My family and I scheduled a Twilight Harbor Cruise for Saturday, June 25, 2011. My mom and nephews were flying into DC that morning and we figured a boat cruise would be a nice way to end their first day of sight-seeing in DC.
Unfortunately, a few days prior to the boat cruise, an employee, Andrew, from DC Tours contacted me to say that they could no longer accommodate our party on Saturday the 25th. Since there were two other families (cousin and her family, plus some friends) in our booked tour, we switched it for another day. (Thursday, June 23rd) Unfortunately, my mom and nephews would not be in DC at that time and would not be able to take the tour. Before making the change, I asked Andrew about the 3 tickets. He gave me a number to call so that I could get a refund.
I called the number repeatedly. I left voicemails. I emailed. No one ever responded. DC Tours refused to refund my money even though they were the ones insisting I change my original dates. Again, I tried, repeatedly, to speak to DC Tours so they would have the opportunity to fix the situation and make it right. But they refused to answer my voicemails or answer my emails. They decided to ignore me and hoped I would go away quietly all so they could keep $84 of my dollars that didn't belong to them.
They do have a 'no refund' policy but since it was the company that decided they could no longer accommodate our party, I feel they should've refunded the money for the three unused boat cruise tickets. (1 senior and 2 child tickets)
I appealed to my bank (BOA) and after a few months of going back and forth my bank sided with DC Tours. Since I'm a loyal customer, my bank did refund half of my money but I am still quite angry since DC Tours used unfair business practices to steal my $84.83. DC Tours told them that I was "untruthful" and that there was indeed a tour on the date that I had originally scheduled. DC Tours told my bank that I had missed the boat cruise and that was why they would not refund my money. I still can't believe that the President/CEO of a company would tell such a flat out lie.
DC Tours stole $84 of my dollars and my bank let them. I am sharing my story to keep other people from being a victim to DC Tours. Even if you plan to keep the tour you scheduled, they can cancel *on you* and will refuse to refund your money. Consider yourself warned. Honestly, I would use another company to book a tour as DC Tours (Alcatraz Media as it will appear on your bank statement) is not a reputable company in my book.
And the topper? The tour wasn't anything like they represented. They do not take you on a moonlight tour of the Washington Monuments as they imply from their photographs. You can see the Washington Monument and the Capitol Dome before even stepping foot on the boat. From there, they take you down river to Alexandria and back. They also claim that the Captain of the cruise will tell you great stories and leave you with great memories. Neither of those claims are true. The Captain did not even speak to the passengers. Again...you will not see any moonlight monuments on this tour. For that in itself, people should get a refund. DC Tours is not an honorable company. They misrepresent themselves and what they offer.
Rose, Fairfax, Va.