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Golden Tours

Country United Kingdom
State England
City London
Address 4 Fountain Square, 123-151 Buckingham Palace Road,
Phone 207 630 2028

Golden Tours Reviews

  • Dec 15, 2015

The driver of their bus stole few GBPs from me in a recent one day tour with GoldenTours to Oxford, Warwick & Stratsford. I kept wondering for hours as to how I can go about handling this situation. I was a foreigner to the place too and had little to lean on. Eventually, I could put pressure on the driver and played a cat and mouse game with him to recover my money after hours of agony, which is something I felt very lucky about. The tour company was not able to really help much in this regard, and I was mostly on my own on this. I filed a complaint after the trip. Responses to my queries were lukewarm and the customer care communicated very vaguely, protecting their own 'data' and offered me no meaningful answers or relief whatsoever. It was saddening. It is alarming that their own staff can do such a thing and there is not enough protection against such acts that can threaten the safety of the tourists.

I will never book a trip with them again. Having no means of relief, I am writing this here so that other customers can beware of the possibilities, and also that the company will not cover you in the event of trouble.

If you are interested to know the story, it is as below:

I had stepped out for a walking tour at Oxford, along with the guide and all the other tourists in the evening. My bag was too heavy and I had carried it all day long, so I had left it in the bus for this one time. When I was returning back to the bus, the guide showed me an ID card that was found in the walkway of the bus. Now, this was in a wallet which was inside the bag and there was no way this card would have come out. I rushed up to the bus and opened the bag. The wallet was zipped neatly. I opened the wallet to find that a few GBPs were missing. I immediately knew that my cash was stolen because I had not touched the wallet all day long. I had used spare cash that was with me in my pockets during the day. Somebody had opened it, took it away, neatly closed it and put it back.

I escalated it to the driver and the guide. I told them cash was stolen. I knew exactly how much. The driver gave a few consoling words but started becoming very defensive for no good reason. And he started sweating profusely. I started suspecting him. Also I knew that pretty much everyone else were out during the walking tour. The guide was being helpful and suggested that I reach out to customer care. He also personally filed a complaint with them and told me that the video recordings should reveal what should happen and I should continue to follow up with the customer care. He also mentioned to me that typically, the company will have clauses to cover themselves in the event of risks like these.

We headed back to London. I spoke to customer care and was told the same thing. That, I can file a complaint with them and they'll look at the video recordings. Little by little, my hope of recovering the money was getting lost.

Then, something interesting happened. At the first stop, the driver came back, leaned on the seat before mine and started talking weirdly. He kept saying, "did you look around" and kept pushing his right hand into that seat as if he was stuffing something into the seat. I ended up noticing it, and as soon as I looked at his hand, he pulled it away and rushed back to the seat. I had a blood rush when I realized that he had come to place the cash back to make it look as if I had misplaced it. This clarified all my suspicions.

My stop was another 15 mins away. I called the guide and told him that I suspect the driver and I know he took it. What should I do now? He still could not see how it is possible to directly confront without proper procedure and advised the same thing. The money seemed so close but not reachable.

Then I played a little trick on him. When my stop came, I refused to get down the bus. I asked the driver to help look around for the cash. I told him loud and clear that I won't let this go, and that I am going to go to the cops. The driver asked me defensively, "why are you telling this to me". I told him that I meant all three of us can search together so that it can help me. He excused himself to go to the toilet and stepped down but instantly came back. It was very obvious he did not even go. I took the guide to the front of the bus away from my seat and pretended to search, not looking in the direction of the driver. And, it worked. He came back and then I went to the seat and it was right there, where I had sat. He kept it there.

I took the cash and rushed back.

I then wrote to Golden Tours describing the whole incident. I explicitly asked for open communication on the matter and requested them to keep me informed. They responded to me that they are taking it seriously and have started the investigation. Then, I had to follow up everyday. They'd only respond when I followed up and not pro-actively keep me informed. The tragedy anyways was that, there was no information that came out of the thread. They sorta ended the conversation thread with a vague diplomatic mail saying that they have to protect some data and hence will not be able to share the outcome of the investigation. That was it. I responded back to them saying that as a customer I am entitled to at least know the bare minimum information. After waiting over the weekend, their personnel called me to inform the same thing again. That they won't be able to share anything more.

I tried telling them that there was no single concrete thing that they did that can help me feel confident about booking with them again, but it did not look that they could do anything about it.

So, there it goes. Book with these guys at your own risk. Don't leave your stuff in the bus. If you run into trouble, be sure you won't get any concrete help and you will have to tediously follow up on your own to no useful end.

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