A few days ago, TAV India Tours reached out to me, offering me a “steep discount” on one of their India tour packages. However, I soon found out that this Indian Tour Agency is nothing more than an expensive scam targeting bloggers who want to visit the beautiful country of India!
So what is the scam and when did I find out the whole set-up was nothing more than a big fat lie? Let’s have a look!
The first scam of TAV India Tours is in the name. TAV namely stands for Travel As Volunteer. TAV must once have been a voluntourism travel agency offering rich white people a chance to go and volunteer for a week in India – I am not a fan of voluntourism, and I am more than happy to talk about this in another blog post.
Why would a company change its WHOOOOOOLE business model? A business model that is even embedded into the name of the company? Don’t you think that is weird?
Also: their website looks like it was completely set up to persuade bloggers that this is a legit business. They even have blogger testimonials prominently posted very prominently on their website.
The website itself also looks very dodgy. A well-to-do travel agency that charges $780 per person for a 5-day tour should have enough money to buy a good website. No?
Even the initial email I received screamed “I am a scam!”. Different colours text, double spaces where there shouldn’t be, and they even did not take the time to copy my first name into the email. This is just a mass-email, trying to get as many poor travel bloggers to sign up to their tour as possible.
How much or what was TAV India Tours offering?
TAV India tours were offering me – the blogger, a FREE tour. Allright! Yes! That’s great!
But there is a catch.
I need to bring 3 other people with me who will get a 50% discount!
WHOOOHOO! Allright! Yes!
The prices that TAV India Tours were quoting are WAY higher than the normal prices you would pay for a 5 day tour of the Golden Triangle. In fact I would say that the price lies about 520% higher than it should be. What? Yes! A 520% mark up per person.
In my email, they quoted $780 per person – which is obviously a lot more than the cost of the tour on their website. So lets say that I bring 3 friends and we travel to India to take this tur and that my 3 friends pay $780 per person.
3 X $780 = $2340
That is a lot of money!
But I will be going free. Remember! So we will actually be saving 25%.
On their website this company quotes the ASTRONOMICAL price of $1120 but kindly brings that fake price down to $560.
Let’s say that my party of 4 signs up to the deal of $560 FOR THE EXACT SAME TRIP. We would pay 4 x $560 = $2240 which means we would actually be SAVING money! Can you actually believe how much they tried to rip me off there?
What a fucking pisstake!
What was included in the package by TAV India Tours?
This is screenshot from the email I received from TAV India Tours.
Seasoned travellers will instantly understand that this means we basically receive a glorified chauffeur for 5 days who will bring us around some sights in Jaipur, Agra and Delhi. He will speak English but not necessarily be very knowledgeable about the sites or the history of the sites. This also means we have to pay our own food throughout the day – not that this will be very expensive (but still) and that we have to pay for our own entrance fees to the sights and monuments.
How much does a tour in The Golden Triangle really cost?
I can imagine that people who are very knowledgeable about India are now screaming at their computer screen that even $560 is a total rip off. And yes! That is 100% true!
$560 for a 5 day tour with private car and 5 star hotel included is way too much. Just a tiny little search on the internet yielded some interesting and well-reviewed results that would cost between $120 and $250 with the difference being food and alcohol being included in the latter. The $108 version is basically the complete same trip as the one TAV is offering. And the $108 tour actually includes a dinner in Jaipur as well whereas the TAV tour only includes breakfast!
4 x $108 = $432
Vs the $2340 TAV were offering.
What the actual fuck!
How dare they!
And the sad part is that I notice some bloggers already fell for this horrible trick. Please blogger girls and blogger boys: remember to always look up the real cost of what companies are offering. And above all: remember that the word “free” and “a good deal/collab” are not the same in the blogger world.