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“Avoid LA Sightseeing Tours at all costs”

Los Angeles Sightseeing
Ranked #11 of 36 Tours in Santa Monica
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Attraction details
Owner description: LA Sightseeing Tours & Charters has been providing the best tours of Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills for over 15 years. Let us make your trip a memorable experience of fun, thrills, and excitement.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed November 5, 2013

When visiting Los Angeles DO NOT use LA Sightseeing tours, they are in my opinion the worst tour company I have ever known.
I booked the Grand City Tour in October 2013, as with most tour companies in LA they take you from your hotel to their depot where you then start the tour.
An open sided, dirty van turned up, the seats were wet, it was a cool October morning as this wreck rattled it’s way to the depot at Santa Monica. I asked the driver if this was the van we were doing the tour on? because if it was we would stay at the hotel and not take the tour, he said he didn’t know, that was a deliberate lie as he knew perfectly well these were the tour vans.
Frozen ,shivering and wet we arrived at the depot in Santa Monica, a dingy little office, I explained to the receptionist we were not happy with the van, particularly as my wife had been very poorly with flu prior to going to America and an open sided van on a cool October morning just wasn’t good enough, we said we would prefer not to take the tour, only to be told we would have to pay the full price and they couldn’t take us back to our hotel in LA, basically they would take our money and abandon us in Santa Monica.
Reluctantly we got back on the yellow wreck, they drove around the corner stopped and off we got to go and see Santa Monica Pier, first stop on what was to be a terrible day.
The tour was awful, we saw hardly any of the stars homes, the commentary was poor, had short stops at places of interest like the Chinese theatre and long stops at other god knows where stops.
The fumes and smell of the vans engine was disgusting.
This tour was so bad that at one stop I tried to join another tour companies bus, I was willing to pay to get off this tour but unfortunately the driver could not get us on.
Finally we were to get taken back to the depot, hurtling along in this wreck , getting colder and colder with the wind howling into the open van, the driver then collided wing mirrors with an on coming truck and was more preoccupied with phoning the depot than his passengers , who could have been injured by flying glass from the mirror. Even with the drivers mirror shattered this idiot continued to drive at frightening speeds back to the depot.
I have included photo to highlight how filthy this van was.
Never ever will I use this tour company again and I would advise anyone visiting Los Angeles to avoid this company at all costs.
Thankfully for the rest of our stay in Los Angeles I had booked a good tour company ( VIP Tours ) whom I would recommend without hesitation.
Don’t waste your money on LA Sightseeing tours, the yellow wreck company.

Thank ChesterGcl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sightseeingla, Manager at Los Angeles Sightseeing, responded to this reviewResponded November 7, 2013

We would like to apologize for the inconvenience we have caused to you and we are devastated to hear what you have experienced. We have done some research to see if anybody else had the same problem with our brand new open air bus but nobody else contacted us in this matter. I would like to point out that all buses we use (not a van as you call it) are in excellent condition and get cleaned on a regular base - a picture of a piece of paper taken definitely does not show at all the condition of the bus. Our tour company uses open top and enclosed buses depending on the season. You mentioned that you took the tour in october and I would like to also point out that for the season it still was hot outside and other people definitely had no problem at all with this type of bus. Regarding your tour guide we have records shown that you have been with Jesse one of our oldest and most experienced tour guides. He hardly gets ever a complaint and it is very sad to hear that you did not enjoy your time with him.

We thank you for your feedback !

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Reviews (153)
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59 - 63 of 153 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2013

I hope my story will be seem by you all who intend to book a LA tour thru these people and hopefully you won't be as disappointed as I do.

I tried to book a hop-on/hop-off bus over the phone for me and my friend, as the website is quite blur how different programs work. The woman who named on the other end of the phone didn't even mention the bus service was not running on the day. Instead she booked me straight into their day tour. The pick up bus was 20min late - which is acceptable, considering traffic. When we finally reach their Santa Monica office, we paid straight away. My bad that I didn't check thoroughly the amount she charged. Until then we are not notified the hop on/off bus was cancelled and everyone was booked into the day tour with $14 more. I then went out for lunch and came back as their suggested hourly timetable. When we back to the office, we were then told the day tour bus has already left and the hop-on bus was not running.

I asked a few questions in hoping I could at least change it to another program or date. The reception girl got really aggressive and defensive. She literally yelled at me and keep repeating - "it's not our fault". She declined the fact that we never notified the hop-on bus are not in service and not even try to give it a solution. The last question we asked is why they didn't even try to contact us then there are 2 people missing from the tour? The answer is an even loader "it's not our fault"!

The day was ruined. Sadly we didn't check the review before we call.

Thank RRW98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sightseeingla, Manager at Los Angeles Sightseeing, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

First of all we thank you for your feedback. Let us explain the situation from our point of view. We remember the incident and kept records of everything. Our customer represantative clearly told you which tour was left for the day and you agreed and wanted to be picked up last minute from your hotel in Downtown. As mentioned online the HOPPER TOUR IS SEASONAL and I would definitely ask as a customer if this tour would be availabe around this year and unfortunately you have never mentioned that fact to her. Once you were at the terminal in Santa Monica we told you that we will be boarding in less than 10 minutes and we had no way of contacting you at this point when you just left as you haven't provided us with any contact information. We understand that there clearly was a missunderstanding happening and we apologize for the inconvenience. I would recommend you next time when you book a tour to make sure this particular tour is running and make it clear to the company which tour you are interested in taking before you get dissapointed as we made it very clear to you which tour is running and at what time boarding was.

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Reviewed October 12, 2013

I am a fan of "hop on and hop off" tours but this one is horrible. The recorded narration is beyond belief with a narrator who must have flunked junior high grammar (enough to make a person cringe) plus . . . . . everytime the bus stops it welcomes you;tells you to remain seated; and how their map and schedule works . . . . EVEN IF NO NEW PEOPLE GOT ON THE BUS. The manager should be made to make the trip and see how horrible it is.

Our first driver obviously knew that the narration was lacking so she tried her best to add some information but our other two drivers were just silent blobs who did an adequate job of driving the bus. No comments! No help! No personality!

As for their equipment, the busses were clean and modern . . . . . and well maintained.

If you are willing to pay $44 for transportation, then buy some ear plugs and use it for that . . . . . . but if you want an interesting narration, FORGET ABOUT IT!

1  Thank ilivennj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sightseeingla, Manager at Los Angeles Sightseeing, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2013

We thank you very much for your honest feedback and we will definitely take your advise to improve our services. Let me explain you a little about how this tour is supposed to works. This tour was created for customers who want to explore the stops rather then having a tour guide on board who explains you about each single attraction in Los Angeles. We provide a brief description on all stops and along the road for your convenience + a free tour map with pretty interesting facts. But of course it does not replace an actual live tour guide which would have cost you more than $40.00 per person. We apologize if the narration wasn't up to your standards and we believe you would have been much happier if you would have taken a different type of tour with our company.

Thank you again for your feedback we appreciate it very much!

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Reviewed October 2, 2013

Research the attractions you really want to see, if most are in the same area, stay near the sights (this may cost a tad more but it's worth it) and give yourself ample time to enjoy.

Thank Tara1209
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We have taken hop-on hop-off tours in several cities; this one is bad.

First, the good: The bus was clean, and the drivers were competent in navigating the challenge of LA traffic.

Every bus was consistently late, from departure, and at our pickup spots. We had three different drivers; one was completely disengaged and listening to her music the whole time.

But worst was the pre-recorded narration. Unimaginably bad. Several times it cut out in mid sentence and moved on to the next segment. Half of the words were welcoming you on the bus, reminders to stay seated, don't forget your belongings, how the map and schedule works. EVERY TIME THE BUS STOPPED AT TWELVE LOCATIONS. Imagine airline announcements, but x 12. Aaaaarrrrgggh!!!!

There was virtually no interesting info, and whoever wrote the script failed high school grammar as well, as some of the sentences simply made no sense.

I would recommend any other tour, and I am sure even a bad live narrator would be more entertaining than the pre-recorded garbage.

Best part - LACMA is an underrated museum, and is worth a visit.

1  Thank gourmetviking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sightseeingla, Manager at Los Angeles Sightseeing, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2013

First of all we like to thank you for your honest feedback. We always try to improve our buisness to make sure our customer has the best experience they can have. The recording was actually done by a proffesional tour guide called Papi who works for us many years and usually all our guests love him and have absolutely no problem with him. He gets as a matter of fact many compliments. It is unfortunate to hear you didn't enjoy your time with our tour. Maybe you simply choosed the wrong product from our company? Our LA City Hopper Tour is more for people who want to jump on and off to see the sights rather than sit on the bus for the whole day and listen to a brief description as this tour is self guided (which means no tour guide). We also provide free tour maps which also gives lots of interesting facts about all the stops and sights.

Again, we do apologize and certainly appreciate your feedback!

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