Kilimanjaro Crew (John Samson Shem)

Kilimanjaro Crew (John Samson Shem)

Tarun   November 25, 2014  
 
0.0
 
3.1 (3)
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Kilimanjaro Tour Operators

Operational Structure
Self Operated
Routes
Lemosho Via West'n Breach

General

Additional Information & Comments
Hi There,


I recently got scammed by this (supposed) tour operator and I wanted to try and ensure that no one else went through the same ordeal. My review was not accepted by TripAdvisor on the grounds that they do not allow for reviews of tour operators to be posted. I find the reasoning very skeptical and I have recently read of bribes being offered to TripAdvisor employees.

Which brings me to this website. I'm hoping this information is allowed to be posted.

Before you read any further, I won’t deny that I could have done more due diligence about this company, that I could have been more prudent in my approach. But my intentions here are to hope no one else goes through the same rather than trying to justify my actions.

Last week I confirmed a trek with Kilimanjarocrew.com wherein I was headed to Kilimanjaro (Lemosho via western breach) and I sent a USD 200/ deposit via western union to John Samson Shem (owner of this company).

Shortly after emailing him (), the money was collected on his side. He sent me an email from the above mentioned email id and I also received an sms from Western Union confirming the same.

I thought, well, that's good and we can now take things further with regards to my trek. But I was wrong...

After about 30 minutes, John contacted me from a second email ID () stating that I have not yet sent him the western union MTCN number and that I should do so in order for him to collect the deposit.

I was puzzled and forwarded his earlier email in which he mentioned that he had indeed collected the money. However, he refused to accept this and mentioned that I had not sent him any details.

I then proceeded to call him on (+255768871587), a number which is listed on his website. While speaking with John, he was still sticking to his side of the story and refused to budge.

There is another contact mentioned on his website, that of a person called AMIT KUMAR YADAV. I got in touch with him the following day and asked if he could intervene.

He mentioned that he is busy running his own business (he supposedly helps John with requests for Kilimanjaro Treks and is not employed by John) and would contact John if and when he had time.

It finally dawned on me that I had in fact been conned as any further attempts to contact John proved futile.

I was still wondering about his personal email id (). I wanted to somehow find out if I was in fact communicating with the same person or not.

I asked my friend to write to John on the company listed email () inquiring about a trek to Kili.

Shortly thereafter (while I was not receiving any response from John), my friend received an email from John which was indeed from his personal gmail account.

That pretty much nailed it for me. I did eventually hear from John wherein he asked me to do business with other tour operators.

I hope this can be of some use.
Typical Complaints Received
Deposit of USD 200/ sent via western union.
Deposit collected and sms confirmation received from western union.
Email confirmation received from tour operator that money was collected.
Subsequent email from toru operator contradicting the earlier email, asking for western union MTCN number and security question and answer.
Tour operator stated that I have not sent the details and that I should take my business elsewhere, to other tour companies.

Payment Methods

Payment Methods Accepted
Cash in Local Currency

User reviews

3 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.1
Value for Money 
 
3.7  (3)
Intelligence of Route Configuration 
 
3.0  (3)
Ascent Strategy 
 
3.2  (2)
Guidance from Climb Leader 
 
3.5  (2)
Attentiveness of Staff 
 
3.2  (2)
Discipline of Staff 
 
3.2  (2)
Courtesy / Friendliness of Staff 
 
3.5  (2)
Integrity of Management 
 
3.3  (1)
Variety of Food Served 
 
2.7  (1)
Quality of Food Served 
 
2.8  (1)
Quality of Equipment 
 
3.0  (1)
Condition of Equipment 
 
2.3  (1)
Spaciousness of Tents 
 
2.7  (1)
General Standard of Organisation 
 
2.7  (1)
Cohesion of Staff 
 
3.0  (1)
Enthusiasm of Staff 
 
3.3  (1)
Perceived Job-Satisfaction of Staff 
 
3.5  (2)
Company Ethos 
 
3.5  (2)
Group Atmosphere 
 
3.3  (1)
Quality of Pre-Climb Advice 
 
2.8  (2)
Speed of Response to Correspondence 
 
2.8  (2)
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Overall rating 
 
9.0
Value for Money 
 
10.0
Intelligence of Route Configuration 
 
8.0
Ascent Strategy 
 
9.0
Guidance from Climb Leader 
 
10.0
Attentiveness of Staff 
 
9.0
Discipline of Staff 
 
9.0
Courtesy / Friendliness of Staff 
 
10.0
Integrity of Management 
 
10.0
Variety of Food Served 
 
8.0
Quality of Food Served 
 
8.5
Quality of Equipment 
 
9.0
Condition of Equipment 
 
7.0
Spaciousness of Tents 
 
8.0
General Standard of Organisation 
 
8.0
Cohesion of Staff 
 
9.0
Enthusiasm of Staff 
 
10.0
Perceived Job-Satisfaction of Staff 
 
10.0
Company Ethos 
 
10.0
Group Atmosphere 
 
10.0
Quality of Pre-Climb Advice 
 
8.0
Speed of Response to Correspondence 
 
8.0

Mt. Kilimanjaro via Machame (6 Days)

Note: The below review was posted to Trip Advisor as well. I would add that I payed ~USD2000 before my trip (for both Kili and a 3 day safari) via bank transfer without any issues.
-------------------------------------
Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is without a doubt a rewarding and unique life experience. The landscape, the history and the challenge of the climb itself combine to make it a memorable destination. I highly recommend it to groups or, how I did it, as a sole traveler. Once you decide to do Kili, the most important decision is the travel company to arrange it with; and without a doubt, there is no better option than Kilimanjaro Crew.

All my interactions with Kili Crew were great. It starts with their very informative website discussing all details of the mountain: Detail description of the climbing routes, gear list, travel arrangements, the works. Then, very importantly, followed by a very responsive and helpful communication, in my case with Kili’s sole owner: John Samson. After arrangements were quickly done, I payed the first deposit via bank transfer: A process, for those that not accustomed to it, much simpler than what you’d expect. A couple of weeks before the trip, I ended up paying 100% of the cost (normal arrangement is 50% up-front and 50% upon arrival in Moshi, Tanzania) with the goal of not carrying as much cash with me. Upon arrival, a Kili crew driver and my guide for the mountain picked me from the airport and drove me to the hotel. They quickly took care of all the arrangements before we set for the climb, including helping me obtain a local phone SIM card.

In the mountain, my guide, Amiri, and his crew were the best hike companions anyone can have. Everyone was as helpful as they could be, their attention to detail was top-notch, including very importantly, the excellent food. Amiri was an encyclopedia of the mountain, always full of knowledge, and with whom I enjoyed many conversations about the mountain, Tanzania, Moshi, life, etc. But most importantly, he is a great hike leader who was instrumental in me reaching the top safely.

Finally, after the climb, I met with John for a meal and spoke with him at length about his company. Kilimanjaro Crew is solely owned by him, meaning all your travel money stays in Tanzania helping the local economy. Furthermore, John set up the company with two guiding principles. First, provide an alternative to the many tourists that cannot afford the usual prices; and indeed Kili Crew had the best price of all the other options I found. And secondly, provide steady employment to all his guides and porters, despite the variable tourist flow, thus providing them with predictable income and a better life for them and their families.

Whether you base your decision on expertise, friendliness, prices, and/or support for a locally owned company, Kilimanjaro Crew is undeniably the way to go.

Kilimanjaro Tour Operators

Route Climbed
Machame
Name of Mountain Guide
Amiri
Date of Summit Attempt
November 21, 2014
Did you reach Uhuru Summit?
Yes
Name of Climb Booking Agent
None
Number of Climbers in Your Group
1
How many of the group reached the summit
1.00
Number of Days Spent on Kilimanjaro
6
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
0.5
Value for Money 
 
0.5
Intelligence of Route Configuration 
 
0.5
Ascent Strategy 
 
0.5
Guidance from Climb Leader 
 
0.5
Attentiveness of Staff 
 
0.5
Discipline of Staff 
 
0.5
Courtesy / Friendliness of Staff 
 
0.5
Integrity of Management 
 
N/A
Variety of Food Served 
 
N/A
Quality of Food Served 
 
N/A
Quality of Equipment 
 
N/A
Condition of Equipment 
 
N/A
Spaciousness of Tents 
 
N/A
General Standard of Organisation 
 
N/A
Cohesion of Staff 
 
N/A
Enthusiasm of Staff 
 
N/A
Perceived Job-Satisfaction of Staff 
 
N/A
Company Ethos 
 
N/A
Group Atmosphere 
 
N/A
Quality of Pre-Climb Advice 
 
N/A
Speed of Response to Correspondence 
 
N/A

Kilimanjaro Crew (John Samson Shem)

About Kilimanjaro Crew (John Samson Shem), SCAM !!
MUST READ
Haven't done the hiking yet but Kilimanjaro Crew (John Samson Shem) is shown as scam artist under www.kilimanjaro-review.com (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293750-i11370-k7982691-Kilimanjaro_Crew_John_Samson_Shem_SCAM_DON_T_BOOK_W_THEM-Kilimanjaro_National_Park_Kiliman.html) as well as www.tripadvisor.com .. seems like he is using the same technique over and over. He has pretty good web site and information there is constantly changed (different from update) and note that there is no customer review on his web site, if you go to youtube.com, there are a couple of videos that are uploaded by John but you can easily tell that those are not for his team, no customers are actually talking on those videos. I read from www.tripadvisor.com that John is a good web designer, so he can FOOL you from his website.

On his website (www.kilimanjarocrew.com), his phone numbers are not listed most of times, that tells us that he doesn't want to be chased after he gets his deposits. I sent my deposit of $287. He only asked 5% deposit. His rate seems reasonable and he only ask for 5% deposit, I trusted this locally owned and operated but PLEASE DO NOT SENT YOUR DEPOSIT via WESTERN UNION, you will loose your deposit . . . some customer deposited $1000 (same way via WESTERN UNION).

Hope this article catches you on time !!
Thank you for those who warned us previously, so at least I can save from loosing all my trip $$.

Kilimanjaro Tour Operators

Route Climbed
Machame
Name of Mountain Guide
Kilimanjaro Crew (John Samson Shem)
Date of Summit Attempt
December 10, 2015
Did you reach Uhuru Summit?
Yes
Name of Climb Booking Agent
Kilimanjaro Crew (John Samson Shem)
Number of Climbers in Your Group
3
How many of the group reached the summit
3.00
Number of Days Spent on Kilimanjaro
7
Was this review helpful to you? 
Overall rating 
 
0.5
Value for Money 
 
0.5
Intelligence of Route Configuration 
 
0.5
Ascent Strategy 
 
N/A
Guidance from Climb Leader 
 
N/A
Attentiveness of Staff 
 
N/A
Discipline of Staff 
 
N/A
Courtesy / Friendliness of Staff 
 
N/A
Integrity of Management 
 
N/A
Variety of Food Served 
 
N/A
Quality of Food Served 
 
N/A
Quality of Equipment 
 
N/A
Condition of Equipment 
 
N/A
Spaciousness of Tents 
 
N/A
General Standard of Organisation 
 
N/A
Cohesion of Staff 
 
N/A
Enthusiasm of Staff 
 
N/A
Perceived Job-Satisfaction of Staff 
 
0.5
Company Ethos 
 
0.5
Group Atmosphere 
 
N/A
Quality of Pre-Climb Advice 
 
0.5
Speed of Response to Correspondence 
 
0.5

Kilimanjaro Crew (John Samson Shem)

I recently got scammed by this (supposed) tour operator and I wanted to try and ensure that no one else went through the same ordeal. My review was not accepted by TripAdvisor on the grounds that they do not allow for reviews of tour operators to be posted. I find the reasoning very skeptical and I have recently read of bribes being offered to TripAdvisor employees.

Which brings me to this website. I'm hoping this information is allowed to be posted.

Before you read any further, I won’t deny that I could have done more due diligence about this company, that I could have been more prudent in my approach. But my intentions here are to hope no one else goes through the same rather than trying to justify my actions.

Last week I confirmed a trek with Kilimanjarocrew.com wherein I was headed to Kilimanjaro (Lemosho via western breach) and I sent a USD 200/ deposit via western union to John Samson Shem (owner of this company).

Shortly after emailing him (), the money was collected on his side. He sent me an email from the above mentioned email id and I also received an sms from Western Union confirming the same.

I thought, well, that's good and we can now take things further with regards to my trek. But I was wrong...

After about 30 minutes, John contacted me from a second email ID () stating that I have not yet sent him the western union MTCN number and that I should do so in order for him to collect the deposit.

I was puzzled and forwarded his earlier email in which he mentioned that he had indeed collected the money. However, he refused to accept this and mentioned that I had not sent him any details.

I then proceeded to call him on (+255768871587), a number which is listed on his website. While speaking with John, he was still sticking to his side of the story and refused to budge.

There is another contact mentioned on his website, that of a person called AMIT KUMAR YADAV. I got in touch with him the following day and asked if he could intervene.

He mentioned that he is busy running his own business (he supposedly helps John with requests for Kilimanjaro Treks and is not employed by John) and would contact John if and when he had time.

It finally dawned on me that I had in fact been conned as any further attempts to contact John proved futile.

I was still wondering about his personal email id (). I wanted to somehow find out if I was in fact communicating with the same person or not.

I asked my friend to write to John on the company listed email () inquiring about a trek to Kili.

Shortly thereafter (while I was not receiving any response from John), my friend received an email from John which was indeed from his personal gmail account.

That pretty much nailed it for me. I did eventually hear from John wherein he asked me to do business with other tour operators.

I hope this can be of some use.

Kilimanjaro Tour Operators

Route Climbed
Lemosho
Name of Mountain Guide
None
Date of Summit Attempt
November 25, 2014
Did you reach Uhuru Summit?
No
Name of Climb Booking Agent
Kilimanjaro Crew
Number of Climbers in Your Group
1
How many of the group reached the summit
0.00
Number of Days Spent on Kilimanjaro
0
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