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Gate 1 Travel- Horrible Customer Service

Gate 1 Travel is absolutely, positively the worst travel company for customer service. I booked an independent tour to Paris earlier this summer for my 70th Birthday. When we arrived at our hotel, the room was extremely warm. After dinner, upon returning to the room, the inside temperature was over 90 degrees. The Front Desk told me the air conditioning was not working. I asked for a fan and they gave me a space heater. I then decided to cancel the hotel reservation and leave the hotel prior to staying the first night. The hotel told me to contact
Gate 1 for a refund and was fully aware we did not stay one night at the property because of the extreme heat with no air conditioning. We booked and paid for another hotel for our entire stay in Paris. Upon our return I contacted Gate 1 and requested a refund. I got no response. I contacted the Better Business Bureau for help. I then contacted the Gate 1 Service Vice President. She refused to discuss my issue because I had contacted the Better Business Bureau. She was rude, insulting and refused to discuss the issue. I wrote a certified letter to the Gate 1 Senior Vice President who refused to issue a refund as she claimed the hotel denied we left the property! She reported the hotel claimed we stayed the entire time! She requested “Documentation to prove I did not stay at the hotel”. I sent her a copy of the bill from my alternative hotel. Upon receipt she refused the refund, again asking for “Documentation” before she would consider anything. Gate 1 Travel failed to meet their fiduciary responsibility as agent for this hotel. Traveling to a foreign country one expects some level of support from the travel agency that booked your complete trip. Gate 1 does not.

Posted by
12504 posts

The hotel told me to contact Gate 1 for a refund....

Your issue was moving hotels BEFORE contacting Gate 1. As clearly stated in their "Terms and Conditions":

Gate 1 Travel is not obliged to guarantee promises (written or verbal) made by local hotel staff, tour guides, or any other persons not under direct employment of Gate 1 Travel.

You should have contacted Gate 1's 24-hour number with your problem when it occurred instead of after the fact. And yes, you could have done that even at 10:00 in the evening (per your complaint on your TA post).

Phone | 24 hour emergency assistance
From USA & Canada: 1-800-682-3333 or 1-215-572-7676
From Overseas: 001-215-572-7676
Fax: 215-886-2228

Posted by
2 posts

Looks like Gate 1 Travel has dreamed up another excuse for not refunding a legal and honorable request for travel services I paid for but did not receive. My original post makes a complete explanation of the issue. I've already been called a liar by the Vice President of Service and by the Senior Vice President. Certified letters and the Better Business Bureau do not work for dealing with this unethical travel company. Bottom line, cheap prices, poor service throughout the process and unimaginable response if you have any problem whatsoever. Do not use this company.

Posted by
12504 posts

Looks like Gate 1 Travel has dreamed up another excuse for not
refunding a legal and honorable request for travel services I paid for
but did not receive

No, it was clearly explained in the Terms and Conditions (see quote above) that you needed to deal directly with Gate 1 and not the hotel in this matter. You needed to do it at the time the issue occurred so G1 could confirm with the hotel that advertised air (are you sure this hotel even had air?) was not functioning, that they did not offer you a fan, and then relocate you to a comparable accommodation. The hotel was not the authority where assurances of a refund were concerned. Again, read the Terms and Conditions.

About the fan: there are fans that operate both as space heaters and coolers/circulators, depending on how they are set. The "heater" you were offered may well have been one of these.

Anyway, you "you did not receive" said services because you chose not to, not because Gate 1 denied you a different accommodation. They were not told of the problem and given the opportunity to fix it when it occurred. At the very least you could have contacted them the NEXT DAY and not when you got home.

Posted by
2916 posts

Gate 1 Travel is not obliged to guarantee promises (written or verbal) made by local hotel staff, tour guides, or any other persons not under direct employment of Gate 1 Travel.

That doesn't apply here. Nevertheless, I think the OP should have contacted Gate 1 at the time.

Posted by
2292 posts

I'm sorry this happened to you, especially since it was your 70th birthday celebration.

Is there a reason why didn't you contact Gate 1 as soon as you knew the AC wasn't working? If you have a complaint, complain to whoever took your money.

Your experience is a perfect example of why I do everything possible to never, never book anything through a third party.

Posted by
12504 posts

I think it does apply to at least part of the breakdown as the OP appears to think that because the hotel told them to deal with Gate 1 for the refund, that a refund would simply be forthcoming regardless of when/under what conditions that refund was filed.

Nothing upsets a business more than not being given the opportunity to fix a problem when it happens versus long after the fact + having their reputation smeared all over the net. The OP is upset because they've allegedly been "called a liar" but in the same turn is accusing the hotel of falsifying facts. Who is Gate 1 supposed to believe? This whole mess could probably have been avoided if G1 had been contacted at the time and been able to speak with BOTH parties present.

This is, of course, assuming the property was equipped with air to begin with and it was indeed not functioning. Not 100% sure there might not have been some language confusion there? Gate 1 is a budget operator and they even state in "Terms and Conditions" that, "Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States. Many European and Canadian hotels were built before central air-conditioning was introduced." We don't know what hotel this was and if it was equipped with the central air that Americans often just assume they'll have.

Paris is a wonderful city, though. Other than this snag with the hotel, I do hope you otherwise had a lovely birthday trip.

Posted by
6719 posts

You should have contacted Gate 1 at the time of the problem, not after you've resolved it your own way with zero input from them. Every business has the right to try to correct a bad situation and make you whole. You chose the "I'm going to fix it and then I'm going to flame them" route, at your own peril. Once you start flaming a business online, what incentive do they have to work with you? Think about it...it comes down to the Golden Rule (as many issues typically do).

Posted by
2292 posts

Nothing upsets a business more than not being given the opportunity to fix a problem when it happens versus long after the fact + having their reputation smeared all over the net.

Well said, Kathy!

Posted by
8248 posts

Well, I see Duane has posted 5 times on the Gate 1 Travel thread over on Trip Advisor's Bargain Travel Forum, 2 of the posts look to be exact copies of this one.

To the OP, sorry your trip was not as you envisioned. It's a hard, expensive lesson on dealing with travel companies.

I'm curious though...so this was just lodging and airfare provided by Gate 1? No tour component? Was it a lot cheaper to do it this way rather than say...getting the Rick Steves Paris guidebook and booking one of the hotels listed there directly?

Posted by
7922 posts

duane, I’m sorry this happened.

Would you be willing to share what hotel it was? I would like to avoid it.

Posted by
12504 posts

Susan, sorry but I'm not sure the hotel is at fault.

Posted by
25768 posts

I don't think duane - clearly wants the world to know who he is by including the whole name - will be back. Came here for support - didn't get any - everybody told him, rightly, that it was his fault. No, I don't think we will hear from him again.

I think the answer is in the title. "Horrible Customer Service" - is code for "I broke the rules and they won't pay me so I'm mad".

This is a good example for our other readers of what is the best way to deal with a problem.