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Jack the 'rip off'

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Tes
Caloundra, Australia
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15 posts
35 reviews
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Jack the 'rip off'

Just want to let you know about my experience with Jack the Ripper London Walk with Donald Rumbelow. Very disappointing...

I'm sure his book is great & has all the info but very little is really given away on the walks. Our tour was VERY crowded - Sunday 21 August & the tour was split between him & Molly - 80% Donald - 20% Molly.

If I had another spare evening I would have gone again with another tour operator, but I feel the whole evening was really just a self promotion for his book.

Anyway, thats my opinion & I wouldnt advise anyone (especially when travelling from as far away as Australia for a 'trip of a lifetime') to waste their precious time.

Ottawa, ON
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928 posts
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1. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

Interesting perspective. I can appreciate why you might be turned off by Rumbelow. But I don't get why you would want to take the walk AGAIN with someone else, replacing Rumbelow's facts and informed speculation, however scant, with someone else's fiction, flights of fancy and cheesy props.

And with respect to wasting "precious time", what alternate suggestions do you have for Sunday nights in London? Generally, I have found Sunday nights my least precious time, since there is little to do.

north-east NJ
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2,594 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

Sorry you felt "ripped-off" by this walk, but considering you got a tour of parts of Whitechapel & other areas of the EastEnd many tourists never bother visiting, & only paid £5.5 I don't see that as a rip-off.

Also, not sure what you mean by, "I'm sure his book is great & has all the info but very little is really given away on the walks."

Mr. Rumbelow's "The Complete Jack the Ripper" was first published in 1975; any information in it has been made public. There are no secrets in the book; the case remains unsolved. And no vital facts are deliberately w/held on his walks.

As I said, I'm sorry you were disappointmented, but I feel it is somewhat inflammatory for you to accuse London Walks & Donald Rumbelow of ripping off tourists.

Toronto ON
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677 posts
24 reviews
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3. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

Why is it inflammatory to feel disappointed and dissatisfied and say so? What else is this forum for other than a way to share experiences and observations. I think we are all capable of taking everyone's opion with a grain (or more) of salt and forming our own opinions. Tell it like you think it is! If you think Tes was "inflammatory" read the hotel reviews on TA. And who would want it any other way?

north-east NJ
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2,594 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

Riknpat,

I don't think, nor did I say I thought it was inflammatory for someone to say they were dissatisfied and/or disappointed.

I took umbrage to the term rip-off; There's a difference. "Rip-off" implies a deliberate attempt to take advantage of someone.

200 posters could write that they were less than satisfied with, disappointed by, & just simply hated Donald Rumbelow's Ripper Walk. That wouldn't be a problem for me (might be one for London Walks, though.) However, even one poster saying that Mr. Rumbelow (a former London Bobby) ripped them off DOES bother me, and yes, I feel that is 'somewhat inflammatory.'

Salem, Oregon
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5,414 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

Hey, Janie, I think Tes was clever in her headline -- really got the message across in the least amount of words. I didn't get it from her post that "he ripped me off," meaning that he stole from me. Rather, "it was a ripoff," meaning the implied value just wasn't there. Maybe it's because I've heard the same complaints and negative remarks (some worse, actually), that I believe I understand exactly what she meant. Perhaps others who haven't encountered other similar reviews would feel differently. But I don't see her remarks as inflammatory, just a candid negative review.

Upminster, United...
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11,284 posts
36 reviews
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6. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

I used to work in some converted warehouses in London. The security guard told me that one of the Ripper walks (don't know which one) used to say the Jack lived there.

Surely no one is gulible enough to believe that the leader of that walk knew where an unknown man (or woman) lived.

Level Contributor
623 posts
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7. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

Britfan and Riknpat - both make salient points about Tes' post. Tes felt good value was not offered on the JTR walk, and expressed disappointment and opinion. Isn't that what the Forum is for?

I took the JTR walk in February with Molly Rumbelow, Donald's wife, guiding. It was overcrowded, those in the back, my wife and I for example, were not able to hear her when she started her spiel. And the crowd being so large, she would start talking before the entire group arrived at the location. I certainly felt 'ripped-off' and made my feelings known to the Original London Walks management the next morning. That afternoon a full refund was delivered to my hotel with apologies from the owner of the company.

And yes, it's certainly good to have as many opinions as possible to help making informed travel plans.

Detroit, Michigan
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5,316 posts
19 reviews
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8. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

I think the Jack the Ripper walk has become a victim of it's own success. We took the walk several years ago (on a non-Donald night) and it was moderately crowded and was an interesting walk. We went again a few years later on a Donald night and the crowd was massive. The group divided into three smaller, but still very large groups and made the rounds of Whitechapel. We passed several other groups of Ripper walkers and I noticed we didn't actually go to some of the same sites we did on the first walk (probably because some other group was there.) The guide would say something like "and right down this passage was where one of the victims was found" instead of actually going to the site. The walk wasn't as good as when we took it the first time.

Probably the best time to take the Ripper walk would be a cold rainy, non-Donald night in January. :o)

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623 posts
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9. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

Kayb95 - I think people are already queuing up for that walk. LOL

Good insight, though. Most of the original JTR venues are gone, torn down, whatever.

Thanks for the laugh.

north-east NJ
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2,594 posts
1 review
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10. Re: Jack the 'rip off'

All right; I suppose I might have over-reacted to the term "rip off." It just struck me not as an opinion, but rather as an indictment. I admit I might have read more into it than I needed. But Tes' complaints weren't limited to the large size of the group, it seemed she expected the killer's name revealed for her £5.

Tes was looking for something she wasn't going to get from any walk of any size w/D. Rumbelow. He simply delivers the facts of the case as he believes them. There ARE tour guides that deliver a more theatrical evening, and there are some that sensationalize the story . Tes might have enjoyed one of those more (I know that's what my mother would have liked.)

And, in MY opinion, 2 hours spent learning something about London & it's past could never be considered wasted time :)