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Rick Steve's warnings about Viator

Hi,

First post. Thanks for the warnings re Viator's bookings. Just wanted to book the Tallinn HOHO bus and found I could not enter the area code for our Australian number. It does not accept the following:

+618 or 618 or 08 or 8 for Western Australia, which is 8 and 61 is Oz.

Ringing the Aussie number means a voice tells you the wait is more than 10 minutes!

Entering a web page problem leads to "Page cannot be found" problem, but by the looks I will not book with them anyway and use Tripadvisor instead.

Will use this forum to find the Tallinn HOHO operator for pre-booking or just do it once I am off the ship, Regal Princess 7 May.

Regards
Dominic Wild

Posted by
796 posts

What warnings about Viator? I must have missed them. I live in the USA and have booked via Viator and have never once had the least bit of trouble with Viator. You do know that TripAdvisor and Viator are the same company, don't you? Tripadvisor bought Viator last year. I do prefer to make reservations directly when I can and skip the middleman (which is what Viator is). I posted the Tallinn HOHO operator for you on your other post in the Estonia section.

Posted by
11613 posts

I missed those Viator warnings, too. Several friends have used Viator to book tours and were very happy.

Posted by
1068 posts

I did a quick search and didn't see warnings about Viator. Where could we find these?

Posted by
20626 posts

I think domwild is confused about this site. A couple of months I remember a poster complaining about Viator so assuming that domwild has taken that as a warning from Steves. Viator are a resell and the earlier complaint was caused by the end tour company and not by Viator. Viator is a middleman.

Posted by
1086 posts

I'm probably one of the ones that warned against Viator. I had a number of problems with them, as did my sister. I now book services direct with the provider as a result.

The problem was with them and not the provider - because (according to what I found out when I had my problems) they don't book anything on your behalf until you phone them once you are at your destination, despite having charged you way back when you thought you were purchasing the service.

Posted by
16769 posts

It's easy to find earlier discussions of this company if you enter "Viator" in the grey Search box, above.

I never heard of pre-booking for a HOHO bus tour and I'm guessing that Viator might only be selling an undated voucher that you trade for a ticket when you show up.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi,
Thanks for replies. Did not know that Viator was bought by Tripadvisor. I wish I could direct you to the many complaints about Viator and a few commendations in the minority. Customers there complaint about Viator not publishing negative comments. My experience as listed on top cost me a lot of time and frustration for not even being able to book on-line with Viator to avoid the queue at the Tourist bureau, when the Regal Princess arrives with 3,500 passengers.

Ringing a New South Wales number from WA with an expected wait of more than 10 minutes to inform Viator of software problems is a bit much. But I am not the only customer complaining about emails not being returned or money. There is even a claim of a hacking of Viator's database with its credit card numbers.

Glad to read there are a lot of happy Viator customers.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi,

Thanks for help with the Tallinn HOHO agent. Viator's web site seems to be down and if you enter "Viator+Problems" into Google you get a few hits. 1.4 Mio. credit card details were hacked is one entry I remember.

When you take the excursion Princess sells you, then you get dumped at the foot of Toompea Castle in Tallinn and have to climb 200 steep steps, while other buses are parked on top; not good for elderly tourists. It is difficult to get info where the bus will take you from agents, who only sell the tickets and their web site is down.

Posted by
2092 posts

I also replied to your duplicate posting in Estonia section--try EstAdventures, you can book them online and they also work around your cruise itinerary. They are wonderful and I think you'll love them--owned by an Australian expat!

I booked a day trip on Viator last summer and shortly after their site was hacked, all that happened to me was a $29 charge that my card company quickly reversed. I've never had a problem before, and have enjoyed several successful day trips with them in Austria and England.

Posted by
62 posts

Agree with others. We went to Rome to see the Vatican that I missed because one of mt kids got sick at the Vatican during our tour. So our return trip years later we used Viator prepaying and we beat he lines, relatively small group . No hassles. For the Vatican Trip in Rome, no problems

Posted by
7173 posts

You booked with Viator and beat the lines to the Vatican, did you?? You booked with Viator, they bought the tickets directly from the Vatican (just like you could have done at www.vatican.va), Viator marked up the price and gave them to you.

Do you see a problem here? Hint: There's not need for a middleman.

Posted by
30961 posts

I'd suggest just buying the tickets for your HOHO bus tour when you arrive at your destination, directly from the operators of the service. For that sort of thing, there's absolutely no need to book in advnace, especially when it involves a "middleman".

Posted by
5 posts

The Tallinn HOHO bus line claims to have three lines and the ticket is valid for all three BUT the Green line does not leave any more at the advertised 4:30 slot from the former communist cultural centre.

Beating queues at the Vatican in Rome? No way? When you get there there is a queue regardless of if you have a ticket or not. First a scammer will try to sell you a ticket by telling you they are closing soon, forget it and tell him you will call the carabinieri!

When cruise liners arrive these days with their 3,500 passengers avoiding queues is impossible anyway.

Regards
Dominic