• Report: #575126
Complaint Review:

Hellgate Jetboat Excursions

  • Submitted: Fri, February 26, 2010
  • Updated: Mon, July 09, 2012

  • Reported By: Sara — Lake Forest California United States of America
Hellgate Jetboat Excursions
966 SW 6th Street Granta Pass, Oregon United States of America

Hellgate Jetboat Excursions Dupont, WA. BBB Hellgate Jetboat disregards my complaint of unsafe boat Operators. Businerss is unresponsive to consumer and BBB lied on report Granta Pass, Oregon

*General Comment: What a bogus report from a serious crybaby

*Consumer Comment: Hellgate is awesome!

*Consumer Comment: Hellgate is GREAT company!

*Consumer Comment: Hellgate SUCKS

*General Comment: good company

*Author of original report: No More Excuses

*Author of original report: Save your appologies for the injured caused by your boat operators

*UPDATE Employee: Response

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My family and I took a jet boat excursion at the Hellgate Jetboat in July of 2008 a boat trip up and down the river stopping once for lunch. This particular excursion is called the 5 hour white water trip however, you experience very little white water during the trip and the rapids are a grade of no more than 4 if that high. The problem began with the boat operator known as Bo. The boat itself was powered by a hydro jet and usually carries about 20 to 25 passengers. The excursion itself would have been very nice unfortunately the boat operator started to behave very hazardously toward the middle of the ride. There was another tour boat on the same excursion also holding approximately 25 passengers. The boat operators began to play games that had absolutely nothing to do with the excursion. The boat operators took turns swirling by each other's boats in such a fashion that it would dump an enormous amount of water into the boat and onto the captive passengers.

Their game became more intense on the return ride. Our boat operator manuevered the boat to the side of the river and sat there idling the boat while the passengers were pretty much held captive in the boat and most did not know what to expect until  moments later realized what we were waiting for the other tourist boat (who apparently both boat operators planned this littel game) knowing we were hiding off to the side came twirling by almost sideswiping our boat. The amount of water that gushed in our boat was so bad that my 70 year old mother could barely catch her breath infact most of the people were gasping. The boat operators continued this game a few times before the excursion was finally over. The boat operator was so pleased with himself he laughed as we exited the boat drenched from head to toe.I complained to the management of the business but did not receive a response. I filed a complaint with the BBB office in WA. Again no response.

The BBB closed the complaint on 9/5/2008 but reported on the business' reliability report that the company addressed the complaint and the consumer was unresponsive. On January 29, 2010 the BBB sent me a note telling me that the business has reponded (almost 2 years later) Hellgate took nearly two years to tell me that my complaint was a malicious attemt to get a refund and denied the boat operator's conduct. (This is a family business where most if not all employees are somehow related) The BBB closed the complaint again and falsely reporting that despite the company's reasonable effort to address complaint issues the customer remains dissatisfied. I have asked the BBB why their report is contradicting the outcome but they do not give me a straight answer and imply that I am just upset because I was not happy with the business' reponse. I entered onto my complaint that I did not expect a refund but wanted to make the management aware of the boat operators conduct. I summed up this business in 2008 when they never responded to my complaint and I never mentioned it again. But for the BBB to reopen the complaint and allow the business to send a letter almost two years after the fact containing accusatory comments to discredit my complaint is unacceptable. The BBB promotes itself as an honest entity for both consumers and businesses to get information but apparently Hellgate received another kudo from the BBB on the reliability report

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/26/2010 10:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hellgate-jetboat-excursions/granta-pass-oregon-97526/hellgate-jetboat-excursions-dupont-wa-bbb-hellgate-jetboat-disregards-my-complaint-of-un-575126. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

What a bogus report from a serious crybaby

AUTHOR: Rob1976 - (United States of America)

I took my wife and mother on an excursion today and what a ride it was. I saw nothing but professionalism from each and every employee there. Not one single person was ever put in any danger during the trip and yes, we did a lot of high speed passes and 360* spins which is what Hellgate is known for. Maybe the next time your 70 year old family member wants a thrill, let me suggest you put them on an electric scooter at Walmart. Maybe they won't complain about that too much.

To Hellgate Excursions, please don't change the way you do business. After today's ride I plan to make this an event that my family and myself will partake in every summer. Thank you for your professionalism, and the great dinner provided. My pilot today was Higgs, and I want everyone to know he was extremely polite, professional, and safe.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Hellgate is awesome!

AUTHOR: Brandi - (USA)

You reserved a jet boat whitewater trip - what the h**l were you expecting?
On the company's website, they clearly state that you will get wet on the trips, travel at fast speeds over shallow water, and will execute 360 spins. When you arrive at the facility, these things are repeated by staff and boat captains.
We have done these trips a few times, and have always had a blast. The "little games" played by the captains were the highlights of the trip. That's what makes it so fun. The tricks they play on each other are also obvious - we knew what was coming. The captain's also prepare you for spins and warned us when we were going to get an extra splash. We were not held captive - we enjoyed every minute of it. The only thing we didn't expect was just how much fun we would have.
This last trip, our boat captain was Bo. We liked him so much that when we return to Hellgate this summer, we will be requesting him. On our trip last summer with Bo, we were a group of about 60, with children and seniors into their 80's. Not a single person came away unhappy with their experience. Seeing how much the seniors laughed and kidded around with Bo was a delight! He treated us all to a wonderful, and very wet trip and we all thank him so much.
Hellgate has been a great addition to our trips to Oregon and we encourage them to keep up the good work.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Hellgate is GREAT company!

AUTHOR: Jimmy - (United States of America)

It is a shame to see this person take advantage of a website for their personal satisfaction! I have been on Hellgate's boats for years and they are very safe!  Sounds like she thinks Hellgate and the BBB are in some big conspiracy!!! LOL

Anyway water is what you get on a boat in a river!! Hellgate keep doing everything you are doing because its alot of fun! 

Comes down to

Great captains!
Great boats!
and Great times!

And to rip off report! Let’s make sure people can just tear a good company down because they don’t know what they are talking about!  It would be hard for me to believe this person knows anything about how to operate a boat on the river!

That’s all I have!

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#4 Consumer Comment

Hellgate SUCKS

AUTHOR: Teri - (United States of America)

I understand exactly what the passenger is referring. The little p***sh*** that operated our boat last month played the same game. When the economy gets bad enough maybe they'll close this dump.

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#5 General Comment

good company

AUTHOR: Dino - (USA)

sara, you paid for "whitewater" to me that sounds like getting very wet in a river you got what you paid for, sounds like funyour a p**-p***e AND NICE COMPANY , if you don't mind getting wet and don't get stuck sitting next to you!!!




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#6 Author of original report

No More Excuses

AUTHOR: Sara - (United States of America)

It's not the consumer's fault that this business is a Ripoff!. Fortunately, there are websites such as Ripoff Report for consumers who have experienced businesses such as this (hellgate tour boat) that don't care about the consumers.

This business wastes no time in responding on Ripoff Report when a consumer voices their factual experience (backed up by witnesses) with their incompetent and hazardous boat operators.  

Funny,  how this same business did not give any merit to a complaint involving the safety of the passengers and the dangerous behavior their boat operators are allowed.

When this business received a consumer complaint directly made to their business in July 2008 involving passenger safety and the boat operator's dangerous misconduct the business provided No Response to the the complaint.

One month later the business is reported to the  BBB in WA. Again No Response after the BBB informed the business twice. BBB closes the complaint in September 2008 and does not properly report this business as Non Responsive.

Nearly 2 Years later the business sent a reponse letter to the BBB in January 2010. The letter was very similiar to this business' first response " We are sorry you did not like the amount of water" "We did an investigation" Our boat operators are the finest.." etc., etc., followed up with "Your complaint is a malicious attempt to get a refund"

2 Years later?? What happened? Did the boat operator take the "investigator" on an excursion and it took 2 years to conclude the investigation? Boat accident? Didn't care? Take your pick.

The business closed this complaint with contempt toward the consumer (2 Years Later). Businesses should not use this website to rebuttal the Truth!

I will no longer respond to this business. Their responses are fabricated to appear as though they are a rebutable business and are dilegent.... yes, I've noticed. They are nothing but a Ripoff!

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#7 Author of original report

Save your appologies for the injured caused by your boat operators

AUTHOR: Sara - (United States of America)

I'm not surprised this business used this forum to get free advertising. My experience was not enjoyed at any level due to the boat operator's misconduct.

Excusing the very hazardous misconduct by your incompetent boat operators and simply blaming my complaint on my expectations of the amount water I experienced is irresponsible and extremely unprofessional.

You do not have a warning posted for elderly people nor would you need one if you employed capable and competent boat operators. Instead of those operators who are obviously bored with the same route and use their boat to play chicken and nearly sideswiping other boats and flooding the boat with gushes of water that nearly drowns the passengers who are held captive. 

This business continues to lie and deny that the boat operators are negligent and conduct themselves in the hazardous manner I have complained about. I know people who have experienced the same dangerous behavior from your boat operators and tell me that this is very common for these boat operators to perform their hazardous games that have no relation to the excursion.  

This business surpassed stupidity when they compared my complaint to someone taking sky diving lessons and asked if I would complain about too much wind. NO, the correct comparison would be if the pilot twirled the plane around and played games with other planes while flying in the air and without any notice the sky diver student falls out of the plane unprepared. This was just one of the many examples of what the BBB thought was a reasonable effort from the company to address my complaint of the boat operator's misconduct.

Stop your insincere "appologies" and your indulgence of free advertising. Use your time training those boat operators to stop putting the people in danger that's not what they paid for when they gave you their money. And raise your standards of customer relations.

You have exemplified the lowest level of customer safety in addition to your deplorable attitude toward customers who take the time to communicate problems instead of repelling them. Just because you've got the customer's money and don't want to return it does not mean you need to accuse the customer TWO YEARS LATER of a malicious attempt to get a refund. The fact will remain the same regardless of how many rebuttals from this pathetic business they are simply horrible!

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#8 UPDATE Employee


AUTHOR: Hellgate Excursions - (United States of America)

Websites such as ripoffreport.com are great ways for consumers to express their dissatisfaction with a company. Every company no matter how large or small has areas of improvement that have to be consistently tended to. Hellgate Excursions diligently looks for areas of improvement and makes any necessary changes before an issue can arise.

Unfortunately, these websites can also become ways for a consumer to simply attempt to harm a companys reputation, especially if the consumer is not satisfied with the companys response. This results in unsubstantiated complaints and personal attacks as with this consumers complaint.

We have already responded to this consumer several times and made every attempt to explain how we investigated and reviewed the concern. However, the consumer is still unhappy with this response. As noted by the consumer she is now upset with the Better Business Bureau because they reviewed the complaint and verified Hellgate Excursions did thoroughly review the complaint and respond. At this point there is nothing else that warrants any change in response to this consumer.

We appreciate hearing from our customers and welcome feedback by encouraging direct contact by phone, mail, fax, in person, or through our web site and by supplying comment cards. Hellgate Excursions will always carefully investigate and review any complaint from a customer. However, when a customers independent choice determines an unsatisfactory outcome, we cannot be responsible. We are happy to provide suggestions as to how the customer can make a better choice and enjoy their next excursion.

For reference, we have posted our original response to the consumer below. We thank those consumers who share their concerns and compliments as they provide valuable information to make our company great and improve our operation.

Original Response

We are very sorry about your experience on one of our jetboat trips. We are proud to say that all ages enjoy our trip including many senior citizens. Each passenger is responsible to individually evaluate their own health and level of physical ability when choosing which excursion they participate in. Our senior passengers have had very different lives and have very different levels of health. Many seniors participate in our trips and can be much older than 70. Most seniors choose our dinner or brunch trip which goes through Hellgate Canyon and does not have the larger white water experienced during the White Water trip. However some seniors who are healthy and physically able choose to do the White Water excursion and have a great time! The 5 hour White Water trip goes past Hellgate Canyon and into larger water where passengers experience more water and longer excursions times. The jetboats are open to the air and passengers do expect to get wet especially if the day is warm and sunny. Passengers participating in a water based excursions should be aware they will come in contact with water during the trip. We strive to provide each passenger with as much information as possible prior to their trip. Information can be found on our website at www.hellgate.com or through brochures and customer service representatives.

Hellgate Excursions pilots are some of the best in the nation and are all U.S. Coast Guard licensed operators. They perform so well that the United States Navy Seal teams requested training by our pilots in operating in technical water. Pilots always introduce themselves at the beginning of the trip and employees always give their name when requested by a customer. Again we are sorry the water you experienced during your trip and that the amount of water did not meet your expectations. It appears you enjoyed the rest of the excursion and I hope you will visit us in the future to try our excursions again.

We would recommend a trip that stays above Hellgate Canyon to avoid the same white water experience. Our customers are treated with respect and given the highest level of customer service as our current record with the Better Business Bureau demonstrates. Every season over 80,000 guest enjoy a Hellgate Excursion and as shown in our BBB history, within the last three years we have had only one other complaint. We continue to operate professionally, courteously and safely as we have for 51 years.

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