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World Strides Complaints & Reviews - Bad service

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World Strides

Posted:    hebegb

Bad service

Complaint Rating:  56 % with 126 votes
Contact information:
World Strides
United States
Worldstrides is a classless, second-rate organization that needs to be put out of business. The more schools continue to support this failing enterprise, the more and more complaints you will see and hear. My daughter & I went on a Sacramento trip and we had VERY rude and unprofessional tour guides, a very uncomfortable hot bus, NO care for childrens' safety. DO NOT USE WORLDSTRIDES!!! Horrible company.
Comments United States Travel & Vacations
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 1st of Jul, 2009 by   nfg 0 Votes
I agree completely as well. WorldStrides is a dishonest, nickel & diming company who tries to extract every last cent out of their customers. I also was tricked into buying their insurance $99.00 as well (if you DON'T check a box, they sell it to you) and when I tried to sign up for Ezpay, I mistakenly entered a zero after my account number and when my bank did not recognize the account number and returned the transaction, WorldStrides charged me $35.00! I work for a financial services company and we would NEVER charge our customers for this type of error. Beware this company! They are snakes and will take you for everything that they can get!
 30th of Aug, 2009 by   fed up parent +1 Votes
WorldStrides is quite possibly the WORST company you could travel with. The trips are waaaay to expensive --- $2000+ for kids to see D.C.? Come on! Almost all the sites there are free! They're charging for "excellent service, " but if you've ever tried to call their Customer Service, you know that doesn't exist. The meals and hotels are mediocre; you're better off going with a cheaper company. Their service will probably also be mediocre, but at least you'll save $500+!! WorldStrides prides themselves on having no hidden fees, but just wait for all the monthly charges after you sign up! They charged me $6 a month so that I could give THEM my hard-earned money!! They claimed this was standard business practice -- yeah standard for sharks & credit card companies -- not standard for a supposedly student friendly organization. Miss one payment and they tack on an additional $15!! Times are already hard -- the last thing I need is to owe my kid's field trip company $26 a month on top of the already-too-high payments. My WorldStrides payments were higher than my car payments. No joke! I wanted to provide my child with a great experience on a class trip & it turned out to be a BURDEN... and the other parents agree. Our school will NOT be traveling with WorldStrides EVER again. That company is out for one thing and one thing only -- your money!! They don't care about the children or the education -- they care about getting inside your wallet and taking ALL they can get. They'll nickel and dime you to the very end & probably come back for more. DON'T TRAVEL WITH THEM.
 24th of Sep, 2009 by   AMontoya 0 Votes
WorldStrides is a horrible organization. After paying an additional $199 for the "full refund program, " on top of the $2000+ for the trip itself, I needed to cancel and receive a full refund. WorldStrides kept nearly $300 of my money---and this with the trip still more than 6 months out. I went round and round with the "customer service" people, including a supervisor who hung up on me and another guy who actually said to me, "No, you're not a customer. You're an EX-customer." They are damn right about that.

I called the CEO...who was "unavailable, " and left a message for the Vice President of Customer Service who--whoa, wait for this...never called me back. Unbelievable.

Stay away from these SCAM artists. Bankrupt them. They absolutely deserve it.
 3rd of Oct, 2009 by   Annoyed Mom +1 Votes
Had a very similar experience to those listed previous. I was shown "sample itineraries" and told marvelous tales of how wonderful this trip would be. So I signed both my son and self up for the DC/NY trip. I actually asked for the refund insurance, so I expected that. What I did NOT expect was to receive an itinerary (AFTER our trips were paid in full, of course) that looked NOTHING like what we had been promised. Meals were boxed deli lunches and fast food from McDonald's, destinations and attractions were now just a bus tour past them. And the worst part was the scheduling!!! They had us flying on a red eye departing PDX (Oregon) at 9:50PM and arriving in NY at 5:35 AM, a 1-1/2 hour layover (at FIVE AM!) and then a short flight to DC where we were to INSTANTLY board a bus and start touring. No hotel stop, no freshening up, and most likely no sleep on the plane the previous night for a bunch of excited teens and tweens. To add to my unhappiness, they had our group checking into hotels anywhere from 10PM to MIDNIGHT and being up, dressed, breakfasted, and GONE by 6:15 AM the next morning. That's ridiculous! Six hours to get over 30 tweens settled into hotel rooms, sleep, then up, showered, dressed and fed? Especially since they had crammed us 4 to a room. I didn't get a room with my child, as requested. Instead I was supposed to be sharing a room with three other adults I had never met. In a double room... which meant I was also having to SHARE A BED with one of these strangers!

I pulled both myself and my son from this ridiculous venture and requested my refund. It has been several weeks and it showed up today... short. They not only kept the $79 deposit (each) but the $199 refund insurance (each) but then shorted us ANOTHER $601 that I still can't figure out why! I will be pursuing it, but after reading these comments, I hold out little hope of a quick and happy resolution!

Do NOT use this company! We are still taking our son on a trip to DC and NY. Except we are going WITHOUT this company. And the greatest part is, that my WHOLE FAMILY gets to go, do ALL the same sights and events, and it is costing us LESS than just the two of us through Worldstrides!
 23rd of Dec, 2009 by   vicangelo 0 Votes
I agree this organization needs to be put out of business. I could send 5 kids for every one that they are sending for the prices they are charging. Someone in this organization is making a lot of money they don't deserve. Get the word to your school administrators...stop working with Worldstrides
 23rd of Jan, 2010 by   USN_HOO -2 Votes
I find it interesting that the first complaint was made three years (4/2009) after the scheduled trip (4/2006). However, it is very helpful to have these concerns pointed out and considered BEFORE engaging WorldStrides in any conversation. THANK YOU for taking the time to write. USN_HOO
 19th of Feb, 2010 by   HC Teach -2 Votes
I have traveled with Worldstrides for ten years, and my school has used them for sixteen years. We have had nothing but positive experiences with them. They have brought doctors to our hotel to take care of illnesses and injuries at no cost to us. They even flew a parent of an injured student to DC and purchased her a hotel room for the week she had to stay; again, at no cost to her or us. As for the meals being fast food, boxed lunches, etc., that is up to the teacher in charge. Three years ago, when I was promoted to Program Leader for the trip, I specifically requested no boxed lunches and no fast food. We have not had to eat those types of meals. In fact, we eat one meal at Hard Rock Cafe and another at a really nice buffet-style restaurant. OUr other meals are vouchers at food courts around the city. There's always somethiing on teh voucher for anyone, from Subway to sushi, from barbeque to Chinese. They have come to our rescue countless times to replace lost vouchers and even plane tickets. They reimburse me each year for unexpected expenses such as medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter) and taxi fare. They are an incredibly easy company to work with. I give them nothing but excellent remarks!
 3rd of Mar, 2010 by    Clark Douglas Burris 0 Votes
I am the musical director of the Miami Beach Senior High School rock ensemble and guitar quartet. We will be leaving for Las Vegas April 15, 2010 to participate in the Heritage Las Vegas 2010 music festival. I have received concerns from parents who have read the above testimonies... I have decided to do that trip Based on the professional manner they have prepared me and my students for the trip and the excellent remarks that were also stated above... I have also informed Heritage that I am aware of the negative comments about the company. I will let you know how the trip went upon our return.
Clark Douglas Burris
Director, Miami Beach Senior High School Rock Ensemble And Guitar Studies
Miami Beach, Florida
 10th of Apr, 2010 by   Chris Voutsas -1 Votes
As a Social Studies teacher who has travelled with WorldStrides for 26 years it's a shame that more perspective is not included in the above. WorldStrides has the unequalled reputation of being at the pinnacle of this industry and for good reason. Their service and quality is unequalled compared to the other companies who have offered similar services. I have found that they have gone beyond expectation to insure the satisfaction of the coordinating teachers, parents, and students. As someone who has dealt with every single one of the above issues...which can and do occur... I can recognize that most of the problems were probably not the fault of the company, but more a reflection of the lack of paying attention to details and an unfortunate lack of communication by the teachers responsible for coordinating the effort. WorldStrides has always done anything I have asked for in providing my students with the highest quality and safest program available from start to finish. I would not consider using anyone else...and in three weeks I'll be taking another group of 130 8th graders to Williamsburg, Washington, D.C., and New York City...we will not have one dissatisfied parent.
Chris Voutsas
Tucson, Arizona
 11th of Apr, 2010 by   Carol Smith 0 Votes
I have been traveling with WorldStrides for 20 years. We have taken trips to Washington D.C., Gettysburg, New York City, and Williamsburg. Never, in all of those 20 years, have I experienced anything less than a professionally planned and executed trip. All of the staff that I have worked with have gone far beyond my expectations. Last October I had quite a few students come down with H1N1. WorldStrides, with their Doctor's on Call, took care of the students by sending Doctors to the hotel. They offered to keep students in D.C. until those students were well enough to fly home...at no extra charge! I believe that anytime you travel you are going to come across some things that are not perfect, but learn from those things. I personally learn something new every year. I believe this to be such a valuable trip that I plan to organize each and every trip with WorldStrides until I retire, and pass along this opportunity to the other counselor at school.
Carol Schiering
Cincinnati, Ohio
 14th of Apr, 2010 by   C Adkisson -1 Votes
I have been traveling with WorldStrides for a number of years, sponsoring multiple trips in a single year during several years. We have been to NYC twice, Boston, and both DC and Williamsburg, VA many times. Prior to and during those trips, I have had nothing short of a perfect experience with them. Every need and want I have voiced has been met even to the point of last minute Boston Red Sox tickets a father was able to aquire for us through his business. Our meals have always been delicious and nutitional choices are available at all. As for our hotels, they are more than satisfactory. Only on one occasion have we had to switch hotels the following year due to a concern voiced over something as trivial as a noisy refrigerator in a room--something WorldStrides had NO control over. I have been approached by other travel companies on a weekly basis for several years but, like some of the above, I cannot imagine traveling with any other company. Not only can the other companies not compare to the price offered by WorldStides but the quaility and variety of sites offered do not compare. They are the picture of professionalism and accomodation.

Cheryl Adkisson
Crestwood, KY
 14th of Apr, 2010 by   Informed traveler +3 Votes
Many educators that promote and organize these tours are paid a commission or "stipend" by the tour operator and may have additional interests in mind when logging their positive reviews. Take this into consideration when reading the comments above.
 19th of Apr, 2010 by   Suzi Stewart -2 Votes
I have been traveling with WorldStrides for 10 years and have had exceptional service. I have had many parents travel and they are my best promoters for the next trip. My group gets larger each time and it is from the enthusiastic parents and students from the previous trips. I know that without exception, they take care of each and every potential problem before it happens. Our rooms have always been excellent and the meals are chosen by the Program Leader (teacher) in charge. I purposely chose buffets and food courts because I know my students will all find something they like to eat. As for picking the group up from the airport and starting the tour, my students don't pay to sit in their room, they pay to see DC. We prefer it that way so that we can see everything possible in the time we have. It very plainly states in the trip brochure that the students stay four per room and adults are booked two to a room and the cost is a little more. If your trip had four to a room, the person who planned it did that to save you money. I ALWAYS ask parents if they want to stay 2 or 4 to a room. You can stay with your child IF you tell the organizing person, but you will have to pay for a double, not a quad. I discourage this, because the kids like to stay with their friends. If you had problems like this, it is the organizer's fault. (Program Leader) You might be able to travel a little cheaper on your own, but you will not be able to see everything you see on an organized trip like this since we have a bus driver who takes us right to the door and a professional guide who knows every little thing about the places we visit. I have had parents and grandparents tell me they had made the trip before on their own, but that this trip beats anything they were able to do. The cost of the trip includes many extras like your guide, bus driver, night chaperones, 24 hour help on the trip and many other extras. Also, to address the above post about stipends, yes, most companies offer a stipend to the organizer of the trip. I personally spend hundreds of hours over an 18 month period organizing the trip and doing fundraisers for my students. I use this money to purchase matching t-shirts for my students and give them a little extra spending money on the trip. The stipend has nothing to do with why I use WorldStrides. In fact, the first time I used them, I didn't even know about it until the trip was over. I've been approached by other companies, but why change when you are 100% satisfied?
 11th of May, 2010 by   Cindylou22 +2 Votes
I have never used WorldStrides, however, I have used Class Act Tours for several years and LOVE them. Very personal and no surprises. They really keep the costs down without giving up on quality. Just for the record, I do not get paid a comission to use Class Act Tours. This is why the rates are so reasonable! Cindy L, Boca Raton Fl.
 27th of May, 2010 by   A Tired Teacher +1 Votes
I am a teacher who was recently contacted by World Strides for a possible trip with my school. I was not really all that interested since the students at my school can not afford the $1500+ cost of a trip like this but I was hit with a barrage of possibilities like scholarships and fundraising and finally I just said send me some info to get off the phone. What I expected was a brochure or a booklet but what I got was a huge box of student packets with my name printed on them and a weeks worth of harassing phone calls and emails wanting me to hurry up and get the ball rolling. It's the last week of school! Um, no thanks! But saying no thanks doesn't stop the emails or phone calls either. I am now being asked to provide the names of other teachers who might be interested and getting the guilt trip for backing out. I never said I would go! I didn't realize that asking for more information was signing my life away to these folks. When I mentioned this to other teachers on my campus, everyone had heard of them and no one had good things to say. Many had the same type of harassment I have received but one had signed up for a trip with World Strides and after all the kids had paid and things were set to go, World Strides jacked up the price another $1000! This teacher backed out but some kids forked over even more money and took the trip anyway. Even if I was interested in taking a trip with my students, I am NOT using this company. Now if I could just get these people off my back... I might have to change my name!
 26th of Jun, 2010 by   Florida Teachers -1 Votes
My husband and I are both middle school teachers. This year will be our 8th trip with WorldStrides, and they are amazing! We have taken hundreds of middles schoolers to D.C., New York, Boston, and San Francisco. If you travel, you understand that there are unexpected things that happen. WorldStrides is very experienced and has met any need that we have faced, in a way that has exceeded our expectations every time! We had a parent and a student miss their flight, Worldstrides had them on the next flight and arranged to have them picked up at the airport and delivered to where we were within a couple of hours, and I might add- to no additional charge to the travelers. We also had our flight cancelled for bad weather, and they got hotel rooms for all of our kids and leaders, and gave us money to eat and did not charge us anything additional. We had a student who had a physical problem and was having trouble walking in D.C., I picked up my name tag and called the WorldStrides phone number on the back and they had a wheelchair delivered to where we were within one hour. That is nothing short miraculous in a city as busy as Washington. As far as we are concerned, WorldStrides is the best travel company. As for the cost, we enjoyed New York so much that we decided to take our own family vacation there with our own children. Being teachers, we were very careful to search out the best deals on everything thing that we did. We spent more money and did much less than when we travel with WS. WS has everything down to a science. From the meals, to the hotels, to booking the best Broadway shows, etc. They use great venders that are kid friendly and nice to the kids. We will never use any other company, when you have the best, there is no need to go anywhere else!
 17th of Jul, 2010 by   dtrain9 +2 Votes
We used to travel with Worldstrides and they were OK. We now use Capital Tours and couldn't be happier.
 30th of Aug, 2010 by   Concerned Parent AZ 0 Votes
Has anyone had expeience with a trip to Floriday with this company. Enjoyed all the feedback from other the trips.
 10th of Sep, 2010 by   A VERY Concerned parent +1 Votes
You know, toward the end of last school year, we recieved a packet in the mail congratulating our 6th grade daughter on her nomination to be included in a group from all over the country, to go to Washington D.C. with a company called Junior National Young Leaders Conference. They said she was nominated by her middle school principal for her outstanding leadership skills. It was very exciting, not having ever seen anything like that with any of our other kids. The packet was very professional and impressive, seeming to be on the "up-and-up". The cost was prohibitive - around $2000 for the conference which did NOT include the travel expenses. They offered full and partial scholarships, based on income, of course, for the cost of the conference but not travel expenses. So, my daughter and I attended the informational meeting, to learn more about the program and possibly to "win" the 1 full scholarship being offered as an incentive to attend. The kids were taken off to another conference room in the hotel to get trial run of some of the leadership skill workshops they were offering. The parents were then shown the slide-show along with a presentation of what their children would be doing in D.C. At the end of the evening the scholarship winner was drawn and was given to the mother of the one child who was "not able to be there". At the time, I didn't think too much about it. A few days later we submitted our scholarship application and waited. Of course, it was denied, even though we should have been a shoe-in. My husband was laid-off a year and a half ago and I work at Walmart. We are not exactly a high income family! Then came the influx of telephone calls and e-mails. I explained over and over, again that there was no way for us to come up with that kind of money. After six months, they seemed to have finally stopped.

About a month ago, my daughter started doing some research on-line, and found numerous complaints about jrNYLC. She came to me one day, and asked if I had noticed that the "winner" of the scholarship was only represented by a parent and
didn't I think that was kind of fishy? Well, duh!
About a month ago, she recieved another invitation to attend a seminar with a group like that. Before she even showed it to me, she went on-line and found the same kinds of complaints. She said, "Mom, it's just another scam."

Today, she came home from school with, yet another one. This time it's from WorldStrides about a trip to Florida. We've become a bit savvy and cynical about these things. And, here I am, again, finding more of the same kinds of complaints as I did for the other organizations. You know what? It's starting to tick me off. How many familes are falling prey to these types of organizations? There must be tons of them. They are obviously successful at it. Too bad. I can only hope that parents will be VERY cautious about these things and not just assume that because the documents have their childs school district, principal, teacher or coach on them that they are legitimate. PLEASE, Please, please, be careful. This is your children and your hard-earned money that are at stake, here. Please do not fall victim to them, not unless you are very, very sure and have no reservations about the program.

A VERY Concerned parent 09/10/2010
 18th of Oct, 2010 by   Roger Smithers 0 Votes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 28, 2005

Schumer: Virginia Travel Agent Swindled Multiple Li Schools On Trips To D.C. For Inauguration - Senator Asks U.S. Atty For Probe

Long Island high school students worked months to pay for trip to Inaugural, only to be kept out until event was over Same Virginia travel agent sold misleading tour packages to two schools - countless unknown other schools across region may also have fallen prey Students, teachers and parents from both schools joined Schumer today to seek federal investigations by US Attorney and Federal Trade

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today asked the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the Virginia-based travel agent WorldStridesTM after he received multiple complaints from high schools in Nassau and Suffolk County that the company charged students for trips to Washington to experience the Inauguration last week, but did not make provisions to obtain the tickets necessary to actually attend the inauguration.

“From out east in Lindenhurst to here in Hicksville, we’re together today to say one thing - if you promise to ‘enrich students’ lives, ’ you better not be just enriching yourself, ” Schumer said. “If an out-of-state company is going to try to rip off students in Nassau and Suffolk, they’re going to learn fast we won’t hesitate one minute in applying federal law to stop them.”

On Inauguration Day, Schumer personally encountered a group of students from Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville on the National Mall. The 48 students were just then getting through security, more than an hour and a half after the start of the Inauguration and long after it was over. After the students told Schumer their story, he was able to work with the White House and arrange a consolation prize of sorts - a White House tour. Unfortunately, the Holy Trinity students could not take the tour because they had to return to New York in advance of last weekend's blizzard.

Schumer then became suspicious of a pattern of problems when he learned of a similar story this week from Lindenhurst High students. Yesterday Schumer's Long Island office received a call from the Advanced Placement US History teacher at Lindenhurst High School in Suffolk County. He reported that his 38 students had raised money for almost a year to help offset the $800-per-student price tag on a "once in a lifetime" trip to Washington to “witness the Inauguration and to hear the Inaugural Address.” On Inauguration day, they arrived early to get through the security checkpoint. Two and a half hours later, the students cleared security but were then told by security that they could not enter the National Mall without tickets. Their tour guide did not have any answers, and merely brought the students to stand outside the Canadian Embassy where they neither witnessed the Inauguration, nor heard the Presidential Address. The company has thus far refused the school's request for a partial refund.

Schumer’s office quickly investigated and found the same Virginia travel agent sold misleading tour packages to both schools. WorldStridesTM promotional materials say the company is devoted to "Enriching Students' Lives" by extending education into the worldwide classroom and providing the best opportunity for learning through seeing, experiencing, and interacting. They also call themselves “A Company You Can Trust” and the “largest and most trusted educational student travel company in the country.” (http://www.worldstride.com/mission/default.asp)

Schumer yesterday referred the case to the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Roslynn Mauskopf and to the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Deborah Platt Majoras. Because this Virginia company appears to have wronged students in New York, this interstate matter falls under the jurisdiction of both authorities. A copies of Schumer’s letters are attached.

“I was shocked to hear the same company was involved with the Hicksville and Lindenhurst cases...We do not yet know how many other schools were similarly treated by this company, but I expect we will hear of more cases in the coming days, ” Schumer wrote to Mauskopf and Majoras.

Schumer was joined by students, parents, and teachers from both Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville and Lindenhurst High School at Holy Trinity.

Schumer also urged any other schools or students affected by this situation to contact his Long Island office at 631-753-0978.

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