I'm sure the tour would have been absolutely fantastic...if I actually went on one. My wife signed me up for this tour as a surprise, and I had no prior experience riding anything like a Vespa or scooter. I expressed my apprehension to Via Vespa, but they just assured me everything would be fine and I shouldn't worry. After a 2-minute instruction session, they sent me out onto a heavily-trafficked Barcelona main street. I crashed within seconds of riding. I received some cuts and scrapes and a broken rib.
Now, I cannot blame Via Vespa for my own lack of coordination. My sense of balance is notoriously bad and I only learned to ride a bicycle a few years ago. It's simply the lack of anything resembling an introductory lesson that's appalling to me. First-time riders (or whatever-ers) need to build up confidence, especially in situations as potentially dangerous as this. For instance, a Hawaiian mountain ATV tour I did forced drivers to circle a test track to ensure sufficient driving ability.
And here's the kicker: even though I crashed within seconds of the tour, they still wanted to charge me the full 4-hour tour amount. (Fine, I had to pay for the Vespa damages.) But come on, do you really need to charge me for a tour I never went on?
I'm sure the tour is wonderful for those with even a little bit of experience. But for those of us first-timers, it was terrifying.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
15 March 2012
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We honestly regret what happened to you. The unfortunate incident is as much a deception for us as it is for you. We put a lot of effort in trying to give all of our clients the best possible service.
We are no driving school nor have the permission for it. However, we do give our customers some practice in our shop and see to it that they can manage the Vespa. But eventually, it is the client who decides to go out on the streets. The one that makes a reservation for the Vespa-tour and has the required driver’s license for it. Even though we try to take as care of him as much as possible, we can’t be responsible for his driving skills. In your case, you arrived at 12:00 and according to the bank-extract you paid the deposit at 12:56. So maybe the instruction session took a bit longer than just 2 minutes.
After you crashed, we immediately offered you medical assistance as it is always included in the insurance. That is why we really regret you pretend that “we left you injured”.
As stipulated in the contract, we only charged you the deposit (although the damage was for a much higher amount). We never pretended in any way to charge you the full 4 hour tour amount. We take our business very serious and we would never do something like this. We only asked you to pay a small compensation for your personal guide who was working with you for an hour. We don’t rip off our clients, we only want to give them a very nice experience.
We really hope you recovered well from your injuries and hope you can also understand our point of view and our sympathy.
Our very best regards
The Via-Vespa Team
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC