I was initially dealing with brother Ahsan, and felt he had provided me with tremendous services and assistance when I was originally booking an Umrah package with Alhaq Travel for myself and my brother.
I honestly could not complain whatsoever in the beginning prior to me paying for the so called 'Umrah Package'.
Moreover, due to the friendliness of Ahsan, who had sold a group Umrah package to me, and had from the start promised that a religious guide would accompany me and my brother, he was the only person I wished to deal with whenever I would call Alhaq Travel.
The crux of the matter is, despite all of this, myself and my brother have had a horrible experience, I had paid £430.00 as a fee because I previously went to Umrah (which was the only money myself and my brother had collected intending to use as pocket money to buy food and etc while abroad), however this fee was waived by the Saudi Embassy as I was told by Ahsan, and was promised numerous occasions upon calling Ahsan and Alhaq Travel that I would receive this money back, unfortunately I never received this money back.
In fact, I understand there were visa delays at the Saudi Embassy, of which myself, my brother and my family were extremely concerned whether we would still even travel for Umrah. I was not being informed anything and equally so nobody from Alhaq Travel was bothering to go out of their way to reach me and inform me on what exactly was going on. I was having to chase up and call everyday to find an update from Ahmad Latif, Jamal, Hafiz Saad, which is clearly not right, communication is key, Alhaq Travel should have communicated and gone out of there way to update me regarding everything that was going on.
As a result, myself and my brother could not aboard the flight for our initial booking dates, and while myself and my brother had neither of our passports or visas, we were told that I should aboard the flight without my brother(who is ill and had never travelled for Umrah previously) and informed that my passport was ready while no visa was produced nor was my passport returned to me so that it would be rightfully so in my possession.
When the visas finally came through, myself and my brother were not given the customer service we expected Alhaq Travel to provide us with.
Furthermore, instead of Alhaq Travel taking care of us as customers, when surely we were not at fault for the visa delays, we were ridiculously told by Ahmad Latif to pay extra for an expensive package with Saudi Airlines which we had never embarked on purchasing in the first place.
The fact of the matter is, we were bamboozled and deceived, as the £430.00 I had initially paid as a visa fee which was waived, was used towards this new booking, when this should not have been the case.
Thus, myself and my brother had already booked time off work for the dates that were associated with the Umrah package, therefore we were deeply affected by these events that transpired.
Nevertheless, it was agreed that we would continue with this new booking, we were expected by Ahmad Latif to be able to find our way in a foreign land we were not residents of, it was only after we pressured Ahmad to be reasonable and provide us transportation that Ahmad agreed and promised to provide transportation and a contact of the people who would be transporting us and our baggage to the hotels.
We were promised by Ahmad Latif on more than one occasion over the phone that transport would be covered throughout the trip (Madinah Airport to Madinah Hotel, Madinah Hotel to Makkah Hotel and Makkah Hotel to Jeddah Airport) and that the hotel bookings were confirmed, however on countless occasions I had to urge and pressure Ahmad Latif to send their confirmations to me after he had constantly delayed in sending them.
Alhamdulillah we had finally boarded the flight! I must say that the service of the plane was professional, however as soon as we reached Madinah hotel, we were stranded as the people who we were informed would be responsible for our transport had no booking confirmation or knowledge about us. This was extremely disappointing and frustrating, I had to go out of my way to contact these individuals and urge them that our transport booking was arranged, after a substantial amount of time we were picked up by this company and were taken to our hotel in Madinah.
When the time had come to leave Makkah, we were left stunned, gobsmacked, that there was no transport booking reservation covered for us to be transported from Madinah hotel to Jeddah airport, I had constantly emphasised to the people responsible for our transport that Ahmad had certainly agreed and promised to provide transport throughout the trip (Madinah Airport to Madinah Hotel, Madinah Hotel to Makkah Hotel and Makkah Hotel to Jeddah Airport).
Unfortunately, this was completely denied by Ahmad, so reluctantly I was forced to pay 250 SAR (almost £52) out of my pocket to this company for a service that should have already been provided, otherwise myself and my brother would have missed our flight back to London.
In total myself and my brother were supposed to only pay £1,590.00 for a group package that was initially advertised and sold to us. Unfortunately, we were made to pay £2,020.00 (£430 extra which could have made more use going to charity) to travel by ourselves, without a group or a tour guide as promised in the beginning. This amount we actually paid does not even cover any ziyaarat in Makkah or Madinah, as well as no breakfast in Madinah hotel and what is worst, transportation from Makkah hotel to travel in one peace to Jeddah airport and await our flight to London.
In conclusion, I feel it is incumbent upon me to as a muslim believer to warn other potential customers of the traumatising experience I suffered first-hand at the hands of Alhaq Travel to prevent similar mishaps and incidents occurring in the future.