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Warn others about Marmara Tours Scam

I just wanted to warn you about Attila Kilinc, the owner of Marmara Tours.

We paid him 30% up front contingent that we would be refunded if we didn't end up going to Turkey for any reason (it's covid times so things change and quite suddenly). He agreed to this:
IN CASE OF PORT CANCELATION OR DEVIATION DUE TO PANDEMIC AND OR ANY INCONVENIENCE WILL BE CONSIDERED AS “FORCE MAJEURE” AND CLIENTS WILL BE REFUNDED IN FULL!

Attila mistakenly doubled charged us for the deposit and tried to negotiate keeping the additional 30%, though ended up refunding us. This should have been a red flag!

We paid the full balance at 60 days out and even paid for an additional day and 2 additional people (making it a group of 8 rather than 6).

At 10 days out, I informed him that our cruise ship cancelled the Turkey ports and he agreed to a refund. A few days later in the middle of my cruise, he messaged me to say he is refusing the refund because 1) of rumours that our cruise ship is too cheap to pay for the gas to Turkey (though we sailed close to Turkey), and 2) it was unfair because they didn't have much business. I felt his pain and it truly was unfair to everyone, but it's covid times, and very unprofessional that he is refusing to honour a refund for a policy that he clearly has.

Luckily we paid with a credit card that allows us to file a Regulation E claim, but I wanted to warn others. Even looking at his website, there are no links to Trip Advisor like other guides have.

Posted by
26064 posts

what does the fact that they don't advertise TripAdvisor have to do with your issue?

Posted by
8 posts

You’re right. It doesn’t have anything to do with the bad experience. Just thinking about potential red flags after the fact.

Posted by
2102 posts

When hiring guides we try to use 1) Rick recommended, 2) Tours by locals.com, or 3 recommendations from people we know and trust.

Posted by
3541 posts

Looks like this would have been an instance where signing up for a shore excursion through the cruise line would have saved you a great deal of grief.

I do understand your sense of outrage. I had this happen to me a few times at the beginning of the pandemic where places that I had purchased "free cancellation" tours were no longer giving refunds. I felt that this was not living up to the agreement. Time went on, and I learned to accept things as they were and get on with the other parts of my life.

The pleasant surprise was when both of these companies later reached out to me with credits and vouchers when I thought I was going to get nothing. It turned out that I could actually use these going forward and I felt a lot better about what had happened and these companies.

Posted by
8 posts

I found this guide in Rick Steve’s Turkey suggestions, which is why I’m shocked he is not honoring his own T&Cs.

That’s nice that other companies have offered vouchers. Even if this person would offer one, I would prefer to go with someone more professional. I will never prepay again either.