Tour agency 'did its part': Director
Breakdowns happen and they are usually unexpected, said Mr Gordon Tang, the managing director of AMW Travel Service.
Responding to Ms Candice Chin's complaints, Mr Tang, 45, said in Mandarin: "It is normal for vehicles to break down and it is something unforeseen.
"We do checks on our end, but you cannot guarantee that the vehicle won't break down. Of course, we did not want this incident to happen."
As for Ms Chin's complaint that her calls to the agency went unanswered, Mr Tang said it did get back to her eventually.
He said that Ms Chin would not accept the explanation for the delay in sending a replacement vehicle.
"It was a weekend afternoon and all the vans were taken. I believe most people can understand this simple explanation," said Mr Tang.
Even if a vehicle was available, it would still have taken three to four hours for it to get to the stranded group, he said.
Mr Tang said the replacement vehicle arrived there at 6.30pm, but Ms Chin did not answer phone calls from the driver.
"We sent her the details of the replacement vehicle. She was uncontactable and our driver was looking for her for two hours. She never contacted us to tell us that she had arranged her own transport," he said.
Mr Tang also maintained that the original driver had followed the itinerary.
He said that since the family members had a vehicle to themselves, the driver could have tailored the itinerary to their requests.
As for Ms Chin's complaint that the minivan and driver were missing when they returned from the clinic, Mr Tang said the vehicle had been towed away to be repaired and the driver had to accompany it.
He maintained the agency had done its part in sending a replacement vehicle.
A check with the Consumers Association of Singapore on AMW Travel Service shows a complaint in May 2011 about the agency failing to honour a contractual agreement.
It had provided accommodation at a serviced apartment instead of a three-star hotel as promised to a consumer.
Case executive director Seah Seng Choon said the number of travel industry complaints has fallen in recent years.
She was uncontactable and our driver was looking for her for two hours. She never contacted us to tell us that she had arranged her own transport.
- Mr Gordon Tang, the managing director of AMW Travel Service
BY THE NUMBERS
Travel industry complaints handled by Case last year, down from 210 in 2012 and 273 in 2011. There has been 108 of such complaints so far this year.