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Pissed off

Due to this virus. Show som compassion

User's recommendation: Dont buy tickets and dont go to disneyland.

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ID
#1845491 Review #1845491 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
New Reviewer

Tour cancelled by Travel Brands of Canada

“The mouse that ate the elephant”- Travel Brands now swallowing dream vacations Do you like travelling for pleasure, vacation, adventure, and cultural experiences etc.? Or was your dream vacation ‘swallowed’ by a fat mouse with symptoms of indigestion? If your answer is yes to either question, you may want to read this story. It is about our Italy tour swallowed by the Travel Brands (TB) which clearly stated in the brochure, “...Tours are guaranteed to depart with a minimum of two people traveling together.” We had a booking of a party of four people since May 2015. The story of the Three Brothers who founded the Travel Brands in 2013 (incidentally both TBs) is not only that of “The mouse that ate the elephant,” as quoted on the website but now in 2015, the same mouse is seemingly having financial trouble, unable to stomach the elephant for too long. The Three Brothers claim to have come full circle when they acquired the entire Thomas Cook Canada in 2013 and created a new ‘super distribution’ model with a total of 15 retail and wholesale brands. These include the likes of Sunquest, Holiday House, Alba Tours, and their original company, Belair Travel. Unfortunately, the mouse, who tried to digest the elephant little too fast but could not, is now facing a court supervised financial reorganization with uncertainty and protection from its creditors. I have no understanding of the legal implications of such “bankruptcy” type proceedings in Canada. Our vacation dream is swallowed by this “mouse” and my goal is to forewarn many others who may be in a similar situation or are in the wings for doing business with the TBs. In my experience the story of TBs suggests a steep but unsustainable “rise” by the mouse in 2013 who may be finding itself in an equally steep “fall” In 2015. The Court has appointed KPMG as the “watchdog” agency (Monitor) during CCAA (Companies Creditors Arrangement Act) proceedings of the TBs. The CCAA is a federal law allowing insolvent corporations that owe their creditors in excess of $5 million to restructure their business and financial affairs. According to the report prepared by KPMG and submitted in the court, an example of the losses of about $4.5 million in 2014 are attributed to the underperformance of Alba Tours and Encore Cruise. These losses are expected to grow to $11.6 million in FY 2015. However, the Alba Tours continue to do business as usual. It is not clear why the court did not question the continuation of business or halted business completely by the financially troubled Alba Tours. It is also not clear how well KPMG did its due diligence and informed the court. The consumers would never know the motives of either of the TBs- a wishful ‘hope’ for recovering the losses or creating a ‘despair’ for the travelers? For us it is the latter because we trusted the written statements and promises like, ‘Number one priority is providing a vacation experience that you will treasure always,” and ‘Commitment to customers- to be completely satisfied with products/services.” More importantly, we were told verbally by the booking agent that Alba Tours never cancelled a tour. I now understand that the written and verbal assurances by TB (the company) on behalf of TB (the brothers) were no more than what was meant to be swallowed by the mouse who once ate the elephant. I wish I had not taken everything on its face value but the hindsight is always 20/20. In the big picture our dream vacation is not only swallowed by this mouse, we are facing significant losses which TBs are not willing to compensate for. I have communicated with the Three Brothers directly with no resolution. We will go ahead with our vacation dream and not let the TBs have the pleasure of writing their next story of the mouse swallowing our vacation and creating “despair” for its dream vacationers like us. We plan to travel on our own because our tickets are already booked and will continue our fight with TBs in the court of public opinion and other avenues. We know that if all else fails we must “stomach” our losses to save our dream vacation. What is unfortunate and troubling in all of this is that the TBs, proudly portraying, “A driving force in the Canadian travel industry” appear to be in the state of desperation, despair, and possible demise. The intent of this story is to forewarn the future vacationers to be wary of any mouse that claims to have eaten an elephant- it is “too big” to be true. I am an avid traveler but this experience gave me some humbling thoughts about the TBs; avoid doing business with TB at least until their fate is decided by the court. I know I will never do it again. If you already have something in the works with them, consider getting out it if you can before being swallowed by the financially ailing mouse. Lastly, please question every statement you read or hear which, I know, appears counter to our good practices of doing business in good faith. The TBs, in my experience, have crossed what could be a business in good faith with trust. Finally, if you have a story of your dream vacation shattered and swallowed, let others know so we all learn lessons. We must not let anyone be victimized of possible unethical and inappropriate practices by the mouse with indigestion or a travel agency with ‘big’ words but ‘little’ to deliver. Let us wish the TBs a happy ending in their battle for financial reorganization while we exercise caution in saving our dream vacation from falling prey to the ailing mouse.
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2 comments
#1836347

I used to work for this company when it was The Holiday Network, I worked in the Holiday House division for 13 years until I was let go when the 3 stooges made an appearance. They changed their name to "Travelbrands" because they weren't paying agents their commissions...when TC took over I complained about our pay (a 50ct raise in 7 years?...they value their employees about as much as they do their customers) I feel sorry for you and when the 3 brothers took over things got much worse for consumers and employees.

I was proud of selling and putting together vacations to make peoples' dreams come through and no matter what I did people were getting their dreams crushed that was beyond my control....the mouse that ate the elephant is a good example....maybe "too big for their britches" as well? I feel sorry for anyone who deals with them.

#1837010
@PissedConsumer1836347

Thank you for your comment. Perhaps three brothers are real stooges.

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ID
#695295 Review #695295 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Ontario, Canada
Reason of review
Problem with delivery
Loss
$4000
Preferred solution
Full refund

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