EF Toursfraud / hidden fees

M
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Review updated:

I booked a trip for my son and paid for it over a year ago. . . I recently logged on to pay for additional "departure fees" and learned that the trip i had payed for had been changed - with no notice. My son is now going on a shorter trip with different departure dates for the same price. . . This is robbery!! I contacted the company and after being on the phone with several people for 2 days i was told - there was nothing they could do, they did not know why the prices were the same, to basically it is not their problem. I was advised to write a letter!

This was very frustrating!! I will make sure and tell all my friends about my experience with ef tours.

Responses

  • Na
    Naida Osorio May 11, 2020
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    This company is a RIP-OFF. My daughter's trip was cancelled to Puerto Rico, due to the situation going on. They are refusing to refund all of the money, they are keeping $750.00 dollars. Some parents and I, paid the insurance in which I don't mind losing but why keep $750.00 dollars. It's disgusting. I just read there's a Class Action Suit against this company. How can I get more information? Thank you.

    0 Votes
  • Ju
    Julio Garrido Mar 14, 2020
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    Has anyone had any success via the legal arena against this company? Looking at small claims court need to know where to have them served. Thanks

    0 Votes
  • Ju
    Julio Garrido Mar 14, 2020
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    Has anyone had any suggest via the legal arena against this company? Small claims court? Attorney Generals? Please let me know.

    0 Votes
  • Je
    Jennifer Colleton Feb 20, 2017
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    My Daughter worked hard and saved her own money, had $1500 already invested in the company. Due to an issue with our immigration, she was unable to go. We let them know way in advance. In spite of this, they only returned $200 of my daughter's money. She had an educational tour in how big business can freely rip you off, and feel nothing in doing so. I tried to talk to them, explain that my child was already broken-hearted for missing the event, begging them to at least give her back half of her money. They claimed the tickets for the plane were already purchased, but would not tell me what airline. We found out they had not purchased the tickets yet. Do NOT get taken in by these people. Save your cash and just take your child on an educational trip.

    0 Votes
  • Jy
    jyo74 Apr 23, 2016

    I will add my name to the list of scammed families by EF Tours. We booked our daughter's trip to Italy through EF Tours in November. The tour leader, teacher who seems to be disorganized at best, sent an email in January that they would need to get additional students to go or the price would go up. We said what happens if we are unwilling to pay additional cost? He said not to worry, we would surely get the students. Then just a few weeks ago we were sent an email with the "opportunity" to switch to a different tour with additional days for less money except different dates which our daughter was unavailable. We emailed the tour leader to tell him this. He changed to that tour anyway with EF Tours. When we called to tell them we had to cancel since the dates changed, we were told we still had to pay the cancellation fee because the tour leader is allowed to change the dates at will. We feel defrauded. We have traveled extensively and have never experienced a tour company with such unscrupulous ethics. We have filed a complaint with the BBB. I wish I had found this page before we booked this trip for our daughter, it would have saved us a ton of money and aggravation.. Do Not Use EF Tours!

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    Caitlin l Mar 07, 2016
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    I have traveled with EF Tours years ago and absolutely loved my trip to Egypt. Back in January my husband and I booked the Grand Tour of Ireland trip for this July. I can do nothing, but rave about EF tours customer service and how helpful they were, along with how amazing my past experience had been with them. Due to an unforeseen circumstance we had to cancel our trip. We were really disappointed and were looking forward to traveling with Ef tours in the future, however based upon the travel protection that is provided by Seven Corners we will no longer travel with EF Tours. We bought travel protection for nothing!! The travel agency will not refund what we paid for the trip even though it is listed under what it "protects" you from. I am very disappointed, as I spoke very highly of Ef Tours and have recommended it to many people. Now our opinions have changed and that's a shame.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    Catina Dominguez-beck Nov 20, 2015
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    My son was schedule to go to Italy, Greece and France for his senior class trip and needless to say we feel it isn't safe for him to go anymore. I called today to cancel his trip and see about getting a refund for the money we've already invested (we used their payment plan) and they are penalizing us almost $1000! This company is excellent at scamming you out of your money and nothing else!

    0 Votes
  • Re
    Rebecca Doyal-Meyer Sep 17, 2015
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    There seem to be a myriad or complaints on this forum about EF Tours. What many travelers do not realize is that the majority of the money you pay is for the flight. Flights to Europe are not cheap. Also, this is one of the cheapest companies to travel with to Europe. I took a trip last summer. There was a delay, but the company provided us with a hotel, breakfast, and transportation. We even got a $250 travel voucher from the airline. The meal were good and breakfast was always a buffet, unless we were traveling early to a different country. These trips are not designed for four star travel. You will pay much more for that kind of service in Europe. These trips are designed to be a gateway for travel. Once you become comfortable with travel abroad, pay more and go on your own. There are a number of travel companies who cater to traveling families and adults. These trips are for high school students and poor college students. You get what you pay for.

    -1 Votes
  • Sl
    slu Mar 19, 2015

    This tour company is a RIP OFF !!! Im going on the Europe tour and they originally said it was 3, 700 dollars and so i originally thought, okay not the worst they could charge us for but then the economic situation in Europe happened. 1 dollar US dollars used to convert to about .70 euros BUT NOW ONE DOLLAR IS EQUAL TO 0.97 EUROS AND YET THE TRIP IS STILL 3700!!! AND THEN ON TOP OF THAT MY HISTORY TEACHER IS COLLECTING AN EXTRA 200 DOLLARS TO PAY FOR "TIPS". 4000 DOLLARS FOR CRAPPY 2-3 STAR HOTELS, SUB PAR FOOD, AND THE TRIP IS SO RUSHED I CANT ENJOY ANYTHING!!! IF THATS NOT A RIP OFF I DONT KNOW WHAT IS! I ACTUALLY CALCULATED ALL THE THINGS THEY ARE PAYING FOR, AND GUESS WHAT, BASED ON WHAT THEY SAID THEY ARE GOING TO "GIVE " US IT WOULD ONLY COST 2, 132 DOLLARS. HOW MUCH ARE THEY SCAMMING OFF OF US. ALSO ALL THE PLACES THEY ARE GOING TO PAY FOR GUESS WHAT, IT FREE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18. IM REALLY DISSAPOINTED AT EF TOURS

    0 Votes
  • Nc
    NCP17 Nov 15, 2014

    This is not in relation to whether they fraudulently entice people into booking their tours or not, but for your information, a Tour Director based in Paris is paid 57.25 euros per day, which is completely unacceptable ... and illegal. So, I agree. Do not book tours with a company that illegally employs staff. That is factual information: the day rate that a Tour Director receives is 57.25 euros, as of 2014. But, the Tour Directors are not actually employed by EF. They are employed by an external company, so that if anyone ever makes an official complaint, they can hide behind that other company.

    So, if you're coming on a tour to Paris, your Tour Director is not even an employee of EF! This is also factual.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Katherynh Oct 06, 2014

    Someone asked for a reliable tour operator? TCBC School Tours is a family-run company specializing in educational travel to select destinations around the world. Instead of falling through the cracks with a company that does thousands of trips a year, you'll be given the utmost attention from a company that does closer to 100 perfect trips a year. You choose!

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    Saadia Font Sep 12, 2014

    I have traveled 2 times with EF tours. The layovers were too long. Once we got to Paris they took us for dinner to ear flans, equivalent to a pizza but worse. The breakfasts usually were bread and juice. Between breakfast and dinner there were 10 hours of wait time. The hotel in Paris was on the last subway stop. I found out it was on a bad neighborhood. Ef wants the students basically to pay for the tour guide's salaries, the bus driver's salary. They expect students to pay large tips. Students make a big sacrifice to pay for the tour and only bring 100 dollars or less for souvenirs. The tour is also very fast-paced. There is hardly no time to relax. It is exhausting. WHen you get to Europe after traveling for 20 hours plus, they expect you to keep going to go places. They make large profit from the students.

    0 Votes
  • Ne
    Nevelesnow Jul 09, 2014
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    I just got back from an EF tour with my daughter. I felt as though I was held hostage for 9 days. One of the kids in our group said it best; "We are pack mules." Horrible food, terrible AWFUL guide (he got lost at EVERY location making us backtrack and add even MORE walking to an exhausting day), terrible hotels, rude staffs...Absolutely NO tickets for any event were purchased for us in advance---so at every location we would have to stand in the hot sun and wait while our guide waiting in a long line to purchase and disperse tickets for us. We did not receive a personal tour bus until the third day...so for the first two days we were booking it ON FOOT and riding dirty metro trains with nearly 40 people (and waiting for our guide to purchase 40 metro tickets four or five times throughout the day). I was terrified that our kids would get separated or lost the entire time. Nightmare. When I got home I want to kiss the earth. My daughter says she hates Europe and with never go back. That was NOT the impression I wanted her to have. I went on a education tour when I was in high school...and it changed my life. I fell in love with Germany and our wonderful guide. My child however did not have that opportunity...I paid 8000 dollars to this company to be tortured. I have complained and received no follow up or compensation or incentive of any kind. They simply don't care.

    0 Votes
  • So
    SouthernBelle55 Jun 19, 2014
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    EF Tours is a dishonest, unfair company who will steal your money! We had to cancel
    our tour one month into the agreement. They have NOT booked anything yet as we have over a year before we were to travel. Yet they are keeping $550.00 for each passenger!

    0 Votes
  • So
    SouthernBelle55 Jun 19, 2014
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    Well, we are the latest group to be taken for a ride by this company. Schools should NOT support or have any affiliation with this company. We have had to cancel our trip (only one month since we signed up) and they are keeping $550.00 per traveler. What a RIPOFF!

    0 Votes
  • So
    softballnut4 Jan 15, 2014

    If you're looking for an ethical travel company, try www.joshuaexpeditions.org. They don't give kick backs like EF Tours, but they give a travel experience of a lifetime! [protected]

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    mojosurfer Jul 10, 2013

    I am a French teacher and just returned two weeks ago from a EF tour. I organized the tour and negotiated with EF prior to and during the trip. Prior to this tour, I had led 5 other overseas educational tours with various companies. This tour was the most stressful and tiring tour I have ever led and it had everything to do with very poor customer service from EF tours prior to and during the trip. My students, parents and sponsors were amazing and we have a great trip, but it was in spite of EF. They promised quality yummy local cuisine and the food was horrendous and the portions were insufficient. They promised we would go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower and then only got us to level 2. They said they were experts at customization and then they didn’t want to provide a bus for the whole day so that we could do the customized itinerary. One of the bus drivers didn’t speak English or French and although he was paid for the whole day, he threw a temper tantrum in front of the kids because he didn’t like where he was having to drive them. The worst part was that our local guide daily made shady decisions regarding our schedule due to personal appointments. I was continually having to negotiate with her to advocate for my students and parents. It was exhausting. Pre and post tour eftours was just shady. They would make promises and then “forget.” My rep took over a week on several occasions to return calls and then when I would get him on the phone he would skirt questions or say he would get back to me. The last three months before the tour I just gave up getting any help from him. I will never use this company again because my experience is that they are very good at sales and very bad at following through and executing what they have sold. They lack integrity and their communication is poor.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    midwestern Jan 22, 2013
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    My son was signed up to go on a trip to the Greek Islands and in mid-stream the destination changed - along with the fee. When I tried to cancel, I was told there would be a 50% charge - or $900 cancellation fee. Still paying on this trip, I contacted our state Atty. General's office. They helped us get a FULL refund of this trip including the deposit and inclusive insurance! My advise, contact your state atty gen. with problems with EF Tours!

    0 Votes
  • Do
    doc1940 Jun 19, 2012

    I just returned from an EF Tour of France and Spain with a group of middle school kids. I've been to Europe a lot - this was my twelfth time with a tour group. I have to say that EF is far and away the worst. Our hotels were so far out of the towns that we spent most of our trip on the bus. The hotels ranged from cheap business travel hotels to a motel that was on its last legs (the phones didn't even work). The "guided tour" of Paris consisted of a bus ride around Paris with NO stops. We drove by the new opera house and our tour guide's illuminating comment was, "ugly building, good acoustics" (of course, we had no opportunity to experience the acoustics). We arrived at the "hotel" in Avignon and the kids were excited to see a pool - our guide quickly said we couldn't use the pool because it was closed and they were putting in chemicals that would eat our skin off. When we came back from dinner there were people splashing around in the pool (with intact skin!). We were there three days and not allowed to use the pool. The food was horrible - our last dinner in Madrid at a "fine restaurant" consisted of a plate of something that looked and tasted like Dinty Moore beef stew. It was the worst tour I've ever been on - I've never experienced a company that went to such great lengths to do things on the cheap. I would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER travel with them again.

    0 Votes
  • Jl
    J Lh Apr 02, 2012

    I have taken 2 groups to Germany/Austria/Switzerland with EF. The first trip was a book tour, so we were put with another high school group. They were weird kids, but that was the only complaint. The hotels were awesome, all if them for 10 days! The food was good, and the kids told me each day how it was such a good time. That was a group if 25. My second trip was with only my group, it was customized, so I planned it, for a group of 60. It was just as good, even better because I planned everything.I didn't plan the hotels or food, but they were great, just like on my first tour. I have no complaints against EF- both times they have given me the dates I wanted, and we flew together, not a single problem. I would say my only complaint is the fuel increase. I do a lot of fundraising with my students. My free trip is given to a needy student, and I give my stipend bonus to a student also. I pay for my trip, and have to pay for my spending $ and food too. So I end up paying for my trip, that's my choice, and I still have no complaints. The kids have fun, learn and see a lot and are always safe and taken care of. I am extremely cautious and plan well. Like I said- I've had nothing but great trips and will continue to use them!

    0 Votes
  • St
    Stefan22 Mar 15, 2012
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    Hello to all of you! I was an EF-TD in the late 90ies. But after two summers I stopped. Why? I couldn't stand anymore how US-groups were seen as money-machines. In every shop you are lead Busdrivers, EF-TDs and EF get a certain percentage of what you buy. The most important question for the day was, where to take the groups in order to get as much money as possible. You dont trust me? Well do you know Bucherer in Lucerne? There is a small entrance in the sidestreet that takes TDs directly to the Bucherer-Office in the second floor. Therefore you have to tell Bucherer, which Tour you are. By the way this is policy of all large travel-companyies. I always hated it, but there was no way to refuse it. Therefore I gave up this job after two years although I liked it to be on tour with you guys.

    0 Votes
  • Cs
    cseymore Feb 15, 2012
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    In fact, all of my students who traveled with EF Tours in 2009 received a refund check of approximately $125 about 45 days after they returned. This was done because the airline had reduced departure fees about 2 weeks prior to departure.

    0 Votes
  • Fs
    fsubob Dec 30, 2011

    We just returned from our ten day “European Quartet” trip. We really wish we had read some reviews of EF before we committed to this trip. Most of our complaints have already been mentioned repeatedly; awful flight itineraries, cheap dinners, shady, out-of-the-way hotels, inordinate amounts of wasted time. I don’t want to belabor these points so I’ll just go over the “highlights.”

    Taking 24 hours getting to Amsterdam on the most illogical flight itinerary imaginable.

    Cramming 45 people with an average age of 60 on an absolutely packed rush hour subway to go to a crappy dinner 25 minutes away, only to ride it right back to where we were afterwards.

    Being deposited at 430 PM at your hotel in London, a 40 minute train ride from anything. This is your “free time.”

    Spending hours on a bus to go to Bath, England only to arrive and be told we didn’t have enough time to go into the Roman baths. After all, the only thing not flexible on these trips is the time of the cheap, early bird special dinners they provide for you. This after being rushed through Stonehenge, including being told the audio guides weren’t working. Funnily enough, everyone else there had them.

    This was certainly not the only time we were lied to, which brings me to our tour director, Tim Goddard. In some ways, he’s probably not the worst tour guide EF employs, as at least he didn’t abandon our group mid-trip like other EF directors have done. However, he makes a lot of excuses and was frequently very short with tour members. Other times he was extremely rude while throwing little temper tantrums. There’s something sad, annoying, and a little pathetic about a 45 year old man acting like a petulant six year old.

    Unfortunately these were not aberrations but instead recurring themes on our trip.
    If you plan on traveling with EF, you should know what you’re going to get: illogical travel itineraries, Motel 6esque accommodations, extremely cheap dinners you’ll waste a lot of valuable time getting to, and useless free time. You’ll be rushed through amazing destinations as they parrot the “fast paced trip” line, and yet spend hours wandering to dinner, and waiting for their buses to show up. You may even entirely miss certain must see sites. Our tour was not scheduled to see Westminster Abbey in London until there was a near mutiny.

    Ultimately, if you’re 17, your parents are paying, and all you want to do is hang out with friends and see a few European highlights than by all means go. You’ll probably love it. If you expect a little bit more than you should probably check out the alternatives.

    0 Votes
  • Gc
    GCG Dec 08, 2011
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    NOTICE THE CHANGES ALWAYS BENEFIT EF TOURS!

    1 Votes
  • Wo
    world4me Oct 07, 2011

    My daughter went to Istanbul, Turkey and Athens, Greece as a high school educational tour using EF Tour.
    Their safety commitment is not reliable at all.
    She had a life threatening experience. She might be abducted even in the guided tour. She was left alone at Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey.
    At a souvenir store where the guide took the students, an adult male merchant kept her in a private room only by herself. Then, she was hugged, kissed, harassed, intimidated and forced to sign the credit card for several stuff amount of $3500 which she didn't wish to buy. She had to sign in order to leave the room.
    We are so glad, she came back home!
    It was happened because luck of supervision by the chaperones and EF Tour required to bring a credit card. I don't think it is a good idea that young children carrying credit card without supervising. Most of the students were the first time to carry a credit card. They were 18 years or younger. Some of them were still 14 to 15 years old.
    It made the students ended up to spend inappropriate amount of money as a high school educational tour at the souvenir store where the guide who was hired by EF Tour took them.
    The guide may be getting commission from the store when tourists spend money and so does EF Tour.
    And another concern is how EF Tour chose the chaperones. Are the chaperones trained?
    There were 3 chaperones but none of them realized while my daughter had been missing long time.
    Obviously, the chaperones on this tour were not responsible enough at all to escort the minors. The chaperones gave the students "Free Time" at Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. I have been there before. It was very crowded, chaotic and scary shopping place looked like a big flea market. Besides, most of students were the first time to go abroad where had different culture.
    Also, the tour was too expensive. It was over $3600, 11 days(2 days on the plane) for Istanbul and Athens, not included lunches. They shared a room with 3 or 4 people every night. Tips for tour director, local guides, drivers and cruise staff were separate.

    0 Votes
  • Sw
    Sweldon Sep 27, 2011

    I travelled with EF Summer of 2010 to Spain and I had a wonderful time. We were there for 12 days and many of my kids came back with wonderful memories. Most parents on my trip had a great time, but many didn't like the hotel accomodations. I agree with other posts; you get what you pay for. Most people are not in a foreign country because of their accomodations, you are there to explore the country and learn about it. All you need is a bed to sleep on and a bathroom to shower in. The good thing about this company we have rooms with private bathrooms. they might seem small, but as a society they don't live large like we do. The food was great for kids too! Most high schoolers are picky eaters so they tried to accomodate kids by feeding them things that they enjoyed versus trying things that were new to them and possibly not eat anything. If you wanted to experience some native dishes, that is what the 1 meal a day was for. As a traveler and teacher, this company has done very well. The tips might not be included, but it's up to your discretion to tip what is fair. I always tell my groups to give me the money ahead of time and then after the tour is completed for the day or the remainder of the trip, I talked to some of the parents and made a decision whether to tip them according to EF's recommendation or go with what we felt was right.

    One piece of advice: Don't judge the hotels like the ones in the USA. They are their own country and if you have a private bathroom, then consider your self lucky. Most hotels in Europe have night curfews and are safe because they will not allow any non-residents in the hotel after a certain time.

    0 Votes
  • Er
    Eric in AZ Aug 12, 2011

    BEST PRICR DISCOUNT???? Has anyone else seen this?

    My stepdaughter was signed up for a Europe trip. She wanted my daughter (her stepsister) who to go with her on the tour. I looked at the price of $3146 and said that it was quite expensive to send them both, but I would check into it. I got on the EF website 8/10/11 and looked at the tour. Their website showed the tour with a “best price discount” of $570, and my daughter had been on a tour to DC last year so they offered a $50 repeat customer discount. The made the total price $2526. This seemed more affordable, so I called them to double check on the $50 repeat customer discount and clicked confirm while they were on the phone and they verbally confirmed that it was booked. Of course the girls were ecstatic that they could go to Europe together!

    This morning I get an email from EF saying that my monthly payment had changed. I logged on to look and my payment had gone from $458/month to $572/month. I looked into it further and the $570 discount was gone and they had me paying the full $3146. I called them to resolve it, they called back and said that the discount shown before was a “computer glitch” and that they would not honor the price I had confirmed with them, or give me any concession whatsoever for their mistake. I tried to speak to a manager, but they would not let me.

    I find this very hard to believe that an ethical company would do this. If it was truly a “computer glitch” I would have expected the sales lady to tell me something was wrong when I confirmed the tour while she was on the phone. Now I’m in a position where I have to severely disappoint my girls and cancel the tour, or pay EF the extra $570. I would not have signed my daughter up under the full price because it is so expensive to send them both. Now that she was planning to go, it seems quite unfair to cancel it.

    Has anyone else seen the "best price" discount on any of their tours? I would like to know if this is a regular practice?

    0 Votes
  • Te
    TEACHER203 Jun 15, 2011

    I have traveled with EF for almost 20 years. As a group leader, I make it a point to emphasize what IS and IS NOT included. Our tour directors have been wonderful and we usually have one of two that we request. The food is not gourmet and sometimes kids are fussy. So, they get a snack at night. (I also recommend that they pack a box of cereal - just in case.) We do not have parents with us as this is a STUDENT tour. The local guides are hit and miss. That will happen no matter what tour company you use. In April, I needed to find an open pharmacy in France on Easter Sunday. At the conclusion of our tour, the local guide took the time to walk me to the pharmacy. On two occasions, I have had to take students to hospitals and both times received help and support from the tour director and hotel staff. Hotels have gotten better over the years. Whenever I have complained about a hotel, I have later been told that it has been removed from their list. One year, I had an issue with a tour consultant in the Boston office - over an "included" entrance. I stood my ground and had to speak with a manager and former tour consultant to get things straightened out. (I actually looked at other tour companies in earnest that year!) Twice, I have had issues with airlines - However, that is not the fault of EF. All in all, when you add up the airfare, hotels, food, tours, they DO provide a relatively affordable opportunity fr students to experience another culture. I admit to being a preparation/organization fanatic and DO agree that group leaders need to be this way. I also carefully chaperones who are reliable and responsible as well as flexible and physically able.

    0 Votes
  • Me
    merod Jun 09, 2011
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    I know, I'm stuck with what you give me! I will make sure to tell ALL my friends, co-workers and relatives about my experience with EF Tours.

    1 Votes
  • eftours Jun 09, 2011
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    @merod I certainly understand your frustrations. When we are not able to run a teachers first choice tour and we have to change the tour to keep the price low, we go over the differences between the two tour itineraries and the prices. We encourage all of our Group Leaders to share the information provided right away with their group and if the group has any questions to call Customer Service. Your Group Leader in particular was very proactive about sending information about the tour change in April to your group and EF sent you two paper invoices with the updated tour information. I am very sorry that you feel that we did not try to contact you about the change of tour.

    Each one of our tours is priced differently depending on what is included on the itinerary. The original tour we had your son traveling on including one extra day in Florence than the tour he is traveling on in a few weeks. The prices for the overnight train on the original tour from Paris to Florence is less expensive than the overnight train from Paris to Rome. The other difference is what is included on the extra day in Florence is fairly inexpensive so we are able to keep this tour’s Program Fee very low. I do see where you’re coming from and I understand it is hard to see why there is not a bigger price difference between a tour that is one day less. We would certainly encourage you to speak with both your Group Leader and Customer Service about any additional questions you may have. -Katie

    0 Votes
  • Me
    merod Jun 09, 2011
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    Dear Katie,
    Thank you for your response. I do not have an issue with travel dates other than I should have been notified by EF tours and the school representative, but I was NOT.
    I paid for this tour OVER a year ago, my issue is the price. I was quoted an amount which I paid for 10 days 4 locations. At the last minute, I learn that my son is going for fewer days and less locations.
    I called your customer service department and spoke with John, Sarah#1, Sarah #2, Liz and Todd King all of who could not explain to me why my son was going for less days, less locations for the same amount of money. All I got from them except Liz Johnston who was very professional was; I can’t explain it to you . . . look at your itinerary, it’s not our responsibility, deal with the school representative. I spoke with your customer service representative for 2 days. I was yelled at, hung up on and placed on hold for over 10 minutes.
    I could understand if I had not paid for the trip until this year . . . I would have no right to complain but I DID pay for the trip over a year ago and now I feel I am being robbed. I have never received interests on the money I paid you and that you have had for over a year.
    You quoted me a price, which I paid . . . I was told that there may be additional departure fees which I paid, but you are not keeping your part of the bargain. Instead you book a shorter trip with fewer locations for the same price; I should be getting a refund. There is something very wrong with all this.

    0 Votes
  • eftours Jun 08, 2011
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    @merod I am so sorry about the confusion. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to travel, which means we do everything we can to keep our Program Fees the lowest in the industry without sacrificing quality. One of the ways we do that is by combining groups to fill a tour bus, so that all travelers help cover the costs of the bus, the tour director, local guides, etc. Therefore, in order for everyone to travel for the lowest price possible, group travel requires some flexibility. Every Group Leader submits its preferred tour choices and travel dates, and then we book all of the groups with the same requested tours on one specific departure date. Because EF is the largest student travel provider, it’s rare that groups do not travel on their first-choice tour. However, sometimes as is the case with your group, we may need to book your group on your second- or third-choice tour. EF notified your Group Leader at the beginning of April about the tour change and your Group Leader informed your group about the change shortly after. I apologize if this information was not communicated to you. As it is now two months after the tour was changed and booked, and we are a few weeks from travel, we are not able to make any changes to the itinerary at this time. I apologize you are unhappy with the tour and would urge you to call Customer Service if you have any additional questions before your son departs. -Katie from EF

    0 Votes
  • Fr
    frmdauk Apr 13, 2011

    I see that EF Tours are still charging scandalously high departure fees. I challenged them in 2009 and as a result got a refund for each of the group with which my step-daughter travelled of $166. Challenge them to produce evidence of their departure fees - after all they claim they are only passing on airline charges. However, when I contacted the two airlines providing transportation to my step-daughter's group, I got a completely different set of figures.

    0 Votes
  • Br
    BrianPnk Mar 14, 2011

    EF is horrible. They treat their customers like trash and they treat their employees like trash as well.

    1 Votes
  • Ki
    kimmah Mar 12, 2011

    Twilly--I'm about to go to Italy and Greece with EF. I've been with them since 1999. Yes, the food used to be horrific back in the day, and I've stayed in some odd hotels in the past, too. Much has changed over the past ten years, though, and I'm confident that EF will provide an excellent trip at a good price.

    Tour leaders are the key--if your local leader doesn't have his or her act together, the trip can be a bomb. I've seen tour leaders who didn't know which end was up. They were just there to see Paris. That's not EF''s fault. That is the leader's.

    There are specific cancellation and payment policies in place, but EF has worked with every single 'problem' situation I've encountered over the years. Tipping is a part of the trip and should be budgeted for. Lunch is not, and has never been, included in these tours unless it is a special situation. That is part of the expense. If the airline has problems with your travel, that is not an EF issue--that is an airline issue. You have the option of booking your own airfare if you don't want to let EF do it. Expect to pay a bundle if you do that, though.

    I took my son to London for two weeks in October after I'd spent that amount of time in April on EF tour. The amount that I paid for our trip was easily twice what an EF tour would have cost us. Things like airport transport, the Blue Badge guides, the play tickets all add up and most people have no clue what a deal they get when working with a company.

    I would not hesitate to recommend the company--I'm paying for my own trip this time, fwiw, because I didn't have six people going. I'm happy with the price and can't wait to go.

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  • Tw
    twilly010 Feb 08, 2011

    So you wouldn't recommend a trip? How much would the whole whole trip cost. Do you get the place where you want to go or whichever is available? I want to go but some people say it's good but others say it's not? What other tour website should I checkout that is really good?

    1 Votes
  • Wo
    worriedparent Feb 02, 2011

    My daughter went on a trip last year to Spain & Portugal and had a great time. For the most part, the trip was fine. However, the price quoted when we put down the $95 program fee went up over $900 by the time they left. Fees on top of fees, departure fees that kept increasing, weekend supplement, fees for a private bus, tips for the drivers & tour guides etc. I also found out that there were one or two students on the trip who went for nothing, that's right free because their parents were chaperones. They jumped on board at the last minute and low and behold our price sky rocketed. She is scheduled to go on another trip this year and we haven't paid anything but the $95 program fee. They have added outrageous late fees and every time I speak with them they quote one fee and then when I go online the price is higher. The rep on the phone completely acknowledged that there are 'free spots' available and it is is at the descretion of the group leader to assign them. I need to make a payment in the next few days in order to keep her on the tour. When I asked about a refund if the tour is cancelled (given the political unrest in Greece/Italy and a lot of Europe) I couldn't get a straight answer out of her. She kept saying that they would try to re-schedule the trip...I want to be assured that if they cancel & can't reschedule that I can get my money back. They won't promise me that. At this point I am tempted to just tell her to not go but she is really looking forward to it. I think this company is very unethical and my gut feeling is to walk away and lose only $95...

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  • eftours Dec 08, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Thank you for your post and for traveling with EF. EF is a student travel organization that allows educators the opportunity to enrich their classroom teaching through international travel. All our travelers stay in accommodations that are clean, safe and comfortable. We would like to apologize for the experience you had in Italy. We take our travelers’ feedback very seriously and every season we reevaluate all of our suppliers, including any hotel accommodations, based on post-tour evaluations. Situations where our travelers feel unsafe is enough for us to terminate a contract with a supplier. Please contact our Customer Service Department, at [protected], with the name of this hotel so we can look into this further.
    - Ineke from EF Tours

    0 Votes
  • Ki
    Kidiu Sep 24, 2010

    Due to loss of a job, I won't be able to make all the payments. I'm still trying to find out how to cancel, but I've had problems contacting anyone for a refund. And of course, there's the $95 I won't get back, but I just found out they're also gonna charge me $250 for my cancellation. I'm really upset, I never should have even thought about going on one of their tours.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
    Roverjeep Jul 14, 2010

    So far my only experience is with a tour that my daughters spineless Debate teacher organized. I signed up my daughter, and then he backed out. With no one to 'lead' the tour...it was canceled. One year away from the intended departure date, and the $480.00 I paid is not refundable. $95 enrolment fee (non-refundable), $135 automatically enrolled into insurance 'premium' (non-refundable...that only covers various problems when the tour is under way)...and $250 for the actual cancelation fee. My fault for not reading the 15 pages of fine print. READ CAREFULLY THE CANCELATION POLICY and other fine print items that EF conveniently obscures on their web site before submitting ANY PAYMENT!! In the immortal words of former President G. Bush..."Fool me once, shame on me...fool me twice...uh...won't get fooled again!!

    0 Votes

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