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Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

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Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

I hired a 4x4 Hilux from this company for 3 weeks in September 2011. The truck was to be used in part of a geophysical research experiment being conducted in and around the Maun area. As part of the experiment, we would be driving the truck on dirt/sand/gravel roads through the bush. We were informed during the rental process that general wear and tear, minor bush scratching, etc., was expected and perfectly acceptable.

Through daily use for 3 weeks in these conditions over approximately 5,000 km of driving, the vehicle acquired the aforementioned wear and tear, 6 flat tires, and a minor dent in the front plastic bumper.

All four of the trucks original tires, and both spares that were provided with the truck had blowouts within the first week due to being old, worn, used tires. At least one of the tires used an inner tube to support a tire with glaring sidewall damage that had been hidden on the vehicle-side of the tire.

We purchased 4 new tires for the truck out of our own pocket, and never had another flat tire for the remaining two weeks of the rental.

When the vehicle was returned, the agent collecting the truck made no remark about issues with the wear & tear or bush scratches, and seemed genuinely pleased with the condition of the truck, aside from the minor dent in the front plastic bumper.

One week later, the day before we were leaving Maun to head into Zambia, I discovered that Travel Adventures had charged my credit card nearly $2,500 US Dollars without my knowledge or consent. They had sent me emails with quotations for repainting the vehicle and for replacing the front plastic bumper, the side mirrors, and the snorkel, but at no time called my local cell number even though they knew I had limited internet access and had not acknowledged their correspondence. They had arranged our lodging during this period, and did not attempt to contact the lodge to reach us, even though the lodge is located only 5 minutes from their repair shop.

When I discussed the charges with the company, the manager was extremely rude and confrontational, accusing me of reckless and negligent driving. I attempted to negotiate a minor reimbursement for the purchase of the new tires, and the manager blamed my driving abilities as opposed to the condition of the original tires. When I remarked that we had no new flats after replacing the tires, I was told that I should have kept the original, ruined tires as they have some value and are now mine.

I should also mention that during this project we also rented two Hiluxes from Bushlore of South Africa for a period of 6.5 weeks. We drove them through the same conditions and more, had no similar tire issues, and upon returning the vehicles were only charged a nominal cleaning fee with some minor repair fees for bumper dents, totaling approximately $500 US Dollars.

Travel Adventures Botswana will rip off foreign customers without hesitation. BE WARNED.

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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Mfuwe
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944 posts
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1. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

Just wondering what has transpired since your post.

Texas
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2. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

We have had good experience with Bushlore also on camping trips through Zambia, Botswana, and Namibia.

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Namibia
Namibia
Africa
Maun
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3. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

Hi, I am the owner of the campsite that Gypsy19 stayed at in Maun and I saw the condition of the vehicle both before and after their hire. I cannot comment on the tyre issue or any discussions between the two parties but I would in no way describe the condition of the vehicle as normal wear and tare! The car was heavly scratched and plastics badly damaged. Yes I do get business from travel adventures but I don't think any rental car company would have accepted the condition that I saw the car in.

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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
niceville
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4. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

I own a booking agency in the USA and have done business with Clint Gielink (the owner of Travel Adventures Botswana) since 1996 and have found him to be one of the most conscientious and fair men I have ever done business with. I have had nothing but very positive feedback from every customer I have sent to him.

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5. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

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Maun, Botswana
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6. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

Hi Luangwa, my company uses Travel Adventures and when this appeared on Tripadvisor I was obviously concerned and contacted Clint.

He was actively involved in the above mentioned incident and send me photos of the mentioned vehicle and assured me that they contacted the client and got acknowledgement of the receipt of correspondence but no replies.

I have to say that if it was your vehicles and your terms and conditions before renting a vehicle states that you are liable for such damage you would have done the same.

Anton (Dumela Maun)

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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Maun
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7. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

TRAVEL ADVENTURES RESPONSE BELOW :

We have photographic evidence of all the damage .

REPORT :I ( Client A) hired a 4x4 Hilux from this company for 3 weeks in September 2011. The truck was to be used in part of a geophysical research experiment being conducted in and around the Maun area. As part of the experiment, we would be driving the truck on dirt/sand/gravel roads through the bush. We were informed during the rental process that general wear and tear, minor bush scratching, etc., was expected and perfectly acceptable.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES :

This is untrue as our terms and conditions specifically state that negligent damage is not covered by any insurance . The (client A) signed this contract a copy is available on request and also on our website .

The photos of the damage clearly depict the damage and the clients comment of “minor bush scratching “ is untrue .

REPORT : Through daily use for 3 weeks in these conditions over approximately 5,000 km of driving, the vehicle acquired the aforementioned wear and tear, 6 flat tires, and a minor dent in the front plastic bumper.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES : The vehicle did 6728km.

REPORT: All four of the trucks original tires, and both spares that were provided with the truck had blowouts within the first week due to being old, worn, used tires. At least one of the tires used an inner tube to support a tire with glaring sidewall damage that had been hidden on the vehicle-side of the tire.

We purchased 4 new tires for the truck out of our own pocket, and never had another flat tire for the remaining two weeks of the rental.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES :These statements are untrue .

A large part of our service is the thorough handover we do before departure of the vehicle, road conditions and the equipment . The entire vehicle is unpacked and we go through the process step by step .

If the tyres were of a poor quality ( client A) would have noted it at the time of the handover but this was not done as the tyres were in perfect condition at the time of departure and had done a total distance of 42583km /26401miles .

Our terms and conditions ( refer to repairs and mechanical failures ) clearly state that any expense over P1000-00 / US$150-00 must be authorised by Travel Adventures . Four new tyres for a 4x4 would have cost in excess of US$1000 . The vehicles are supplied with complimentary satellite phones and calls to us are free of charge . We at no time were advised by the client that he was having tyre trouble and did not contact us for authorisation to approve the purchase of new tyres . When handing the vehicle back to us he did not mention the new tyres nor did he claim this expense . To date we have not been given the invoice for these new Tyres by ( Client A). (Client A) at no time during the rental made any contact to us by email or phone requesting compensation for the “supposed” replacement tyres .

The vehicle had been driven off road through extremely thick bush judging by the damage to the hard plastic snorkel , paint work and front bumper .(Refer to Terms & Conditions Road Restrictions) .

3000km / 1800 miles after this rental the next client ( client B) complained of punctured tyres and at this stage we fitted 4x brand new tyres from a supplier in Kasane .(Client B) had driven on the tar road from Maun to Shakawe through the Caprivi and to Kasane and could not have damaged the tyres to the extent that they needed to be replaced all within 3000km/1860 miles from the last rental . Due to ( Client A) reckless off road driving the tyres were riddled with thorns and we had to replace the tyres at our own cost .

We have a copy of the invoice and payment for the new tyres and a letter from the supplier stating that the Tyres were fitted to the vehicle on set date and time and that they were replaced due to the original tyres being riddled with thorns.

Our Terms and Conditions ( Insurance –clause 5) state that “the client is liable for any damage or destruction including tyres “ . Despite this clause and the fact that the tyres were replaced at our expense (Client A ) was not billed for new tyres despite the fact that they had to be replaced due to his negligence 3000km later . Judging by the scratches to the vehicle one can imagine what would happen to tyres after this type of treatment . 3000km later they were replaced at no cost to ( Client A).

REPORT:

When the vehicle was returned, the agent collecting the truck made no remark about issues with the wear & tear or bush scratches, and seemed genuinely pleased with the condition of the truck, aside from the minor dent in the front plastic bumper.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES : Our staff are extremely polite would not comment on the state of a vehicle at the time of receiving it. He advised us that he was shocked at the state of vehicle and on arrival at the office he immediately informed us of the damage. The agent is prepared to make an affidavit to the affect that on that date and time he said no such thing to (Client A).

REPORT :One week later, the day before we were leaving Maun to head into Zambia, I discovered that Travel Adventures had charged my credit card nearly $2,500 US Dollars without my knowledge or consent. They had sent me emails with quotations for repainting the vehicle and for replacing the front plastic bumper, the side mirrors, and the snorkel, but at no time called my local cell number even though they knew I had limited internet access and had not acknowledged their correspondence.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES :This comment is untrue we have correspondence from (Client A) stating that he was out of cell phone range and could not be contacted . Our emails to him and his note to us states that he was unavailable . (Client A) acknowledges our correspondence but denies having been contacted by our office ?

Our emails to him state clearly that we were informing him of the payments due and we included copies of the suppliers invoices .

By agreeing to our terms and conditions the client had consented to us debiting his credit card for negligent damages to the vehicle. Subsequently (Client A) reported to his bank that we had charged his card without authorisation . We provided full disclosure of all documentation to the bank and they approved the transaction .

The client was billed for : replacement front bumper ,replacement snorkel,resprayand replacement front wing mirrors. Travel Adventures replaced the tyres 3000km later .

REPORT : They had arranged our lodging during this period, and did not attempt to contact the lodge to reach us, even though the lodge is located only 5 minutes from their repair shop.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES :All our correspondence with ( Client A) had been by email and we responded as such .We emailed him to inform him of the damages and also tried to contact him by his mobile phone as per our email to him.

REPORT :When I discussed the charges with the company, the manager was extremely rude and confrontational, accusing me of reckless and negligent driving.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES :We were all surprised at the condition of the vehicle .The manager could not believe the client could attempt to justify the damage as wear and tear and was direct with the client informing him that the damage was due to reckless driving . Our apologies if it came across as rude .

REPORT :I attempted to negotiate a minor reimbursement for the purchase of the new tires, and the manager blamed my driving abilities as opposed to the condition of the original tires.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES :

Refer to our response above regarding the tyres .

REPORT:When I remarked that we had no new flats after replacing the tires, I was told that I should have kept the original, ruined tires as they have some value and are now mine.

I should also mention that during this project we also rented two Hiluxes from Bushlore of South Africa for a period of 6.5 weeks. We drove them through the same conditions and more, had no similar tire issues, and upon returning the vehicles were only charged a nominal cleaning fee with some minor repair fees for bumper dents, totaling approximately $500 US Dollars.

Travel Adventures Botswana will rip off foreign customers without hesitation. BE WARNED.

TRAVEL ADVENTURES : The comments are misleading and inaccurate . The damage was due to reckless driving on behalf of the client . Our contract states that in the event of an accident and we are provided with a police report we will cover the damage under the CDW Insurance . We were never provided with a report, the vehicle was not involved in an accident and the damage is clearly due to the reckless driving of the client .

At the time of this rental the vehicle was only 15 months old and had done a total distance of 42583km / 25000miles . It also had a full service record from Toyota.

We have supporting documents for all our comments.

Our terms and conditions as depicted on our website are very clear and fair.

Travel Adventures Botswana is the premier 4x4 rental company in Northern Botswana and we strive to provided the very best vehicles , price and service available to our clients .

ALL OUR VEHICLES ARE SOURCED NEW FROM TOYOTA DEALERS ARE MAINTAINED WITH GENUINE TOYOTA PARTS .THEY ARE NOT PURCHASED SECOND HAND AND ARE NOT CHEAP JAPANESE IMPORTS .

Please contact me on traveladventuresbotswana@gmail.com should you want to see the photos of the damage .( highly recommended ).

Kind regards

Clint Gielink

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Maun
Maun
Ngamiland East, Botswana
Kasane
Kasane
North-West District, Botswana
Sudbury, United...
2 posts
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8. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

As a 'foreign customer' of Travel Adventures my wife and I have enjoyed four annual trips using the firm and intend to increase our usage in 2013 to two holidays per year visiting the Delta and the desert.

Travel Adventures service is impeccable, and the vehicle hand over at the beginning of the trip is meticulous and very reassuring to us as customers. There has been no hint of any charges at the end of the trip for our normal (easily recognisable) wear and tear.

On an occasion in 2011 when we were concerned about high delta water levels Clint gave up a whole day to escort us to the Third Bridge campsite for no extra charge. Our youtube film (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot1qZdKp1RE) will show this generosity and pictures of the hire experience.

If you want to see the results of our wonderful self drives with Travel Adventures the above film and a second 2012 film are on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQAywFS8p-w).

Trips into the bush are not without danger and difficulty and the unexpected can be expected to occur. Without the support of Travel Adventures we would not be able to enjoy the bush experience on our own.

9. Re: Travel Adventures 4x4 Rental Company Will Rip You Off

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