Mexican trip turns hell for Filipino family
A holiday vacation in Mexico turned hell for a Filipino family after experiencing a harrowing ordeal at the hands of their Mexican travel agency.
A Filipino national who requested anonymity detailed the unfortunate fate of his family in Mexico in a complaint letter obtained by the Daily Tribune.
Addressed to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Director Daniela Gil Sevilla, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Mexico in the Philippines, the letter noted that the family booked a tour from 26 December to 4 January through a travel agency named Agencia de Viajes Liberte.
As their usual practice when traveling abroad, the complainant noted that they had been meticulous and diligent in preparing all travel requirements for the tour, including their payment.
“We settled the payment through bank remittance to the travel agency’s account before we left the Philippines to ensure a smooth and uneventful trip to Mexico,” he said.
According to him, the start of the tour went smoothly without incident, until the travel agency started harassing them for allegedly not settling their tour payment.
He said a certain Nadia Fickentcher from the travel agency became hostile to his family in the middle of their tour.
“She became irate and disrespectful throughout our conversation, and their treatment towards us became hostile,” he explained.
“We showed them the official proof of payment from the bank, which they unreasonably deemed as not acceptable,” he added.
The complainant noted that they explained to the travel agency that there must have been a delay in the process of their payment due to the influx of remittances at Christmas, a common scenario in the Philippines.
“We assured them that the payment is in process and that payment documents from the bank were valid. They kept on giving the wrong SWIFT code so the remittance was re-processed,” he said.
Two days before the supposed end of their tour, Jacqueline Margarette Su Guia, their tour guide, dropped the tour.
The complainant said the agency detained his family in a hotel called Hotel Puebla in Mexico City for a night and illegally seized their passports, credit cards, as well as some of their luggage.
“We were not allowed to get our personal belongings, even to change clothes,” he said.
The complainant disclosed that the agency refused to give his family food during their detention at the hotel.
We settled the payment through bank remittance to the travel agency’s account before we left the Philippines to ensure a smooth and uneventful trip to Mexico.
Likewise, the travel agency used his credit card without his consent. Fortunately, the payment did not process.
“When they took my credit card, I vehemently expressed my refusal to swipe it because of the fact that we already paid in advance, the subsequent payment will be charged against my account again and the agency might not give us a refund,” he said.
“Despite my adamant refusal, the agency still swiped my card. It was fortunate that the transaction did not go through,” he added.
It is only a matter of hours before the situation de-escalated after the agency received the remittance payment on their end.
“They merely treated the prior incident as a mere happenstance, without offering their apologies for the distressing ordeal that they subjected us to,” he said.
The complainant said they decided not to proceed with their tour due to the humiliation they went through, and for a refund for the corresponding cost instead.
“To date, we still have not received any refund. We just took care of everything by ourselves from thereon because of our fear of dealing with them again,” he said.
He noted that his family has considered not going back to Mexico due to their bad experience in the said country.
“This agency needs to be penalized for the psychological and emotional torment that they inflicted upon us. No one deserves this nightmarish treatment,” he said.
The complainant said they have sent an email to the Philippine Embassy in Mexico while they were there.
They also forwarded the email to the Ministry of Tourism and Embassy of Mexico in the Philippines.
Apparently, only the Ministry of Tourism and the Embassy of Mexico in the Philippines responded to their emails.
The Daily Tribune is awaiting comments from the Department of Foreign Affairs as of presstime.
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