I have been having some difficulties with getting a refund from my safari tour operator and I'm hoping to get some advice on what to do (particularly from people who also had trouble, but were successful, in getting their own refund).
My friends and I had booked a safari tour in Kenya and Tanzania (plus a few days in Zanzibar) with a local operator in Kenya (they also have an office in Tanzania). We had paid a 30% deposit via wire transfer 3 months before the trip and paid the balance in cash upon arrival. The fee to the tour operator included all accomodations, flights, driver, local tours, etc. Unfortunately, the tour operator failed to pay for 3 lodges, a flight for 2 of 4 people and a transfer fee for a tour that was included in the itinerary. In order to minimize the disruption on our trip, we agreed to pay for the lodges/flights and then get reimbursed by the tour operator when we returned to Nairobi (where we were flying out of to go home).
When we got to Nairobi, the tour operator acknowledged that we were owed a refund (and provided us with a signed letter indicating the same). From the beginning, we had asked for the refund in cash and had emailed the tour operator with the total amount of the refund 2 days before we arrived back in Nairobi. However, they said that they normally process refunds by wire transfer and could not pay us in cash.
It has now been 2 months since we returned from our trip. The tour operator is not responding to emails or text messages and are not answering their phones. Does anyone have any advice on how to "encourage" the tour operator to process the refund? We were thinking about hiring a lawyer - if anyone has any experience in using a lawyer in Kenya to get their refund, if you could let me know who you used and your experience, it would be greatly appreciated.