This topic contains 14 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by “We Drive You” (Tuscan independent driver/guide) 9 months, 2 weeks ago.
August 31, 2017 at 9:57 pm #77997
Hello everybody, it seems that Mr. David McGee looking familiar with cutting-off nice guides heads.
Is this something personal of McG or he’s just follows the company rules??
Anyway I want to share my bad experience too, since it is very similar to your stories.
After 5years of brilliant and proficuos partnership with TbL, dotted by several (more than hundred) success and comments 5 and 4 stars, this year (2017) TbL decided to easily refund “unhappy” customers, USING my account.
This is very easy, since the topics of the unstatisfaited clients are always silly details:
“….I’ve expected to have a guide that walking with us more time….” 50% of refund
– Hey?!?! I’m NOT a walking tour guide (but a knowledgeable driver), as it is VERY WELL specified in my bio and in my information.
For this kind of service in Europe, you need to hire officially licensed walking tour guide!!
“…I had to take care of an old couple with big motion troubles and an heavy scooter to handle every day, up and down to the vehicle….” 50% of refund
– Hey?!?! In my information there is clearly specified that I’m NOT preparred (vehicles for disbled) for people with wheelchairs and motion troubles.
But of course the tour was booked by a travel agent and she didn’inform the clients, nor I.
“…We could find much cheeper guides for the same type of service…” 50% of refund
– So, why people booking with some “expensive” guides if after the tour they complaint? Please book directly with the cheapest ones.
Ah, I understand, because they can get a great 5 stars service and than get easily refunded if after the tour they make some unsatisfaited comment.
Of course if TbL charging a 20% of fees(!!!) it will be very easy to find someone else (outside of TbL network) cheeper for the same service.
Only going looking for a driver/guide in Google and find dozens of guides charging a more reasonable price.
“…The last of the tour was not enough time for us to enjoy our day-trip…” 50% of refund
– If the clients not respecting the schedules and spending too much time in the first sights, there is probably not enough time to experience the second part of the trip as well.
Furthermore, in every single tour offered, there is CLEARLY specified the last of the tour, with NO chance of charging any eventual extra hours and the clients accept and the KNOW the terms and conditions, including the last of the tours.
I don’t remember how many times I’ve passed this time, without charging a penny for my life-time.
I spoke with TbL staff and please to don’t accept refund so easily, they can evidently create a precedent and createing a bad vicious cycle, playing the game of some (not all of course!!!) unfair clients.
I said I was ready to accept some bad reviews (bad days always could happen for everybody), but NOT available for refunds.
The TbL Gavin McGee answer was: “we need to take care of Tours by Locals reputation”.
Ok I understand, please do it if you want, but using YOUR money, don’t do it with the money of your guides!!!
I’ve lost more than 1000€ this year and always for silly topics and because TbL don’t accept bad reviews.
So it seems VERY CLEAR that the reputations of the company and the guides are based over NOT REAL reviews (since they are all MODERATED by the staff) and of course this “rating” it is definitelly NOT TRUSTWOTHY, since is NOT a free information.
Congratulations!!September 2, 2017 at 12:37 pm #78018
Not only, but since I’ve never got any invoice, nor a copy of the refunds, I can’t be sure about the amounts really refunded.
Have they also refunded part of their 20% of commissions?
Who knows….This should be another good question….September 16, 2017 at 9:13 pm #78352
just got fired by Tbl L as I refused to be harrased by their clients and employees. Will be porsting details later.September 18, 2017 at 8:10 am #78371
Hello, a quick update on my Tours by Locals experience: after the above mentioned discussions, I clarified some of the above difficulties with Gavin and other persons part of TBL staff. I raised my prices and unpublished tours that involve cars or drivers so that in case of complaints or refund requests I am the only responsible and the higher price will allow me to refund part of the fee if required.
Since then, my partnership with Tours by Locals improved a lot and now everything is going very well.
I hope the above is helpful to have a better view and opinion.
elenaNovember 7, 2017 at 10:33 am #80617
Beware of this scammer company, especially if you are guide. They just think to get more profit, doesn’t matter by which way.
Once I had case, customer couldn’t come due the visa regulation change, he just called me early morning on a tour date. He asked me if I could refund him. I did, send the message to the toursbylocals, where I was asking for full refund, received several messages, where they where praising me and asking if I was sure not to ask any compensation for failed tour. I’m not so naive person and number of these messages gave me reason to think that something was going wrong. I decided to find customer. Was easy, found with the name/surname on facebook. I asked him if he got any refund, he responded that he got just voucher which he had to use during specified period.
Then I remembered why I was asked several times, if I was agree to not to ask any compensation, while I was asking for full refund, nobody was confirming full refund, tricky right? In the case of refund you loose whole amount, toursbylocals nothing, as the customer has to spend this amount anyway with them.
Another case was 3 star feedback after about 4 year cooperation and about 50 five star feedback. Was ridiculous case, I offered customer free night stay at my village house and mentioned that only basic comfort could provide, was told that comfort was not an issue for them as they just wanted horse riding tour in mountains. It turned back reverse, they complained about my house and comfort there. I never charge people for my house and cost of the tour is the same even if they stay at other place, so I was waiting that they will be gratefull for free offer, instead…
2 month later I was contacted by toursbylocals and asked to give refund. Again funny situation. Customer who is willing to travel for free, here’s the best place, you complain, nobody asks are you right or not, scammer company takes back your money, not sure if customers get any compensation in real amount, but sure they will get voucher like in first case, they again book tour on toursbylocals to other country, (another chance to travel for free) toursbuylocals gets his 20% commission despite complain or not. You, innocent guide have high chance to loose you hardly earned money because toursbylocals has more gain from complain than from positive feedback. Actually it’s the best place for scammer customers as the complain is in both’s interest. You are responsible for everything, toursbylocals just cleans dirty hands on you,why? because by this way, more money they get. You can just look how often they change guides, with my country only one still with them for several years, because they can get easy refunds.
It’s not just about money, it’s about honor. I will never refund If I think that I’m right, even if i loose the job.