I am seeking feedback on how best to handle a dispute with a booking agent. Last year, for reasons then unknown, I postponed and/or cancelled all my huntng trips, including a Tok Management Area Dall sheep tag. I postponed until 2006 an Azerbaijan tur hunt. In January I was feeling great so I paid the rest of the first 50%. On March 4, 2006, after symptoms first noted in Tunica, I had sextuple (6) bypass surgery: one artery completely blocked and 5 needing a lot of help. Needless to say that put the tur hunt on the back burner. To top it all off, my mother (88 years young) died on May 3rd.
I have offered to shift to another hunt with the same booking agent but have received the cold shoulder. Seems a poor business practice but booking agent is keeping full deposit despite fact that it looks like they have shifted a few people around and are now 100% booked for tur hunts this year.
I am interested in learning of the experiences of others in postponing, cancelling and/or rearranging overseas goat/sheep hunts with special emphasis on the area of Russia and former SSR states. I had rather thought that a booking agent would be very amenable to helping out a client with a problem such as mine as many of the 'old coots' of the sheep hunting community are going to be facing similar problems. How many booking agents want their clients dropping dead on the mountain?
Can reply to me off-line at OREGONCARL@AOL.COM
In my opinion, and it is my opinion only. The booking agent should try to book your hunt for somebody else at a ruduced price. You should have to loose some of your $, but not all.
If the booking agent books a replacement......
The person you takes your place should get their hunt at a discount.
You should get a partial deposit back.
But the booking agent should get more than his usual commision because the more than usual amount for the additional amount of work to book the hunt.
This is my opinion only
You should post the name of the booking agent on this web message so all members can know to stay far away from that agent. This nonsense about the booking agent being due more commission is just that - nonsense! They work for you on a commission basis. I've been taken too many times by shady booking agents. It is a totally unregulated industry preying on guys with more money and testosterone than common sense. Especially the disguised ones like Garth Carter of The Huntin Fool Magazine who basically are running a booking agency without the liability.
As a point of clarification, I am not trying to 'stiff' the booking agent. I feel that my requests have been reasonable. They know that I am willing to kick in for the extra work they have had to put in. They also know that I am willing to follow through with a less strenuous hunt in the near future ... this year or next. I have mentioned whitetail or pronghorn options for this year and China blue sheep or Mongolian ibex for next year.
I offered to forfeit the entire deposit if I did not complete an alternate hunt by next year.
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