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My experience with Turkey Travel Centre, or TTC. Caveat

Toronto, Canada
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My experience with Turkey Travel Centre, or TTC. Caveat

Reposting this to warn future travelers.

The start of my trip was perfect. The agency accommodated my late arrival and gave me a personal guide for a tour around the ancient Ephesus. The hotel was wonderful, and the next day in the ancient Hierapolis (Pamukkale) also pretty good. However, the fly in the ointment was the fact that the contact person in TTC mislead me - their brochure mentioned Cleopatra pools where you can bathe and I asked if I need to take my bathing suit with me. The response from the agency was "no, of course it is not possible to bathe in November in Turkey", so he not only contradicted what the brochure said, but also hinted that I was stupid for even thinking about it. Dear Michael Altan! If you read this, please note that it IS possible to bathe in Turkey in November if you are in Pamukkale with its famous hot springs. Maybe you should study your own agency's brochure to be more knowledgeable for the next traveler.

After that, it was only downhill. The agency botched my airport departure time, so I got up about 5:30am as I was told and ended up sitting in the lobby for almost two hours, biting my nails and being afraid to miss my flight. When the driver arrived at last, he had no idea when my flight was! It turned out that the departure time was totally different from what I had in my voucher, not just because of the daylight time change but probably because someone in the agency did not pay attention. I asked the driver to call the agency but the person on the other end did not speak English! I caught my flight after all but it was a lot of stress.

Now, what you should know is that TTC does not run its own tours but outsources local guides to do so. There is nothing wrong with this in principle, but these guides obviously do not communicate between themselves and the tour programmes overlap significantly; thus, I ended up spending an hour looking at a spot to observe a panoramic view (quite impressive, actually) and the next day, with another guide, I was brought to the same spot to spend another hour there! This was such a shame; I could have spent this time looking at something different because Cappadocia is such an extremely interesting place with the richest historical heritage. Also, both guides on different days took us to the same store! It offered bad quality rose oil and cheap souvenirs, and we had to spend as much time there as the tour guide wanted us to. In general, all the guides on all days took us to various stores with local handicrafts which is fine when done in moderation but awful when you could have been looking at some really interesting tourist attraction instead of that.

Another enormity was performed on the 4th day of my trip by the woman guide (unfortunately I do not remember her name) who took us to Ihlara valley with its ancient rock-carved churches and gave us all of twenty!!! minutes to spend there. She did not even go with us - she said a few words about it at the bottom of the valley and told us to go up and back down in 20 minutes and meet her back at the same spot!!! This is an abomination, that's what it is.

After this she took us to some restaurant with totally nondescript food and completely filthy bathrooms. There was no light, no toilet paper, no soap and no towels, and the floor was covered with pools of water (at least I hope this was water, because it was too dark to have a good look at it). Then when we loaded in the bus to continue the tour she told me to sit in front between her and the driver because the bus was overloaded with people and there were no seats in the back. I am not even sure if that was safe or consistent with any safety policies.

I should also add that on the first day in Goreme (4th day of my trip, not 3rd as I posted previously by mistake) the group consisted of about half English-speaking people and half Turkish-speaking, so the guide had to divide her time in two, telling us about the landmarks in English and then repeating the same in Turkish. But the worse was to come: on the second day in Goreme I was the only English-speaking person in the group! It's a good thing that I know a few things about Cappadocia history so I was not totally helpless. Also the guide recommended me to see the Dark Church (requires buying a separate ticket) which was amazing and I am really grateful for that. The restaurant he took us to was also great, with good food, clean bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi. However, on this day my tour ended at 3pm, which means that the useful time I spent looking at local attractions was about three hours. Then they left me at some hotel to wait for a bus to take me to the airport. The bus came late and the driver did not speak English; so when we stopped at the entrance to the airport grounds and the driver started shouting my name I could not understand what he wants. Luckily a nice lady that sat next to me obligingly translated that I have to take my things and run because otherwise I will miss my flight. I ran with my luggage (it's a good thing I am relatively fit; were there an old lady in my place, she would have had a heart attack). After crossing the entire parking lot running, I rushed into the airport building and hardly made it - I reached the gate when it already said "Last call". Obviously, since I have already parted with my money, no one cared any longer whether I catch my flight or not.

Resume: if you want to go to Turkey, don't go with TTC. You will probably be better off if you just come to Istanbul and then buy the same tours from the first agency that you come across in the street. (You will likely end up with the same guides that I did end up with, too.)

As you can see here https:/… instead of apologizing, the unnamed representative of TTC attacked me, and it is clear from his/her response that s/he did not understand half of my review (possibly not English-speaking and used Google Translate?) S/he did not acknowledge even a single one of the problems I described. So, don't go with them - you will be mistreated and then abused instead of an apology.

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4 replies to this topic
Aberdeen, Scotland
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for Aberdeen
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1. Re: My experience with Turkey Travel Centre, or TTC. Caveat

I second the tour operator’s question in response to your review- you visited in. November 16, wrote your review in July 17 and are now reposting in June 18. Why?

Is it true that you emailed TTC straight after your tour saying it was great before changing your mind and writing the less positive review some 8mths later? And now, another complaint some 19mths after the event.

You have fallen foul of booking through a third party, who has secured the cheapest rates possible from other operators to fill a space in their coach on the day - as evidenced by you being the only English speaker/ half English and half Turkish. Another sure sign, of this is having overlapping itineraries, and being dragged to so many shopping stops.

Too often, people come to these forums determined to get the cheapest price - and this is the result. Your post will be a good warning to others though to choose by quality, not price.

All your troubles would have been so easily avoided by choosing a well regarded local tour operator, or better still organising your trip yourself and just taking a couple of hand picked local tours. All so very easy to do had you come to the forum before your trip, rather than 19mths after it!

I’d put it down to experience if I were you, and concentrate my energy on organising my next trip better.

Toronto, Canada
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14 posts
79 reviews
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2. Re: My experience with Turkey Travel Centre, or TTC. Caveat

"...you emailed TTC straight after your tour saying it was great before changing your mind and writing the less positive review some 8mths later?"

"You have fallen foul of booking through a third party, who has secured the cheapest rates possible from other operators to fill a space in their coach on the day..."

What complete and utter nonsense. Maybe you should read my review again carefully and try to understand what it actually says. To make it clearer for you, I DID NOT email TTC after my tour (at all) and I DID NOT book any third party tours. All tourist services I used during these five days were booked by TTC and were parts of the single tour I purchased from TTC.

Aberdeen, Scotland
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for Aberdeen
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3. Re: My experience with Turkey Travel Centre, or TTC. Caveat

<< To make it clearer for you, I DID NOT email TTC after my tour (at all)>>

Ok, I only asked you about that because it says you did in TCCs response to your review.

<< and I DID NOT book any third party tours>>

But you did book through an operator who saves money by using third party tours, hence creating all teh issues you say you encountered.

Toronto, Canada
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14 posts
79 reviews
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4. Re: My experience with Turkey Travel Centre, or TTC. Caveat

Are you saying I should not have? Exactly. This is why I am posting here, to warn other people so they don't.

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