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Our Sad Experience with GoCar

austin
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98 posts
32 reviews
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Our Sad Experience with GoCar

My husband and I read about GoCar and that it would be a great way to see San Francisco. This company provides GPS narrated tour go-cart type cars that you drive around the city, and it seemed like a fun way to see it all!

When we left the Firsherman's Wharf location, we shortly realized that the GPS guided tour did not work. The GPS was at first intermittent and then would not work at all. We were stranded in San Francisco with no guide, just a map that was in the GoCar. We pulled over and called the company on our cell phone to tell them. We had to navigate our way back to the drop-off location that we had agreed upon and they insisted on charging us for the hour of use. The GPS tour, however, NEVER worked.

I told the merchant that we did not get what we had paid for and therefore did not think it was appropriate to pay for the full hour. We did not get to go on the tour at all, we just tried our best to navigate our way to the drop-off location, and it was not easy. We ended up trying to go on roads that were too steep, had to backtrack, etc. We truly wasted some of our valuable vacation time trying to maneuver through the city in this tiny little car on major streets with real traffic.

Rather than apologize for our inconvenience, they were very unprofessional towards me and my husband when we returned with the car. The owner accused me of "ripping him off" and said that I was just trying to get a "freebie" and that there was nothing he could do about adjusting the amount that we owed.

He insulted me, and I was in tears. He was just so rude, I honestly couldn't believe it. At first, I thought it was a joke. Honestly, it made me want to end my vacation. I felt so belittled and taken advantage of, it was just plain awful.

The owner insisted on charging us for the whole hour and the experience was awful. While we were there, another couple (a mom and daughter) were stranded with their GoCar broken down. The owner was laughing at how "hysterical" they were acting.

I really would not recommend this to other travelers. It gives you a BAD taste of San Francisco hospitatility, it didn't seem safe, and it just didn't work!!! Sad.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
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15,279 posts
49 reviews
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1. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

Why not write to the SF Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Better Business Bureau about your experience. Our guests are entitled to be treated hospitably. If they are going home with a poor impression, it is a black eye for the City, and businesses that market to tourists need to know this.

http://onlyinsanfrancisco.com/

http://www.oakland.bbb.org/

The safety issue is something separate. Some people have expressed concern about these little cars with SF traffic novices driving among the buses, trucks, and rabid commuters. I'm even afraid to ride a bicycle on local streets :(. But whatever your view of the safety issue, you still ought to be treated courteously.

I hope the rest of your trip was enjoyable and that San Francisco's reputation as a tourist-friendly place was generally fulfilled for you.

San Francisco...
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4,673 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

I regret you had such an unfortunate experience.

Presuming that you paid via credit card, you notify the issuer of your dis-satisfaction.

I urge you to post your experience to the 'Net on rec.travel.usa-canada. I suggest a subject of: Sad experience with San Francisco Go Car

San Francisco
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2,828 posts
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3. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

I am sorry you had such a bad experience. I typically don't recommend them just because they just don't seem safe to me! I urge you to contact the Better Business Bureau as well as the SF Convention and Visitors Bureau. This should not have happened to you and most people are very welcoming --after all, tourists do bring a lot of money into our great city.

Again, I am sorry this experience left such a bad taste in your mouth.

Los Altos...
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6,111 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

I'm in hearty agreement with Frisco Roadrunner and Saks. Please, DO contact the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau at the website listed, and report your experience. And then do the same at the Better Business Bureau.

You were treated shamefully.

San Francisco...
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2,441 posts
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5. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

FYI-

The Convention & Visitor's Bureau is strictly a sales and marketing arm of the City. They do not handle visitor complaints.

I think posting your experience as many places as possible on the internet and telling everyone you can is the best thing you can do. I also agree with filing a dispute through your credit card if possible. Post a review of the Go Cars on this site as well.

Sorry.

Bath, UK
Level Contributor
98 posts
83 reviews
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6. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

I am pleased for myself (not for you obviously having suffered from such a bad experience) as my husband had seem these cars on a holiday programme on TV and was thinking of hiring one to take us from Union Square to the Golden Gate Park etc. and I was already worried about the steep hills and cable cars etc. to negotiate. Will bus it prior to hiring a proper car when we go to Napa etc. I know what you mean about it ruining your holiday as since my husband had a stroke we feel that time is precious and want to enjoy every minute of our holidays as they are so important and the time can't be refunded once wasted. When we had a bad experience on a scenic flight from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon the company refunded the full cost of the trip so I should keep complaining as you should be compensated at the very least.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,279 posts
49 reviews
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7. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

Mr. Tyler says that the SF Convention and Visitors Bureau does not handle complaints about businesses. He is one of the best qualified people to know this.

However, the Go Car company is a member of the SFCVB, which has the objective of welcoming guests and helping them enjoy their experience here. If one of the member firms is not living up to this, wouldn't the Bureau at least like to know?

Placerville, CA
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398 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience...I hope that the rest of your California trip was more pleasant.

I certainly hope that if you paid with a credit card, that you will hurry and call the company and find out what you need to do to not be charged by this company. You usually only have 30 or 60 days to dispute it. Check to see if you need to do it in writing.

austin
Level Contributor
98 posts
32 reviews
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9. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

Thanks to all of you for your replies. It was an unfortunte experience any way you slice it.

I hate to post negative things about any business because I am a business owner myself, but in the end - I felt like I needed to share this, as I have turned to Tripadvisor so many times when planning all of my vacations and I really think that there are better options for seeing San Francisco. (and companies who will treat you better!)

Looking back on it, I suppose I can laugh that my husbad and I were going up roads that were too steep and found our car traveling backwards. Okay, maybe not that funny.. but you have to look at the bright side! We do have an amusing story to tell about our experience driving through the city.

In any event, it was a lot less about the money/time wasted and more about letting a person get to me so much that they made me cry!!! (I am not typically so emotional) And hopefully whether you choose to rent from them or not, I wish you all a better trip around the city than we had:-) It is a beautiful city!

I did contest the charge and am waiting to see what happens from that end... but I am just happy to have shared my experience here.

Wishing you all safe and happy travels!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
Level Contributor
15,279 posts
49 reviews
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10. Re: Our Sad Experience with GoCar

It's nice of you to come back and follow up with us. We're glad you had a good trip after all and enjoyed S.F.--and thanks for being such a good sport! :)