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Bad experience with Owadan Agency

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:50 am
by entransat

We booked a tour in Turkmenistan with Owadan agency including LOI procedure on July 2016.

As we agreed with the agency during all the procedure of booking, the most important for us was the safe transport of our bicycles from the Bajirgan border to the Farap border. That's why we chose this agency, because of his option to transport the bikes with a dedicated track. They sent us a picture to show the track and during all the program it was well written « track» for the transport of bicycles. That is why we chose the cotation of this agency, more expensive than the other ones, but safer for our bikes and with less stress for us.

But now we are really disappointed about how things happened during the trip :

- On Bajgiran border, two « mini-bus » for nine people were affected to transport us and our bikes. It was impossible to take-off the seats, so we had to charge the bikes by ourselves in a position not safe for us and for our bikes (bikes on the top of the seats...)

- The night train, from Asgabat to Turkmenabat was not booked in advance, and there was no dedicated wagon for luggage, and so bicycles ! Our guide had to hardly discuss and deal with the train manager to get our bikes accepted in the train. So we had to hurry and charge them by ourselves in the locomotive wich was not appropriate for that and to pay extra fees !!!! It was a lot of stress, the bikes were slightly damaged and we had to pay extra cost for this !!! In the contract extra-fees for bikes were not mentionned because they were supposed to be carry by truck...

So, we are not satisfied by the prestations and professionalism of this agency : a lot of stress for us to manage our bicycles when it was clear in the contract that they should have been handled by Owadan. In the contract and the program, they were engaged to transport our bikes with a specific track and a lot of attention. It was never the case. Moreover they said that everything about bike transportation was included. It was not the case. It was really too expensive for that quality of prestation.

And to finish, we have sent a complain to Owadan two times. They never answer.

So we can't recommend this agency.

Re: Bad experience with Owadan Agency

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:37 am
by steven
Sad to read your experience, entransat.

Owadan is a big tour operator with lots of contracts with European tour operators. They got fat off big groups that continue to bring in the money. I am surprised they answered you in the first place. In any case, they do not care about 2 cyclists, they have bigger fish to fry. That explains the attitude. Your bad review will not hurt their business, sadly.

Ps: for future readers: we do care about small groups with special wishes (even if you are a headache sometimes), we even prefer it. And we are cheaper than Owadan :-)