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Thread: Missing outfitter

  1. #1

    Default Missing outfitter

    Had a trip booked through Tom Murray of Wise Guides out of Cooper Landing on the Kenai. He's went AWOL and I am afraid that I am left holding an empty bag. What makes matters worse is that I bought this trip for my Dad's 70th, don't know how I am going to tell him.

    I'd appreciate any advice that would help salvage this.

    Thanks,
    Tony

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Define "AWOL".

    You called him and he hasn't called back?

    Won't return email x 1 week?

    What do you mean?

    Also, did you pay him for the trip up front? Deposit?

    Or just booked a trip without actually paying?
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  3. #3

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    AWOL is leaving incoming customers at the anchorage airport. A couple of them called me as I was their "reference". I called a few folks:Tom, guides and the person that runs the lodge. Tom hasn't been seen or heard from. Not sure what the issue is. Hope all is well with Tom as I've fished with him over the years but I am now a bit desperate as this was a Bday gift for my dad. Yeah I've paid up front which makes the problem harder.

  4. #4
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    Default Can any outfitter/hunt planner help pull this fat out of the fire?????

    Now that really sucks. You've used great restraint in not saying their name nor using any adult language that the mods would just have to X out anyway. What do you do from here, other than the obvious? And how do you make it up to Dad?????

    If things change please post it here.

    And maybe lets hope that an outfitter on here has a last minute opening and can take some pity on you and help pull your fat out of the fire. There are some really cool people on here, and a story like yours sometimes goes a long way towards bringing out the best in other people - I will remain hopeful that exactly that will happen.

    Maybe post a couple of details on type of trip and exact schedule? Maybe someone on here can jump forth and assist. At 70, Dad doesn't get many (if any) more of these, so c'mon guys (members) here, can anyone jump in to the rescue????

  5. #5

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    Sucks is a understatement. I am sick over it. Dad's been talking about this everyday for a year. We are suppose to leave this Sat, the 11th, and fish the 12th - 16 for Steel down on the Kenai. I am open to options if anyone has a opening. I haven't made the call to Dad yet as this just hit me last night and I am hoping to give him an option other than "we're screwed".

  6. #6
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    It should raise some alarm that a guy with a reputable guide service is suddenly missing. The guy could be laying at the bottom of a cliff somewhere. Perhaps he rolled his vehicle over the guard rail on the way to pick up clients at the airport. Is there anyone looking for the guy? Have the troopers been notifed?

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  7. #7
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I would try calling these guys http://www.kenailakeescape.com/ they are listed for lodging in cooper landing on his website and if they have a working relationship with the guide then they will likely have more info.

  8. #8
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    Man i feel for you. It sucks to be left stanging out in cold.

  9. #9

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    I am a repeat client of Wise Guides and have referred a lot of business to them. When people, a few that have asked me for a reference, started contacting me that Tom wasn't responding to emails and phone calls I blew it off because I realize the job is tough. And if I were in his place it would be hard to be responsive to clients asking "what type of socks should I bring" after only getting 6 hours down time per day for 4 months. And yes, the next reaction was thinking something tragic happened and the state police were called.

    In the end Tom is ill and had to end the season early. You try to remain sympathetic but reality is plans were made, airfare is booked and guide/outfitting fees have been paid.

    I am just trying to salvage this dream trip for my old man.

  10. #10

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    I've spoke with Arden from the Kenai Lake lodge. She's helping me out as much as she can but Arden is is the same boat as me.

  11. #11
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    http://guidekenairiver.com/

    These boys have been hot lately!
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  12. #12
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    Did you book it as a package deal through the lodge? If so, the lodge should find another guide for you. If you booked them separately, then your only option is to book another guide and hope you get your money back from the original guide eventually... sucks.
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    Sounds like a small claims court case is coming!

    What a BS operation! If "Tom" is sick and cancelled the rest of his guides this season, he should have at least had the decency to call/email his PAYING/PAID customers to notify them of the change. Sounds like he took your money and didn't care to tell you that he wasn't taking you fishing........karma is a b*%#$!

    Has "Tom" or anyone been able to explain a refund or change your charter for you?

    I hope this gets resolved, and you're able to take your Dad on the trip he was hoping for!

  14. #14

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    Yeah, I understand that one can get sick and not be able to work. That's totally understandable. But barring a life-threatening issue like a car crash, it would have been decent of him to call. Especially since you were FLYING in for the trip. Completely NOT okay, if you ask me. I would be upset also. I just hope you can resolve the issue and have a good time with your Dad.
    Thank God for people who don't fish!! Not much would get done without them =)

  15. #15
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Assuming he left folks at the airport, failed to cancel, etc.. yeah that sucks and is unprofessional. That would bother anyone of course. However, there is a big difference between fishing and living. "Sick" means many different things to different people. I seriously doubt the guy gave up a season of income lightly. The guy could be dying for all we know. Rather than smearing his formerly good name, why don't folks just call one of the other 200 area guides and be done with it. For anyone that can't find a guide on the Kenai, you should be indoors anyway and likely wearing a helmet. If you were a former client and liked the guy, send him a get well soon card. Chalk it up to good karma.


    -Dan
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Assuming he left folks at the airport, failed to cancel, etc.. yeah that sucks and is unprofessional. That would bother anyone of course. However, there is a big difference between fishing and living. "Sick" means many different things to different people. I seriously doubt the guy gave up a season of income lightly. The guy could be dying for all we know. Rather than smearing his formerly good name, why don't folks just call one of the other 200 area guides and be done with it. For anyone that can't find a guide on the Kenai, you should be indoors anyway and likely wearing a helmet. If you were a former client and liked the guy, send him a get well soon card. Chalk it up to good karma.


    -Dan
    The point is he already paid and got no fishing in! He COULD just as easily hire another guide, but he's still out the $$ and hassle from the trip he already booked! Nobody is "smearing his formerly good name," just questioning his business ethics and practices.

  17. #17
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I too question his business ethics and practices. However, I value the guys well being more than I do his business reputation. Some 20 years of business if I recall from the website, even the OP states he was a customer for years and thought well of Tom. My small mind deduces something more than a head cold is the culprit. $200 for a day of fishing, $2000 for an MRI, $20,000 for surgery. You tell me what is most important here.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  18. #18
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    Well, if you are still not able to find a solution to this mess PM me and I will talk to the guides that I work with and between us we will try to get you and your dad out fishing as much as we can this coming week.

    No excuse for leaving a client high and dry. Period. Someone can take over the books and contact clients, arrange for fishing, lodging, transportation,etc. Payment has been made and goods have not been recieved. If it was a credit card payment contact the credit card company and tell them your story. If it was cash or check that is a little tougher to get refunded but there are channels that can be taken. A call to Alaska State Parks would one that I would start with if this is not resolved.

    Still, I have a few spots open this week and would take you guys out (without payment) if it helps. I can get the lodging arranged for and the days that I have booked I will talk to a couple of my buddies to see what they have going this week. Once again PM me if this helps.

    Hope it works out.

  19. #19

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    OK- Time to call it as is. Tom had a "nervous breakdown" and is hiding somewhere. He owes local cooper river folks a bunch of cash plus us unfortunate clients. So sorry, but bad karma isn't flying for some jerk who bailed on good friends and customers. He left a community and customer base carrying a bag close to $100K. So sympathetic I was when I thought a guy I fished with was hurt, but the more I information I gather, including from him, the more I realize that got I screwed.

    And after all this, if I/We would have got a call saying "I am in trouble", most of us would have helped out. But that didn't happen, with his guides, business partners (lodge owners), and customers. We are trying to clean up the mess. As a repeat customer and reference, I am trying to help this years customers book trips. Local guides and business owners are rallying to find rooms and boats. As a person and customer I am trying to salvage a dream trip for my old man.

    Sorry for being angry but I am for obvious reasons.

    Tony

  20. #20
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trperk View Post
    So sorry, but bad karma isn't flying ...


    Ha ha ... Yeah, I agree, nervous breakdown is not what I had envisioned.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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