Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So THAT is How TVI Express Got "95000 hotels"...

A browse through some Indonesian website about TVI Express revealed a TVI Express booking certificate, with some very interesting emergency contact at the bottom. The certificate is reproduced to the right.

Note the "emergency contact" at the bottom. Guess where +90 country code is?

Turkey. That's right, all the way over in Turkey, in the Middle East

Search for that emergency contact number revealed that it's an outfit called HotelsPro.com . There is no cost to join, and they provide "95000 hotels in 11000 destinations", the EXACT numbers offered by TVI Express. 

However, note this item in their FAQ
Are hotel taxes included in my booking? For the majority of bookings, general hotel taxes are included in the room rate. Tourist/local/city taxes which generally include the use of local services may not be included. If city tax needs to be paid at the hotel, this info is shown in Remarks and on the voucher. %1% Some hotels, particularly in the USA do charge a resort fee which must be paid to the hotel directly. This is typically $10 to $20 a room a night. Hotelspro.com is not responsible for resort fee charges and have no control over their implementation. 
Location of Bali in IndonesiaImage via WikipediaThus, TVI Express just proved that it is charging exorbitant "taxes and processing fees" to enrich its own pockets. 

FYI, HotelsPro quotes roughly $186 per night for the Outrigger on Bali as in that certificate. Total trip, roughly $550 or so, and that's with 2 months advanced reservation. So TVI Express is losing $300 for every trip redeemed, even if it's from Indonesia to Indonesia, NOT counting airfare. If they are providing "free companion ticket" as they promised, they will lose EVEN MORE! 

WHAT SORT OF BUSINESS loses money for every member that joined? 

Clearly they have NO intention of fulfilling everybody's trip. 

Furthermore, is hotelspro.com a legitimate website? If you search it on Robtex you will see that it has NO reputation, claims to be based on New York but is likely actually based on Turkey. Its parent, MetGlobal, shows a US address (New York), but again, is likely based in Turkey. Alexa's info shows that MetGlobal is definitely most popular in Turkey, .

Sorry, but it's clear that TVI Express is dealing with some secondary or tertiary hotel wholesalers to satisfy a FEW of the redemptions (note the vacation is only 3 nights) and even that is only in Indonesia. It does NOT prove they are legitimate. It only proves that they can deal with some probably legitimate suppliers. 

(Just for comparison, HotelsPro's rates are comparable to Travelocity's rates for the same hotel)

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