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Tour Providers: Backcountry Safaris

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Tour Providers: Backcountry Safaris

Bait and Switch – Taken for ~$600

We booked our kayaking trip six months out to ensure that we would get what we wanted. When we finally arrived, the night before we left, we met with Ron to make sure our gear fit and make last minute preparations. At this time we were informed that we were no longer taking the trip we paid for.

Now for the same price we paid originally we were no longer getting anything that we had wanted when we originally booked the trip. Had we known that Ron and Backcountry Safaris were not going to give us the trip we wanted we would have booked with one of the other hundred companies who do these same trips.

We asked for a refund, but Ron stated that in all his documentation it states that they do not refund. However, due to the circumstances we could be refunded our money minus expenses. Now we had to decide whether we were financially locked into Ron's Backcountry Safaris trip that we did not want to take, or loose the money and rebook with a company that would give us the trip we wanted at the last minute.

We decided that we came to Alaska and wanted to see certain things. Thus, we canceled our trip knowing we would be throwing away money and rebooked. We asked Ron and Backcountry Safaris for receipts of the expenses that we were being charged for, but they would not provide them.

My advice: find a more reliable outfitter.

Manitoba, Canada
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6,894 posts
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1. Re: Tour Providers: Backcountry Safaris

Sorry to hear about this. This is the first time I've heard anything bad about Backcountry Safaris.

It's fine for an outfitter to state they don't give refunds--IF they're willing to provide what you'd asked for, and you had been the one who wanted to change things. Not the other way around. If THEY change things, a full refund should be made an option to you.

And how could he possibly be out $600??? Were you all going to pig out on caviar or something?

If you paid for your tour by credit card, phone the 1-800 number on the back of the card NOW to see if the company will do a chargeback for the amount you were not refunded. They might not do that 6 months later, but certainly worth a phone call to ask.

And his website says "Backcountry Safaris is member of America Outdoors, Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau, Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association, Alaska Travel Industry Association, and Seward Chamber of Commerce." If you can't get a refund on your credit card, e-mail Ron one last time (politely, non-threatening) informing him that if you do not immediately receive the rest of your money, you will contact all those places to lodge an official complaint (you can get their e-mail addys via his website). Be sure not to "rant" in your complaints; the ones that are taken seriously are the ones in which the facts are stated. Something similar to your post here would be excellent. Make sure to include that Ron refused to provide you with receipts for expenses that he wouldn't refund.

You might find more ideas here:


But don't delay. The longer you leave it, the less chance that anyone will be able to help you.

Good luck. Let us know what happens.

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799 posts
7 reviews
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2. Re: Tour Providers: Backcountry Safaris

What reason were you given for the trip changes? Was it the weather? Dangerous conditions? Equipment malfunctions?

I've seen too many times on these forums where people complained about an outfitter only to find out that the outfitter canceled or changed the trip due to real safety concerns.

I'm not saying that is what happened to you, but not not knowing the details as to why the trip changed, and seeing as this is the first time you have posted on this forum, leaves me skeptical as to what really happened.

3. Re: Tour Providers: Backcountry Safaris

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