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The Canoe man

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Durham, United...
posts: 8
reviews: 11
The Canoe man

I wanted to give a bit of information following an experience with this company. We were holidaying as a family of 4 in the area and booked a 1 night camping 2 days self guided canoeing trip with this company via the internet. We were away the week before our booking so asked to be contacted by phone not e mail if necessary.We were contacted by phone with a query so called in at the office in Wroxam once we were in the area to give the required information. The man in the office was not too welcoming but ensured the correct overnight accommodation- camping was booked. We then enquired about the exact route we would be following as we had had no information other than what was on the website and that we would be on the river Bure. At this the man became increasingly annoyed and aggressive with us telling us we came into the office shouting at him!

We were very surprised by his reaction as we were only in the office as we had been contacted with a question and asked to respond. The man was so unpleasant we decided we would rather cancel altogether to which he replied "Well it up to you but its all booked and you wont get a refund" We had little choice and went on the trip which we all enjoyed, however the man in the office was particularly unpleasant and I would not recommend them as a company. He also said something about people shouting down the phone at him {not us!} so perhaps he had had a bad morning however I could not recommend them because of his manner and I would suggest people try to find an alternative company. The trip itself was fine but we were never even given maps and at several points on the route we were slightly unsure which way to go due to lack of signage/ information.

7 replies to this topic
Arbroath, United...
posts: 1
1. Re: The Canoe man

My wife and I are in the Wroxham area on holiday and also found The Canoe Man online before we travelled. We called into the Woxham office which was manned by a lady and the man from the website, Mark. They could not have been more friendly or helpfull. We wanted to go on the Otter spotting trip the following Sunday. No problem. They explained the trip and what we could POSSIBLY see. Wildlife is just that it's wild and does not perform to order. They gave all instructions for the day, time,kit, parking etc. We paid the very reasonable fee (compared to other trips both here and around the world) and were wished a good trip.

On the Saturday we were contacted by the office, very appologetic, as the trip had proved extremely popular and would we mind if they ran two trips an hour apart. This was no problem to us.

The Sunday arrived and we met at the later time, as agreed, and found it was Mark who was taking us out. He had given his day off up to ensure everyone had the best day possible.

We had an excellent day and saw a variety of wildlife. Mark was an excellent guide with just the right amount of input to keep us informed without "waffle". We did not see otters, unfortunate but not at all supprising as they are very elusive. This didn't detract from an excellent day which was very well organised and led.

Maidstone, United...
posts: 1
reviews: 3
2. Re: The Canoe man

Been out with Brian from the Canoe Man company today on their 'Swallows and Amazons' experience with the children and had a fabulous time. As Cub leaders we already know about lighting fires and have done archery etc but found it really good and Brian was knowledgeable without being overbearing with it and safety conscious without being too restricting - he's a credit to the company. Would recommend especially if you have primary aged children.

Norwich
posts: 1
reviews: 3
3. Re: The Canoe man

This is Mark (TheCanoeMan ) responding to this comment - as a newbie to tripadvisor I was shocked to read this report. I so wish people still talked! Either face to face or by phone - it has taken 3 yrs before this has been brought to my attention! If I had known this before I could have sacked this particular individual sooner than I did!

I am saddened that your experience was less than satisfactory and had I known I would have resolved it immediately! For anyone reading this review - if you are not entirely satisfied with the level of service you receive either in our shop, by phone or e-mail please ensure you ask to speak to me or my p.a. Kerry and we will do everything within our power to resolve any issues you may have.

We look forward to meeting you! Mark (TheCanoeMan)

London
posts: 1,292
reviews: 25
4. Re: The Canoe man

The fact that it has taken 3 years for the original complaint to reach The Canoe Man just emphasises the point he has made in his post about the failure of people to make face to face or telephone complaints when appropriate, while hiding away in the annonymity of the electronic toys they are addicted to.

The damage to the Canoe Man's business may have been significant, but we will never know. Meanwhile the original complainant, having bleated into the ether, saw no action because they didn't take up the matter directly with the company and, probably even worse, allowed a bad employee to remain in place and perhaps affect other customers

Congratulations to The Canoe Man for facing up to this when he finally became aware of the complaint and giving a clear statement of his willingness to deal with any problems at the time they arise. I hope his business thrives in the future

Norfolk
posts: 1,262
reviews: 126
5. Re: The Canoe man

For future reference it is possible to review this business now -

tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g1023832…

It seems that not all of Canoeman's clients are unhappy.

Great Yarmouth...
posts: 339
reviews: 58
6. Re: The Canoe man

Go Canoe Man!

posts: 1
7. Re: The Canoe man

Very Interesting thread,

While it certainly could not be said that this company is bad, I would question if they actually provide value for money...over and above the day tours they offer.

It all seems to be very much run like a bit of a scout troop with a couple of full time staff with the man himself being Akela.

A friend and I recently used them to help us navigate / provide a trail around the Broads. The cost for our 6 nights and 5 day trail was £255 person including camp site fees so would have been £510 . However Wwe used all of own equipment including canoe etc and received a discount bring it down to £205 per person so £410 total ...Even for us experienced campers....the campsites were basic to say the least with one costing £6.00 per night not even having a water stand pipe or toilet on site and the second being a Pub garden where the landlord (a nice guy) informed us that he only charged £13 per night and that TCM wanted to pay him annually....the main Canoe man campsite is an area set aside in part of the Hautbois centre. which actually only charge £6.50 pp and can be booked directly (Great showers by the way)...So other than a list of directions, a few out of date instructions, emailed self download maps and a couple of pickups and a nice lady called Kerry who helped put it together . That was it...all for £410 ...I guess that the old saying 'you get what you pay for' is not always right..One recommendation would be to make the Canoe man signs clearer..i.e now and again go around and clear some of the foliage covering the signs and those that a broke fix them / clean them . Did we get what we asked for, perhaps. Would we use The Canoe man again probably not, would we recommend them again probably not, would we do the Broads again, yes but this time we would certainly book it ourselves.

Edited: 8:26 am, June 26, 2014
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