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Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

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Toronto, Canada
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Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

Does anyone have any recommendations for companies that do Sandwich Harbor tours? I see Turnstone Tours mentioned a lot but I contacted them and their prepayment terms are unreasonable. Full prepayment and pretty much no refund if cancelled within two weeks of the date. If something happens, illness, flight problems, car issues that cause us to be delayed.. we lose N$2500. It seems crazy to me.. it's just a 4x4 tour?

Anyways, any good alternatives?

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

I'm not aware of any alternatives.

I assume Turnstone have had people not turn up and therefore made a loss.

They are popular so could fill the few seats if they have notice of cancellation, but not if people don't turn up. So they need some incentive for people to appear.

Travel Insurance (at least as I understand it) covers you for unforeseen changes to your plans. It should pay out your $2500 if you can't make it.

What if a volcano erupts and delays you for a week? Will all your hotels and tours refund you?

Why should small operators like Turnstone take the risk that people from Europe of North America will turn up when there have been many transport delays in the past. They are not big enough to carry the risk.

Hermanus, South...
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2. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

Turnstone are absolutely the best. They will not rip you off. Kate runs an excellent ship there. All tour companies and operators have cancellation policies because believe It or not you get people that make bookings and then just don't bother to turn up, which means a big loss for us. If you miss for a genuine reason very few people won't refund you.

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

I used Turnstone two years ago and they did an outstanding job on the Sandwich Harbour Tour. I agree with the others that their policy is not unreasonable and that travel insurance would cover the loss for some of the issues you mention.

Swakopmund
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4. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

Turnstone is definatley by far the best company to use for a Sandwich Harbour tour!

you will not be sorry to do this tour!

Market Bosworth...
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5. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

We used them for another tour and they were brilliant!

At the end of the day it might be <<just a 4x4 tour>> to you but to them it is their business, and if you don't turn up for what ever reason they run the risk of losing money (not a business model that makes any commercial sense!).

Imho it is you that is making 'unreasonable' requests by expecting not to pay their reasonable terms, hotels etc make the same request why not them.

Your call but it would be your loss not to book the tour.

Windhoek
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6. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

There is also always Sandwich Harbour 4x4, based in Walvisbay. This is pretty much the sole focus of their business. But I agree with the others that the operators must be cautious with payment terms, as there is no way to recover costs if you have a no-show

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

hotels have no such terms, i have never prepaid for a hotel room or paid a deposit in my life and i've stayed at hundreds. a no show is a no show, it doesn't -cost- a tour operator if i don't show up, it just costs them potential revenue if they can't fill my spot. but there is no up front out of pocket expense for my booking.

Stanley, Falkland...
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8. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

Many hotels have 'bargain' rates which are prepaid and non-refundable. Just because you haven't come across them doesn't mean they don't exist. ....

"Only available online for selected nights at all hotels and subject to availability at time of booking.

* Non-refundable, non transferable."

The above paragraph is from the Travelodge site - a large chain of budget hotels in the UK. Maybe things are different in North AMerica. Similarly with flights - there are many airlines in europe that only sell non-refundable tickets.

If you don't turn up, that's maybe 50% of their revenue lost that day. Unsustainable. But why not try the other operator senseof africa mentions?

Market Bosworth...
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9. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

<<hotels have no such terms>> Complete rubbish! Many do for the same reason as tour companies do.

Yes there is no cost to you not showing up but there is the lost revenue as they may not fill that space/room. I go back to my original thought they are a commercial organisation that makes a profit and is run to do so not a charity that is there to help you if you feel like turning up...

I would try another firm as others have suggested and I hope you find what you are looking for

Edited: 14 October 2011, 18:43
Isle of Man, United...
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10. Re: Best company for Sandwich Harbor tour?

James.

Sadly you are incorrect. A 'no show' is lost revenue, staff not working that day but expecting rightly to be paid. In business parlance it is an opportunity cost charge.

Are you suggesting that Booking a Theatre ticket does not require payment up front and no refund if on the evening you find somewhere else to go?

As for Hotels, I don't know which you use but most that I stay at, here in Europe and in the Land of the Free over there, all require your CC details with the booking to guarantee your room. No show and they take the first nights charges.

But if you are unhappy with Turnstone's T&C don't book it. Just turn up on the day. I am sure they will have spare capacity ready and waiting!