Poor service in low season, hours of waiting.
We had a quick stopover in NYC and bought a two day pass for our family of five (children age 9, 11 and 15). First day went well and we had great pleasure of the downtown tour.
For day two we had still a place to visit on the downtown route, so we went to the southern part, had a lunch in Wall Street and waited for the bus to take us towards the uptown tour. We waited for different busses from 2:30 pm, but busses were scarce and those coming were full (apparently many people had been waiting). After spending 1-1½ hour waiting at two different bus stops, we finally came to the end stop of the downtown route, only to find that it was over 5 pm and the last bus for the uptown route had left.
Bottom line is that the tours themselves are expensive but are a pleasure to use when they work. However do not count on much service, neither when expecting that the bus service is as advertised, nor if you have a complaint – as shown in the following.
Epilogue: We gave our feedback at the office in the lobby of the Madame Toussauds museum, and the agent suggested that we applied for a refund. An email from the offices of CSNY indicated what to do and where to send our request, but this letter was returned with “insufficient address”, although the address was 100% as stipulated by CSNY. For months we have requested them to give us the correct address, but now our repeated emails remain unanswered.
Finally, after 3 months, we got a letter telling that they had no responsibility whatsoever, neither for quality, nor for availability of busses. Same letter came one week later, and it becameobvious that it was a mass produced letter (even the signature is printed).
I have never before experienced a total lack of response from any attraction that profiles itself so highly, where letters and emails are just ignored. Arrogance and poor customer service.
By the way Grey Lines appears everywhere as a competitor, but is in fact owned by the same company, called TwinAmerica. No competition here.
Cheesy but Very Fun. If you in or around the city, you will feel very stupid on the top of a double decker bus, but you should still try it one nice day because it’s really fun. The bus is just high enough to give you a different perspective and, although you’ll know a lot of the stuff the guide says, you’ll learn enough to keep it interesting. The only downside is traffic. When the bus gets stuck, the ride becomes annoying. So go at off traffic hours.
Don't use.....mis-sold - no manners.
My family were in NYC for UK half term which coincided with Washington's Birthday.
We bought the combimned ticket for the tours of down town, mid town and the cruise. We were sold the tickets as 'hop on hop off' with a bus every 10 minutes..
The down town tour left us waiting in the snow with 2 kids for 25 minutes - the reson for the lack of busses was ' it's a holiday' incredible to think that actually you have more demand during a holiday.
The mid town tour we found out was never a 10 minute service, but every 30 minutes, and oh by the way the bus has broken down so can you wait 45 mins.
One more thing...the cruise isn't working for the next two days.
I went to the booking office and highlighted the short commings of the service. They assured me that they would respond. No response, no manners.
Don't use this company! Go with another tour operator!.
CitySights overbooks their tours, uses deceptive business practices and does not offer refunds! I'm out $136. They've got us all figured out. I waited 30 minutes for a bus with my wife and 2 kids (we gave up after being persons #50-53 in a 100 person line with NO buses coming at all in that 30 minutes - this was also at their main departure point, good luck if you are stuck at an intermediate stop). We went back to the main desk to ask for a refund. Sorry, we don't do immediate refunds, you have to fill out a refund request form and wait for them to contact you. CitySights took 35 days to get back to me by email saying they denied my request for a refund. They cited language in a policy that I was never shown (you also can't find it on their website or in their vouchers anywhere).
Here the policy (they actually said it was on p.10 of their "brochure" - I certainly don't remember getting a 10+ page brochure):
"City Sights NY assumes no liability or responsibility for 1) Traffic Conditions, Access to sites or other conditions beyond its control; 2) any injuries, loss, damage, delay, inconvenience, additional cost incurred for any reason beyond its control”. City Sights NY reserves the right to cancel or change any tours schedules or rates and to cancel or substitute routes and stops on any tour without notice and substitute equipment as needed.”
I told them I would be disputing the charge with my credit card company thinking that would offer protection. Nope, CitySights doesn't even have to publish their policy saying they don't offer refunds anywhere. The "policy" can be sitting in a file cabinet never to see the light of day, that's good enough for Visa. CitySights is laughing all the way the to bank.
Actually from a business point of view my hat is off to them - well done for sticking it to your customers!
So my only recourse is to let as many of you know that CitySights engages in deceptive business practices, doesn't need to care if you are satisfied with their services or not and absolutely, positively does not offer refunds of any kind. Why should they even bother?
So please ask yourself, is it worth it? Please consider giving your business to another vendor. It's the only way this business will wake up and change their behavior.
Thanks for reading and making an informed decision.
The Worst Tour Company Ever! Not even worth a star for Eh!.
I bought several tickets for a bus tour for a friend's birthday. It had rained briefly that afternoon, but had stopped by the time we were ready for the bus tour. We waited a long time for a bus, and when if finally came, the tour guide told us there were no more tours running because of the "weather." When I explained it was my friends' last night in the city, he told me to call the company and get a refund. The customer service was atrocious, and I was lied to several times. I was originally promised a refund within a week, and it never came after I waited over a month. When I called back to explain, I was hung up on by the customer service representatives. On top of that, I was told that only one person at the company handles refunds, and it took months for him to return my calls. I also tried speaking to the manager, but he was particularly nasty and rude. It took almost four months of calling this company, begging, and sending certified letters to get my well-deserved refund. As if that wasn't enough hassle, some "hacked" into the CitySights database and stole my credit card information and rung up charges of almost $2K!
Please do not ever deal with this company or give them any business. Citysights is run and employed by terrible, shady excuses for human beings.
HORRIBLE RIP OFF. After finally getting on a bus, it broke down several times. We had to wait at 3 different stops to have it repaired by the driver. Two stops later, in Chinatown, the bus broke down for good and left all of us stranded. We had to walk to a public bus stand, grab a bus uptown and then a cab back to the upper west side. Moreover, they have refused to return any of our phonecalls and emails asking for a refund. It was the most horrific experience ever.
No Service, Rude People and No Refund! Avoid CitySights NY!. Avoid CitySights NY! I regrettably purchased 2 tickets in December 2008 for $100. After waiting a hour and half with over 40 tourists, several buses passed by and no bus came to pick us up. Rather than helping us, CitySights agents continued to sell tickets for services that they could not provide. The customer service agents were rude and refused to refund our money after ruining our short time in NYC. We took a cab around town for $60 to get the tours that CItySights promised us. For your and any of your friends' visit in NYC, AVOID CITYSIGHTS NY!
Great tourguide. I am a native NYer and took the uptown tour recently, I really enjoyed the view - having never been on a double decker tour before. The tourguide, Joel, was great! He seemed really interested in everything he was explaining. the tour flew by, i couldn't believe it was 3 hours long!
great tour bad tour guide. This was definitely a good tour to take to get familiar with the city, however, after reading through a couple of tour books i knew more about the city than the guide. I took the 2 hour bus tour at night, great sites helps maximize your exposure to the city. Overall i wouldn't recommend it.
Waste of time and money.
My sister and I recently had visitors from overseas and decided City Sights would be the best way to give them a quick overview on New York. The whole thing was the biggest waste of time and money. We only made it onto 2 buses because the guides went from bad to worse.
The first guide focused only on places to shop. My personal favorite was pointing out where to buy fake Louis Vuittons in Chinatown and telling us we could then sell them on Ebay to make money. The thing that really got me was that he was making things up. My 2 personal favorites:
1. He actually said New York tap water was not safe to drink and would make you sick. Bottled water is better but I'm not sure when NYC became a 3rd world country.
2. When the bus was on Houston, he did manage to point out Soho stands for "South of Houston" and Noho is "North of Houston." He then said there are areas called Eho and Woho for East and West of Houston. Um...that would be the East and Hudson Rivers.
The second bus was even worse. We caught it up from the Staten Island ferry and my sister's description of this guide was that he had suicidal enthusiasm. The guide never said anything about the history of the area, which is the oldest part of New York. He did point out a Duane Reade and told us that's where we could buy toothbrushes. After that, we decided to do the rest of the city on our own.
If you do decide to take one of the City Sights tours, the nicest thing I can say is that it's a good way to see the city. Don't rely on the guides on the bus though. The lack of information and complete misinformation was stunning. Get a good guide book, read it in advance or take it with you when you get off the bus.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of CitySights NY Tours & Sightseeing on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.