Phoned up at 9 am on Sunday and started the tour from our hotel at 9.30! Our driver/guide, Peter... read more
Phoned up at 9 am on Sunday and started the tour from our hotel at 9.30! Our driver/guide, Peter... read more
We really enjoyed the tour and would highly recommend. Our guide was knowledgeable, chatty and... read more
Steve was an excellent tour guide --- very knowledgable and professional. He was very accommodating to all of our desires and needs. Overall we had an excellent day tour of Belfast and the region. The only reason I rate this a 4 instead of a 5 is the condition of the cab. My husband and I felt that it could have been better maintained. Among other things, the windows were smudged, making it difficult to see out, and we kept tripping over the loose carpet in the back. When we got in, the door molding was hanging to the ground, so the guide just ripped it off, which was funny at the time, but also indicative of the overall condition of the cab.
Myself and my boyfriend did the tour today. Our driver was Gerry2 and he was incredible. He was so friendly and informative. We got to see all the sights and murals while learning about the history of Northern Ireland. I would highly recommend the tour to everyone visiting Belfast. I felt like I learned more in those 2 hours than I had throughout school in ireland. Well worth it! Thanks Gerry2
On behalf of my wife and her travelling companion, may I say 'thank you' for an excellent tour yesterday (25th Sept, 2019). Their driver, Charlie, was very knowledgeable and well informed. Please pass on our personal thanks to him. Coming from an Irish background myself, I find that so many people on the British side of the Irish Sea have very little real idea of what happened during the Troubles. People need to remember this history and not to forget the lessons it teaches us, especially at the present moment when tensions in both our islands are running so dangerously high.
Our tour was the best! We had heard from many sources that "The Black Cab" tour was the one to take and it did not disappoint us! Our tour guide unfolded the history of the protestant and catholic conflicts, or Irish/British as we proceeded along in the cab. Highlights were visiting the British neighborhood, seeing the murals and understanding the culture there of today that exists. Loved seeing the wall! Our tour guide was catholic and did an excellent job of presenting an unbiased history. I definitely would recommend it!
Paddy Campbell's tour was nearly half the price of some on Trip Advisor so we were not sure what we would get, but went with the reviews on the NET
We were not disappointed,our driver Brendan arrived on time, was very friendly and gave us a real unbiased view of both sides of the sectarian divide and what it was like to grow up in Belfast in the 70's and 80's; with a bit of light humour thrown in.
A real highlight of our Belfast visit and will certainly recommend to friends and family.
Well done Brendan!
Bottom Line: The driver was rude and disrespectful. Wikipedia was more interesting and informative. He tried to overcharge us and yelled at me from his window after we paid the agreed rate. I wish I had chosen a different company. This experience ruined my visit to Belfast.
Booking the tour was easy. I called the number on the website a few days before and got right in for my desired time. The operator mentioned there would be a pick up fee because we were slightly outside the city center, but “it wouldn’t be much” and would be on the meter.
This Company came highly recommend, both by my friends who had done it before and through reading other reviews online. I was really excited.
The driver was on time. And, he took us to see several murals. This was the only good part.
As soon as we departed, his memorized script started. He took no breathes to allow for questions. And, he actually got irritated if I asked questions because it took him off his script.
About 20 minutes in, I misunderstood one word he said because our accents were different, and politely asked for a quick clarification. He then proceeded to tell me I was in Belfast and he could talk faster if I wanted and then I really wouldn’t understand. But I did. I ignored his jab and tried to carry on.
Eventually, he just kept repeating the same facts over and over again to fill space. I would ask a question (apparently I had not learned my lesson), and he would say no, only to provide a 5 minute story that contradicted himself and ultimately agreed with my initial question. So, eventually, out of frustration, I just let him drive. He detailed a very biased view of the troubles. I saw interesting things, but I didn’t really learn much I didn’t already know - I read the Wikipedia page when I got home and it was more insightful.
We asked to be dropped off in the city center. The tour for two people was £35 with the nominal pick-up fee the operator mentioned. Knowing I was upset with the level of service provided, he tried to tell me the pick-up fee on the meter was £10, but could not produce a fare sheet to explain this. I knew that the meter had not run when he picked us up. Our pick up location was only 1.4 miles (5 minutes) from the city hall. Every taxi estimator I used online confirmed this was exorbitant. We called his boss and she reduced it to £5. He was not happy and then made a dramatic production of giving me the refund by yelling at me, telling me I was being awkward, and yelling at my friend through his window that he should stop being friends with me.
So essentially I paid the driver £40 to waste two hours of my day and insult me. This was not the Belfast experience I was looking for.
The website very clearly mentions that good service is guaranteed because customers don’t pay until the tour is over. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I reached out to the Company to file a complaint and have still not heard back after several days.
Becca, I’m delighted to hear from you on this platform, our apologies for not emailing back sooner but since we have received your email we have actually been investigating the incident and have also spoken to witnesses who were able to verify some issues involved.
To begin with, when we began our conversation with the driver the very first thing he said was “There was a very clear atmosphere from the minute she got into the cab” now this driver is one of the more joking drivers we have and is always very bouncy and welcoming to all our guests. When he introduced himself, he asked your partner/boyfriend/friend his name and began bantering with him and when he went to speak to you and ask your name there was a clear standoff, he said this was VERY apparent to him. He let this go and continued on, as sometimes our guests do need a little time to warm up to meeting our drivers who are essentially strangers but take pride in the fact that by the end of the trip they have a certain level of friendship and camaraderie with them.
As this trip progressed the driver was not “reading from a script” he is a man who has grown up through the troubles and has experienced physical life changing issues with this, so it is rather insulting for you to demean his story, what he has went through and how he has chosen to tell it.
Now you mention about his accent and speed of speech, stating “He then proceeded to tell me I was in Belfast and he could talk faster if I wanted and then I really wouldn’t understand. But I did. I ignored his jab and tried to carry on.” This is in fact the complete OPPOSITE of what he actually said.
We in Belfast, and Northern Ireland as a whole, are notorious for speaking really fast. He told you about this, how when we talk at length we get very excitable and don’t realise how fast we are talking. That is why he said to both of you, if at any point you couldn’t understand anything, all you had to do was say to him and he would be more than HAPPY to slow down and repeat himself at any time so I’m really not certain how this has been misconstrued.
This matter was STRESSED because when we do speak slower for guests, it can make us seem like we are mocking them. Making it out as if they cannot understand the content of the tour when in fact it is just the delivery of how it sounds. We would NEVER and have NEVER disrespected anyone’s accent, speech or slang no matter what the issue being discussed. There are drivers who start speaking in the same accent of the people in front of them and sound ridiculous. Depending on the new relationship between driver and guest we even have our guests making fun of our driver’s accents and THEY LOVE IT because it’s all in good fun.
Now where we believe this issue really came to a head is when you reached the International wall and there were some silly jokes made about Donald Trump, things he’s done and said. The driver believed that you took real offense to these very harmless jokes which were in fact just ironic retorts to some of the things Trump has said so it wasn’t as if it was a crass distasteful joke. He also made a point of apologising and saying to your partner/friend “I think I might have insulted her I’m very sorry if I did” The only real repeating that the driver was doing at this point was when he was discussing with you about the use of CS/CR gas here and that it was similar to the gas used by Americans during the Vietnam war, you kept asking what the “CR” stood for and he told you he wasn’t certain of the chemical name and if you googled the “Agent Orange” issue it would give you further information- including the name.
This then carried on to when he spoke about the Civil Rights movement, in your email you stated “He also proceeded to give me an American history lesson and asserted I didn't know what civil rights were. I'm old enough to know about both American history and civil rights. He was very patronizing. I took the tour to learn about Belfast history, but in his opinion, he could only explain it to me by making sweeping broad inappropriate generalizations about me and Americans. I believe there is a better way that focuses on Irish and Northern Irish history without inappropriate metaphors.”
Once again you have completely misunderstood what was said and twisted it into something I can’t quite comprehend so maybe I’ll elaborate again: the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland was based upon the beliefs and frame work of the American Civil rights movement- that is were the idea was first generated from so people like Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks etc are historical figures who were looked up to and many people here followed their example. The American civil rights dealt with racism, the Northern Irish Civil rights dealt with sectarianism. Both groups black/catholic communities were discriminated against, most very violently and the police/security services facilitated many atrocious acts, so no- it’s not an “inappropriate generalisation” or a “inappropriate metaphor” these things did actually happen………..
On more than one occasion you kept telling my driver to “Stop patronising you” when he at no point done any such thing and throughout the tour he was made feel very uncomfortable at your continued persistence in saying this as you were getting rather aggressive.
To go on to your next point about money, yes the £10 was correct, his meter may not have been on when you got into the cab but in a public hire cab, the fare to that area on a Saturday afternoon (permitting traffic etc) is a fee of £10, if you want to give me the contact details of these other cab companies I will be more than happy to follow up myself.
Now to the incident and behaviour at the city hall, when you refused to pay the pick up charge, yes our office gave you discount on it which we would have to then reimburse the driver. You gave him £50 and he gave you £5 coins change, when he was re-reimbursing you, to make things easier he gave you a £10 note so you could just give him the £5 coins back- you did not. You were then trying to walk away with out giving the correct money back to him, when you eventually did you only gave £4 back. This then escalated to quite a scene with you shouting at my driver, and by this stage we could hear your screaming in the background of the phone call. The driver at this point gave up with the abuse and went to walk away saying you could keep the £1 and you REFUSED TO LET HIM GET INTO HIS CAB! He asked you to step away from the vehicle door which we could also hear. When he managed to get into the cab and you started to walk away- still shouting. At this point a security guard from the City Hall came over inquiring about why he was being shouted at by you.
What I find most disturbing and don’t think was very appropriate was for you to give him the finger, any gesture as such and as vulgar as this will not be tolerated by my company. The driver will admit this escalated, but felt your attitude was skewed from the get go and the fact that your friend/partner at no point verified this, the driver asked him “If she feels uncomfortable we can terminate this tour if you would like” he insisted that you carry on, and in fact even APOLOGISED ON YOUR BEHALF EARLIER IN THE TOUR, walked away from you telling you to leave it. By the end of the tour you did not pay £40 you paid £31 which isn’t even the minimum fare.
At this point I would say it’s a matter of culture that has caused this and a lack of understanding, the tour is here to enlighten visitors and show them what this city and it’s people have been through in the last 50+ years. The content is not the brightest or floweriest but it does go to show how we have come through the hard times and trying to make this one of the top 10 visited cities in Europe and we are flourishing as you can see by our 5000+ reviews.