We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

Fukuoka, Japan
4 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

Last year I bought a round the world ticket with IACE travel Japan. It was an open ticket with Singapore airlines (the best airline I have ever flown incidentally). A few days prior to departure my 2 year old was ill, and so I called the travel agent to ask if I could push back the departure date by a few days.

The agent wryly told me I would have to re-purchase my ENTIRE round the world fare!

So I called up Singapore airlines main office in Singapore directly to ask them if they could change my booking, as I had done a few times in the past as they are far more efficient than having to deal with the kafkaesque offices of any Japanese travel agent.

Singapore airlines told me that the regulations had changed, and I would need to have the travel agent change my booking, but confirmed to me that there was NO penalty at all, let alone the necessity to buy a new ticket, for changing the flight date as the ticket was open.

I noted the Singapore airline agent's name so I could quote her when calling IACE back. The agent at IACE appeared genuinely bewildered to discover that I was allowed to change my initial departure date (rather than just the following flights), so it would seem that the order to cheat customers by lying to them about the ticket conditions and making them purchase entirely new tickets (while pocketing the money from the first), came from well above: evidently such a scam works best if the subordinates dealing directly with the customers actually believe that what they are saying is true!

Eventually, after much time wasted calling back and forth between IACE and Singapore, IACE had no choice but to change my flight dates for free since this was the actual condition of the tickets I bought: having done my research I had caught them red-handed.

(But IACE still insisted on charging me where they could, for a ticket re-issuing fee).

Basically, IACE is exploiting the ignorance of the average Japanese traveler who has little knowledge of English and is unlikely to ever call anyone but their travel agent if any issues arise, and I can only wonder how many thousands of travelers they have ripped off in this way.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,455 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

Hi,

Unfortunate that you had to go to that length to get the issue rectified... but.. I also think that based only on what you've written "... liars..." may be a little inaccurate.

You say that "... The agent at IACE appeared genuinely bewildered to discover that I was allowed to change my initial departure date..." this to me signals perhaps a lack of being current on the rules, rather than a intentional distortion of the truth (i.e. a lie)..

I DO think that agents have some professional responsibility to be current on and know their products they sell.. I however temper that a bit with the realization that with the radical shift in the compensation relationship between airlines and agents, it's made hiring, retaining and training to current agents a hard thing to do..

This is not to say that IACE isn't without liability here- as noted earlier, I do think they have the responsibility to be current on their products, but based on what you say and who said what to whom and what the reality turned out to be, to me, I don't see this as a case of a "lie" per se as I don't see it as IACE willfully knew it to be one way, but told you otherwise.. rather it seems to be a more common case of lack of knowledge... still bad, but not a lie as I see it.

Travel Safe,

Fukuoka, Japan
4 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

Thanks for your input. Although incompetence is certainly a common problem, I don't think that is all it was in this case. Perhaps I didn't go into enough detail. The agent I dealt with had to speak to her IACE superiors several times before the issue was finally resolved. While she may have not been in the know, from the way things happened, it seemed clear to me that those higher up the food chain at IACE did in fact try to deliberately scam me by refusing the booking change: in the end I had to say I'd call the press if they insisted on not honoring my ticket conditions. Until that point I was told over and over to buy a new ticket (orders that came from above at IACE), despite having had repeated confirmations from Singapore that I could change my bookings freely.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
49,766 posts
130 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

I doubt IACE would do that. They are a large enough company that taking your extra dollars won't matter to an individual employee. I would chalk it down to poor management, slow response and inadequate training when dealing with issues.

Italy
Level Contributor
39,484 posts
207 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

I think you just stumbled on a inexperienced agent as I doubt IACE are liars and thieves.

Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
2,329 posts
159 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

Never used IACE but I can relate to the kafkaesque process you describe-- it's not just restricted to travel agents in Japan! :)

Next time if you need a good travel agent in FUK I recommend LTK in the Acros building in Tenjin. Haven't used them for a while as I've done a lot of booking online but have found them very helpful and knowledgeable in the past.

Dublin, Ireland
Destination Expert
for Seminyak, Ubud, Bali, Dublin
Level Contributor
6,995 posts
106 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

I agree it sounds more like a poorly trained employee than a scam.

I don't know how Libel laws work in Japan but I would be careful using such strong language on a public website.

London, United...
Level Contributor
27,178 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

I agree, this is poorly trained staff, and the wording too heavy.

I do also agree that the company has a duty to know its product, just as the consumer should know what they have purchased, before either party enters a discussion,

8. Re: SCAM:Beware of IACE travel Japan, they are liars and thieves

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 15 July 2013, 05:17