Monday, June 07, 2010

Thomas Cook Ready to Overcook your Trip

Wanted to write about Thomas cook last month itself when we suffered a lot from this travel agency. The only mistake we did was we trusted them as good travel agency and applied for the Singapore tourist visas. Lemme narrate it chronologically:
When I went to them for the first time they said yes they process the visa and very much experienced in it. It will take maximum a week to get it done. As per them we have to apply within a month of travel to Singapore as per the Singapore tourist visa rules. So I decided to apply 1 month within the travel dates and asked the agent fee plus all the required documents. He told me the docs and promised me to email the visa form to fill up.
Week 1: I returned from there after that and got involved in arranging all the requested docs. The travel agent could email me the docs after 3 days when I kept on reminding him twice a day over the phone. Anyways, I ignored it as anyhow I was busy in arranging docs. Finally on 6th day I went to Thomas cook office, madhapur, Hyderabad and found that guy was on leave. His colleagues asked me to come on Monday.
Week 2: I went on Monday again found him absent on Monday as well. Afrer another 2 days of struggle finally i could catch him in office. He looked at the docs and told me few corrections in 1-2 docs. I returned and took a day and went to office again. The travel agent was absent for some unknown period of time. One of his colleague told me that I can give the doc to him and he will handover. I thought it is fine and asked him to verify throughly. He did the same and wrote on my receipt as "docs verified" and signed it. He said he will send it that day itself and I should get it within 5 days.
Week 3: I spend the whole week with assurance in mind that I should get it by Saturday. On Saturday evening around 6 pm I got a call from Thomas cook office which I could not receive. At night when I saw the missed call I thought they would have called me to pick the visas. I thought of doing it on Monday.
Week 4: Monday morning at 10 am I called them to ask if I can come and they shocked me saying docs are not complete and they need marriage certificate and photos with Matt finish. That's just crap I bursted on them that you don't know even that basic requirements and said me a week ago that all is fine. The most annoying response was Singapore embassy keeps on changing requirements so it's not their fault. I asked show me anywhere that marriage certificate and photo quality requirement change even in last 6 months for which he had no answer. I went to their office and told them be sure again as I don't have that much time left to arrange some more docs if you will come back to me saying some more docs are still needed. Another foolish response from the agent was we can return your fee we took for processing the visa. I asked if that is what they work for and matters to me? For which he was again answerless. I spend one more day getting the marriage certificate and desired type of photos and gave him crossing my fingers.
Week 5 (final week when we had to travel): on Monday I got a call that visas are in the office and I can collect them. I went to their office and found that guy is sure that docs are there but no idea where they are kept. He searched for half and hour and could not find. I decided to talk to the manager of hitch branch and with his intervention they finally traced a person who kept the docs in a locker and having keys with him. The person came to office in an hour and handed me the docs. I opened the docs for the verification and found that only my wife's passport has e-visa attached to it. Mine was missing. And i got the same annoying response that they have no idea and will find from their chennai office. They asked me to go back and they will get back to me. I thought that's a bad idea keeping I have just 4 days in hand. I waited there for things to progress. After wasting my half day there one of the chennai guys told me that he will give me a call in an hour. Since hyderabad office had no role to play so I decided to go back to office. After an hour I gave a call to them and in another 3-4 back and forth calls they emailed me my e-visa.
That's simply horrible and I would have loose a lot of money if I would have delayed my visa process even by a week. The best thing that happened in the entire process was I did not trust them to process it I a week and applied it 5 weeks earlier. Must say never go to Thomas cook for any sort of visa processing or travel arrangements. They almost burned our plans while cooking it.

Update 1: Thomas cook customer care replied me that they cannot view external web posts etc. so I just copy pasted it to the email.


  1. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Anonymous2:32 PM

    Very true. Good I read it at least now.

  3. Anonymous10:59 PM

    Really helpful. Thank You!