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Is this shady business practice?

Indianapolis Indiana
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Is this shady business practice?

Hello,

As suggested by many on TA, I sent out about 5 request for safari tours and prices. Now the decision making begins or at least the second guessing myself and asking more questions etc. One thing.....I sent a request to Roy's Safaris and I got a reply back from A-Way-To Africa Safaris stating that Roy's fwd my request to them since I am from the US and they would take care of my request. Is this normal? The whole thing makes me very leary!

melbourne
Destination Expert
for Tanzania
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1. Re: Is this shady business practice?

I believe it is normal practice for Roys. Don't know why they use an American agent. or extra person. or maybe she/ he is just employed by them and answers emails.

If you are not happy there are more than 200 operators out there, most not even mentioned ever here. About 50 would give you an excellent safari. the challenge is to find the one that clicks with you and then your guide is more than fantastic.

Isle of Man, United...
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2. Re: Is this shady business practice?

I agree.

Roy's have a US presence run by Susan. They do this as a lot of US clients feel more comfortable dealing with their own countrymen.

Nothing wrong with the concept but it does mean that there is a cost factor to be built in for this service. Guess who pays for that?

Indianapolis Indiana
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3. Re: Is this shady business practice?

It is good to know that this is the normal for them. I wasn't sure if someone had hijacked my email or not. And your right, why pay for another person and not deal direct. I am still waiting to hear back from Basecamp, then I will have all my ducks in a row. Thanks for the answer!

Lisa

Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Is this shady business practice?

If you glance through these forums, you often come across repetitive requests from travellers for information that is readily available.

Many safari operators simply don't have the time or resources to deal with these queries from clients or potential clients. And believe me - what's on here is only the tip of the iceberg.

So, it makes sense all round to have someone in the client's country who can handle all queries, and let the operator get on with taking people on safari.

The agent handles the booking;using their expertise to match the travellers' needs with the lodges and parks in Tanzania. They also advise on what documentation and medication is needed. Plus topping and tailing all the flights and transfers and other hotels. They also ensure all the payments and deposits are made in time, and deal with changes, so that the traveller need not re-arrange the trip because a flight is moved.

And yes - no-one will do all that for free. But it shouldn't cost the client more to use an agent. The agent should have negotiated discounts due to the volume of business he deals with. This is where they should get their cut.

Indianapolis Indiana
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5. Re: Is this shady business practice?

Peter...don get me wrong I totally understand the concept and would not expect someone to do that for free. It is just that all the other companys I contacted that were based in Tanzania replied directly to me, . I just assumed Roys would as well. In this day and age with all the computer hackers out there I thought someone might have gotten hold of my information and was going to scam me into sending someone else instead of Roys money. I just assumed since I had emailed Roys the reply would be from Roys. My bad. And yes I read these forums a lot! I am on here 3-4 times a day researching information and have learned a lot. I had just never heard of this before and was a bit concerned. Thanks :-)

nyc
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6. Re: Is this shady business practice?

Not unusual. I know that Good Earth with their home office in Tanzania, has an office in Florida, likewise, Roy's has two (2) reps in the States to handle US requests, and one (1) in the UK to handle reqs from many Western European countries.

While I can't offer other specific names, I'm sure there are a number of "in-country" outfitters who have similar arrangements.

Pricing from these reps should be the same as if Roy's were handling your query.

Saint Paul...
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Serengeti National Park
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7. Re: Is this shady business practice?

Who is Roys other rep in the US?

USA
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701 posts
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8. Re: Is this shady business practice?

Normal from my experience. I've never booked with Roy's but was impressed with their professionalism, prompt communications, and wealth of knowledge--all through a more local rep.

I've never heard of anyone who did not like their Roy's Safaris and would certainly book them myself.

Have a great trip.

melbourne
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for Tanzania
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9. Re: Is this shady business practice?

Brian, I suspect it is AfricaSerendip based in New York.

Indianapolis Indiana
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10. Re: Is this shady business practice?

Brian,

It is.... A-Way-To Africa Safaris. I did not mean to cause such a upset. I call myself addicted to these forums....having read them for info for hours at a time. But apparently I missed the post that this is common practice. Now I know :-))

Lisa