I have read the previous reviews and understand the criticisms and share them. We haire loop. We've used Citysightseeing worldwide and have learned that it is best NOT to hop on and off!
We always take a bus tour when we arrive in a city and stay on it for the entire loop so that we get an overview of that city, get our bearings and learn which are the places we'd like to see in depth.
I agree that some of the headphone jacks were'nt working but we just moved around until we found a good spot. We always report these to the staff but they rarely seem concerned. This was the case in Rome and has been in other cities too.
We did check out the other bus tours but found that they were more expensive and didn't cover as much of the city although they did seem to have more buses.
We bought the 48 ticket and took both of the routes one after the other which covered all the sights of Rome which could be reached by road, 3 or 4 hours in total for the 2 routes but sitting in the sunshine on the open top deck being driven around Rome was not tough!! We thought that the price was good value. The commentary was informative in a very basic way, enough for us to understand which sights to visit in depth and it ensured that we didn't miss any.
We did experience the pushy salespeople, and that is all they are. They cannot and will not advise you of anything else. Each of the bus companies had them at each stop but we soon learned to take a note of their prices, go away and decide and wait some distance away for the bus. When the bus arrives, simply buy the ticket hastily (you can also buy on the bus) and board. This seemed to be the norm for almost everything in tourist areas of Italy so just use the information but don't be pushed into parting with cash until you are ready.
The queues are never as they seem in Italy, anywhere! It's always everyman for himself so be prepared to stand your ground and take a seat on the lower deck, or next to someone else and wait until the bus gets to a popular getting off stop when you can move places.
My advise would be to not expect an educated guide from Citysightseeing, for that book a guided tour, but to use these as a non stop ride around the city to get an overview. To expect more will be disappointing.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.