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headout is it a scam?

Like a moron I scheduled a tour of Athens with Headout. Is this a scam? If so, please slap me.

Posted by
8866 posts

Why do you think its a scam? Have you spent money doing this?

Posted by
2 posts

I scheduled 3 tickets for 6 sites over 5 days in Athens. The Acropolis was the only scheduled site. The rest were to be visited within 5 days total. Instead of tickets I was instructed to download an app. Then I received another communication that asked for two top time slots for the Acropolis after it seemed that the decision had been made at ticket purchase. I was then told that I would receive my tickets within 24 hours of my intended visit which is 6 months from now. After I became suspicious I did what I should have done initially and searched the company and of course there were many sad tales of scamming all over the place. Since I do not want to spend my time and get mad and lose my opportunity and the opportunities of my grandsons I am going to buy tickets again where I should have bought in the first place. Stupid stupid stupid.

Posted by
6788 posts

Sorry this happened to you. First, I know nothing about this "company." Maybe they're legit, maybe even great. But I wouldn't just assume they were harmless.

I would never download and install an app from some company I know nothing about - too many ways for that to compromise all sorts of things. If you did, I'd get that off your phone right away (and make sure all traces of it are really gone).

Then I'd call my credit card company and stop payment (hopefully you paid by credit card?).

AS an aside, I am constantly amazed at how readily folks seem to be about immediately installing things on their phones without question or scrutiny, clicking on unknown links, or clicking OK on mysterious/unexpected popups....heck, I'm reluctant to just scan a QR code unless I really trust the source (makes it challenging to order food sometime).

Paranoid - who me?!

Posted by
923 posts

AS an aside, I am constantly amazed at how readily folks seem to be about immediately installing things on their phones without question or scrutiny, clicking on unknown links, or clicking OK on mysterious/unexpected popups....heck, I'm reluctant to just scan a QR code unless I really trust the source (makes it challenging to order food sometime).
Paranoid - who me?!

If that makes you paranoid, then I am paranoid, too. I push back on every vendor and store I visit that has an "app" they want placed on my phone...no thanks, I have too many already, can't keep track of it all as is, and I don't trust any company to keep my info secure.

And I especially do not put apps on my phone for "one off" or one time deals like the person who started this thread. I never do that, either take my business elsewhere, or do without...

Posted by
5053 posts

David, Jo Jo Rabbit,

Welcome to the club! We keep as much junk (to not use a different word) off our phones and computers as possible. While the tech people will disagree (and that's ok), I personally think "internet / phone security" is an oxymoron. If someone is smart enough to "secure" it, surely there's someone a bit smarter that can unsecure it. At least it's good for the whisky business, as worrying about it it will drive one to drink.

Posted by
1294 posts

It seems this is devolving into a discussion that isn't helping.

OP: Everyone makes mistakes when planning trips. We are all human. (after booking hundreds, if not thousands, of hotel reservations. I accidentally booked a room for one person instead of two my last trip). The solution is usually to throw money at it. Make other reservations, learn from it, and move on.

Other things you can do:
What is their cancellation policy? Can you contact them with a complaint that you did not know you wouldn't get your tickets until the last minute and that is unacceptable to you (If they booked, there should be tickets immediately)

Keep admitting your mistakes on other sites so that others can learn from yours.

Contact your CC and find out how you could go about disputing this claim. (Can it be done now?, do you have to wait until your tickets don't appear in 6 months?, is there a limit on how long after purchase you can dispute it? I would assume there might be as that is how a company with this model could scam people.)

In the end, I have no experience with this company, but I think your instincts are good. You don't want to wait and have this problem when it is too late to get reservations, etc.

Posted by
923 posts

(If they booked, there should be tickets immediately)

This is not necessarily true. Many of these aggregator type sites don't get the tickets until much closer to the date of the event. Examples of this abound in the travel industry. For example, I once bought a ticket to a church concert in Budapest via Viator, but all I got was a voucher to trade for the actual ticket, and getting the ticket ahead of the event was a royal pain, had to be done the day of the concert, but several hours before the concert itself...and it was a lesson to me to not use Viator ever again.

There is no evidence given by the OP thus far that he has been scammed; I certainly don't consider the ticket availability issue as a scam at this point. That said, I completely understand the buyer's remorse. If I had done this, I would be doing everything possible to cancel the order, obtain a refund, contact my CC company for assistance, etc., and move on.

Headout is terrible. You get what you pay for. Here is an account of our experience in Istanbul in March 2024:

Unfortunately Headout did not provide the experience we expected. We booked a "guided tour" of 3 sites in Istanbul - Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, and the Hagia Sophia.

Instead of being met by a guide, we were led to our first "meeting point" by someone who told us that, after the first tour, we would have to make our way to two other meeting points in a city we were utterly unfamiliar with on our own - no guide at all.

Our first tour went long, so we were forced to waste part of our vacation waiting for an opportunity later in the day to do the second tour. After the second tour, we had no information and no one to ask about when or where the third tour would take place (the second tour guide did not accompany us on most of the second tour, so we were left without any guidance whatsoever).

After contacting Headout customer service, I received a reply the next day with that information, but by then it was too late.

The whole thing was chaotic and poorly planned/communicated.

You get what you pay for - in this case, I regret booking with Headout and losing precious vacation time. After writing to Headout with my concerns and asking for a 1/3 refund for the tour we were not able to take, I was told that I should have read the fine print more closely and brushed aside.