My husband and I took this tour and, on the whole, I was really disappointed. We were picked up at our hotel and dropped off at LA Tours' main office in Santa Monica, where we had to wait for about half an hour/45 minutes. We were then driven to Rodeo Drive, where we were dropped off and told to return at a set time. The same thing happened in Hollywood and at the Hollywood Sign. While we did get some commentary while we were on the bus, the whole tour felt more like a taxi service. We had a relatively small tour group, and the tour guide, who thought he was hillarious (he wasn't), seemed to think this gave him permission to finish the tour earlier than scheduled. We considered going on the same tour with a different company when we returned to LA at the end of our USA trip, just so we could get the full Hollywood/Beverly Hills experience (unfortunately we ran out of time). I'd also recommend taking a tour on a bus fitted with a clear glass canopy/open air - I sometimes found it hard to see everything out of the bus windows (especially if you had to look up at an attraction).
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 26, 2012
First of all, we'd like to thank you for using our service and writing a review. We are always appreciative of feedback on our tours, as hearing things from our guests, whether positive or negative, helps us to improve as a whole. As a company that prides itself in customer satisfaction, we were disappointed to hear that you had a negative experience and wish to apologize if you felt we didn't deliver. However, if we may, we would like to offer up a couple of comments on your review.
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When it comes to the time spent waiting in the office, we'd like to point out that our hotel pick-ups are complimentary to all our guests in our service area. This process takes time, so there is always some waiting for those who are picked up, especially if they are at the edge of our pick-up radius. However, guests always have the option of coming straight into our office on their own if they don’t want to take advantage of an earlier pick-up. They could arrive 10 minutes before we depart to minimize waiting time. The purpose of the pick-up service itself is one of convenience. We're happy to help people save money on parking or gas. We'd also like to point out that the fare for the tour is calculated based on the tour itself and not including transportation to and from hotels, we cover that.
In regard to the tour feeling like a "taxi service" that's certainly not our goal. Each of our drivers has their own particular sense of humor and personal anecdotes to contribute on the tour, as we encourage them to be themselves and personable, while also knowledgeable and entertaining. However, if you feel that your driver somehow dampened your experience though, that's unacceptable and I would encourage you to give us a call so we can find out some more details and make sure this doesn't happen again.
Lastly, our tour bus design is the product of years of experimentation with various models and what we've found delivers the most consistency in terms of customer satisfaction. We experimented with open top buses in the past and found that they were not only incredibly dependent on the weather, but made for quite the uncomfortable experience when driving on the freeways at 60mph. So while there are some benefits to other styles, we believe ours works for every situation.
Still, at the end of the day, you didn't come away with the experience we hoped to provide and for that we apologize. Ultimately, the #1 reason to choose us is customer satisfaction, and we take it to heart. We understand that you had many options for tours, and appreciate that you chose us.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.