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FishingBooker bad experience

Lakewood Ranch...
Level Contributor
2 posts
38 reviews
34 helpful votes
FishingBooker bad experience
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I booked a 4 hour fishing trip with captain Bill Perkins for Sept 2, 2022. His company name is “Hooker Charter & Guide Service”. The booking was made via a third party web hosting and payment service named “FishingBooker”. The webpage presented by FishingBooker for Captain Bill Perkins/ Hooker Charter & Guide Service” quoted a total cost of $590 and provides the following verbatim description of cancellation terms:

Cancellation policy

Customers can cancel or modify their booking up to 7 days before the trip date free of charge. If the trip is canceled or modified later, or in the event of a no-show, 100% of the deposit will be charged.

Book with 10% deposit, pay rest to captain

When the captain confirms your trip, FishingBooker charges your credit card a 10% deposit to guarantee your reservation.

The remaining balance is to be paid directly to the charter operator on or prior to your trip date in one of the following payment methods:

My wife and I had a change of plans and cancelled via live phone call with Bill Perkins on Sept 1. I fully expected to pay a cancellation fee to Mr. Perkins for the inconvenience. Per the website language, that fee should have been 10% X $590 = $59.

During the online booking process, FishingBooker strongly pushes customers to pay 100% in full up front. Customers are warned of added fees to pay the balance with a credit card at the dock. They make it sound like not paying 100% up front is highly undesirable by FishingBooker and the Captain. Regrettably, I fell into the trap and paid 100% of the full $590 fee up front. The instant I paid 100% up front FishingBooker and Mr. Bill Perkins decided to redefine the “full payment up front” to be the new “deposit”, and they plan to keep the full $590 I paid. Yes…. really. Language as to such is only surprise revealed to customers after they pay 100% up front with a credit card. Captain Bill Perkins did zero work, bought zero expensive marine gas, bought zero live bait, had to clean zero fish and had a free morning to sleep late at my expense of $590.

I corresponded with FishingBooker and Mr Perkins with several texts and emails trying to reach a more fair and reasonable solution. It was all a waste of time. In the end Mr. Perkins gleefully kept 100% of my money while doing NOTHING in return. I even made a very generous offer of paying 50% of the full fee. Nope—he kept it all. FishingBooker came up with endless excuses of why they could do nothing- so sorry.

Below is an excerpt from a marketing blog found online for FishingBooker. Basically the heavy handed push to get customers to pay 100% up front is a powerful selling tool to attract fishing captains to use their service and get paid in full when trips are cancelled.

Online Payments – The Captain’s Perspective

Updated on Mar 12, 2021 | 5 minute read | Written by Cat

Earlier this year, we made it possible for customers to pay for their fishing trip right away, as soon as they reserve their trip. We got really excited about this. Now our customers have more options when paying for trips, and captains get more security against cancellations!

My advice is stay far away from Captian Bill Perkins, Hooker Charter & Guide Service and FishingBooker. None of them are honorable people. And under no circumstances pay more than a 10% deposit up front. If anything changes you can be certain they will keep all of your money!

Further evidence of the shady operations of FishingBooker can be found in negative captain reviews and also negative BBB and Trip Advisor reviews. They are based in Serbia according to various posts. Even though I was charged $590 for NOTHING I was unable to post a review on the FishingBooker website so they can preserve a misleading perfect review record for this captain. Shady, shady, shady people!

2 replies to this topic
N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Senior Travel
Level Contributor
38,978 posts
116 reviews
46 helpful votes
1. Re: FishingBooker bad experience
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Welcome to the Trip Advisor forums. I did a quick search on this forum and found a thread dating back 4 years with similar complaints. Not with the same charter captain but similar situations with FishingBooker.

Hopefully the next person will search TA before booking to see if there are complaints about poor service.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i10701-k11646975-Trouble_with_FishingBooker_policies_and_customer_service-Outdoors_Adventure_Travel.html

Lakewood Ranch...
Level Contributor
2 posts
38 reviews
34 helpful votes
2. Re: FishingBooker bad experience
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Exactly. A very manipulative, misleading and self serving web "service". Really telling that they block reviews from customers that are likely to be negative. Thanx...

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