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David wrote a review Apr 2020
Ottawa, Canada1 contribution
I purchased three different tours for 6 people through TripAdvisor.com with Explore Catalonia. We came to exactly at specified time, and the buses were waiting outside the office, and when I talked to Robert, which is the owner, to check in, he looked at the time, and it was
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Response from ExploreCatalunya, Manager at Priority Access: Best of Barcelona Tour Including Sagrada Familia
Responded Jun 1, 2020
Hello, First of all, I want to explain that it has taken a while to respond to this review due to the current situation with Covid 19, and my attention being elsewhere. This review is about a tour that the customer, Mr. Ahmed Saeed and his family did with us in August last year. We receive many reviews on Trip Advisor, some of them are good, some even excellent, some are bad, and some are even quiet nasty, but there are some that are just simply full of lies, misinformation, and totally lacking in the facts of what really happened. I have spent over 20 years building this business, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished. We have achieved this thanks in so small part due to the comments and suggestions from customers. Sadly, Trip Advisor provides a forum where people can slander and make any claim they wish about someone, irrespective of whether it really happened or was just made up. I normally ignore reviews like this, but on this occasion I feel compelled to publish what really happened with this customer. Mr. Saeed bought 3 tours for himself and his family. There were 6 people in total including children. The first tour was for Girona and Costa Brava on Sunday August 18th. This tour leaves at 8.30am, and we advise on our ticket to be in the office before the departure time. At 8.29am, he called to say he was 15 minutes late. We explained that we could wait for 5 minutes due to our tight schedule... when we explained this he then said he was actually only 5 minutes late. At 8.44am, he called again to say he was almost at the office, and still about 5 minutes away. We called the guide who said that it wasn't fair to make people wait anymore and that if he was still 5 minutes away, he was going to leave. Unfortunately, we had to explain to the customer that we could not wait any more, that we had a bus full of people who were already in the bus, and that it was not fair to them. At this point he started to scream down the phone that he would report the girl talking to him and get her fired, that he was recording the phone call, and that he would post very bad reviews about us. He made sexist remarks and upset the person he was speaking to so much that she called me crying afterwards. We explained that we would not refund him, and that he had missed the tour due to being late. He was rude and verbally aggressive again to our office assistant. We also took the opportunity to tell him to please be on time for his next tour - the following day to Medieval Villages. The following day on Monday August 19th, they had booked a tour for Medieval Villages departing at 8.30am. As with all our tours we advise that you arrive before the departure time. At 8.37am, 7 minutes after we we had left, and after specifically reminding this group to be on time after missing the the tour the day before, they arrived in the main office. We called the guide, who stopped the bus so we could walk the group to the bus. We very carefully explained that they must be on time at all the meeting points throughout the day. We were very polite and pointed out that if they arrived late, they would be making the whole group wait throughout the day. We stressed that we had a tight schedule and that if they were very late they risked us having to leave without them. At the end of this tour, the guide called me to say that this group had arrived late at every single meeting point. In fact, what they actually did was to send their young children ahead of them to the meeting points, so we had no choice but to wait while they arrived 10-15 minutes late every single time. Mr. Saeed makes no mention of any of this in his review. I have all these details because we keep very careful and accurate records of every incident logged in our systems. Finally, we come to their final tour, which is what this review is about. The tour was the Barcelona Skip the Line Tour departing at 8.30am. Once again we advise all customers on our voucher to arrive early. This is especially important on this tour as we have entrance tickets at fixed times. Mr. Saeed says he arrived at 8.30am on time. This is not true. He called at 8.25am, saying he would be there at 8.35am. He told the office person, "You will wait for me." To which he was told that we would wait until 8.30am. This was the third tour in as many days that he had been late for. At this point we were not prepared to wait a minute longer than we had. He said in a threatening manner, "You will wait until 8.35am." We explained that we would not wait another time for him. We pointed out that he had been late every single day, and that on this tour we had to leave due to the entrance tickets, and because he had been late all the time and we were not going to delay the tour again for him. He replied that, "You must wait or I will make such a big deal about it, you will regret it for the rest of your life!" We replied that if he carried on being threatening we would be forced to call the police. I have a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to threatening my staff and making them feel afraid. At about 8.35am, I arrived at the office, and met Mr Saeed. I explained that this time he had finally missed the tour and we were not going to go out of our way to get him on the tour. There are many stops on this tour, and we have very specific times to enter the attractions. If we are late, we lose the spot and I was not prepared to risk this for all the other customers who had paid and arrived on time. Mr Saeed says that there were buses waiting outside our office with our names on them, and that I said they were for other tours. This is simply not true. None of our minivans have our names on them, and the bigger buses are not allowed to enter the small back street where our office is located. I can give you a promise here and now, that if you book this tour with us, and we pull up outside our office with a bus carrying our logo on it, I will refund you the price of the tour in double! I was very calm when I talked to him. I did not shout or act in a rude way. I explained that he had missed the tour because he was late, and that I would not refund him. At one point he started shouting and his children started crying. He brought his children to the counter and asked me how I could do this to them. His mother started filming the whole thing and my staff felt very intimidated. At this point I stood up and told him firmly to leave my office. It was a horrible moment. My staff were scared, his children were sobbing, and his mother was walking around filming my staff from close up. This is when I called the police and asked them to come and help us. The police arrived shortly afterwards and escorted them from the office. Since then, we have had no contact with Mr. Saeed. Trip Advisor have never asked us about the incident, nor have we had to return the money. I am amazed and confused why he would wait over 9 months to write a review. This is a terrible review, but it is totally unfair. I am happy to accept criticism and I will admit my fault if it is fair. If you look at all of my review responses you will see that I am happy to hold my hand up to a mistake. I don't normally take this kind of review to heart, but there comes a time when you have to call out blatantly inaccurate reviews. Trip Advisor is a wonderful forum, but there is nothing to stop a customer making the most outrageous and false claims. If you have any doubt about us, please contact us personally and I will be more than happy to call you directly to put your mind at ease. Warm regards, Robert
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graham c wrote a review Feb 2020
Maidstone, United Kingdom23 contributions2 helpful votes
We had a Gaudi day during our break and The Sagrada Familia was the star of the day. We booked the Tower tour as well, which i would thoroughly recommend. The was was superb and very knowledgeable and friendly. Definitely worth getting priority access to beat the crowds. There
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from ExploreCatalunya, Front Office Manager at Priority Access: Best of Barcelona Tour Including Sagrada Familia
Responded Mar 10, 2020
Hello, First of all, thanks for reviewing us. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed La Sagrada Familia and the tour. Kind regards, Ester
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Oliver L wrote a review Feb 2020
12 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
I had a great tour of Barcelona with a small group and our guide Sergio. He was very well prepared and gave us a lot of information in the places we visited. We also had enough free time at the Sagrada Familia to enjoy the place after the guided part of it.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Response from ExploreCatalunya, Front Office Manager at Priority Access: Best of Barcelona Tour Including Sagrada Familia
Responded Feb 26, 2020
Dear partner, We are happy you had such a wonderful time. We will let Sergi know about your review. Thank you, Núria
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ngpl wrote a review Feb 2020
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia40 contributions28 helpful votes
Truly one of the best day tours we had. If you are short of time this tour covers the few places you must see in Barcelona - gothic quarters, sagrada familia, park guell and cast mila. The history, the insights given by Rod our guide was incredible. He had little replicas of
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Date of experience: February 2020
1 Helpful vote
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Response from ExploreCatalunya, Manager at Priority Access: Best of Barcelona Tour Including Sagrada Familia
Responded Feb 9, 2020
Hello, Thank you for sending us the review. Rod goes out of his way to make this day special. He'll be very happy that yin appreciated it so much. Thanks, Robert
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Paulmoribeny wrote a review Jan 2020
New York City, New York2 contributions
Not waisting a time and money. It was a great value for enjoying Barcelona under the limited time of our stay.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Response from ExploreCatalunya, Manager at Priority Access: Best of Barcelona Tour Including Sagrada Familia
Responded Jan 31, 2020
Hello, I am happy that we managed to make your short stay in Barcelona as fruitful as possible. Thanks, Robert
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