Take Tours and their subcontractor bus company West Coast Holidays turned our Yellowstone trip of a lifetime into a nightmare.
Welcome to the Yellowstone forum!
As I said on your post on the West Yellowstone forum (a small town at the West gate to Yellowstone), I wish you had been able to do some research on here before you signed up with this company which gets largely awful reviews.
Hopefully the next person down the line will read this post before they sign up.
As indicated on the other thread, it would be really helpful for you to tell why your trip was so awful. Facts are always better than dire warnings but you may still be feeling too upset to write up a Trip Report detailing what made it so bad. Please understand I completely believe you had a terrible trip, based on all the review reading I have done for this company. If you are able to do a Trip Report, add it to this thread.
For future readers, here is a link to Paul's other thread where I posted some links to previous threads on this tour company.
Let us help you plan your trip next time you travel to Yellowstone.
Take two tours had on our booking we were booked for 2 adults and 2 infants. We requested repayment for overpayment. This was shunned . When this was brought to the tour guides attention prior to the trip, he brushed it aside telling us we needed to get in touch with the company and sort it out. Being out in the wide open spaces of Yellowstone and surrounds for 2 days one has limited access to internet connection. This was also brought to the guides attention. The guide then explained the pricing system; you pay for the first two adults, the third person is free and the fourth person is half price. Let me restate we were only ever 2 adults taking this tour. Never with 2 infants as appeared on the tour booking information sheet. So the rub is at the end of the tour the guide starts to insist that you pay for the two people (infants) who were no shows. We keep explaining we never booked for 4 and the guide becomes more insistent and threatens to withhold the room that we paid have already paid for if you don't pay (cash I might add). The guide insists that is Take two (for a rip off) policy. Needless to say we had no intention of paying for 2 imaginary infants so we got our bags off the bus and walked....see my previous post for how that played out.We deserve and await a full refund.Edited: 04 September 2017, 19:14
Oh Paul, that sounds awful. I've read tales from others of guides basically forcing people to pay out tips but never withholding rooms. That is so bizarre that they charged you for the extra children then the guide wouldn't take No for an answer especially since you discussed with him up front. I doubt you will get any satisfaction from the company.
To be honest about the WIFI and cell connection in Yellowstone, the posters here regularly warn people about the lack of coverage in Yellowstone so that is not TAKE tour's fault. The guides SHOULD know this and understand you can't contact the company while in Yellowstone.
Thanks for adding more information to your complaint. It will help others just to see how this company does not even attempt to resolve their mistakes.
Critique of Globerouter Tours for other Travellers benefit
We arrived at the Ramada Salt Lake City Hotel on the required Monday afternoon and were checked off the Tour list by the Hotel Receptionist. She informed us that our Tour bus would leave between 8-9am the following morning, and gave us our room key.
As such, we set our alarm for 6:30am, slept, had our breakfast and waited for the bus.
After 8:00am the Ramada Receptionist (on the morning shift) informed us that the bus had left at 6am!
Ouch - According to the Ramada records, we were meant to be allocated a different Room, receive a wake-up call and an early breakfast. The Bus would not return to pick us up and the Tour Guide was unable to provide us with any solutions.
The immediate Solution:
Instead an off duty tour guide assisted us, by arranging tickets on the Salt Lake City Express Bus, in an effort to catch up with the tour.
We paid the Express Bus ticket fare of $225.75, for the 6-hour highway drive, to catch up to the tour. But we missed Day 1 of the Yellowstone Tour highlights.
Clearly Globerouter’s downstream Vendors (West Coast Holidays / Ramada Hotel) were the cause of the problem, but both advised all refunds need to go through the booking source (i.e. Globerouter).
Despite multiple emails when we returned home, all denied any responsibility for giving us some compensation (e.g. the Express Bus fare and/or % of the Tour cost).
In their opinion, it was my fault, for not contacting the Tour Guide upon arrival at the Hotel. Apparently getting checked off on the Tour List by Reception does not count. Nor is getting the wrong Room assigned by Reception their fault!
In my opinion it is a funny way to run a business. We were Globerouter’s customer. West Coast is their Vendor and they with their selected Hotel caused this event.
They all washed their hands of the matter. Other travellers – be very wary or choose another Tour Operator.
So is Globerouter the same as TAKE tours? Was the tour a bilingual tour? (Chinese and English?)
Thank you for your review and it sounds like a terrible communication set up they have. Not sure why your tour guide didn't check to see why you weren't there or hadn't checked in. Sounds like a tour problem to me.
Hi Pam, The tour was a bilingual tour (Chinese and English), although we had to laugh when the Chinese speak went for a few minutes and the English for half that. Also the Chinese tourists we met were not all that happy with the information provided. Regards Phil
Thanks Phil, I appreciate the clarification. I try to keep up with the various tours as people sometimes ask and Globerouter was not familiar to me. I know that TAKE does outsource to West Coast so I'm guessing it's the same.
Come back to Yellowstone some time - altho you'll have to drive. We'll help you plan your trip!
Dear Phil and Dobby
I am from Adelaide, Australia and we (hubby and I) plan to make a trip to Yellowstone National Park in mid August'18 and been looking at a scouting trip (not into tracking or driving because we have never driven on the lefthand drive or on US road). We have been to Grand Canyon National Park South Rim and Yosemite National Park through one of the local tour company. So Take Tour seems to fit in with our budget and a quick round trip that includes all the highlights and Devil Tower. we are okay with early riser but with the negative review so I have gone on to look at Globerouter. Given Phil experience with this tour company and I would appreciate any suggestion on some other local tour that we can check out?
sally k....easy for me to say, but I've noticed countless other Aussies do self-drive tours through Yellowstone/Tetons and points beyond. Driving yourself gives you so much greater flexibility and you can stop anywhere you want, eat whenever you want, and probably save a good deal of money. If you do reconsider, please look into hiring a vehicle and letting one of these great experts design a trip personally for you. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Tagging on to Eric's post - the roads are not very busy and rural driving. Yes, when you get to one of the "villages" in YNP, there will be a lot of cars in the parking lots. But in between, it's very quiet driving and the only real traffic you have to worry about is a wildlife jam because bison are in the road. Take a few minutes to look at YouTube videos to get a sense of the driving you'll be doing. If you fly in and out of JAC it's two lane rural roads the entire time.