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  1. #1

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    Update on Colonial Tours Fraud

    Klemyk has had two plea dates set aside by her lawyer. Her next one is scheduled for Nov. 16.

    http://www.ifsmagazine.com/articles/...colonial-fraud

  2. #2
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    I wonder if Patricia Winter is a member here. If so, i'm very sorry for all you went through

  3. #3
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    This is so sad. I had many a good experience with Colonial and Maria in the late '90's and early 2000s. I bailed when the 2003 Worlds packages came through at a very high price, found I could handle this stuff on my own for considerably less money. Something obviously went very wrong. I would still consider using an agency if I were going to Worlds outside the US and now don't know who to use if I were to decide to do this.

  4. #4

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    Very sad.

    It's also one good reason to pay by credit card instead of cash for purchases that large. The bank tends to take on the fraud risk and has better resources to initiate legal action.
    "Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm -- but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." – T.S. Eliot

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinA View Post
    This is so sad. I had many a good experience with Colonial and Maria in the late '90's and early 2000s. I bailed when the 2003 Worlds packages came through at a very high price, found I could handle this stuff on my own for considerably less money. Something obviously went very wrong. I would still consider using an agency if I were going to Worlds outside the US and now don't know who to use if I were to decide to do this.
    Silver Blades in the U.S. or Uniworld in Canada would be my best bets.

  6. #6

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    I see a niche that needs to be filled. Surely some people here could start the voidiest skating travel company of all.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpal2 View Post
    Very sad.
    But also criminal.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by gofigure View Post
    Silver Blades in the U.S. or Uniworld in Canada would be my best bets.
    What about DASH...the one led by the funny guy who sits next to Kiss n' Cry and loudly congratulates skaters? Is this a legit tour company that delivers? They seem to be more affordable than the others.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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    have never travelled with them personally but many people are repeat clients. Company has been in business for years. I can't speak to the travel industry in particular but also Saskatchewan where company is based does have strong consumer protection laws in many areas.

  10. #10
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    I have used DASH tours twice, but the last time was '03 Worlds. For a while they had all kind of "upgrade" fees, which turned me off, but I haven't noticed that in their recent offerings.

    For most events in Canada or U.S. you are more likely to be able to do things cheaper on your own than through a tour. However, the first time I used their services I made a last minute decision to go to Worlds and ended up with great seats and a fab hotel, so there are perks for what you pay for.
    I meant to take the high road.... but I missed the exit.

  11. #11
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    I get the impression that Dash provides tickets, hotel and (sometimes) transportation to and from the rink.

    The other companies, while more expensive, offer the above plus city tours, dinners, welcome parties and (for extra $$$ of course) pre and/or post tours to interesting places. Air fare may or may not be included.

    So it depends what you want- if the basics are enough, then Dash should meet your needs- but if you want a bit more and are willing to pay for it, then Silver Blades or Uniworld could work.

    I used Colonial several times and always (until Turin) had good experiences with them, so this situation makes me very sad. I was able to get a full refund for Turin through my credit card, but I feel for those who lost money and hope they can get compensation of some kind.
    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.
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  12. #12

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    I met a couple of people in Torino last year who were with Dash and they were literally on their own -- the company had not sent a representative to Italy! Their customers had to find their own way from the airport to the various hotels (they all arrived on different flights and were staying in different hotels around the city). Dash had sent them etickets for the arena. They had to figure out how to get to and from the arena on their own, and then this couple had a problem with their seats -- they were already occupied ! It took them 2 days to get it straightened out with the arena staff (which was very frustrating since the couple did not speak Italian) and during that time one of them had to be at their seats at all times so as to be able to fight off the other couple who also "owned" the seats. In the end they were moved to a worse pair of seats in another section. Also, the Dash people were scattered in clumps throughout the arena (they didn't all sit together) so unless they were seat-neighbors or talked in the hotels, they didn't know who each other were.

    Then to top it off, one night this couple got back to their hotel after a day at the arena and found the hotel maintenance staff had entered their room during the day, piled all their stuff in the center of the room, and PAINTED ALL THE WALLS. And of course the hotel was full, so they could not move to another room to get away from the odor. GAH!

    To their credit, they took it all in the best of spirits and with the attitude that they would have lots of great stories to tell when it was all over...but still, I (and many others) took it as an indicator to never go with Dash -- you might as well go on your own for all the help they give you. All Dash did was get them hotel reservations and event tickets.

    FWIW, from what I've gathered a lot of people here in Canada go through Dash for 2 reasons: 1) they advertise a LOT during televised skating events and most people don't know who else offers skating tours and 2) they buy up as many event tickets as they can and only cut off sales when they run out of event tickets...which means they take on a lot of customers (they have 100+ people in their groups).

    Not really my cup of tea at all...
    Last edited by lurvylurker; 11-10-2011 at 04:52 PM.
    just my two cents...

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by gofigure View Post
    Silver Blades in the U.S. or Uniworld in Canada would be my best bets.
    I can recommend Uniworld. I have been to five worlds with them and have always been very pleased.

  14. #14

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    Colonial all the way. At this year's SC, I felt very well taken care of. Since it was a small party, our mode of transportation to and from the arena was a white stretch limo! Of course it took me a few minutes to stop giggling when I first saw it.

  15. #15

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    I have used DASH many times, including the 2008 Worlds in Gothenberg. I am travelling with them again this year. I have never had a problem with seats, hotel, travel.

    We are usually in a high end suite hotel, often within walking distance of the arena, and with other members of the tour group. If the hotel is over a mile from the arena, there is a bus.

    I buy my own plane tickets, that's something DASH does not attempt. And I agree, since I sometimes arrive a day early or stay later, or even travel on to another city. It is true then, that I have to find my own way from the airport to the hotel. The only time this was a problem as London, ON, which has horrible transport links into the city.

    I have never bought an upgrade, always the Bronze tickets. Our seats are always terrific, central and low. There is always a group meal provided once during the event.

    I have bought arena tickets on my own for events in Victoria but never get seats as good as the ones DASH sells.

    Short story. No problems. Satisfied customer since 2001.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by sk9tingfan View Post
    Colonial all the way. At this year's SC, I felt very well taken care of. Since it was a small party, our mode of transportation to and from the arena was a white stretch limo! Of course it took me a few minutes to stop giggling when I first saw it.
    I think you meant Skate Blades Tours or another tour company?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by gofigure View Post
    I think you meant Skate Blades Tours or another tour company?
    Yes! I totally had a brain lapse. I must have just picked up Colonial from the title of the thread. I meant to say SilverBlade Tours. I've traveled with them a few times and have been very happy with the company from all perspectives.

  18. #18

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    Silver Blade is great. I traveled with them a few times. Once I went with a friend with Colonial. Seats were fine, but they had messed up our hotel reservation and when we got to the hotel we didn't have a room. It was Colonial's mistake, not the hotel's. I remember that Maria and her co-host each were originally to have their own room, but they ended up sharing so we got one of the rooms. So that was nice of them, but they never owned up to their mistake and never told us they were going to share a room to fix the problem. Basically lied to us about the problem and their solution. But the hotel employee who checked us in told us. It was odd, because we'd have had more respect for them if they'd just told us they made a mistake and what they were going to do to fix it.

  19. #19

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    Travel Agent (Maria Klemyk) Charged for the Third Time: http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/l...159429905.html
    "Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden

  20. #20

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    Hmm, after looking at their website
    http://www.colonial-travelskating.com/
    I can't believe anyone would book with this company. Unless they give a lot more professional presentation of themselves somewhere else.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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