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Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

Eden, Australia
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Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

Prepare to be taken for a ride

In April 2013 we did a 20 day, modified “Rajasthan Heritage” tour with Namaste India Tours

In the past we have had trouble with Delhi travel agents, when arranging local and Cashmere tours, so we researched on the net and approached Namaste India Tours with care. The web site is appealing and quirky…but misleading

Even with all of our care the tour was very disappointing. We enjoyed Rajasthan and found the forts, palaces, food and havellis to be great but the Ambassador car was rubbish and the driver lazy, dishonest and ignorant

If we were to “do” Rajasthan again we would do it differently. It cost far too much

Be aware that the Ambassador car was designed in the late 1940s, it is an antique on wheels. There is a reason why there are so few still on the road. This ancient design is not up to modern Indian road conditions. They are slow, uncomfortable and unsafe. Their brakes, steering, engines, transmissions and safety systems are utterly inadequate and dangerous. Why does Namaste still recommend and use them? They are tough and cheap, thus more profitable. We would avoid the Ambassador car

Our driver got us where we needed to go with only a couple of mishaps. He was usually punctual, the car was generally clean, he spoke english and he did the basic job but……he took secret commissions from shops, restaurants and hotels, he did as little work as possible and he was ignorant of any interesting things which were outside his usual routine. He was not worth the money and I regret the large tip we gave him (out of embarrassment)

Be aware that Namaste India Tours is Jawahar. He operates out of a small home office in his Delhi flat. There are no office staff. This has upsides and downsides. Jawahar makes the hotel bookings and manages the drivers himself. He does not appear to be a member of any associations or have any travel industry accreditations, thus there is no “umpire” to whom you can appeal if there are issues

The “no up-front deposit” approach is nice but then you have to pay 100% on arrival. We paid 100% with some discomfort. One has to decide whether to trust him. We did and should not have. When you face that decision remember that Jawahar has been in the game many years. He knows all the angles and you have no effective defence if things go wrong or you are shafted

To get the best of Rajasthan you need a driver and car. If we were to “do” Rajasthan again we would go for the driver and car only and make the accommodation bookings on the fly. Cheaper, more flexible and much safer

Winnipeg, Canada
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1. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

I'm very sorry to hear about your bad experience with this company. It is good that you are warning other travellers about this. There are many good tour operators out there still. The tour operator I have used twice now is excellent and he makes all my hotel reservations, plane and train reservations too, as well as car and driver (only modern, new cars). So next time, if you come to India, you don't need the hassle of doing it all yourself, just choose a better tour operator....they are there!

Jo

Hereford UK
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11 posts
15 reviews
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2. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

What a shame muffinthemule, that your experience seems to be opposite that of all the other reviews that can be found on this company.

The Hindustan Ambassador is based on a Morris Oxford built and sold in the UK in the late 1950's. This is a well known fact and made very clear on Namaste India Tours website. The choice of car was yours and yours alone. There are other modern alternatives available for a small supplement.

Everyone else speaks very highly of the company's drivers, but , yet again, you are at odds with those reviewers. I don't think you have taken on board the fact that India is an emerging Third World country and that the majority of the population, including these drivers, live on the poverty line. Of course they will be looking for commission from shopkeepers whose shops they take you to in an effort to suplement their meagre income.

I'm sure that I'm not alone in finding most of your complaints irrelevant. It seems a pity to me that you have put so much effort into running down a small company that has given so many people so much pleasure.

Your review hasn't put my wife and I off and we have booked the Legacy Tour with Tiger spotting addition in a modern Innova car, early in 2014. Expect to read my personal observations in early February 2014.

New Delhi, India
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3. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

sorry Muffinthemule for your experience but i do agree with mervyncp.

4. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

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Removed on: 11 September 2013, 15:50
New Delhi, India
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5. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

Funny that @travelbuff-tandon here you got a chance to promote your work.

Carlsbad, California
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6. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

Hi Salsajo, would you be so kind to share the driver you have used in Rajasthan? We are traveling with family of 4 in December and are looking for a driver with car to transport us from Delhi to Agra and then to Jaipur. Thanks.

New Delhi, India
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7. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

Hi Mosafer,

you may try Atma Ram, he is a very nice person/driver and i am recommending him because i know him personally and given him a few people to show around sometimes and he always made their time rememberable in India. His email is discoverwithatma@hotmail.com. Good luck. Hope you didn't mind me recommending although you mentioned you want the info of driver from Salsajo

Edited: 12 September 2013, 05:02
Winnipeg, Canada
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8. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

hi mosafer,

The company I used was Icon India Tours (http://www.iconindiatours.com/index/) . The owners name is Sabu and he is very trustworthy and responsible. All of his drivers speak workable english and cars are new, modern and safe...and air conditioned! As I mentioned above, he can also book your hotel reservations, air flights, tiger parks tours etc etc.

As you can see from the above story, finding someone trustworthy to do this is SO important! It can make or break your trip to India. I have read horror stories on this forum about tourists arriving and finding run down un safe old cars with no AC and no seat belts with drivers that have no idea where they are going! They will promise you when thing - but when you arrive, you get another. I rule I always use when in India - cheaper is not always better!!

hope that helps!

Jo

New Delhi, India
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1,528 posts
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9. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

I agree with you Jo, but definitely there are many trustworthy agencies.. I hope all the tourist coming to india will have a great time in all cases. Good luck

Winnipeg, Canada
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10. Re: Think twice before using Namaste India Tours

yes, I agree loveutravelling, that is why i was explaining to mosofar to be careful.....I have a trustworthy tour operator and I was asked to share the name of this tour operator and that is what I was doing. I am not in the business myself....like SOME people on this forum, trying to promote their own business....

Jo