I waited three month before making this public as I was hoping to settle this with Street Scene Tours in the meantime. Unfortunately nothing happened so all I can do is to share my experience.
I booked a Super Scene tour for three. Email communication wasn’t easy. Not all my emails were answered but after I voiced my concern I got all the answers I needed and we were looking forward to our tour.
We waited for our driver but no one showed up. I called the company and informed them that we were still waiting for our driver. They didn’t know what was going on but promised to look into it. So far so good. After this, I got no call back and none of my calls were answered. We only got hold of them after the owner of our accommodation called from a different number. We heard that the driver got into an accident which is tragic of course. I fully understand that the main concern of Street Scene Tours was the health of the driver. I’m sympathetic about this.
Unfortunately, the conversation we had was cut-off and once again there was no way of getting hold of Street Scene Tours, nor did we get a call back (neither to my cell phone nor to the accommodation we were staying at) or an email. Nothing. The manager of our accommodation even offered a ride to the office of Street Scene Tours. We made it up to their floor and stood in front of their office in order to talk to them but no one was there. We got back to our accommodation and after more than two hours of waiting for any information, we decided to explore Durban on our own and informed Street Scene Tours by email that we would no longer be waiting for them.
It took Street Scene Tours two days (!) to get back to us. We received an email with an apology and the promise of a refund since we had to pay in advance. I now feel stupid having paid in advance but it seemed to be the only way. I had a weird feeling about this but I trusted all the positive comments I found online. A mistake I will not repeat.
Today, more than three months later, I’m still waiting for my money. I sent several emails, being patient, being polite, asking if there was a problem with the payment. All I wanted to do was to solve this issue. I never got a single reply.
They might now claim that they tried to contact me and that they didn’t receive my emails but this is simply not true. Emails don’t vanish into thin air. They didn’t change their address, I didn’t change mine. We’ve communicated before. If emails can’t be delivered, the sender gets notified. Yes, the emails could have somehow ended up in the spam folder. This is still no reason for not giving back my money. They have all the payment information they need. If there was a problem, they could have instead contacted me. I check my email and the spam folder constantly. Nothing. I also sent them a message on facebook. You immediately receive an automated reply but I replied to that as well. It took some hours but someone read it. It was marked as “seen”. Still no answer. I can’t believe how little interest they seem to have in settling this.
I can’t say anything about the tours offered by Street Scene. I’m sure the tours are wonderful IF they take place. I was even willing to give this company another chance on my next visit to South Africa but after experiencing how they’ve handled this situation, I get the feeling that I can’t trust them with my money.
They are keeping my money that I paid for a service they didn’t provide. They keep ignoring my messages and they are not trying to contact me concerning this issue. Accidents happen, things can go wrong. We are all human. The frustrating and disappointing part is how they handled the situation ever since. It’s beyond unprofessional. I still want to settle this but the key to this is communication.
We will remember this as the only negative experience we had travelling through the wonderful countries of South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho for four weeks.
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