An email from Desmond Kong…

I received an email from Desmond Kong, a good friend of mine who is an avid mountain climber. He was really frustrated with Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. He also forwarded a chat transcript with his friend regarding the issue…

(Apology for the grammatical errors. I “cut & paste” the email to preserve the originality.)

Hi Ruhaizad

Since last year i hav told you that my friends and i are planning to climb Mt KK on 24-28 march 2008 and i hav told how exited am i about it. Until u forward me the website and the increase of price we were devastated. KK park hav package it. The price is ridiculous high of course is still very cheap for foreigners due to exchange rates. They do have local rates like what RM50 difference! Might as well dont have it. RM50 differences in USD is only $15 differences, the mat sallehs will laugh their way up to Low’s peak. Why should we pay so much to visit our own heritage it will kill local tourism. Just the climb alone it will come to Rm 800 if we climb Mersilau trail. Which i only spend slightly above Rm 1000 my 2006 trip. Including 1st nite at KK park (garden lodges ), 2nd nite laban rata, 3rd nite KK park (garden lodges). 4th nite camping in island, 5th day shopping at KK town & flew back. 6 of us each spend RM 1100 – 1200. We accept price increase as everything increases since petrol went up but not until like what 300%.

My friend even went to KK park when he was there for biz trip during Oct 07 remember & i ask u how come is not open for booking then u send me the new price website. When Jan 08 comes we saw the price went down to more reasonable price it gave us more hope as not everyone can afford not that everyone cant afford is it worth it or not as we also have our own commitment in financial. The person my friend s***** been coresponding is not responding. It make us very frustrated and now is fully booked and we burn our air tickets, 12 ppl’s air tickets. U can see my recent chat with him in msn the situation to book is totally disappointing which can be describe typical malaysian way of doing things.

After this incident i do not know we will climb Mt KK again. As is difficult to ajak ppl again. If go also i must find new kaki. Aiyah….

Des says:

so how is KK trip?

s***** says:

dead

s***** says:

cannot book for climb

s***** says:

so, everyone’s out except sugu, hh and you

Des says:

y cant book huh?

s***** says:

so annoying… i’ve been emailing

s***** says:

remember i fwd the email for the rates to you all?

s***** says:

then when i email to book, no response…

s***** says:

i resend the email twice

Des says:

they din response?

s***** says:

still no response

s***** says:

so i call

Des says:

emm

s***** says:

call and call and call

s***** says:

either engaged or ring no one answer

s***** says:

so i wrote and faxed

s***** says:

no reply

s***** says:

so i just keep calling la

s***** says:

everyday

s***** says:

different times

s***** says:

then finally i get thru

s***** says:

oh, before that i call kinabalu park

Des says:

ya….

s***** says:

they said the number is correct

s***** says:

try again

s***** says:

so i keep trying lo

s***** says:

finally on cny eve, i get thru

s***** says:

they tell me that the girl who was answering my emails not working there anymore

Des says:

WAT!

s***** says:

and they have only 2 staff working but there are 6 lines

s***** says:

and that it is all fully booked

s***** says:

i keep talking to her cos i dont want to put down the phone

s***** says:

cos so hard to get thru

s***** says:

so, like that lo

s***** says:

sugu and hh dont mind going to jalan jalan

Des says:

so finally is fully book n we plan so early for nothing

s***** says:

yeah, remember, i was there in their office in october last year

s***** says:

to book but they said not open for booking yet

Des says:

ya

Des says:

next time wan to plan also no mood, when book air ticket

Des says:

so r u going jalan2?

s***** says:

dunno la…

s***** says:

like no real purpose like that…

s***** says:

i will have to discuss with the girls to see what they wanna do

Des says:

that is hard without purpose

s***** says:

dont really wanna waste 1 week’s leave jsut to jalan

9 thoughts on “An email from Desmond Kong…

  1. Sutera Harbour Resorts has taken over all the SSL booking system since last year.

    There’s no SSL receptionist and online booking already.

    SHR tryin to destroy them and take over the whole vacancy.

    If you wanna book any destination from SSL, straight away call SHR office to book.

    They are ebil…

    it’s a long story.. but i can’t let you guys know all the detail..

    ya.. just call SHR for future..
    SSL number and email still exist.. but the new stuff from SHR won’t do their work…

  2. Hi GeneralKnowledge,

    It is better if you could email to me directly and explain the situation. It is not good to be so secrecy like this, as it will hurt our Sabah’s tourism industry.

    I know it is a long story, but climbers from all over the world do not know about this, and they still assume that it is really easy to climb Mount Kinabalu.

    Thanks for your feedback.

  3. To be fair, it WAS easy to climb Mount Kinabalu. Physically it still is, it’s just that with the recent situation, it’s the reservation that is difficult.=(

    Desmond,
    Since you’re already going over to KK and have taken the leave. There are still a lot of places you can go ‘jalan-jalan’ to forget about the distress. =) You could go white-water rafting, the Sepilok Orang Utan sanctuary, Kinabatangan for the river safari. Go out to Pulau Tiga; I’m recomending Tiga instead of Manukan, Manukan is run by Sutera Harbour and the same people causing all the distress.=P

  4. That is why I am ranting away about this matter, Kay. It was not as difficult as this, 2 years ago.

    No worries, I will do my best to straighten things out. After all, I have got nothing to loose.

    Cheers!

  5. This Mt KK has been with us since stone age why suddenly all these impromptu changes making lives miserable for our own M’sians. Changes are good for progress & for moving forward Provided it doesn’t cause inconveniences, disappointments & rebuff to the public. For e.g. like our case we’ve booked and paid for our air-tickets since Y2007 for 12 headcounts now to be “rewarded” with accommodation fully booked. No refund for air-tickets, non-transferrable and $$$ burnt ! Out the window up up & away for good … Kudos to whom it may concern ???

  6. Thanks for your feedback, Linda. That is why I am doing this, so that people like you will have a channel to air out your opinions about them.

    Please fill free to share the bad experiences with Sutera in our forum.

    Cheers!

  7. The new prices to climb gn, Kinabalu has put a damper on something I have wanted to do for many years now. Since I usually climb in places where there are no gouging, the former fees to climb Kinabalu made me have scond thoughts, but I had decided to do it anyway. The new price gouging makes sure I will not be visiting Sabah any time soon. Lake Toba, sumatra, Indonesia–here I come!!!!! And it is delightfully nearly free to climb the nearby 12,800ft Gn Kerinci. Best of luck, Sabah. I will return when I can have a pleasant couple nights again for under 100 USD

  8. It sad to hear this things happen to just to impose more strict rules. The question, WHY is it become like that?

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