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  1. #1
    Cozy Rookie Array joymetta's Avatar
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    Default Never purchase any tour package from CTC

    Just to share what has happen during our tour to Taiwan with CTC

    It started with your CTC rep turned up late at Changi Airport on the boarding day and we waited for quite some time before we got our tickets, whereas reps from other agencies such as Chan Brother and Five Star were already there to help their customers to check in. Furthermore, she gave us the wrong itinerary sheet. What we received was the 8 days tour package itinerary instead of our 7 days tour. This shows that CTC is not serious in customer service.

    Our highly anticipated trip in Taiwan was ruined because of one person: the local tour guide 程汉威 (Ah Wei). The self proclaimed ‘gold medal tour guide’ Ah Wei is unprofessional, lazy, rude and petty. (see below for his photo)


    When I booked the tour package, I mentioned to CTC tour consultant that i am a vegetarian and he promised that vegetarian meals can be arranged. They were indeed arranged but Ah Wei made negative comments, even some sarcastic remarks, about mine vegetarian diet. This made me very upset and embarrassed throughout the trip. Isn’t the most basic requirement of a tour guide is to satisfy customers and make us feel comfortable? He definitely failed in this area.

    Should a tour guide accommodate to us or the other way round? In our case, we have to accommodate to our ‘gold medal tour guide’. On the second day, when some of us caught a wink on the bus due to several reasons (did not sleep well the day before, long travelling journey), he threw temper, reprimanded us for not paying attention and stopped talking because he felt we were not interested although some were still listening. In the end, all of us have to try to stay awake and look at him when he talked even though we were very tired. From then on, we could only sleep if he gave us permission to sleep. One of our group members mentioned that a tour guide she came across told her that even if no one is listening, she will still continue to talk because it is her job.

    Ah Wei did not give informative details of the background and history of the places of interest we visited. We expect our tour guide to bring us around and explained to us the significance and stories of the building or statue we saw at a particular place. However, he failed to do so for some places. For eg, we knew nothing about the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas at Spring & Autumn Pavilions because he was too busy at the shop which sell local foodstuff to ensure that all of us buy something there and so did not accompany us to the Pavilions. At some places, he just stayed in the bus to wait for us especially when the weather was very hot. On the other hand, we saw tour guides from other agencies explained in detailed to their tourists and showed them more parts of the places than him.

    There were only 3 things he will explain and in excessive: lingzhi, deer products and royal jelly. It was very obvious that he wanted us to buy these things to earn commission. He promoted their benefits (in exaggeration) on the way to the shops and he continued even when we reached although he had already talked for more than half an hour. He made us sit in the bus and listened to his ‘lecture’ for extra 15-20 mins. It is a waste of our time because the salespersons at the shops told us the same info again. His ‘enthusiasm’ over lingzhi went overboard when we visited Fo Guan Shan Monastery. He spent a great deal of time on the thousand year old lingzhi kept in the Monastery instead of showing us around. It was a wasted trip there. On top of that he also slander Buddhism. He claimed that the venerable in Fo Guan Shan eat “COW MEAT noodle”. He also claimed that if you are not a degree holder and would like to ordinate, need to pay sing dollars 50,000. I have already checked with Ven in Fo Guan Shan all these are not true….

    Besides these 3 things, what we know most about Taiwanis their ex President Chen Shui Bian. We do not deny that it is good for us to know some of their politics but Ah Wei talked about him almost every day and several times a day until we were sick of hearing it. We are not there to listen to his frustrations over Chen Shui Bian. There are many other more interesting facts about Taiwan that he can share with us. He also made crude remarks about China and Muslim.

    Ah Wei was not happy when we asked him questions. He was impatient and rude in his answers which showed he felt that the questions we asked were stupid. Instead, it should be the other way round; the answers he gave make us wonder the validity. We were not able to get much help from him on getting around Taiwan for example. We rather asked the hotel staff than to see his ‘black’ face.

    Ah Wei was not punctual. The number of times we waited for him far exceeded the no. of times he waited for us. This is the first instance we encountered group members waiting for the tour guide.

    Our disastrous trip ended with him not accompanying us to the airport. Again, this is the first time we experienced this. Isn’t it a standard practice for tour guides to accompany their tourists to the airport? Even if this is not a standard practice, it is also a good gesture. We have to find our way to the counter and do our own check-in. Because he was not with us, we are not able to do group check in of our luggage and this created inconvenience to some of us.

    At the end of the trip, we realized that it is not only the four of us but our entire group is unsatisfied and unhappy with Ah Wei’s terrible service and attitude.

    Unfortunately, our unpleasant experience did not end here. On 6 Sep, I called CTC main line (6532 0532) to enquire about the person-in-charge of customer feedback so that we can send this letter to the right person. However, your staff who answered the call (a lady) was very rude. Her tone of voice was unfriendly and she refused to reveal the name of the person in-charge and refused to take down a message for her. She just told me to call again on Monday. And when I asked how long does it take for CTC to reply to our feedback, she claimed that she is not sure. CTC is in the service industry and isn’t it essential to have a service standard on replying to customer feedback. It is either CTC does not have that or your staff is so poorly trained that she is not aware. We are very shocked to experience such poor telephone etiquette and customer service in CTC, which is one of the biggest tour agencies in S’pore. If your staff is only polite when people enquire about tour packages and do not care a damn on after customer service, it shows that CTC is very short-sighted.

    Overall, we are disappointed with CTC and we will think twice in future for booking tour packages with CTC.
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  2. #2
    Aud
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    For maximum impact, I'd recommend you sending this in to the forum @ Straits Times. You've raised many valid points about tour guide ethics & basic etiquette which he obviously failed to comply with.

  3. #3
    Cozy Star Array Janine.Lee's Avatar
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    This Ah Wei..when you said he's a local guide meant that he's taiwanese right?

  4. #4
    Cozy Rookie Array jovieee's Avatar
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    taiwanese are like that..

  5. #5
    Cozy Star Array zacey's Avatar
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    i am appalled... dont CTC has a local guide who went with you guys?? did you guys complain to the person in charge?

  6. #6
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    I thot of purchasing tour package for my parents..looks like got to think twice now..

  7. #7
    Cozy Star Array Ziann's Avatar
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    my mum also took a tour package with SA or Chan Brothers to Taiwan, she said her local Taiwanese guide is lazy and always sleep in the jourkey, he is so-called gold medal tour guide too.

    she said that local tour guide is from a Taiwanese tour agency Xi Yang Xang (saw Taiwan news, this tour agency closed shop already).

  8. #8
    Cozy Celeb Array zlynz's Avatar
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    my trip to taiwan with ctc was quite ok, perhaps becos it wasn't with any celebrities as the local tour guide...

    i've always thought that tour with celebrities are normally quite enjoyable as featured on tv, never expected it to turn out like this... guess i'm gonna think twice if i really wanna book such tour packages in future...

  9. #9
    Cozy Star Array spark_of_life89's Avatar
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    that time i went my taiwan tour guide was quite ok

  10. #10
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    Hi,

    I wanted to complaint about the travel agency called "Travel Star Pte Ltd. Located at 101 Upper Cross Street, People's Park Centre, #03-02. Singapore 058357.

    I have booked a tour from the travel agency which is approved by National Association of Travel Agency Singapore at the Natas Fair. Why the government don't choose carefully which agency should be in the promotion for tourism. As 1 black dot on the paper can't be eraser easily.

    The tour is 8 Day 7 Night Taiwan Island Scenic Tour and the Tour Booking Form No: TBF 3897 and the Official Receipt No: 4842 for the payment in full $1498.00 (which including the tour charges, single hotel room charge and the airport taxes). They did promised me that they have the 8 day tour package on the spot. The person who asked me to booked first is called Grace. She said it was sell out fast as left only 1 seat. Of course i tell them i wanted and pay the full amount on the spot.

    Then on the 15 August 2008, She called me up again, tell me the 8 day package tour for taiwan is full. Ask me to change to 9 day 8 night tour package. I was angry and wanted them to refunded me the money, they told me they have to forfeited my $100.00 for the expense that i wanted to refund as i am last minutes then told them i am not going for the tour. But the tour have not started yet as i booked for the tour from 20 September 2008 to 27 September 2008. I have no choice but to said okay for the 9 days tour. As they asked me to pay additional $140 for the single charge, airport taxes and the additional 1 night for the room ( as per night is $90.00 for the hotel room). Of course i don't want to pay so much so i told them i were only pay the $50 (Receipt No: RX12871) for the charges of single and the airport taxes. She said were called me up again on the 18 September 2008 or 19 September 2008 for the taiwan agency name and telephone no.

    Then on 17 September 2008 afternoon, she called me up again told me that the tour for the 9 days tour, nobody going asked me to joined the tour for the 7 days trip as got 3 people going. As they were only provided me 1 more day hotel and i have to go back by my own expense. As the Iast 2 days i have to use my own expense for makan. As first the 8 days tours or the 9 days tour got including meals for the last 2 days. Of course i were damm angry so i asked her let me speak to the Person-in-charge. She reply to me that she were asked her boss to called me. But wait until my knock off-time no even 1 person from the travel agency called me up to give me a good explaination why they kept change my tour package.

    So i called up CASE to complaint but they told me that they don't do complaint on the phone and asked me to go personally down to their office by 4pm. That time i was still working,

    I hope u can give me a answer to this case, does that mean they can provided me a bad service just because i am a singaporean. Then what about those foreigners think when they get such a bad service. They sure go back to their country to spread the news. Then nobody were dare come to Singapore. Do U want this kind of things to happened to Singapore since we kept promoted tourism.


    Thank U for reading my letter.


    Bye Bye


    From: Patricia Huang

  11. #11
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    there may be black sheep around but i don't think it's fair to generalise that taiwanese are like that. as evident from this thread, there are cotters who have had ok experiences with taiwan tour guides. it's just unfortunate that some bad eggs spoil the experience for others.

    i went to Taiwan in Dec '05 free & easy but booked a one day tour with my hotel to places like ye liu, jiu fen, yangmingshan, etc. the tour guide was good. she explained the significance of all the places we visited and told us what was nice to eat, etc. overall a pleasant experience.

    joymetta: wow. that tour guide really sounds like a gold medal tour guide.... gold medal in eat snake. thanks for warning us....
    Last edited by evil_feline; 18-09-2008 at 09:48 AM.

  12. #12
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    And to think that we have to pay them tips at the end of the journey, which can add up to quite a substantial amount if there are many passengers.
    Last year, we went to Korea with Chan Brothers. The entrance tickets to Everland is not included. I did not want to take any of the rides as I have been there before, but vaguely remember the place as it was some 10 years ago. So when I asked the tour guide what I can do there, he told me that nothing much if I do not purchase the 'Big 5' ticket. When it's time to collect money for the ticket, I told him that i and my parents will not to buying. His expression immediately changed and attitude towards us became very bad after that. WTH, I have my rights right?

    All these tour guides, they are just looking after their pockets. Treat you nice because they want you to buy things from the shops, tickets to these attractions etc.

  13. #13
    Cozy Star Array samochi's Avatar
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    Poor joymetta. Your trip ruin because of irresponsible tour guides! How unpleasant!

    I booked a tour package last year. As I got some sudden family matters to attend to, I was unable to fly during that month. I called the tour immediately to inform them and asked if I can postpone my trip to another date. I was prepared to pay for any extra charges or penalty and during that time I desperately needed their help. The guy who attended to my case reluctantly put up my request to his boss. I have to keep calling and going down to their office to make sure he process my case as they didn't get back to me! Is it so difficult to call and let me know if I can postpone my trip or not? If it can't postponed then I need to make arrangements to submit my insurance claim as soon as possible. Part of their reluctant-ness (I think) is because I didn't buy travel insurance from them.

    In the end, I paid an extra lump sum as penalty which I am able (fortunately) to claim from NTUC travel insurance. Ever since then, I've been buying NTUC insurance everytime I travel. Convenient to use since it's online application.

    My bad experience is only with the counter sales staff. The SG tour guide that followed us was ok. The local tour guide was superb in her explaination. So the overall trip experience wasn't all too bad. They sell us things to earn extra bucks but didn't give us a black face if we didn't purchase anything.

  14. #14
    Cozy Star Array reldyn's Avatar
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    my mum went to china or taiwan through CTC too and she had no complaints, because she had a singaporean tour guide following the group throughout.

    any rants abt ASA so far?

  15. #15
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    raves actually, but not sure about how relevant this is. Just got back from an ASA 12D tour to Egypt. Local tour guide was very good - professional, detailed explanations, good attittude, helpful...Itenary was well-planned - all-encompassing and sequence allowed us to appreciate the history better, saves time on travelling and had a good beach resort break towards the end. Accomodation was mostly great with the exception for a couple of hiccups. Were being put up at international 5* hotels for over half of the trip. In comparison to other egypt tour packages from Chan, CTC, SA etc, it was indeed superior in many ways, not to mention that the price was really cheap at mid 2ks, when others are charging slightly over 3k. Great experience and wonderful trip on the overall with good ASA rep at the airport. That said, standards might vary from place to place, especially since the local tour guides are from the domestic tour agencies, but if anyone's thinking of egypt, i would highly recommend ASA.

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