I havea very bad experience too. I booked a Europe trip in Feb. I received a call from Xuefen just 3 weeks before my departure date. The trip was cancelled. I requested a refund (2K). However she told me that her task was to only informed customers about cancellation of trips.
However she help me to proceed my request and request for cheque. To my surprise, she told me that accounts need at least 6months to process.
Shit!!!!!!!! So I asked her to credit back to my credit card account. I did not ask her much (refund) as she did not know payment procedure. So I asked for her DID . Few days later I did a follow up. To my surprised, the number is NO LONGER IN USED!!!!!!!!!
I took out my invoice and called all the numbers stated on it. No one picks up my call and the voice mails were full. In fact you can call those numbers during their operating hours. I've been trying very hard to contact them.
It gives me lots of inconveniences. I even wrote emails to them 3 times to the following address stated on the internet (before construction).
"MAIL BOXES CANNOT BE REACHED AS MAIL BOXES ARE FULL"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don even need to mention about faxing over your request. I wrote a complain letter and faxed it over. No one contacted me.
I went down to the OUTLET twice. But they said my request was still processing..............
Till now 3 months has passed..... I will give them another week. To me it's seem like the company is having some financial difficulties.
In facts I have been keeping records of all my emails.
HAI!!! I shall wait for until end of July. If I still don receive it, I shall write to ST forum!
We went to their HQ to collect back our money. I didn't call them before going cos we can never get thru the line. So when we went down we just tell them we want our money back the same day and in cash... and no matter how long they take to process. got my 2k back in full after more than 2 hrs of wait.
I suggest u took a day off and do the same thing. We never know how long this co can last...
ryes, saw yr pm liow...on mon mi went to pearl centre to source other trip & was surprised to c andanas boh liang in the office but got light.... at that moment i was thinking lucky i hv keep on pushing for my refund back....heng...
to all who yet to get their refund pls don wait anymore!! go down personally to chase for $$$...
Hi Ryes, I couldn't get off today but my SO went down. He spoke to the CEO and got the CEO's hp number because the CEO refused to give a cash refund of S$600 today. Said the money will be credited into our bank account by next Monday.
I told my SO we can't wait in view of what is happening so he called the CEO's hp and was told that we can pick up the money tomorrow. That IS going to be the first thing my SO is going to do. *sigh* I am just afraid the HQ is not even going to be open! But my SO said the CEO said can pick up the $ from him 2morrow around town. Don't even know if he is going to pick up the handphone liao.
Moongirl, Tintin and Jam, don't wait any longer!!!!
Ananda Travel struck by staff exodus over pay: sources
By Uma Shankari
15 June 2006 - The Business Times
(SINGAPORE) Trouble seems to be afoot at tour operator Ananda Travel. Sources told BT that the company has seen mass resignations among its staff - and one possible reason given for the en-masse quitting is that employees supposedly have not been paid their salaries.
One former employee claimed about 80 per cent of Ananda's staff has walked out so far. The former employee, who has not been paid a salary for May, said that the company had a staff of more than 50 prior to the resignations, but the number has since been trimmed down to less than a quarter of that.
When asked about the alleged resignations, Ananda's executive director Alex Lee said that it was 'not an issue'.
'Every tour agent, hotel and airline is facing this problem,' he said, adding that the staff count at present is similar to what it was a month ago. While he admitted that there were problems with salaries not being paid, he said that the situation has since been 'settled'.
According to Mr Lee, rumours about Ananda have been making the rounds as early as two months ago. To look into this, Ananda hired lawyers in April, who Mr Lee said, are in the process of contacting the police to investigate the origin of the rumours. He believes that competitors could be responsible.
For now, it is still business as usual for Ananda, said Mr Lee. He told BT: 'The company is still going on, the tour groups are still leaving, and everything is still going fine.'
However, a look at Ananda's two branches at OUB Centre and People's Park Centre on Tuesday showed that the counters at the two outlets were manned by a single person during lunchtime.
Two separate attempts, one each at Ananda's two outlets, were made to purchase tour packages for travel to any part of the world. But Ananda's staff told the enquirer to try again at the end of June as there were currently no tours available.
A source also speculated that one reason for Ananda's non-payment could be losses made by the company.
According to figures from the Accounting & Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (Acra), Ananda posted an after-tax loss of $523,000 in 2002, the latest year on which data is available. The losses came despite a turnover of $44.5 million in the same year.
Ananda's chairman Chan Yeuk Wai also has stakes in many other ventures. Mr Chan owns Meadow Springs, which in September 2003 paid $1.5 million for a 28 per cent stake in troubled See Hup Seng, a listed marine and construction company.
Earlier this month, See Hup Seng said it has been asked by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) to help in an investigation into a 2004 transaction which the company had entered into and which has since been aborted.
Mr Chan and his brother are also behind the Malay Village and the Floating Seafood Restaurant in Geylang Serai.
I am new, here not for the gossips, but just to air my frustrations. My wife and I are facing the same sad story as most of you guys...booked tour with AT, AT cannot form group, AT cancel tour, request refund from AT, AT keeps dragging their feet, call them...no one answer, even if managed to get them...say will get back to you but NEVER do, still have not gotten my refund yet.
Steps to get back refund (which I intend to follow too):
1. Try every means to demand refund (call, email, personal visit). You need to demonstrate that you have exhausted every means possible and get written replies or statements detailing your visits, what was promised and who entertained you.
2. If point 1 still has no effect. Either
a) Pay CASE a visit. They will advise you if your case got strong grounds or not.
b) Hire lawyer to draft letter of demand. Usually when a company receives legal notification of demand, they will move faster...make sure that your lawyer charge his fees to AT as damages sought from AT in addition to the refund amount i.e. AT pays your lawyer's fee and not you.
Also, according to the business times report, AT has lawyers investigating rumours of their closure, so be careful what you say online...I am sure their staff would be reading this thread closely...if you have to, PM each other
OKay, my SO managed to get back the S$600 finally at 4pm this afternoon. *wipes away perspiration* This is after going down 3 times - Thursday, Friday and today (spent S$16 on parking). What a frightful frightful experience.
I am never going to book with Ananda ever again. WORD.
Thanks for sharing with us. So you have yet to get back your refund still? Pls do straight dwn to get back your refund asap. I have pm many of the others here and am careful with what we post online too. Thanks for your advice.
Back to your point 2,
a) pay case a visit - you have to pay in order to be their member, so we gave up this route
b)Hire lawyer, wah, we dont have so much money leh. they own us only $2k, how much we have to pay for lawyer fee?
So hor back to point 1 which I say is the best and everyone managed to get back their refund with this... Must keep us updated on this.
wah slog, finally leh!!!!! U got back $600 man. So what happened???
Today I made a call (direct oiffice no) to them again. No ONE picks up. Last week still managed to get them. They told me that I will receive my refund today. Till now no news yet!!!!
I called a number of times. At first I thought the branch has closed down or no one working liao. To my surprised when I made another call in a few mintues time, the line was enaged. What means they are working but they don even bother to pick up my calls. SO ANGRY.
Keep calling again & again, LINE WAS ENAGED.
Hi Ryes, my SO went down on Thursday, they told him Fri can get $, so on Fri he went down again, they told him by Monday. Of course we both very upset but really other than praying the agency don't close down, what can we do? So on Mon morning, the CEO called my SO and said can come down at 4pm and claim the refund so my SO go down.
Spent almost S$20 parking and persuading them to give us the refund.
The thing is that we got written evidence - email from Alex Lee promising that he will give us the refund so each time my SO go down he will bring that piece of paper to show them. My SO also ask if it is true that the People's Park branch close but then they said go down and see it's still operating what and when my SO ask if they want to run away/close down they said that if they had wanted to they wouldn't stay open for so long and still offer to give people refund!
Tintin, forget calliing. Just take time off or half day and talk to them. Maybe you might not get your refund the first time but if you are persistant, you should be able to.
With no website, email box that is full and no one answering the ph, how does Ananda expect to do business?!!!
u can take urgent leave or not. u take then go dwn in the afternoon today during lunch to their HQ and demand for money. U say why promised today and yet dun have. U ask them to pay in cash liao. and u are going to wait till they pay up.
well, i dun trust them anymore, let them say whatever they want. no website, dun answer phone how to do business? try calling and pretend to ask for tour package and see what they say.
Hire lawyer, can ask him to charge his fees on top of the refund amount...like what happens when u dun pay your phone bill after the 2nd or 3rd warning letter...then phone company's lawyer send letter saying if u dun pay then see u in court, if u dun want go court...then pay bill plus admin fees (could be few hundred bucks)...same mechanism.
This AT really makes my blood boil...my wife and I swore, after we get back our refund, to never step into AT...we have been telling all our friends (potential honeymooners) to either go to other agencies or DYI cos AT has ZERO customer service and business integrity...no wonder many of its staff left!!!
Sorry I hvn't been here for awhile.. we hv been chasing them ever since.. my hb went down personally but they kept delaying. Today they confirmed they will refund nx wk. I'll keep u posted.. this is frustrating..
Hi ixora15, don't hold out too much hope on getting it on the day they say they will give you. Instead keep pressuring them because more likely than not, as in my case, they will tell you to come back on another date.
Hi Ryes, I fully agree. What the heck. Ananda Travel will never have my business again too.
I am looking for you. Remember We (hubby & me) were one of the customers who made a trip down and we have met before. YOu came in around 2.30-30pm. You actually booked a trip on the 7 of jul but the staff had made a mistake. The system showed that your trip was on 5 Jul.
I made a call to XXXXX (cannot be named on the net) to clarify some issues which was declared by Alan (Counter staff whom attended to Both of us)
We hv got back our deposit liao..my fren helped us to collect on our behalf.. thank God!! So glad.. now we can continue our hm in peace.. okie, catch up with u again when I'm back.. flying to Paris later..
YES, some employees have left, but no, we are not in trouble.
04 July 2006 (NewPaper)
YES, some employees have left, but no, we are not in trouble.
When contacted, Ananda's manager, Mr Joseph Chan, denied that the firm had been hit by mass resignations.
Mr Chan, 39, told The New Paper: 'Recently, we faced some hiccups because of staff movements, but business is as usual at Ananda. We don't have any cash-flow problems. Some new tour operators joined the industry and offered higher salaries than the current market rate. It is inevitable that some staff chose to join the new company.
'When staff from the finance department left, naturally there was a delay in salary payouts for others in the company.'
Mr Chan explained that Madam Tan's trip had to be cancelled as there was not enough people to make up the group.
'We have already given Madam Tan a full refund and compensated her for the cancellation. We always try our best to avoid cancellation.'
An industry source said that Ananda is an established travel agency, well-known for its packages to Korea, China and Hong Kong.
'Ananda was definitely on par, if not bigger than Chan Brothers Travel,' said the veteran tour operator, who declined to be named.
Pertaining to the article posted on Newpaper...........
I don know how "true" it is.
Anyway this week will be my 5th attempt of asking back for my refund. 3 weeks ago, the counter staff told us that our refund will be ready by this week.
Ananda really wasting our time & causing us lots of inconveniences. We always need to apply AL & keep chasing them for it. And what we get it's always a empty promise. Very disappointed with this agency & I swear I will never ever sign up with them if the agency still exist.
I received your PM. I think you should post it here to alert the others who are in the same situation as u. You should have asked for cash refund and dont even believe in what they promise you for.
I am sorry but I dont have the contact of the person u mentioned. Someone else have the CEO hp number.. Pls do keep us all updated on your situation. If you still do not get back ur refund, perhaps writing to the new paper might help? Contact the same reporter Joyce Lim
I am new here, have been reading this thread since i was denied of my refund from AT two weeks ago.
Me too, have been getting empty promises time and again... even from the GM. They owe us a substantial sum - $9k+...it is so frustrating and worrying at the same time...hoping they will not just close down overnight.
Have talked to CASE, will give them the letter from CASE tomorrow, if it doesn't help, will go to small claims tribunal next.
Just one question - could those who got their refund finally please tell me- how long did it take from the day you knew the tour was cancelled ?
JFYI, they have already "shifted back" to Chinatown branch and we only discovered it in shock when we went down to Raffles Place main branch end of last week to collect our refund in cash, as "promised" by one of the ex-staff! But what faced us there were two pieces of notices pasted onto the door, merely mentioning of the shifting. In our mind, we were extremely angry at them for one, not keeping their promise to refund us and second, for not informing us of such sudden closure, which totally wasted our trip and time. We should never have trusted them at all!
So we stormed down to their Chinatown branch immediately and at that time, we found only one staff manning the entire shop...who later told us he was just another "temp-staff" there. Anyway, we asked him to locate any manager he could find for us but what he could do was to redirect us to another of his colleague. So we spoke to her and asked to be refunded on that very same day as we would not want to waste another day more, but an unexpected reply welcomed usâ€¦she told us that her manager has just â€œflown out of townâ€ for an urgent meeting. Then, we asked for his mobile # (btw, the name is Joseph Chan, the one who has been commenting on the New Paper) but was slapped again starkly with â€œSorry we cannot reveal our managerâ€™s # without approvalâ€ & â€œhis mobile has no auto-roamingâ€ kind of replies. How lame can they stoop?!!
Anyway, the only â€œpositiveâ€ reply that she can give us was that Joseph will be back this Tuesday (18th July which will be tomorrow). She â€œpromisedâ€ to call back & inform us on the refund status after his return for which we donâ€™t really want to trust anymore. We would rather sacrifice our own leave to go down personally and chase them, if needed be, again and again. Otherwise, they would simply take their own sweet time, which might be months, years or even eternityâ€¦
Now, we are left with only few options. We did check up for CASE & Small Claims Tribunal Court and found that the latter serves our purpose better. FYI, our claim is about 2K so we had to pay up a fee of $10 only to raise the case. On top of that, we need to get the ROC Cert (Registry of Company Certificate) from Apollo Centre and together with that, we can make an official claim. For claim amt above 5K, the fee will be $20. Just bear in mind that they do not handle claims above 10K unless the other party agrees (in this case AT) or that the claimant is willing to forfeit the amt above 10K if claim is ever successful. Hope this helps you & us =) Cheers.
PS: To everyone out there, feel free to share any valuable comments with all of us here. Hope to see new comments soon from you guyz =)
I too have the same experience. When I went to their office today and demanded for my $2000 deposit, they challenged me to lodge a complain to SCT. And I did.
Do you think SCT can help us get back our hard-earned money? I'm starting to doubt it. I think SCT can't do anything if Ananda tell them they are dead broke and have no money. What can they do.
I even lodged a complain to NATAS and Tourism Board (The licencing Authority for Tour Agencies). Please call STB at 67366622 and ask to transferred to the Tour Agency department. Somebody might be able to help
Well, for my story, you can read it in previous posting. Anyway, I have got my refund back on 27 Jun when my tour was cancelled on 20 May. Same issue with most of you, having a hard time to get the refund back. Make 4 trips in total to their office. Situation improved after I managed to speak to Alex. I was given a letter from him to commit on the payment. Though he also failed his dateline to deposit the fund into my account within 2 days. But still managed to get the refund in cash within one week after we last met.
Before I managed to get Alex, I wrote a complain email to Natas top management and they promised to monitor Ananda since it's their member. Well, my refund only 97% because was told refund back to credit card takes up to 6 months. I ask for cheque and they refused. I used their term and conditions to force them to accept because term says credit refund can change to cheque refund if I willing to pay for 3% as admin charge. So with the order amendment form, they commit on the chq refund which is a amount 3% less. You may want to consider the above if you are waiting for credit card refund.
Did we met before??? Cause I was there on the 27 Jun.
Let me share something with you..........what happened on that day...................
My anger was growing high when the counter staff told us that we would not be getting back our refund on that day. I remembered vividly that there were 3 other customers chasing for their refunds. One of them was Alan Lim (Newpaper).
I also remembered that AT on-hold one of the customers refund more than 6 months.
Most of us during that time worried that they will close down soon. But the staff told us not to worry. They kept telling us blatantly THIS STATEMENT: â€œIf we want to close down we would have closed down alreadyâ€. The worst thing ever that they proclaimed to all of us that the AT has made a deposit with NATAS such that in any event of bankruptcy we can still claim from NATAS. THAT STATEMENT WAS TOTALLY UNTRUE. I called up NATAS to VERIFY their statement.
Moreover AT staff kept â€œreassuringâ€ us that their US counterpart by name of Vicky would be handling all our refunds and claimed that â€œshe was then in USA making the funds transfer to Singaporeâ€. Till now, we never see the money. So we decided to follow the advice we got from this forum (thanks guys) and strongly demanded to speak to their management people and insisted on seeing the money on the same day. This is how we got back our 50% refund after so much efforts spentâ€¦and we guess that if we never adopt the â€œstay unless we see $$$â€ strategy, we bet we would never live to see a single dollar of our refund again. Anyway, it seems now that the top management people have all went into â€œwinter hibernationâ€ already, for no matter how much we â€œpleadedâ€ with the AT staff to inform us of their whereabouts, they could only coldly reply â€œWE DUNNO OSO. Manager is attending urgent meeting overseas. And his mobile has no auto roaming, so there is no way we could contact themâ€ kind of LAME excuse. I am all but totally fed up with them already. Nothing more can express our deep-felt anger now >=
I shall continue some other day. There's lots more to share here. Anyway I also lodged my claim to SCT. Lastly, many thanks too..... for sharing the STB no. I'll call STB tomorrow.
Hi Tin Tin, I was at AT on 27 Jun around 5pm. I don't think we met because I was the only one there to collect the refund before they closed for the day.
Anyway, I was very glad to convert to chq refund with 3% lost. If not, need to wait till 20 July before I can chase them because they always insist credit card refund is minimum 2 months. My hubby says I lost $48 for nothing, but to me every attempt to get the money back already cost me more than that based on travel time and cost.
I was really worried when I realise their chinatown branch was empty. So, I insist I will not leave the OUB branch, unless a top mgt staff speak to me. That's how I met Alex Lee, their executive director. That was on 17 Jun, I think.
Before that, I wrote the email to Natas as mentioned and another email to CASE to request them to blacklist AT. Both parties replied my email. I do intend to go to CASE if I can't get my refund by Jun. Good thing, its was settled then.
hey hm (chm777), Just to answer your question, we got to know our trip was cancelled just 2 weeks before departure,as AT claimed that they can only inform us 2 weeks before, as NATAS has stated the rules.
The angry thing is, we were being coaxed by this so called tour guide who sweet talked us and said he has seen many cases of honeymooners argue and quarrel and he didnt want to see us like them. He made everything so nice and said he would push for us the tour during natas, but look what happened.
When we went back to sign on the form that they will send to the accounting dept, he dun even dare to look at us.
We took close to 3 mths before getting the cash refund back.
Hey tintin, so did you mge to get back your refund? i read that you got back 50% of your refund...is it? I think they are so lame to give excuse that mgr is overseas lah, no auto roaming etc.
and to Ping (adore_ping) who posted in this forum, I guess you wont even be able to travel with ananda again.