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Back in the dark ages, tour operators were actually encouraged to post in their own section on the now infamous "IndiaMike" travel forum. Well, Mike has moved on and so have we, but this old post from 2002 is still relevant today. As is the forum. As are we.

Special note: I wish we had written this as number one all those years ago: When you email us, you must have your email set up so that a thread is created. That is: you email us, we reply. When you read our reply, you can see your original email to us. Now we reply to your reply, and we can see your first questions, and our response, and your further questions, etc etc. This is called 'creating a thread'.

Namaste India Tours
Maha Guru Member

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Delhi/U.S.

Topic: How to get the best out of your email quote from an Indian travel agency .

1. State exactly when you arrive and exactly when you leave. And that includes at what time. People often say they have, for example, 10 days, when really, since they arrive at midnight on day 1 and depart at 1 am on day 10, they have EIGHT days. It matters when you are asking for a quote, obviously. It also may matter what day of the week you arrive. You don't want to end up in Agra on a Friday if you only have one day for Agra. The month you arrive is important too... some hotels are more expensive in the winter than the summer. If the agency doesn't know when you are coming, they can't possibly give you their best quote. (Or even know if they have any availability for that matter.)

2. State the number in your party.
"We" could mean anything from the "royal we" to a small group. The cost for transportation will be different depending on how many people there are. Some itineraries are quite elaborate and to have to refigure it when it is discovered that "we" is 5 people and not 2--well it wastes everybody's time. (And makes Lu Ann cranky.)

3. Be as brief as possible.
You are probably not paying by the minute for your email connection. The agent you are corresponding with possibly is.........The same is true with hotels. People often wonder why the mid-range and budget hotels do not answer their emails. India is not to the point yet where everyone who is in business has a computer on their desk. (True in 2002....not so true now!)

4. Don't get testy when you are asked for more information please.
People are usually in a hurry to get their quotes it seems. We when write back to get the information we need to do a proper job, the response is sometimes brusque. As in, "I just wanted a rough quote, I don't see why all these details are necessary." We have finally learned our lesson about sending off "rough" quotes as it ALWAYS comes back to haunt you. "But you said in your first email that it would cost $XXX, why are you trying to cheat me now? Do you think I am stupid?" (Not kidding--real response.)
__________________
Reject violence.

Now, ten years later, we would add that we (Namaste India Tours) require two weeks advance notice to arrange services. So email us in advance. Six weeks advance notice is absolutely perfect, unless you are coming in November or December. We are often completely booked for high season by the end of August.

Go ahead and tell us which car you want, and whether you want the regular or upgraded version of a tour you find on our website. If you ask for a quote, then change your mind about what you want to do, or how you want to do it, and ask for another quote, we will probably add rs 250 itinerary preparation fee for the 2nd quote. Time is money.

We don't post our phone number here on www.namasteindiatours.com because, well, frankly, we don't want you to call us. We get grumpy when we finally get a chance to sleep at night and the phone rings. The world is our market, and some people have trouble with time zone issues. Communication is done by email until you have a formal Confirmation for Services. There's less room for misunderstandings that way. All our guests with confirmed services have our complete contact instructions, including home/business and mobile numbers in India. We've done business this way from the beginning. We're not a Fortune 500 company. On the administrative and management side, it's a mom and pop shop, with a pop from one family and a mom from another......

 

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Why, aren't you having fun? Why travel by car, anyway? Look for your name on a placard. Check out the city. Email us for service. Free advice! >