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“Incompetent tour escort”

Best of Switzerland Tours
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Our core business is regular excursions and city tours out of Zurich and Lucerne to the most beautiful tourist attractions in the German part of Switzerland. We also organize private excursions, transfers, guiding services and coach rental.
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Mt. Titlis Eternal Snow Trip from Lucerne, Switzerland

We were participants in the above captioned tour yesterday, May 28, departing Lucerne at 12:30.

We have never had such an incompetent tour escort in our many years of travel. Please note that I was a tour operator in the United States for twenty years prior to retirement. This gentleman would not last three weeks with my company.

We were properly met at the Tourist Information Center at the train station and led to a very nice charter coach. We were told by the escort that the first two rows of the upper and lower decks were occupied by customers originating in Zurich. When we went to pick up those people from their lunch break they indicated that their seats were actually scattered throughout the coach. After dropping off some clients in Lucerne we proceeded to Mt. Titlis.

The escort told us that he needed to pickup the tickets at the group desk and to please make sure we only took one ticket per person. There was also a second ticket for the Ice
Flyer, an additional chair lift that was available and part of the package. He attempted to hand out the tickets as passengers grouped around him with their hands out. Of course he ended up short on the ticket count for the chair lift and had one too many for the main attraction. We had to wait for him to go back to the ticket counter to straighten things out. He SHOULD have handed out the tickets at the turnstile and he would not have encountered the problem. There were several turnstiles available that would have allowed this to happen.

We went to the first of three transports to the top destination. The first went satisfactorily. The second larger car and the rotating lift were overpacked with our group and another from your company. If I had a counter I would guess the transports were beyond capacity. The attraction was not that busy yesterday and we could have been split up and be more comfortable.

We were given a time to meet the escort at the reception center at the base location. We were there thirty minutes early since the weather was not conducive to viewing anything. We had a large contingent of people from India on our tour. The escort made gratuitous efforts to promote an Indian restaurant at the facility. In my experience this usually means a kickback for either the driver or the guide. There were a lot of customers at the Indian Food Truck where we were to meet the bus. They were in no hurry to be on time and the escort was ineffective in group control. He SHOULD have told the group that he would like them back on the bus at a certain time and that the bus would depart ten minutes later. Furthermore, he should have given them a taxi phone number and the approximate cost to get back to their starting point. He would not have lingering customers.

He could not even count the passengers correctly. He has to start over four times. After each count he would go back to the food truck and round up some more stragglers.

On the ride back he requested anybody that did not use their chair lift tickets to return them so he could use them on another group. I never even received one. My wife gave hers back with no offer of a refund for the unused ticket. I would guess the guide is boosting their income.

He needs to retire.

Sent from my iPad:

Richard and Connie Feinberg
601 North Atlantic Ave. Apt. 605
New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169

EMAIL: RichardAFeinberg@gmail.com
Phone: 1-386-427-9630
Cell: 1-423-748-1756

3  Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Best-of-Switzerland, Geschäftsführer at Best of Switzerland Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 July 2014

Dear Mr. Feinberg

We had already contact with you by e-mail and taken position on your comments, please allow us to write our response also on this platform.

We do take our guest comments very serious as it always helps us to improve our services.

28th of May was in respect to the amount of passengers a bit special. We had a reservation for two bigger families and therefore our coach was almost sold out. May is a holiday month in India and Mt. Titlis is one of their most favourite destinations. Beside our FIT group there are many other reservations made by group specialists like Kuoni, Contiki, Trafalgar, Miki Travel, Globus etc.
Unfortunately it is out of our hands to control the capacity but this is constantly monitored by Mt. Titlis cable cars. I know, that when the cabins are full, it is tight and you may feel that they are beyond the maximum capacity but I can guarantee that this is not the case. The cable cars cannot run if they are overloaded as the system automatically block so security is always given.

Mr. Robert is tour guide for Best of Switzerland Tours since several years and did not had complains in the past. We have a quality controller who goes regularly incognito to check how our guides are doing their job. This season Mr. Robert was not checked yet but we will do so within the up-coming weeks. We also sent your comments to the guide and discussed the situation with him.

The Indiagourmet-Stand does not give any commission to the guides so this was definitely not the point that he waited. But it's not always easy to handle "late comers". Our guests come from all over the world and some of them have a different feeling for the time then we have. As a standard procedure we wait maximum 10 min. for late comers. Sometimes it's hard for a guide follow this rule as we treat with people but we remind them once more to stick to this procedure as it's important for all our guests.

As of the ticket for the Ice Flyer:
You are right that we are asking our guides to collect the unused Ice Flyer tickets. We know that not all our clients are using the chairlift and therefore our calculation base on a lower average rate for the Ice Flyer. This in order to offer an even more competitive rate to our guests. I don't think we have to give this money to Mt. Titlis if they do not provide a service for it and I prefer to quote different and offer a lower rate. Our tour is quite competitive if you compare it to the individual tour by train.

The train from Lucerne to Engelberg cost CHF 34.80 per person. From there you would need to take the local bus to the aerial cable car station. The aerial cable car to the top has a cost of CHF 89.—and the Ice Flyer a cost of CHF 8.--. This makes in total a rate of CHF 131.80 – our rate is only CHF 124.—and it's fully guided and operated by comfortable coach.

If you did not want to give back the tickets, that's fine for us too and of course we would not insist on this. In your case we even offered you to refund the money afterwards through your booking agent to show our good will. Alternatively we offered you a free city-tour the next day.

That our effort and explanations did not satisfy you and you felt the need of publishing a 1-star review on Trip-Advisor is your right. You say: Good will does not replace an unsatisfactory experience.
That is correct but I personally believe that when someone travels, there might be always a chance for an unpleasant experience due to the diverse situations. Depending on the reaction of the responsible, at the end it can come out a win situation for everybody and that is what we at Best of Switzerland Tours always try to archive.

With best regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (775)
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532 - 536 of 775 reviews

Reviewed 25 May 2014

We visited Mt. Titlis and Lucernce by bus tour operated by Best of Switzerland, the guide was courteous, took good care of the tourist and presented great knowledge of the areas visited. The tour was neatly arranged and time was managed properly, worth for the money and had good time.

Thank you Best of Switzerland.

Thank Venkata B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2014 via mobile

No shopping on Sunday and tired of it anyway so we wanted to see Zurich
Good choice the tram was cool and beautiful picture ops
Travel agent did ok
I feel like I know Zurich better now

Thank jwyson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014

This is a must do tour, our tour guide(lady) was excellent. The combination of the bus ride, gondola up the mountain the amazing views and there was still snow, the downward ride on the worlds steepest cogwheel train the ferry ride on the lake and the bus ride home made for a spectacularly enjoyable experience. Would recommend to anyone. If there was one improvement I would suggest telling people to bring their lunch to allow a little extra time in Lucerne or get it up the mountain.

3  Thank Whendy19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2014 via mobile

1. No unnecessary information so not at all boring
2. Crew members of the bus are warm and responsible and are always counting the people.
3. The tour itself is spectacular.
4. The busses are realy comfortable with reclining seats.
5. All announcements are in English and Spanish.
6. Very comfortable and scenic ride.
7. Total value for money.
8. Definitely Recommending this tour.

1  Thank bhardwajgaurav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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