Just back from a Kerala holiday for my family of 4 and it was completely ruined by Life Line (New Dehli). First, they sub the job to another agent (Hari Tourism) which is based in Hyderabad (another state), so driver was unfamiliar and driving with one eye on the phone GPS all the time. Despite paying for guide services, eventually we only had an average one on day 1, and a fairly mute one on day 2 who just sat there without even introducing himself and spoke no more than 10 sentences that day ! The driver's English was bad. Even worse was his driving (jerk-starts and hard brakes) and we had a collision with 2 oncoming motorcyclists.
At the tea estates, it was just a whirlwind drive-past and we had to insist to stop for some pictures. The driver's excuse was there was "no time" as we had programmes down the road, yet we were sent to hotel by 3pm so he could put up his feet early. Rest of the trip - not a single guide turned up. We visited south India but never got to visit any of the tea plantation or temple. This sounded like a bad joke but it's true. The driver was constantly complaining about not having a proper place to eat or rest. We suspect alot of the monies we paid must have been squeezed dry along the way, such that there was not much left to run a proper trip. After we complained, the replacement driver was not any better. He showed faces, English is just as bad, and did not know what he was supposed to do for the day. The office just did not brief the drivers. I had to pay the parking and road tolls all because the driver had no instructions.
At last city stop Trivandrum, he spent 45mins looking for the airport which was only 11km away. And then we found he sent us to the domestic airport instead of the international one. We were practically screaming at him that if he didn't know, please go ask someone. Our trip was so completely ruined that we got to the airport 6hrs before departure, all because we wanted to leave ASAP.
We are asking the Indian Tourism authorities to look into these 2 agencies. Their slogan is "Incredible India", and it was quite incredible, but not the way they intended. The image of India and its tourism sector were ruined by Life Line and Hari Tourism. I post this so hopefully not another soul has to suffer the same thing.