Apparently this used to be a legitimate tour company with real busses and tours, but not any longer. If you book through Eg’ged you will wind up on Bein Harim (whose booklet appears to mirror the website offerings of Eg’ged), so you might as well go directly to BH. As best we can tell, Eg’ged is now just a tour broker. We booked two separate tours through Eg’ged. The first one was going to be a two-day tour; however, Eg’ged they told us they couldn’t get a hotel room & cancelled it. (We later learned they told other people who had signed up for the same tour that Eg’ged couldn’t do it that week; we never learned the truth.) While other people were told they could do it the following week, we weren’t going to be in Israel for an additional week, so Eg’ged offered to put us on another tour that was very similar to our original tour (but on different dates). It turned out that they shifted us to BH and put us on two different one-day tours. That was largely OK, except that BH dropped the ball on connecting us to the second group. We had been in Rosh HaNirah (all the way in the northwest corner of Israel) and they drove us most of the way back to Tel Aviv before planning to leave us on the roadside to wait for the next bus. We told them we were canceling the second day and to take us back to Jerusalem. Initially our guide (Chaya, who works for BH), defended the haphazard nature of the arrangements but when she realized how dissatisfied we were, she said it wasn’t her fault, that she was just a guide, & had nothing to do with the booking.
Because Eg’ged had changed out plans, they gave us the phone number of a real person, who I called to complain; she hung up the phone on me. The guide (Chaya, who works for BH) called it; BH apparently told Eg’ged to refund the balance of our trip. The other problem with the BH tour was that it consisted of 3 different groups of language speakers, so the guide had to explain everything 3 times. Chaya was very knowledgeable and ran a well-organized tour. The only problem was that we were taken to David Miro’s store and told he had the best prices in Israel. That may have been true of his own metal-smithing work, but for items available elsewhere (t-shirts and mezzuzot, for example), the store’s prices were double those of stores in the Jewish quarter. (Note, prices are higher for identical items in the arab quarter, perhaps because you are supposed to haggle.)
The second Eg’ged tour (a walking tour in Jerusalem) was likewise turfed to BH without prior notice, but by then we knew to expect it. Pick-up was 45 minutes late. (Eg’ged ignored two e-mails asking what the pick-up time was, but someone at their emergency number gave us the information.) That tour was fine and the BH guide (Josef Dahan) was fine but he is not as fluent in English as Chaya.
The Israeli Ministry of Tourism should close down Eg’ged.
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