We live in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China and recently booked visiting overseas friends on this one hour tour. We did this based on our own earlier great experience of the tour. These tours are a lot of fun and quite different to other sights tours with the distinctive replica motorcycles attracting a lot of spectator interest.
The drivers are very welcoming, knowledgeable and flexible in going to backstreets and less prominent sights one would otherwise not see.
At RMB800 for one hour the tour is on the pricey side, but well worth doing.
In our experience there are a couple of service aspects surrounding the tour that could be improved with a little more attention to detail.
Bookings are on a pre-stated 'first come first served basis'. The difficulty with this from a customer perspective is an email is sent requesting a booking. The company then sends out its booking form for completion and states there are tours available at the requested time. But when the completed booking form is completed and emailed back to the company they responded that all spots at our requested time had been taken. We were on the verge of canceling when the tour company changed our arrangements to accommodate our time, which was appreciated.
For us it would have been much better for the company to originally offer the time slot with availability for say 24 hours (to accommodate people coming from overseas and operating in a different time zone etc) by which time the booking would have to be confirmed or would lapse. This arrangement is something the customer has full knowledge of and some direct influence over. Whereas the customer has relatively little influence on 'first come first served basis'.
Secondly is the meeting arrangements. The confirmed booking from the motorcycle company specified we should wait 'At The Flow bar in the lobby of the Swissotel hotel'. Which we did. This is in Jingan area of Shanghai. The tour was due to start at 9.00 a.m. When no one showed up by 9.15 a.m. we walked outside the Swissotel to find the motorcycle and driver waiting at one end of the driveway into the hotel which was in no way in sight of the bar area. When we showed the booking form to the driver he said he did not have that form.
The obvious suggested service improvement is that both the driver and the customer should be informed of the same meeting place.
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