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No refunds available and huge price increase
We booked our trip with e-cruising travel, which is an excellent company, as part of a broader trip to other parts of the NT and WA. It was cancelled when the WA govt slammed the borders shut 2 weeks before the trip was to start. All other companies, including QANTAS provided full refunds, but not this greedy outfit, which now wants an extra $1,000 for the trip in 2023. Reluctantly we have to pay this or lose our money! The only reason they are fully booked is because of this policy.
Stay away from this company
Sadly it is impossible to get a refund of $6000 from this company. Nobody is at fault. It’s Covid. Give regulations are too weak. Stay away!! Almost impossible to get hold of some to assist.
Poor customer service
Our package holiday on the Indian Pacific in September, purchased through Imagine Holidays, was cancelled. We were issued with a credit note for travel to be taken before 31 March 2023. The only rail journey that interests us is on the Indian Pacific. We've been told there's no availability for us (we require a bed as for us bunks are not an option) in 2022 and no programme is available for 2023. Imagine Holidays claim that all the money has been passed to Journey Beyond Rail. I therefore wrote to the CEO of Journey Beyond, Chris Tallent, on 17th October (it was received and signed for on 25th October). I am still waiting for a response, even after phoning Journey Beyond to remind them!
No refund policy and shameful credit practices
In my view this "iconic" Australian company has adopted shameful business practices during COVID, particularly noting its customer base is largely older Australians.
It suspended numerous services on The Ghan during 2021 and very recently during August and September 2021 when generally clients, including ourselves, from Qld, WA, SA, NT and Tassy were able to freely move between their State and SA/NT to undertake their contracted trip or holiday.
Subsequently refusing refunds under the little known or understood, FORCE MAJEURE condition in their...
I have sent emails - no response. Now waiting on the phone - 30 minutes so far with no idea if I am progressing in the queue or how much longer I will have to wait. Last time I phone the wait was 90 minutes!
Darwin to Adelaide - Platinum (Carriage H) - 15 Jun 21
Wonderful outback experiences for four days with fine dining and impeccable staff (Fern, Deanna, Lisinda and Isabella) that worked as a "team" throughout the journey.
Had middle cabin in carriage so minimal rolling stock issues that some passengers commented on.
Pre booked (Sage) hotel by Journeys Beyond in Adelaide was below acceptable standard for Platinum standards and duty Manager endevored to improve situation..
We are booked to travel in May. Incredible but no one answers the phone and No answer to emails
We are booked to travel in May. Incredible but no one answers the phone and No answer to email. Unbelievable bad service. What are these guys doing!!! I find this situation incredible. Has anyone also experienced this?
Customer Sevice is simply terrible
Booked a train journey Adelaide to Melbourne and received an email some months later that the service had changed from a Monday to a Sunday and I was asked to re-book. This meant that accommodation that I had organised, had to be re-booked also. I did so by email but received no response. A phone call to GSR was met with a rude response. I would never use this crowd again.
Was good experince ,organiser where horrible
Being more honest work in with local travel agent .
Trip it self was great thats was 5 star
They way travel agent and ghan orgainisers was terrible .
First of all neiter of the ghan organisers and the ravel agent told we could not have suit case on the train told us we had to find some back packs fit what ever we could and my misses was in tears dint want go on the train only one conductor spent time with my misses tried settle her down was very sorry what happend to us he could do any more he tried get us to the silver class but was no vaccani...
Letter to great southern rail
The following letter was written to Great Southern Rail in 2018. They did not bother to reply.
I am taking the time to write to you about our recent (and apparently ongoing) experience with Great Southern Rail. Your customer feedback form simply does not have enough room for me to register my huge disappointment with the service we received from your company. I booked this trip last year as a very expensive, special treat for my husband’s birthday in April this year. Your website sells The Ghan as follows: Great Southern Rail offers journeys b...eyond into the wide expanse of the Australian Outback. Experience the very best Australia has to offer in a level of comfort only rail travel can provide. and Regarded as one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, The Ghan delivers so much more than an extended train ride. It promises access to parts of Australia no other holiday can come close to the perfect balance of comfort and adventure culminating in an experience that will move you in every sense of the word. I have travelled extensively, to more than 50 countries including various rail journeys (USA, Canadian Rockies, on the Orient Express and from St Petersburg to Moscow return). The decision to buy two Platinum tickets was not taken lightly, but because we would be embarking on ‘one of the world’s greatest rail journeys’ and would experience ‘the very best Australia has to offer’ I decided hang the expense, and went ahead and booked tickets on The Ghan for my husband for his birthday. We elected to park our car at Adelaide airport and booked our all-inclusive Platinum transfer from the airport to the train. At this point things started to go badly wrong. There was no sign of our driver, and after waiting a reasonable amount of time we called Great Southern Rail, finally being put through to our driver who advised that we had already been picked up. Well, no, we hadn’t, we were still waiting at the airport. He was, he said, almost back to the depot, however he would now come back to the airport and pick us up and deliver us to the train. Eventually. There were, as we discovered when we finally arrived at the train, six people with the same surname (not Smith or Jones either!) who were travelling Platinum class on the 29th April train. Our driver had already picked up one couple with OUR NAME. They knew his name he said (not hard to deduce the name of your driver when he is wearing a big name badge emblazoned with ‘[name removed]’) and they came straight up to him he said (he was holding his iPad displaying ‘The Ghan’ and ‘OUR NAME’). Not rocket science, any of that. Someone, somewhere MUST have noticed that 6/30 or 20% of the Platinum passengers on the 29th April had the same surname. Thank God I’m not called Smith, the potential for confusion with multiple passengers sharing a slightly more common name than OUR NAME does not bear thinking about. The check in staff asked me if I was Ethel (well no, I’m not) and when they discovered who we really were there was a flurry of activity as tags had to be removed from our luggage, new ones attached while we were allocated to a new cabin. Our original cabin was already occupied by the interlopers who had inadvertently commandeered our transfer vehicle at the airport. So. We settled into our cabin, unpacked and went to the dining car for lunch. Luke-warm food of only average quality has never impressed me, and it did not do so this time. We spent the afternoon watching the scenery, reading books, trying to adjust to what was obviously going to be a very rough ride. Question: do the carriages have any kind of stabilisers? Or is the track so rough that nothing can change the uncomfortable ride that your train delivers?
Trip of a lifetime
Everything was perfect - food, tours, hospitality, accommodation. We'd never travelled by rail before, and we loved it. The lunch beside Katherine Gorge was amazing - fine dining in a beautiful location
Great Southern Brisbane to Adelaide - Platinum Class
Having previously travelled Platinum class, on the Indian Pacific in 2018, and loved it so much, we were really looking forward to this new train journey. At a price of $1090 per person per day, one would expect a certain degree of comfort and also quality appetising meals. Sadly we didn't get either.
The journey was a nightmare. The ride quality is so bad that it makes it extremely difficult to sleep. The train company has no control over the tracks but for goodness sake change the trains to air suspension and give your passengers some de...gree of comfort. The cabin was very nice, having recently been refurbished, but the carpet had not been vacuumed and worse still the floor of the ensuite had also not been vacuumed and mopped. Our first night the air con in the cabin was not working. In fairness, it was repaired the next day, but failed again on the third night, by which time we were past caring. The excursions were 8.5 - 10 hours long. Too much time spent off train so that all the traveling was done at night, when it was dark. The only scenery we saw therefore was from the coach window. Had we wanted a coach holiday we would have booked one. If you enjoy good food this is not the holiday for you. Food very ordinary, and in some instances extremely poor, both on the train and the excursions. Did not even get a decent cooked breakfast. The staff were absolutely fantastic. Worked long hours but always had a smile on their face and couldn't do enough for all their passengers.
Bad exsperince on Indian Pacfic
Last Wendesday Adelaide to Sydney late from Keswick Terminal changed our car plumbing issues. Good trip to Broken Hill great on board staff great food and drink. But from the Hill to out side Bathurt it was so rough l could not even read a magazine did not sleep one wink, every bump and hole was transferred up thru the boggies l thought we where of the road several times,every other passenger felt the same.
Great Southern Rail should get there asscess fee reinbursted. And to rub salt into our wounds our car ran out of water, so no toilet or showers.
Ex State Rail Area Controller..
Not value for money
Having returned from a rail tour on the Ghan through central Australia, we were very disappointed. At $900 per person per day, we found it very ordinary. There are much better and more economical ways to experience Australia.
Roughest train trip I've ever encountered!!!
Love train trips and have done many in various countries. Broken Hill to Parkes was THE ROUGHEST (as with other reviews, bruises to prove it)...(did we have "cowboy" driver too)? Service staff and food were great but can't recommend the actual train journey!! Tracks desperately need upgrade!!
Questions & Answers
Why is there no response on all these poor reviews? It really reflects on the arrogance of these sites that they don't have the guts to respond. When they star losing business they will start to complain "why weren't we told?. Apparently they don't seem to care or they would be responding by now.
Its up for sale and they dont want to answer anyone as they may loose millions of dollar do to management silence the staff who work on these trains are first class its a shame management wont learn from there top staff
That is very interesting. It is a shame the Government ever sold those trains.
I would like to know,why there has been no replies from GSR,regarding these appalling bad reviews,of their service. This couldn’t care less attitude,should not be tolerated.
I've not had any positive responses from GSR about the lack of maintenance to passenger carriages. For a 3 night journey you would expect some level of comfort. Travelers would not contemplate a return journey.
I will not be going on a planned trip on their trains,solely on the poor reviews,and their lack of response to complaints. If this was my business,there would be some changes made,I can tell you! First one would be the exorbitant prices,and poor track,especially between Adelaide and Sydney.
I agree with you there Stuart! My wife and I were seriously thinking of going on the Ghan but after reading the reviews that is not going to happen. I believe the States and/or National Department of tourism should get on top of this and get it improved. The Australian Government is trying to encourage us to spend our money and time in this Country.
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