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Old 30th October 2017, 11:50   #16
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post

3) Rs.951 fee is way too low, especially when all customers are spending (fuel, tolls, hotel, food, shopping) atleast Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 50,000 on the vacation. The hike in fees should take care of salaries of your new team.
regarding the fee, one should also note that they will get commissions from network hotels and other places. So the point of whether fee is right or not is service providers judgement. But the customer interaction/treatment should be decent and humane irrespective of cost of the service. The kind of arrogance shown in this case is utterly unwarranted.
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Old 30th October 2017, 11:59   #17
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

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Originally Posted by deetee View Post
regarding the fee, one should also note that they will get commissions from network hotels and other places. So the point of whether fee is right or not is service providers judgement. But the customer interaction/treatment should be decent and humane irrespective of cost of the service. The kind of arrogance shown in this case is utterly unwarranted.
They don't get any commission from network hotels . The network hotels are based on the recommendation from forum members.

I've used HVKs service on numerous occasions and I've always been extremely satisfied at the price point the service is provided . The best part is the emergency support that's part of the plan. ( I know of a case where a biker in Ladakh got injured and HVK asked another forum member to pick him up , there are many other cases ).

He may come across as being rude, and while that isn't appropriate , but he's running this on volunteers and limited resources that probably leads to this .
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Old 30th October 2017, 11:59   #18
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Default Re: Planning phase

Oh my God I am shocked to see comments like these from someone who has a lot of fan following in the online community. It is very rude to say something like that. I salute you for not getting carried away and maintaining your composure after getting a reply like that. 951 rupees is peanuts to people who drive to Leh-Ladakh all the way from south to enjoy the place. He should have simply told about subscription rather than replying with such an insulting message. Now I am wondering about the experience of other team bhp-ians who has utilized HVK service. Please share your experiences here folks (good or bad)

Last edited by bblost : 30th October 2017 at 13:35. Reason: embedded images inside a quote.
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Old 30th October 2017, 12:12   #19
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

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Originally Posted by deetee View Post
regarding the fee, one should also note that they will get commissions from network hotels and other places. So the point of whether fee is right or not is service providers judgement. But the customer interaction/treatment should be decent and humane irrespective of cost of the service. The kind of arrogance shown in this case is utterly unwarranted.
There is no such thing - no commissions for CHD at all. Posting allegations without checking facts is merely an attempt to defame someone. As I have mentioned before, a team of 20 members got 20 days of Ladakh trip assistance based on Rs.951. All we got was best road side motels on best rates (I have verified this).
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Old 30th October 2017, 12:35   #20
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

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Originally Posted by deetee View Post
regarding the fee, one should also note that they will get commissions from network hotels and other places. So the point of whether fee is right or not is service providers judgement. But the customer interaction/treatment should be decent and humane irrespective of cost of the service. The kind of arrogance shown in this case is utterly unwarranted.
Clarifying my self further before it takes on wrong meaning :- any business which helps other businesses grow can take a bite at the profits (say consultation, brokerage, commission etc) , nothing wrong with that. Whether HVK/CHD does it or not is irrelevant to me, if I were the customer.
So, what I meant overall is that, there should be no reason to feel sympathy that 'fee' is low - its upto the service provider to figure out whether they can offer a service at a particular price and still sustain. What goes behind pricing a service at a particular rate is no matter to customers.

Again, what matters is the the treatment they get during the service. It need not to be royal red carpet treatment but irrespective of the cost of service, it must be decent and friendly rather than arrogant and egoistic.
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Old 30th October 2017, 12:54   #21
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

Sad to read your experiences with the HVK services. Nevertheless a great review which can help other users to know what to expect.

They had helped me with my Kashmir trip few years back and I can say it was a great experience for me. All the arrangements were spot on and the rooms were excellent too. HVK himself was in touch with throughout the trip. It was the CHD 501/- package.

Maybe I had low expectations from the services so less to complain about.

I had seen a similar post in FB too regarding services provided by Ladakh 951 and the user was not satisfied and lots of bashing was going around. But very rarely people who had good experiences with the package come forward to narrate their side of story.
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:11   #22
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

I buy HVK packs only as a backup and I literally have no expectations from them in terms of arranging itenary/ booking hotels or guiding me on what to do. I view them only as a help/ something to fall back on when you are stuck in a place where you don't know what to do next and for verifying own research. If i am spending 2 lacs on a trip, I don't mind spending a 1000 bucks more.

last year I bought the Ladakh pack and I didn't use their services for anything except for a hotel booking on the day I reached Leh.

I have now bought their NE pack for my trip next month. Again i am using their suggestions/ views only to verify the trip I have arranged for myself and it has proved very helpful in doing that.

But I agree, for whatever reason - one man tackling too many queries or busy in other work or whatever else - the email responses come across as rude.

In summary I would still recommend buying their packs when you are planning a long roadtrip to locations you are not familiar with. But don't depend on them. Use them to: 1) Test/ verify your own research 2) Treat them as a fallback option in case of trouble. But here too, make alternate arrangement also.

PS: HVK's Routo app is rubbish and I think similarly of the HVK facebook group. I find them complex to use and navigate.

If i can add - I mostly do trips which have already been documented on T-Bhp. I tend to read all the related travelogues. And there are many helpful hints in these travelogues. For example places where Bhpians stayed. I note down those places and call the staff through their website and generally ask my wife to speak to them (she is a great communicator) and build a friendship and then I try to extract as much useful information as I can. And 90% of the times I end up booking these places too. Nothing beats personal research.

Last edited by rrsteer : 30th October 2017 at 13:24.
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:20   #23
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaseer View Post

I had seen a similar post in FB too regarding services provided by Ladakh 951 and the user was not satisfied and lots of bashing was going around. But very rarely people who had good experiences with the package come forward to narrate their side of story.
I personally never used their services but have been hearing many good and a few bad experiences from friends and groups. Like you said, it is true that people who had excellent service usually say 'thank you' and leave happily. It is those who had bitter/unpleasant stories wish to share those so that they can find a solace to their pain and frustration.
It happens with every service/product, just very natural. Which is why to build a reputation, it is a lot more important not to loose it ever, esp over small issues.
Probably in this case, rather than raising hopes with prospective client, when they approach 4 months ahead of their schedule, they could be told to look elsewhere immediately. Atleast the client will have time to make alternative plans.
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:21   #24
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

No matter how good you are at providing routes and accommodation in remote locations that is no way to talk to another human being, period!
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:25   #25
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
Clarifying my self further before it takes on wrong meaning :- any business which helps other businesses grow can take a bite at the profits (say consultation, brokerage, commission etc) , nothing wrong with that. Whether HVK/CHD does it or not is irrelevant to me, if I were the customer.
It was relevant to you as per the quote below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
regarding the fee, one should also note that they will get commissions from network hotels and other places.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deetee View Post
Again, what matters is the the treatment they get during the service. It need not to be royal red carpet treatment but irrespective of the cost of service, it must be decent and friendly rather than arrogant and egoistic.
The problem is with your expectations where in people go and buy the service without understanding the model and later flood HVK's mailbox and Whatsapp with messages and even voice calls. Imagine how such a person will respond if he is doing all this with no profits in mind - he has to go through 100s of such mails, messages just like you and me read 100s of Emails every day morning and is supposed to respond to all of them. That is how he has planned to run his business considering the amount of resources he has - purely voluntary. It is his wish and that of the people who support him on how to provide the service - if one doesn't understand this, better not be part of it. No one loses out except you and the prospective hoteliers (which we don't care). So it will be good to spend some time to understand things before we resort to give negative comments on something.

Most of us don't even spend an hour of the day in helping others and then we go and rant about those who spends his days and nights on this without understanding a thing.
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:29   #26
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

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Then on wards the quality of responses degraded, one liners that are not helping the conversation/planning constructively. I was getting confused on why the sudden change in tone and attitude, and tried calling him once more hoping to talk it out and again call was disconnected saying he was in a meeting.
Quote:
Hire a couple of employees with customer service background. Let them handle all interactions (phone, gmail and whatsapp) with the customers. You do the planning, but communication with customers should be handled by the employees.
Will agree with suggestions of Smartcat completely, having travelled & known HVK for a while, the only reasons for such messages can be too much involvement in daily chores. There was a time that he actually used to help anyone and everyone on phone and emails for nothing, but he needs to earn so no harm in charging. He has a great reputation and must take this thread as a positive feedback and try to bring in the changes. I can see that he must be earning commissions or incentives from the bookings and so does everyone including Tripadvisor but he should simply give multiple options to stay for places where he can coordinate and also some other places where he does not have any agreement but can recommend as an option based on the feedback of others. That way, he can maintain the quality of his packages.

Travelling sites have such a great potential and if done correctly can be a major revenue earner, perhaps he needs to invest in IT and try to make most of the things online including real-time updates and bookings online.

Last edited by Turbanator : 30th October 2017 at 13:32.
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:29   #27
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

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Originally Posted by deetee View Post
But the customer interaction/treatment should be decent and humane irrespective of cost of the service. The kind of arrogance shown in this case is utterly unwarranted.
I agree with this statement. If there is one feedback I would like to give the HVK group, it would be this- reply decently to your customers on email.
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:33   #28
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Default Re: Planning phase

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Originally Posted by DrANTO View Post
Oh my God I am shocked to see comments like these from someone who has a lot of fan following in the online community. It is very rude to say something like that.
The person being mentioned here is a Team Bhp member as well. Was a D-BHPian earlier and must add that he was extremely helpful to many including me back then, before he started his own venture and commercialized his services.

But then - once you commercialize, it's not a help or a service - but a contract to guide the buyer. And this is certainly not the first case of attitude issues that I've heard. The most common argument used to suppress such accusations is the cheap rates involved in using such a service.

But then, looks like the bubble is bursting. As per the word from the man himself on the forums, very less people buy such services even at these rates - so higher rates might not see many takers -

Please note - All the below screnshots are from public posts, even though it's from an FB based forum. For quite sometime now - I've personally found it very fascinating how someone who gives such replies on public forums can have such a huge fan following -

Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)-screenshot_2017103012532926.png

Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)-screenshot_2017103012550193.png

Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)-screenshot_2017103013044116.png

Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)-screenshot_2017103013163788.png

Disclaimer - I'm yet to personally use any services offered by HiVayKing club, though HV Kumar has helped me with route planning and queries a decade back.

Last edited by SDP : 31st October 2017 at 08:52. Reason: Minor change to last line for clarity
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:36   #29
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinodvayyat View Post
The problem is with your expectations where in people go and buy the service without understanding the model and later flood HVK's mailbox and Whatsapp with messages and even voice calls. Imagine how such a person will respond if he is doing all this with no profits in mind - he has to go through 100s of such mails, messages just like you and me read 100s of Emails every day morning and is supposed to respond to all of them. That is how he has planned to run his business considering the amount of resources he has - purely voluntary. It is his wish and that of the people who support him on how to provide the service - if one doesn't understand this, better not be part of it. No one loses out except you and the prospective hoteliers (which we don't care). So it will be good to spend some time to understand things before we resort to give negative comments on something.

Most of us don't even spend an hour of the day in helping others and then we go and rant about those who spends his days and nights on this without understanding a thing.
While many have had good experiences with him, the OP wanted to highlight his bad experience. Nothing wrong with that. And just because he has to respond to so many people doesn't entitle one to respond in that manner. Yes there is a certain way one needs to talk no matter how much people he has to interact with. How many would like to goto a restaurant where in the food is good but the service is bad or the staff is rude? I think not many.

And lastly he has not helping for free. He is charging amount for the services he is rendering (the amount may or may not be correct for the services rendered but its for another thread/time). How does equating a person who helps others (for free) and HVK (who charges for the service) even matter?
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Old 30th October 2017, 13:54   #30
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Default re: Review: HiVayKing Ladakh 951 (travel advisory service)

Nice to know that we have company

I am subjected to similar [and worse] treatment during my BLD-Ladakh-BLR road trip during Sep-2014.
Everything was going first for first three days.
On Day 3 night, we were booked into some hotel in Bhilwara.
We checked in and sent confirmation that we are resting for the day at 10.30PM.
At around 11.15PM in the night, I got a WhatsApp from _them_ asking us to take a left turn at Kishangarh.
I responded asking if they expecting us to use this tip next day morning OR they sent it to us by mistake while somebody else might be waiting for this tip.
ALL HELL broke loose
WhatsApp messages kept flying in till 1.00 in the morning telling "
I have so many teams taking this road trip at this moment,
I had never seen such an arrogant person in my entire life,
You should consider yourself lucky that I am helping you"
and all such organic junk.

We didn't wanted to spoil our mood and therefore ignored him for the rest of the trip and it went butter-smooth after that.

On the hotel rates front, whenever we checked into hotels, if we see cars with _specific_ stickers, we used to inquire about rates if we book thru certain person. We always found that those rates were 10-15% higher.
We got better rates by directly walking in, at Amritsar, Srinagar, Leh and Turtuk [here we got accommodation at almost 40% of what others booked thru service provider]
And we didn't bothered to check at other places.

If anybody is interested, I have full transcript of the WhatsApp exported and saved in PDF, and don't mind sharing it too.

Last edited by SDP : 31st October 2017 at 09:58. Reason: Minor grammar correction for better readability
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