More expected from high-price trek holiday

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 March, 2000, 12:00am

We write in response to Peter Lavac's letter headlined, 'Adventure trips should be tough' (South China Morning Post, February 12).

We were the two individuals who sued the travel company in question.

We were delighted that Mr Lavac was 'amused' by the circumstances that led us to receive a substantial refund.

Mr Lavac infers that we should be Olympians, rampaging through life and the Himalayas, presumably fortified by a diet of yak butter tea and anabolic steroids.

We didn't 'expect the Ritz'.

Yet the blunt fact is that we paid in the region of $1,800 per day for a 13-day trip. That sounds like a 'Ritz' price. Are we not entitled to value for money because it is an 'adventure'? This was a premium priced tour, well above that of comparable tours. We were driven approximately 128km on the first day from Kathmandu to very high altitude at Nyalam.

The travel company's written defence was, 'clients were encouraged to walk, but claimants refused'; 128km in one day, in the high Himalayas. No sensible person could be expected to accept this challenge.

We were not climbing Everest, or travelling to the Moon. This was not a pioneering voyage of discovery. We were tourists, who just wanted a fair deal and are affluent enough to pay top dollar for the very best.

When, frozen and ill, we left the campsite at 4,390 metres and adjourned to the same warm and comfy hostel as the drivers, the travel company refused to pay the sum of US$10 for a room. Trekking in the Himalayas costs between US$10 to US$20 per day if organised by one's self. We were paying a flat US$225 per day each.

All Hong Kongers who are dissatisfied with goods or services should hurry to the Small Claims Court. It is a simple process and people should not feel intimidated. Until we summoned our travel company to court it had made no attempt in the six months to answer a single point in our claim.

Yes, Mr Lavac, we agree that suffering does breed character: though we would add, not necessarily good character, just plenty of it.




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