1st mistake: booked the trip over the phone. Woman who took the call was too preoccupied listening to loud music to take our details properly and failed to book us in for the bus pickup.
Mistake 2: On the morning of the tour I called the number to ask where our pick up was and got put through to another company (Pinnacle Tours, who were lovely). Apparently the one number goes through to a number of tour companies.
Mistake 3: The lovely Nicki from Pinnacle Tours dropped into the office of Rottnest Express to explain to them that our bus pickup had failed to materialise. Turns out it had never been booked in. Consequently we had missed the ferry. Nicki advised us that the Manager had offered to drive us to Fremantle to meet the ferry, so we were told to walk down there. Its not far but for my elderly mother on a hot day, this was difficult. Got there only to be told "Oh. The bus driver just left". I asked why they had told us to come down if they were not prepared to wait five minutes. No apology, nothing. Our plans for the day now scuppered, I rebooked the tour for another day with the muppet who worked there who could barely manage a smile. Really they should have offered a free tour at the very least. Or the muppet may have offered some alternatives that we do that day. Nicki from Pinnacle Tours was more helpful on this account.
Called the Rottnest Express number (made sure I got the actual number this time) on morning of the rebooked tour. Got the same drongo woman who mucked up our booking last time. With all the politeness I could muster I told her that she had failed to book us in the last time so I was making sure this one was all correct. Her response was a very rude "No, it wasn't me. I don't have any information on that so I don't know anything." I politely told her, Yes, it was her (I remembered her voice and accent and the loud music) we had to rebook it which is why it was in someone else's name, but she continued to deny it. Again, no apology.
Mistake 4: The brochure said look for the distinctive red, white and blue bus upon pickup, and it would stop at the bay in front of the hotel. It was a white minibus that flew around the corner and we thought it wouldn't stop. Luckily it did pull up.
Luckily for this company, Rottnest Island is very beautiful. The bus tour we did was good and the commentary entertaining. The walk with the tour guide called Adene was very nice and she was great, although she didn't seem to know much about the wildlife on the island. The lunch at The Lodge was delicious and the staff were lovely. Talking with others on the tour it transpired that other people had had their bookings mucked up or were charged the wrong price by Rottnest Express. I suspect it is fairly common.
Essentially, this is too expensive for what it is. The booking staff also need to learn some manners and basic customer service skills. Employ some better people please, or give them some training! Especially at these prices.
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