I echo the experience of ThomasS763...... I called the owner, Andy, on Jan 20, 2012 wanting to make a reservation for the Twentymile River jetboat tour on August 11, 2012. He mentioned that I was the first person to want to make a reservation for the upcoming summer tourist season. I mentioned that my wife and I wished to use the TourSaver two-for-the-price-of-one coupon and he said that he would pencil us in, but that he needed at least two paying customers in order to make the run, and that his accessibility was determined by US Forest Service regulations. I stated that we were flexible on the dates and the following day would also be O.K. with us. He asked me to contact him later in the year to firm up the reservation. I called again on May 16 and left a message and described our earlier conversation. He was reluctant to make a reservation for us and asked me to call again later in the year – close to the time of our desired tour. On August 3, I talked with Linda at Alta House Vacation Rentals (where we are staying) since they provide concierge services for their guests. I hoped that she could secure the desired reservation for me. I gave her my TourSaver booklet number which she could then transmit to Andy. She called me the next day and told me she gave Andy my phone number and information. She expected that he had called me about the reservation, but he had not. I called Andy’s number on August 7 and since he was unavailable when I called., I sent a text message to his number, as his answering message directed, asking about the status of my “penciled in” reservation of August 11. He texted back saying he would take a look to see if he had indeed “penciled me in” and to give him my name (I had forgotten to give him my name when I initially texted him). I did so, and he replied back “It looks like we should be able to get you in on the 7:30 or maybe 9:30 tour. There is a note on our calendar.” I texted him back saying that the 7:30 was OK, but I’d prefer the 9:30. I also included our TourSaver coupon booklet number. I waited for a reply. And waited. And waited. Finally I called his number, but he did not answer – voicemail message only. I left a voicemail message saying that I would like to do the 9:30 tour as we might be a bit tired (leaving from Charlotte at 6:30 a.m. the day before).
Now....some additional information. August 11, 2012 is the date of our 50th wedding anniversary. In addition, my wife is losing the sight in one of her eyes. So we wanted to do something memorable, something we’d never done before, and have a new experience on this special day (the YouTube videos of this trip are just stunning), especially since we don’t know how much more time my wife will be “whole” as far as her vision is concerned. But we didn’t mention this to Andy as we don’t want to play on anyone’s sympathy. We would like to be treated like everyone else.
Lastly....the proceeds of the sale of the TourSaver books goes to support Alaska Special Olympics. The vendors who participate in this get to support Special Olympics without having any out-of-pocket expense themselves. The vendors benefit by having the patronage of some people who might not otherwise avail themselves of the vendor’s service. The purchasers of the TourSaver booklet support Special Olympics through their booklet purchase and they benefit through the 2-for-1 price break. We ran into a problem with an Alaska TourSaver vendor in a 2008 trip to Alaska – Alaska Waters, based in Wrangell said they “didn’t have a permit” for the day we wanted to visit the Anan Creek bear observatory. So we couldn’t use our TourSaver coupon with them. So we went to Anan Creek with Alaska Vistas....and when we got there...lo and behold, there was the boat from Alaska Waters, the outfit that didn’t have a permit to be there! Could it be that they want to be thought of as a Special Olympics supporter but don’t want to honor their end of the bargain? Could this also be the case with Andy Morrison’s Alaska Backcountry Access? I don’t know. But I *do* know that I was not dealt with professionally. Hence the “one bullet” rating. YMMV.
Update: Andy sent me a text message (finally) on August 10, 2012 while we were in the air flying to Alaska saying that he had room on a 7:30 a.m. tour on August 11. Needless to say, I didn’t get this message until I had landed. Since I hadn’t heard from him by August 9, the day before we were to leave home, I made arrangements to do this same tour, in the afternoon, with Hope Fishing Charters. Andy’s last text message to me, on Friday, August 10, at 8:51 p.m. Alaska time was “You said “either one was good” so all we needed was ti (sic) set the time, I’ve had you penciled into the schedule since January, plus us talking plus the Alta house calling. Like I said it is OK, but just takes a lot of my time and makes me not want to offer toursavers any more.”
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