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Bad service

Complaint Rating:  64 % with 199 votes
64% 199
Contact information:
World Strides
United States
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.
Complaint comments Comments (58)    Updated: Complaint country United States Complaint category Travel & Vacations


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A  9th of Dec, 2010 by    +2 Votes
I set up an account online for my daughter, who is over 18, to travel with her younger sister. Though my duaghter is the traveler, the account is mine. I created it and have made all payments thus far.
World Strides automatically added cancellation insurance to my bill. I DID NOT request this! When I contacted them asking that this charge be removed, they refused to do it for me. Because my daughter who is traveling is over 18, their online registration system had made her responsible for the account. I explained that this is not how I entended the account to be set up, and that she was not the one responsible for payments on the account. I am paying. If their online system set up the account this way, then we need to correct that, please. Not only did the man who claimed to be the supervisor not budge on wanting to help me, he was really cold, rude, and seemed completely unconcerned about my situtation, and furthermore could really not care less whether or not I purchased two trips from his company or not! He made me quite upset.
If my daughters were not already so excited about this trip, I would cancel both of them right now. I intend on writing a formal complaint letter to the company.
N  18th of Dec, 2010 by    +1 Votes
We went with WorldStrides for years before finding www.schooltoursofamerica.com. Its a company made up of former, honest Worldstrides people who were just as fed up and I cant begin to tell you how positive the experience has been. a million times better in every way. night and day.
N  6th of May, 2011 by    +2 Votes
This has been a strange experience. My child is now on the trip, and can't call me or text me until very late. She can also get in trouble for not going to bed when they get in their hotel rooms. There is no commmunication from the adults. There is no contact information to reach an adult. My child has been sick and could not get anyone to buy her or take her to buy cold medicine or cough syrup. The children are charged money if they are late and my child does not have enough money to eat. This is child neglect and abuse. I called world strides demanding they give my child her money back that the adults have been charging her and they would not give me the contact numbers of the tour guides. I'm very concerned about my child's well being and safety.
A  14th of May, 2011 by    0 Votes
They are a terrible company and most parents don't even know the half of it. The teachers who are sponsoring the trip are getting paid a bonus for each kid that signs up, sometimes over $100 oer kid. They get free trips, prizes. It is basically bribing the teachers to take the kids on a trip, and the extra bonus is built into the price of the trip. If you are a parent considering this trip, ask the teachers about their bonus. It is never talked about but happens on almost every trip.
N  17th of May, 2011 by    +1 Votes
@ Justnow22 Please remember, these complaints are not an indictment of the experience you will have when visiting our capitol. They are specifically directed at a tour company that some teachers choose to use. I remember how much my perspectives changed, as a citizen, the first time I watched members of congress debate a bill on the floor. I really felt like a part of something great and I feel I'm a better citizen from experiencing, firsthand, our government in action. Go, you will be a better citizen of our great country because of it.

@ tlresh The "insurance trick" is classic, isn't it? When you look at where they hide the opt-out for the overpriced insurance it is obvious that it is designed to be overlooked. Classy.
A  14th of Jun, 2011 by    +1 Votes
Wow!! I only wish I would have found this webpage prior to paying thousands of dollars to WorldStrides. It is a shame that so many parents, teachers, and students have been taken advantage of by WorldStrides. I have had a horrible experience with this company as well. They play nice as long as you are sending in your money, but after the trip is paid for the real problems start and unless you purchased the ridiculous insurance package you are screwed. My child has not left for the trip, the trip is paid for and the company is still nickel and diming me. I am terrified that the problems will only get worse on the trip. It was a real stretch for me to afford this trip for my child only to have the company keep charging me after all payments were made. Save yourself the stress and don't send thousands of dollars to WorldStrides. Heed the warnings of "A VERY concerned parent."
A  10th of Nov, 2011 by    -1 Votes
WORLDSTRIDES to CAPSTONE...What are they RUNNING from????
A  10th of Nov, 2011 by    -1 Votes
I am always very wary of a company that ALWAYS changes its name every few years. From Lakeland Tours to Worldstrides to Accent to Capstone. What exactly are they hiding???
N  18th of Nov, 2011 by    0 Votes
I am so glad that I came across this website before I signed my daughter up for a DC trip. I read all positive and negative reviews and were grateful for both. And I will be passing this website on to other parents. The positive reviews sound too good to be true...too perfect..kind of like World-strides posted them or had their people post them. The negative reviews sound very realistic. I didn't see any one post a review who had a major issue and the company actually solved it. The trip is very costly, but when it comes to my most prized possession in this world...its not the money I am worried about. I am concerned about the welfare of my child when sending her from CA to DC. It would be better if the company gave more info up front as to what hotel the children will be staying in, flight info and other important details vs. basic info to make the trip sound sooo perfect and 100% guaranteed. There are fees that the people forgot to mention, the payment plan is basically $500 a month (whoa). I still haven't decided if I will be sending my child or not..definitely have to do more research. Oh and to the person/company who commented on people posting negative comments on World-strides.. If people want to share THEIR experience with the company/trip then they have every right to!! Especially to inform other parents of their experience. Any reputable company should not have a problem with that. They should take and use that information to improve any issues they might have in the future.
N  30th of Nov, 2011 by    0 Votes
PLEASE Check on who your Course Leader will be and any information that you can recieve on them!! I will be trying to get ahold of the company to report the course leader that had FULL access to the 10 and 11 year old children throughout the trip. I came along on the trip seperately and I was OVERWHELMED when I saw this man inappropriately playing with the boys.
A  10th of Jan, 2012 by    0 Votes
WorldStrides is a joke, CLASSLESS!! Typical ORG that uses the non profit to suck more money out of people. I tried to donate for my nieces trip to Washington. I tried contributing online. I added my bank information and paid the 250 I was intending to go towards her trip. A week later they inform me that my account was NSF. This was not possible. So they did an investigation and found that my account number was not correct, 7 more digits were added to the account number. They said I entered all this incorrectly. Now they want to charge me 35.00 plus multiple late charges. All the teachers that chimed in and said how great this company is is nothing more than Worldstride employees acting as if they are teachers and giving some positive review. You've been warned. If your reading this right now, they must have gotten you. SCAM WORLDSTRIDE.org!
N  30th of Mar, 2012 by    0 Votes
My 8th grade son just returned from a World Strides trip to D.C. Overall had a good time. His only complaint was that it was a little awkward sharing a double bed with another 14 year old classmate. How did I miss this?!!! If that had been clearly communicated, I would have paid extra to get him his own bed. I just got off the phone with WS customer service and she made me feel stupid -- of course he would be sharing a bed if there are 4 kids to a room. I guess I just didn't think about the room configuaration...shame on me. I hope this helps someone else.
N  3rd of Jun, 2012 by    0 Votes
My son will be leaving this Tuesday for his trip to Washington. I will post how his trip went based on his words. I just hope the best for him since he is only 11 and I am unable to attend. I chose to allow him to go thru another teacher who has used them for a few trips and made me believe that my son was going to enjoy this. She has experienced nothing but positive, professionalism from World Strides and has had amazing trips. Anytime that i have called with questions regarding my account they have been easy to talk to and answered all my concerns. I know that my son will be having a great time, missing his family, and I'm not going to no worry because he has an awesome program leader that will not take crap from anyone.
N  18th of Jun, 2012 by    0 Votes
My son is just about to leave for his trip to Washington DC and so far I have not been impressed with WorldStrides. The trip was sold to us as a 6 day tour but now they are doing the same amount of activities in 4.5 days! They are flying on the red eye from our hometown in California to Boston and then to Washington DC (presumably using the red eye so as not to have to use the money for hotels!). They get off the plane and immediately start the tour. The days are long - ON the bus by 6:30am and back to the hotel around 11:30pm, I don't know how they think these kids will be able to function well enough to complete all the assignments. This trip is for college credit with UVa - one credit is included in the price if the kids do the work. I have received several invoices from UVa billing me for the course that is included in the price! Initially, when I called WorldStrides (it's very difficult to actually get to speak with someone), they said that it had nothing to do with them but it was obvious that the gal I spoke with didn't have a clue what she was talking about and eventually I asked to speak with her supervisor. She acknowledged that there had been a 'glitch' and promised to sort it out. Since then, I have received yet another invoice from UVa. Despite being repeatedly told that the instructor would contact my son to make sure he was on target with all the course work, we really haven't received anything unless I hound them. Further, I receive general info that my friend does not and vice versa - between us I think we have it all, but who knows! I am hoping that the lack of organization prior to the trip is not a reflection of what actually happens on the trip but I will post more on his return.
A  19th of Jun, 2012 by    +1 Votes
As a World Strides employee, let me say that I completely agree with those here who are lambasting the company for it's ridiculously high prices. Parents and teachers, c'mon, the stuff that we provide for you YOU CAN DO YOURSELF!!! paying all that money is for one thing only, convenience. and it is a rip off.
the convenience isn't worth it and thats a fact.
Sure, World Strides does provide a pretty comprehensive package for trips, having all the bases covered from touch down to take off, but having met hundreds of Teachers and Parents over the years, let me say this, you dont really need us-- you can do what we do yourself, and on a budge. Try it, you might like it.
Again, as an employee, Ive experienced first hand how this company has down hill. I see how they stiff their workers and over charge their customers again and again. Potential customers, ill leave you with this-- dont be fooled that you have to have the service World Strides provides. Have confidence in yourself, do it yourself, dont be beguiled by this greedy company.
N  1st of Jun, 2013 by    0 Votes
Has anyone else noticed that the positive reviews all have the same signature? They list the person's full name, then where they are from. Seem fishy to anyone else? Plus, there's a row of good reviews, and then not many more...
N  27th of Jun, 2013 by    +1 Votes
The trip was fine. just that they promised us with zip-lining at Puerto Rico, which we already signed up and paid for, and they cancelled it during the trip, without our prior knowledge. It has been 17 days since the end of the trip, but we still haven't gotten both me and my daughter's fee back ( $190 dollars)
N  23rd of Aug, 2013 by    0 Votes
what te
A  19th of Nov, 2013 by    0 Votes
This same company was contracted for my son's choir trip to King's Island. This is normally a 2 hour drive away and somehow this two day trip costs hundreds. Only two months into the payment plan for the trip that is still 5 months away, I had to cancel because of something unexpected coming up of more importance. I sent my written cancellation, but the cancellation fee is conveniently the same amount as the total of the payment installments made thus far. So we have essentially paid $100 for nothing. Upon telling them my opinion of it being unethical they not only reply with my signed permission slip, but copied the school teachers on the email. I don't see the reason they had to drag teachers into the discussion. Definitely will not allow my children to attend any trips organized by these vultures.
D  13th of Jun, 2014 by    0 Votes
Horrible customer service from a poorly trained "Supervisor". I called back on October 2013 to cancel my child's trip to D.C. And she persuaded me to avoid cancellation. She advised me / removed my automatic payments from EZPay and I was told to call them back "when I was ready to make the payments again"... I was never ready so I never called back until yesterday when they were processing my "partial refund". I just spoke to the same poorly trained "Supervisor" to ask her why they were retaining over 400 dollars and she was so RUDE and UNPROFFESSIONAL while handling my case. She said I should have taken some actions before to avoid these penalties. However... I don't want to disclose some of the detailed arguments since I know (because I reviewed the refund policy) that they are NOT FOLLOWING what the refund policy states, So I will file a small claim case next week

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