These guys weren't just incompetent and dishonest--though they certainly were that--but, as I'll describe below, they almost got my wife and me killed.
The agent we dealt with was Mahinder Kumar--"Manu," as he told us to call him. We spent four hours with him, planning every detail of a two-month itinerary for our honeymoon: hotels, trains, and where trains were impractical, drivers. We checked and rechecked all the prices together. Then, later, he not once but twice claimed he'd made a mistake and that we owed him more money. We gave in the first time, but not the second. (We knew we hadn't made a mistake, and it didn't help when he changed his story, first claiming that the problem was with the hotels he'd booked, and then, when we produced our notes of that four-hour conversation and pressed him for details, saying that it was actually the cost of the drivers that he'd gotten wrong.) At that point he tried to extort us, making very clear that if we didn't give him the extra money, one of the drivers we'd already paid for to help us make a tight connection between two different train stations wouldn't be there. (And the driver wasn't there, but we found a cab right away; we missed the train, however, and would have missed it even if Manu had provided the driver we'd paid for, because the drive took longer than the time between the trains he'd booked.) When we were arguing about his demand for more money, he said that he'd made an honest mistake and that if we wanted, he'd refund all our money and we could find another travel agent. Yes, we said, that was what we wanted. He refused to refund our money.
So, since we'd paid for the things he'd booked, we used them, or most of them--but a hotel he'd gotten for us in Udaipur was pretty typical of his offerings: loud, dirty, no hot water, and the rain came in through the leaking windows. I won't bore you with every detail of everything that went wrong, but the last straw was a driver he provided for us in the Himalayas. This guy was erratic from the start--which would have been scary anywhere, but was very, very scary on those winding mountain roads, where there was often a thousand-foot cliff next to us. We should have made him stop the car and gotten out, but we didn't like the idea of being stranded in the middle of the mountains with our packs. After a few hours, however--on a relatively straight section of road--the driver simply lost control of the car and ran off the road; fortunately driving into the mountain to our left rather than off the cliff to our right. He'd been reaching for something in the drivers' side door when he lost control, and while he tried to push the car out of the ditch it ended up in, we took a look. That something turned out to be a half-empty bottle of whiskey.
We called Manu and told him what had happened. He said he doubted the driver was drunk, and his advice was to get back in the wrecked car, with the same driver, and ask him to drive to the nearest hospital and take a breathalizer test. No, we said, we didn't think we'd do that. Instead, we told Manu that he needed to find us a different car, with a sober driver. "That's not my responsibility," was his answer. So, thirteen kilometers from the nearest town and with all our bags, we started walking.
Manu isn't the only crook at Primero. When we eventually got back to New Delhi, we went into the office to demand a refund. Manu wasn't there, but the "director" of the place, Rajan Tahim, was. He refused to give us even a partial refund--not for the drunk driver his company provided us, not for the expensive cab we eventually had to hire after we managed to hitch to a town, and not for the driver we paid for who didn't even show up.
It's good to think that these guys live in the land of karma; but karma's workings can be slow. In the meantime, my advice to you is, avoid Primero Travel & Tours!