Based on the positive reviews on this site I booked a tour over the internet with North of England Trike Tours. Unfortunately the website omits some very important conditions. To quote from the email I received from the owner, “And at no point anywhere does it say if it is raining you will get a refund, this is an outdoor activity.” If this was clearly stated on the site I would have thought twice before booking.
The site does say “If it looks like the weather will be unsuitable we will re-schedule your tour with you over the telephone with no fuss to a date which is convienient for you.” The booking confirmation email says it somewhat differently: “If your tour has to be postponed due to weather conditions then we will reschedule the tour to a time which is convenient for both parties.” In actually if the tour is cancelled due to weather and you can’t reschedule during your visit, you get a voucher good for 12 months. If you don’t plan to return to the area in that time period you’re just out of luck (and out of a lot of money).
Since we planned to take the tour the day before we left the area and didn’t plan to return within twelve months I thought the risk too high and asked to cancel the reservation. This all took place within 24 hours of making the reservation and receiving the terms by email. Well, they do have a policy of charging 20% for any cancelled reservation. As the owner explained in his email “The cancellation fee covers towards the time we spend on administration, sending emails, booking your tour & on this tour as it was be-spoke the time spent creating a be-spoke tour route for you which takes considerable time planning . The whole process takes time & costs us money, businesses dont run for free.” Quite understandable. However, my reservation was for two months later and only 24 hrs. elapsed. Did he do all that work in such a short period and that far in advance? I doubt it. His attitude speaks volumes.
So I’m out my 20% cancellation fee and probably better off. I have no reason to believe that if everything went as planned the tour would be as other reviewers have experienced. Unfortunately if it doesn’t you need to be concerned about the kind of people running the operation. I have booked tours in many countries and have never experiemced a more “customer unfriendly” attitude. There are other companies with positive reviews conducting Trike Tours in the Lake District. I would recommend booking with them.
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