Mystery shopper: A tour of India

Mystery shopper: A tour of India

Location:Call centres / homeworkers
Wanted: A couple would like an escorted tour in India for about 14 nights in October. They want to visit Delhi and Jaipur but other than that are flexible and keen to explore.
Budget: £6,000

The website was attractive and the contact details were easy to find. The service was impressive, once I got speak to someone, but I had to hold for more than eight minutes before my call was answered. The agent was friendly and asked questions to build an idea of what I wanted. I was offered three very strong and detailed options, including an 18-day Grand Tour of India package for £2,099 flying from Heathrow. This included half-board accommodation in nine Indian cities in hotels and on a houseboat. No airline was mentioned and I feel the agent could have suggested ways to upgrade and personalise the trip, despite this I would still recommend this service.

I had to wait a few minutes to speak to someone and when I did the agent was a bit cold in her approach and said she would call back. The agent was more enthusiastic when we spoke again. However, the layout of the itinerary she sent was not very professional. I was offered an eight-day tour from Delhi to Jaipur and Agra for £4,150 including British Airways flights. The agent spent a lot of time tailoring my holiday rather than bombarding me with options.

The website was not that attractive and if I was a genuine customer, I would not have persevered with this enquiry. The first four agents I called were on annual leave or had no answer phone. The agent I spoke to sent me six quotes in the form of website links, without any further details and told me to look at the websites to find cheaper options. One trip cost more than £12,000, despite specifying that the budget was £6,000.

Winning agent

Ryan McVinnie, personal travel advisor

"I am chuffed to be a winning agent. I have worked for Co-op Travel for four years and Thomas Cook for eight years. We aim to give the best possible service. We have a large number of suppliers so we can tailor holidays to different people."


The winning agent gave excellent service by offering several options, while the third placed agent should consider refining the options and offering more detailed quotes.


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