my partner and myself won a holiday through angling direct to fish for several days in Thailand, it was advertised as the lure and fly fishing package, but the itinerary was changed a little and we were to have the pleasure of having Jean Francios Helias as our guide for the week, happydays.
On arrival to our hotel (the Chitichic) we were a little shocked and quite disappointed, this hotel is in a real slummy part of Bangkok, and the frontage of the hotel made it fit right in.
the internals of the hotel weren't much better, 10 years ago it may have been all its listed to be by sportsquest, unfortunately i cant show the photos I've taken on this review, although i have listed them on trip advisor.
Regarding the fishing:
on day 1 and 2 the fishing was good, Francois joined us at the venues but never spent a single moment on the bank with us, he never offered us advice, he just had better things to do like sit on his laptop, doing emails and watching videos, or leaving us completely to go and do some shopping for a few hours, were wasn't quite sure why he even came with us to be honest, but we just kept on fishing, watched over by keyk (excuse the spelling) his employee, who was a very nice guy, but very limited English.
at the end of day 2 i had a small issue that i needed to clear up with Francois regarding the venues, he got very annoyed and wouldn't let me speak, and that was the last were saw of him, he abandoned us for the rest of the trip, but rang me on the last day to see if we were OK, like nothing had happened, very very odd and unprofessional.
the reason Francois spat his dummy out was due to the fact that keyk had told us that the next days fishing venue was very poor, the next day turned out to be a 50mx50m fish farm holding pond in the middle of hundreds of other fish farm ponds, embarrassing to say the least, i refused to fish this puddle.
it was a shame that either sportquest or Thailand fishing adventures find sending people to such locations as acceptable, but after talking to peter at sports quest its "the norm" apparently.
On my arrival back to the UK i brought up all these issues with peter (the owner of sportsquest) and he was very not my fault about the whole situation, its angling directs fault, which it wasn't at all, i actually recorded the conversation with him and forwarded it to angling direct, they have smoothed out the whole event with me, but I've not heard a thing back after my conversation or the email sent to peter, that was over a month ago.
I really wish we hadn't had to go through this experience, but we did.
Reply from Sportquest Holidays
Thank you for your customer review and also you e-mails. I am not sure why you did not think that we would not share your customer review for ALL of our customers reviews are shared on our website regardless if they are good, bad or indifferent.
I believe we have been through the points before in various e-mails and a telephone conversation. I would also just like to point out that recording a telephone conversation and then passing a copy of that telephone conversation on to a third party without the person being recorded consent is illegal.
As discussed this holiday was one of many holiday prizes supplied to Angling Direct for their “King of the catch” competition. This prize was a bespoke trip designed for lure anglers as it was to be offered to the winner of the predator category. Unfortunately in the competition details Angling Direct accidently put a link to the wrong tour on our website, which gave you the impression that you had won a different holiday.
Also as discussed you contacted Jean Francios Helias directly without our knowledge and changed the itinerary with him before you departed for Thailand.
In relation to the accommodation, again please remember this accommodation is used as this trip is put together for anglers as a fishing trip. Also the location is again based on anglers, it is close to Jean Francios Helias house. Anyone who knows or has experienced the traffic in Bangkok will know there are certain areas you do not want to be caught up in traffic and end up wasting fishing time. It’s a shame there were some issues with your room, as this hotel has not let us down before or any of our customers. I did check the hotel myself on Trip advisor to check other people’s reviews and in principle it is still getting good reviews.
I think the real shame about this situation is we never got to speak to you before you won the prize. In normal circumstances we speak to all customers to gage what their expectations are and what they are looking for in a holiday. I have reviewed all your 22 reviews on Tripadvisor and from our telephone discussions we would have never recommended this holiday to you as we can see from the reviews and your comments about fishing this was not really suitable.
However when holidays like these are purchased as competition prizes we do not have that control and say in whom the holiday is awarded to.
As previously mentioned we are sorry that the holiday did not live up to your expectations but as mentioned, these elements where totally out of your control.