Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dominican Tours & Travel

I received this email yesterday:
Hi Anthony.

First of all, I just returned from Santo Domingo and had the BEST time. I loved the country and people that I saw and met and can't wait to go back.

Now, unfotunately, I had an experience with a gay tour operator and I am hoping to can help get the word out to your readers and friends about them:

Dominican Tours and Travel.
CABARETE COLORS HOTEL.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Phone: 809-967-1491 DOM REP
www.cabaretecolorshotel.20m.com
www.dominicantoursandtravel.20m.com
Av. Winston Churchill esqu. Correo y Cidron #2B, Sto, Dgo, Dominican Republic.

I contacted them about a full day tour from Santo Domingo to Saona Island and sent them via Money Gram the fee of $175, plus the $14 fee to send....a total of $189. The tour was to have taken place this past Friday, July 25 and I was to have been contacted at my hotel the night before to confirm. When I had not heard from them by 7:30 I emailed and called and received no reply. No one contacted me and the tour did not take place. Although I can absorb the financial loss, I hate to see things like this mar the impression visitors have of your beautiful country. I was SO disappointed!

Thanks for any assistance in warning people about this guy and company.

Stephen Browning
Palm Desert, California

I have sent the company this email and asked for their response. If I receive a reply I will be posting it here for all to see. In the meantime, if you don't know of a company personally, or gotten a recommendation from a reliable source, don't wire money to anyone. This just doesn't pertain to the Dominican Republic, this is anywhere. Use a credit card. That way, if you don't get the services promised you can let the credit card company take care of it.

Buyer Beware!

Update (7/31/2008): I received a response from John Rodriguez, from Dominican Tours & Travel, stating they never received the money. Stephen forwarded me the email correspondence, along with a copy of the receipt from MoneyGram. I am awaiting further response from the company.
Update (8/2/2008): Still no response from the company, but I have heard from a couple of other people who have similar stories to tell. I heard from a travel agent in Venezuela who told me about paying monies and receiving nothing. So again, be careful of this company. Several people are starting to put warnings on different gay travel boards. Don't send money to anyone that you don't know by wire transfer. Always use a credit card, this way you can dispute it later with the credit card company. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!!!!

24 comments:

WhozHe said...

Sounds like one company I won't be using.

Anonymous said...

another bunch of crooks in the DR

TY said...

Lesson learned: Always make any payment for services or goods via a reputable source meaning your credit card and where possible some vehichle such as Pay Pal or Ebay. They have an insurance mechanism in place and you could have gotten your back as well as challenge the charge with your credit card company. Any so called "business" that does not accept one of these forms of payment should trigger caution and careful scrutiny. Thanks for another lesson learned Anthony!

Anonymous said...

what was that forrest gump saying? yeah!

Chester said...

HapiBlogging to you my friend! Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

to the blogger about Forrest Gump Stupid is as stupid does is the saying.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

Look, we got a bunch of crooks here in the USA, too (especially in Washington DC) ... but buyer beware is great advice anywhere, anytime.

As soon as you think you can trust these strangers, that's when they fuck you.

Anonymous said...

"Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you are going to get."....Forrest Gump

Anonymous said...

Is 'taylorsiluwe' throwing shade at Ms. Mario? Oooppsss..The kids are so shady!

Derrick

Anonymous said...

at least in the USA you can do something about crooks and peeps beating you out of your money. I personally stopped traveling to the DR for about 15months now, personally I felt to much Bullshit all around so why spend my hard earned USA$ when you are not really welcomed, hotels want to charge men for having male visitors but not the men who have the female whores visiting the rooms; so many out to get what they can, at 29 too much bullshit for me so I chilled,hey doesn't mean anyone has to feel like I feel. I did what's best for me. If you shop in a reputable store in the usa for chocolate (godivas)you know what you will get with your box of chocolates but in the DR even some of the high end places will f--- you if they get the chance to & who can you turn too?

Anonymous said...

The sad part is that your own sisters will beat you as well. (U.S.) gay children ask you to go in with them on a DR apt. and beat you!! You lose everything furniture,clothing,ac.,etc.It is really hurtful when people you have laughed & hung with betray you.Beware of big black Atlanta girls !!!

CLOAKED said...

Derrick, People in DC other than me that come to the DR and read this blog...I don't even know that man. Have you been?
Now that's shade!

Anonymous said...

My guess is he was referring to politicians, not Mario. Why get personal? Mario hasn't even posted to this thread.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

LOL!

To clear up a matter that shouldn't have to be cleared: when I referred to DC crooks, I meant in the White House!

LOL!

You guys are too funny though ....

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, alot of those DC crooks are headed back to Texas...just not soon enough.

CLOAKED said...

RE: Update response from John Rodriguez

Let's make sure he never receive any American Guest.

Now that'a a Crafty Queen

CLOAKED said...

Now thats crafty when you told you have proof!

TY said...

This is not a geographical or cultural thing. It is a common sense thing "IN another country" ring a bell if you wouldn't sink yor money into a shisty deal at home why do it abroad. If you have problems abroad you do have recourse but you needed to have made the right decisions in the first place. I recently had dinner at Paco's and when I got home had charges from several gas stations on my card. I called the company made a protest and received my money back. Never pay cash or wire cash for purchases. You have no recourse. This is not cultural or geographic, it is common sense and basic consumer awareness. SO lets not make a blanket statement about a people or place without accepting our own responsibility in the mix.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

Amen, Ty ...
When we get beat, its too easy to blame everyone else and forget our own little part in it.

M4M Oral Sex & Cock Worshiper said...

Hey...this is Steve the guy who wrote Anthony about my experience. I realize that I was naive, but I also made a decision NOT to use my credit card because I was worried that once he had all my info he could possible take me for much, much more before I stopped him. I also prepaid another tour company before I went to the DR and they DID provide the tour I paid for. As another aside, I sent maybe 20 postcards to friends and tipped the bell man at the Hilton 150 pesos to mail them. The stamps alone cost $2 each from the gift shop! No one has received their postcard so I am assuming that the guy just trashed them. I really did love the DR and the people I met, but it's obvious that you need to be extra careful in such a poor country.

Anonymous said...

I've been to the DR and S.D. NUMEROUS time and have yet to be ripped off.

The moral is to research who you send money to. THe OP could have done the Saona trip for a lot less money if he had just asked around B4 traveling. There are many reputable tour agencies around the area. Most times you book it in person right at the point of purchase.

doing any business transaction in the DR is a little tricky and precarious if you are not used to the customs. Sure...there are many scams (as there is here in nyc).

Bottom line...traveler beware and do your research! (this is a good first place to start)

TY said...

Hey Steve
Might I suggest not only researching the facts but also getting mentally ready. Just in the few sentences of your response you illustrate a person who is basically flaunting wealth not in our terms but in terms of the host country. Dominicans basically don't tip so to give such a big tip as 150 for something so trivial.Always pay with your credit card because if you read all those little pieces of paper that comes withthe card it clearly says you have the right to protest any transaction with justification. This means they give your money back and investigate. Then they make a final decision. The mail system takes months I mailed post cards from the post office in the capital and they came like 2 months after I was back home. I think my biggest concern for you is to understand the culture you are in it is not the USA. I travel the world extensively and each culture is different and none of them have the speed, accuracy and ease of service as the US but they are honest hard working people who are not necessisarily poor based on the standards of their country. You cannot base everything in the world on standards of the US. Be smart, be strong and be modest in your travel adventures my friend and make use of the ex-pat community which is large in SD.

Anonymous said...

Never mail anything to or from the DR. Dominicans use DHL or FedEx because it's safest. If you can't afford that then buy the stamps and postcards and send them when you get back to the states...Of course you have to put them in evelopes and pay the extra USA postage, but it's worth it.

Anonymous said...

150 peso tip to drop postcards in the mail? He must have loved you.