When I started this blog, I promised to share with you all aspects of traveling, including the not so great. I’m making the mistakes so you don’t have to. One of those not-so-great experiences happened on a recent trip to San Francisco with some friends. We used the Get Your Guide site to book a day trip to Napa Valley. This was the tour we booked for reference.
We found Get Your Guide through an online search while looking specifically for wine tours to Napa Valley from San Francisco. We found what appeared to be a great tour from San Fran that would pick you up from your hotel and take you to three wineries throughout Napa and Sonoma. I booked the tour for 4 people and paid in full.
A few days later, we learned that one member of our group was no longer able to attend. The website shared that you can modify or cancel your reservation up to 24 hours in advance of the tour for a full refund. I called and almost immediately knew this was not going to go smoothly. I was told that Get Your Guide would be cancelling our original reservation for 4 people and rebooking a new reservation for 3 people. I asked if I was going to be receiving a new email with all of this information and how the payment would be handled (i.e. would I be charged an additional tour while waiting for a refund or just be refunded for one person). The person on the other line spoke minimal English and did not seem to understand what I was asking for. He did say he would be emailing me with all the details right after we got off the phone.
While I did receive an immediate email, it had no details regarding the change. It simply said that I had spoken with someone. That was it. After a few days of no update, I submitted a help ticket through their site asking for the information I had been promised. Only then did I receive an answer. This person stated that they would be contacting the local partner with the new details. I received a refund for one ticket a few days later. We were seemingly back on track.
A few days before the tour, I called to confirm all the details. I was told someone would be at our hotel between 8:30 and 9 to pick us up. The next morning arrives and at 9:00 no one has come to get us. I call the local partner who informs me that they never received the new reservation for 3 people, only the cancellation for 4. They did not have our reservation at all and the tour had already left. I was able to reschedule with them for the tour the next day and was promised a 20% discount off our total cost for the mistake. The downside was that we had already booked tickets for another attraction for the next day, which could not be rescheduled, so our party lost $150 in rescheduling those tickets.
I reached out that afternoon to Get Your Guide and asked for compensation for their giant mistake seeing that we were now out $150. I received an email stating that they were going to reach out to the local partner and cancel the next day’s tour. I never asked them to do that and I did not want to cancel. I called Get Your Guide immediately and tried to explain to them what I was asking for and find out why they were trying to cancel my reservation. Again, the person on the other end spoke minimal English and told me two different things within 5 minutes. I asked if there was a supervisor I could speak to so I could get a true idea of what was going on and was accused of being rude and intolerant. I was appalled, hung up, and tried to connect with someone else. I managed to speak with a woman who was kind and let me know that there was no cancelling of my reservation occurring and that she didn’t understand why the other gentlemen had said that to begin with. I did not bring up compensation again as I did not want to confuse the situation even further.
The tour itself was pretty mediocre. It was raining that day and quite cold outside. The first winery had outside for almost the entirety of our visit. The second winery smelled disgusting. The third winery was Sutter Homes. Sutter Homes? Really? The girl pouring the samples even went out of her way to mention that the wines being served were not the ones sold in stores. She seemed apologetic. It was sad.
I wrote an honest review that is still not showing up on their website. It seems odd to me that so many positive reviews are live but few negative ones, including mine, have been posted. It makes me question whether they filter their reviews prior to publishing. They did say they were going to ask the local partner to refund me my money but I just didn’t think that was fair as it wasn’t the local partner’s fault. It should not have been the local partner refunding my money as they provided the service they offered. It should have been Get Your Guide paying me out of their own pocket for messing up so badly.
Ultimately, after the whole fiasco, it took about 3 weeks for us to receive any kind of compensation, including the promised discounts. I had to threaten to file for credit card fraud before anyone would even respond to my inquiries. We did receive enough of a refund to cover our $150 out of pocket expenses but at the end of the day, it isn’t enough to salvage the relationship. I won’t be using Get Your Guide again.
I urge everyone to not use Get Your Guide and save yourself from an awful headache. Always double check to make sure that you are booking directly with the company. Third parties are just not worth it in my opinion. Learn from my mistakes, friends!