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Unfair TripAdvisor review of Galago

I am sad to read the latest Galago TripAdvisor review. Whilst TripAdvisor is a great tool for travelers, on occasion product owners like myself find ourselves falsely accused and given a review that we cannot respond to. The latest review posted on 27 September is a case in point.

The clients were unhappy as to the guide’s service and they let us know on August 13 by email. By the next day we had thanked them for their input and profusely apologized for the bad service. We said we will deal with the matter, which we did immediately as an internal matter, as any reputable operation will do. Three weeks later an email was sent asking for an update, which we provided; not that we had to since it is an internal management issue. We did not think it necessary to report back to a client on internal disciplinary issues. Presumably upon a next visit the clients would notice a better service.

Such a review does enormous damage to us, unfairly. Please have a look at the other reviews of Galago where the very same guide is praised.
We are not part of the Season in Africa group.

24 Responses to Unfair TripAdvisor review of Galago

  1. You can September 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Uhmmm…. you CAN respond to reviews on tripadvisor! Just register yourself as being the owner of the business. There will be multiple links on your page to do this.

    • Djuma October 1, 2011 at 8:04 am #

      thanks! whilst I had registered the business, I did not realize I could register as its owner.

  2. Anat Umansky September 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    I have a Trip Advisor account and I have just read through all the Galago reviews , except that particular one , they are all great reviews.
    The reviews are all of happy clients that don’t want to leave your camp and that can not say enough good things about your staff and Lodge.
    I guess there will always be some unsatisfied people that will feel like they have been mistreated in this way or another in the hospitality business .
    I think that what makes a Hotel or Lodge a good one to choose before you travel is the balance between the good and the bad reviews it gets ,and I honestly don’t think you have anything to worry about since your clients are always happy and thankful for a once in a lifetime experience.
    I would love to be a guest in Galago and enjoy all the fantastic things your previous clients wrote about.

    Anat Umansky


  3. Tracy September 30, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    I’m sorry to hear this news. Sounds like these people were looking for something to complain about before they even arrived! I feel sorry for people like that! How can you go on vacation to South Africa and NOT have a great time? I hope to one day go back to Africa and this time it will be to Djuma!! 🙂

  4. Karen Cox September 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm #

    I am an avid user of TripAdvisor and it has been my experience that there are always a few bad reviews of everything. I always take into account, as I am sure most TripAdvisor users do, the total number of reviews. Be encouraged! We won’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole trip!

    • Djuma October 1, 2011 at 8:36 am #

      good advice, thanks Karen

  5. Louise September 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    I had a quick look on trip advisor and the bad review doesn’t even feature, you have so many happy visitors that those reviews are the ones that come up. I couldn’t even find your bad one to check out how bad it was. There will always be impossible to please clients. I have had such an experience with another safari company that we have stayed with on many many many occasions for about 20 years, each visit better than the last until we had a personality clash with one of their East African rangers, it was so bad that my husband refused to come on drive. Luckily we are old safari hands and knew that this was the exception, not the rule. When I check out holiday locations on Trip Advisor, I always weigh the good with the bad, i’m sure most people do. You are way ahead in the good. Regards, Louise

  6. Joan Bloodgood September 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    You cannot please everyone all the time.. Some people just look for reasons to be negative. If one person out of many is unhappy, its probably not the guide. People have a tendency to feel that others are obligated to them and should cater to them. They become vindictive when they dont get their way or things are not done in their fashion. If the guide in question has a good reputation, you can bet the fault lies elsewhere….Let’s hope they don’t come back…

  7. tracey tarr September 30, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    I remember working out in the bush and we had a series of bad luck incidents with the power supply. First we had big electrical storms that cut out the power. Then we had elephants dig up the cables. And then the generator cut out because it couldn’t cope with the whole lodge using the air conditioners. No fault of ours, and one guest complained because we couldn’t fix his air con at 3am! There really is just no pleasing some people. And some guests definitely deserve to have complaints made about them!

  8. franz October 1, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    hi there i wrote them a letter back requesting that they please take it down and think they are making a bigger deal then it actually is.

  9. Thomas October 1, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    I do neither know the guys who wrote this review nor am I involved in any part of this problem, but will also give my oppinion to this issue:

    The guest paid lots of money for the accomodation including a luxury service and were -at least- disappointed through the behaviour of your guide. When writing a noticing email to you, they of coure expect any detailed opionion on what went wrong and why this could happened. Answers like “We will deal the matter” do not bring back the clients’ holidays. In future maybe you could ask them what to do in order to fix the complaints or offer a discount for another visit – while promising the better service. So you show your good sake!

    • Djuma October 1, 2011 at 8:34 am #

      Thanks Thomas, you are correct. Ideally this should happen privately between myself and the client.

  10. Andrew Massey October 1, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    The key here is that there WAS a problem, you have acknowledged that there was. This guide may have upset other guests who have said nothing. You have taken the steps you felt needed, so it will not reoccur. So it can be seen as a positive.

    • Djuma October 1, 2011 at 8:35 am #

      Agreed, thanks Andrew.

  11. Lyn October 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    I have not visited Galago so cannot comment on the lodge but I have spent time at Vuyatela and all I can say is the service, the accommodation, the guides, camp staff, in fact everyone we dealt with were amazing! I had no complaint.
    What I do not understand about the person who E-MAILED a complaint is why they did NOT address the fact that they had a complaint with the camp manager. If that was not enough they could have asked the manager to call you so that they could, at the very least, speak to you on the phone!! I am always suspicious of people who wait to complain!
    I have not read the tripadvisor account but I shall just out of curiosity. I prefer word of mouth for recommendations 🙂 Jurie you rock !!!!! So does Vuyatela !!!

  12. Kathy Theobald October 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    It’s interesting that this is the only review that person has posted yet they have been with Trip Advisor since 2009. If they are such regular visitors to the area, I would think they would have shared their experiences more often. And having stayed at Djuma three times myself, and dying to go back again, I can honestly say I have never had anything but the best of experiences with all the staff.

  13. Raphi October 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    I have read most of the replies above… I cannot agree more! There will always be those few who try looking for little issue to complain about and make it look bigger than it is. Sure, those aren’t issues you must ignore, but rather deal with. Just don’t let 1 complaint out of 100 compliments let you down. besides, I believe it is the complaints on unforeseen issues that make a company or service provider even stronger and more popular if the right decisions are taken.

    It is quite ironic actually, in his ratings; He seems to have enjoyed the general hospitality at the lodge. It’s just the guide’s behavior which got him in rages for some reason. Have you considered hearing the guide’s story? Maybe he was just in a bad mood or the guests themselves didn’t treat the guide with respect. Who knows.

  14. Wilma Clark October 3, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    We were there six years ago, we felt like we had royal treatment, with the guides and at the lodge. It was our once in a lifetime wonderful experience. We talk about it nearly every day. If we could come back, we would do it tomorrow. Over the years, we have been in other situations, where there was a complainer. And in my opinion, every time that happened, it was always someone that come looking for problems. Let’s just face it, there are some people, that are never pleased with anything. I am a very positive person, but there are others, that are very negative. Happines is not being negative.

    • Djuma October 4, 2011 at 6:11 am #

      I am so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us, thanks for writing. We look forward to your next visit one day!

  15. Janet Sproson October 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

    I visit the Kruger area twice a year but haven’t stayed at Djuma.
    The review you speak of has been removed from Tripadvisor, so I can only comment on your response.
    If you felt that disciplinary action was appropriate in this case, then I think your response to your client was inadequate. As consumers apologies alone are rarely acceptable and investigation of a complaint with recognition that the complaint was justified
    [If this was the case] along with the offer of suitable compensation would have satisfied most reasonable clients.
    I think if no feedback other than an apology had been offered to me, I also would have been left feeling very unhappy and certaily wouldn’t have wished to visit your camp againto see if I noticed better service!

    • Djuma October 4, 2011 at 6:10 am #

      Fair comment Janet, appreciated.

  16. BrandonH October 4, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    I read the review on TripAdvisor and can honestly say that I identified with it. I have been fortunate to experience several of the lodges in Sabi Sands (including Galago) and can certainly understand the guests perspective in terms of their experience with the particular guide. He is not your typical guide. His communication skills are, at best, poor and he struggles to form a rapore with the guests. Extracting information out of him is challenging and he only seems to warm up around day 3/4 once he gets to know you. So, if you arrive at Galago expecting a cheerful, friendly, outgoing guide who is an absolute fountain of knowledge and keeps you royally entertained on drives you are going to be very disappointed.

    But then that is not why we go there. Aubrey has to be the best guide we have ever experienced. He reads the bush better than anyone and often knows what the animals are going to do before they do it. The sightings we have experienced with him are light years ahead of anything else and this is what keeps us coming back. We do not have to endure the incessant jabbering of a guide who thinks this is our first trip to the bush. Aubrey knows when to shut up and just let us enjoy our surroundings. And when you do get him to open up he has some wonderful stories to share.

    Can’t wait for our next trip and to renew our relationship with Aubrey.

    • AlexM October 11, 2011 at 4:32 am #

      When I first read the TripAdvisor report I was furious because I thought it was very unfair, but BrandonH has worded it perfectly.

      We have been to many lodges in Sabi Sands and Djuma still remains our favourite! Aubrey is an amazing ranger and we have had phenomenal sightings with him, even if his social skills are initially ‘poor’.

      However, i also think that Galago is a different type of bush experience. The whole point of this camp is to have your own ‘private home’ in the bush away from a camp full of tourists and I personally don’t want or expect the Ranger to sit and ‘entertain’ us during our stay.

      I already have 2 visits booked to Galago for 2012 and I can’t wait to come back! And I’ll be sure to put in a special request for Aubrey!!

  17. vimax December 22, 2011 at 4:02 am #

    Une autre copie et de pâte de blog? Cordialement,

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