked if their activities included arrangement of travel, and the answer was that theirs was an ideal enterprise even for that. So I subscribed, at a fee of R12 500 (approx. $1 800). nMy experiences with TravelQuest, when planning a journey via Europe to America and back, in 2010, were as follows:n1. In spite of the statement in their u201cAcknowledgement of fair Marketing – AIRFARESu201d, that u201c…TravelQuest can offer extrememly competetive rates…u201d, the costs of the flights were not lower than I would have been charged otherwise.n2. TravelQuest offers assistance with travel insurance, but I found out that they restrict themselves to a particular South African company only. South African travel insurances do not cover incidents that can be related to cardio- and cerebrovascular conditions for people over 70 years of age. The risk for such incidents, however low, can have financially crippling consequences. Consequently I had to find out for myself what was available to me worldwide, from which I took an insurance from a USA company. The reason given by TravelQuest for restricting themselves to that South African company was that u201c…they offer 20% commission or discount to us …u201d. Evidently TravelQuestu2019s own interest prevails over that of its customers.n3. TravelQuest declined offering any assistance in arranging my train travels in Europe.n4. The flight information provided by TravelQuest was poorly intelligible. Example: u201cTicket is non-refundable in case of refundu201dnIt included the recommendation to confirm the flight well before departure (without specifying how that should be done). This proved to be incorrect: I found out that the carrier explicitly states that such is not necessary. However, the information did not include the recommendation to timely book a seat, which eventually left me the choice out of left-overs.n5. TravelQuestu2019s assistance with booking accommodation abroad is almost non-existent. In a particular town I could choose between two hotels: one in the centre which was prohibitively expensive, the other on the outskirts of the town, which is unsuitable for travellers because of the relatively poor communications. If I wanted something else, I had to organise it myself (which I did – at a very competitive price). nMy membership of TravelQuest has not offered me any advantage with regard to any aspect of the very first journey abroad for which I made use of their services. This is contrary to the international image they conveyed during their promotion, and what I was made to expect by their promotion and their membership fee. My complaint and request for (partial) refund of my membership fee were ignored. nTravelQuestu2019s services may be useful in the area of offering particular holiday accommodation, but donu2019t believe them, as I did, when they claim that they can usefully assist with travel. It is a lie!
Travel House, 23 Reitz Street Somerset West, Select State/Province United States of America