A technology company, based out of Sydney, was building websites for travel companies back in 1995. This laid the groundwork for Viator, the company they are now known as. Viator provides an extensive number of tours and activities making them a leader in the industry. Some of their astonishing accomplishments include providing travel to 750 destinations worldwide, working with over 2000 affiliates, and offering almost 9000 activities.
In order to provide the best service and give you the best value for your money, all of the tour operators are prescreened. Keeping good relations with their affiliates enables Viator to negotiate deals and pass these discounts on to customers. The prices shown on their site reflects the total dollar amount including taxes.
When you set up an account on Viator’s website, you will be able to plan, book, and research trips. You may also use their 24/7 customer support to book trips, if you are having a difficult time making a choice, you can ask for tour and activity recommendations. Making changes to your trip is easily manageable through your personal account; some of the tours and activities may have limitations to what can be modified, check on these prior to booking. To keep up with technology, Viator has an application for Iphone and Ipad and they are on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and 4Square.
Viator provides a service; essentially, they are the intermediary, connecting customers to subcontracted tour and activity companies. They charge more than what you would pay if you were to book all the travel and activities directly through local companies on your own.
Since plans can change last minute, it is important to get a travel insurance policy. This will also protect you if flights are delayed causing a domino effect of disruptions ruining your entire trip. When traveling internationally, it is solely your responsibility to research what documentation is necessary to cross into other countries. You must also find out if there are any health requirements needed to travel to your destination. Prior to finalizing your trip with the “middle man”, find a number of references who have knowledge of or have taken the same trip. Be 100% certain of your choice before booking.
20 ‘Viator’ Reviews
Uses third party guides and is not reliable
Partly, so we could book a Viator tour of Buenos Aires before our cruise, we arrived there one day early. Having been robbed twice in that city, we didn't want to venture on our own. We booked the afternoon tour, since we wouldn't arrive in time for the morning one. At the hotel, we discovered that they had messed up the time, and the tour had come for us that morning! I spent three hours on the phone between Viator and their local tour company (mostly on hold) trying to get them to come for us that afternoon. Neither party agreed to help us. So it was basically a wasted day. Equally infuriating was that Viator told us we should have made a long distance call out of the U.S. 4-8 hours in advance (while we were flying) to verify the tour, in other words, to make sure they hadn't canceled the tour and not informed us! Viator offered to do nothing for us but refund our tour price, not even a future discount. No company that values its customers would refuse to offer any good faith compensation whatsoever!
tourist in Washington DC that was scammed for the War Memorial and Arlington Cemetery tour
Viator tours are a scam!!!! No one showed up to take us on our tour, so they threw us on another bus with a guide named Ali, who had trouble speaking English. We did not see all the places they advertised, no bottle of water, and most disappointing was that we paid $68.99 a piece and everyone on the bus paid $25. I have written complaints to the company and they lied and said we were late for our bus and they left us. We arrived at the Hyatt at 9:45 for our 10:30 tour. Our supposedly 5 hour tour was about 3 hours. This was the ONLY disappointment in our trip to DC. What a rip off!!!!!!!
The refund process is a scam
I cancelled a tour 2 months out which is fully refundable. I had to call twice and 3 weeks later I still don't have the credit. I just had to create a dispute from my credit card company. Viator even sent me an email confirming the refund would be posted by a date-which was a week ago. They said it had to go through a special process because of a glitch or something on their end. I just had to cancel another tour...a month out and they said the same thing. It would have to be sent to the "refund" department to handle...and guess what - you can't talk to them directly! SCAM.......
Got the round trip from Mexico City airport to the hotel,they never showed up in my travel back.My diabetic went down because they abandoned us and I was late for my fly and before lost $100.00 dollar bill I got no time to change it for confident on them.They literally said to me to take any car or loose my fly.It was sadddd!
Sold unavailable seats, no refund yet, bad customer service
I read your reply, Viator. Well, I think you didn't get my point.
1) Don't sell seats if you know they're not available! When I called you after my booking was shown "pending" for more than 3 days you replied that there are no seats left hence the booking didn't go through. Why do you show them as available on your website then (besides the website of the actual business has shown "no seats left" when I checked later).
2) I am still waiting for my A$164 refund for more than a week now. So while you're not actually fulfilling a service you still get to work with the money of your customers. A bank transfer within Australia usually doesn't take more than 24h. I am fine if it takes 3 business days but more than a week? C'mon, that is poor form and I am calling you out on that. We could have already booked an alternative event if we wouldn't be short on those 160 bucks.
3) Your phone customer service is not very helpful. They only got their standard lines and that's about it.
Again, poor customer service. Stay away.
Skip the line FTW!!!
I knew Edinburgh Castle was one of the most popular places to go, so I bought these "Skip the Line" passes! When I got to Edinburgh, it was raining and there was a long queue to buy tickets and enter the castle. I was so happy I had those passes as I surprisingly got to skip the whole line! I never knew it could be so convenient!!! It was so worth it, I would definitely buy from Viator again!
Agree "Avoid Viator" and "Review system is a scam"
I had read the reviews that you should avoid Viator, but I booked our tour anyway. The tour was completely overbooked and we did not get to see the sites as described in the tour description. I wrote a one star review that was never posted on their website. I will not use Viator again and you cannot trust their reviews. How many other one to three star reviews do you think never make it to the website?.
I wish I had read all these comments before I booked our tour to Cusco/Machu Picchu!!! As others pointed out, Viator DOES NOT run the tours. They simply take whichever tour company or broker in the area, without even vetting them! A total scam!
I booked my family's 5-day tour in Cusco/Machu Picchu and everything was quick and we got our "voucher." However, when we got to Cusco, no one picked us up. We had to call the contact person, he sent a cab, and we got dropped off at a hotel that did not have reservation for us! The company that "handled" our tour in Cusco/Machu Picchu was also a broker, simply piecing together other tours already in the region.
For 4 of the 5 days on our tour, the company "forgot" to pick us up. We had to constantly call. The hotel people were shaking their heads! We would have been so much better off had we taken a different route and just booked all the tours when we got to Cusco, and it would have been cheaper, more organized, and fewer people in the tour. As it was we got passed on from one tour bus to the next. Cusco and Machu Picchu were so beautiful and historic, I would have loved to have taken a more organized tour of the area. However, we enjoyed every bit of the time that we were actually on a "tour."
It seems Viator takes 20% off from whichever company wants to post on their website, and they don't even vet the tour. A total scam. I will post this on my FB so everyone knows their scam.
I learned my lesson quick, though. We wanted to go to city tours in other places in Peru, and also in Argentina-- we booked the tours in the city itself. I saw the same tours on Viator, more expensive, and who knows which broker would be running them!
Do NOT take tours from Viator, they only select reviews that are very positive, and never post negative reviews. My negative review was never posted.
dishonest review system
we wrote a bad review on Viator. it was a legit complaint aimed at warning potential customers to avoid that particular tour. Viator did not respond to our complaint nor did they print our low star review. Make me wonder how many other low star reviews are ignored. Seems like all they post are the 4 and 5-star reviews.
NEVER AGAIN WITH VIATOR
Where to begin: We booked three tours with Viator while in Asia.
Our first bad experience was on the Hop-On-Hop Off buses. We were told the place to redeem our vouchers was a short walk away; We had to take a taxi!
The evening tour in Singapore included dinner at a restaurant. It was a room cramped with tables and dirty as well. With so many nice places in such a beautiful city, this pick was expensive and way below par.
The worst experience was our booking of Mt. Fuji/Lake Ashi/Bullet Train. This too was a pricey trip and we booked our hotel based on the fact that it was a pick-up spot for this tour, listed on their site.. When we called to re- confirm everything before the trip, we were told that the Shiba Park hotel was NOT a pick-up spot, but the bus station was only two blocks away and we could start the trip there,.All arrangements for arrival there were changed and confirmed.by Viator. We are four seniors who are now walking further than two blocks to arrive at the station. Once there, Sunrise Tours, who handle this tour, told us they had no reservation for us. In addition, we would need to pay an additional $10 per person as the trip was more expensive leaving from there. Having no way to reach Viator, we paid. They gave us the last four seats on the back of the bus.....all they had. Once seated, they told us that this was not the right bus and we had to wait for the next one, which, miraculously, also had only the last four seats in the back available. We are now in the terminal for close to two hours. We asked if we could wait for another bus to get better seats. We were told this was the last one out. On line, the bus coordinator told us that was not true, four more buses were after ours.
And then there was lunch..................an ice cold meal which even our tour guide apologized for.
The final straw came the next morning at our hotel. A group was waiting for a pick-up for the same Mt, Fuji trip we booked with Viator.
The difference? THEY were picked up!
Three booked tours...three bad experiences.
There are many sites that have these tours. We strongly suggest you try one of them.
"You have no reservation"
So I drove 90 minutes for a tour I paid for through Viator and for which I received the confirmation "Voucher." They had not confirmed it with the tour operator. There was no room. Luckily, we set it up for 2 days later. I will never use these clowns again.
DO NOT USE VIATOR!!!
Just got back from LA where we booked a private limo tour. Viator sent an email, didn't bother calling, to cancel the night before our tour! Then wouldn't respond to emails or calls to them. They would not help at all!!! Do not use them! We went through our hotel and rearranged our schedule and finally got a tour.
Viator is a scam. They took money and do not provide tour I've asked for. Can't return/refund my money during more than month!
Agree with all. Avoid viator
We had a very bad experience with Viator and i think this is needed to be posted here. We booked two tickets for 4th July for Space Needle, Seattle observation deck. ( booking number - 39159883 ). We got the confirmation email and printed out the same with bar code. When we arrived in Space Needle checkin counter for taking our boarding passes, we were told all tickets are sold out and they cannot let us in. Now, that's a shock, this is exactly the reason why we booked earlier with Viator in the first place ! When we contacted Viator customer service, it was told to us that 'It happens sometime, they are sorry, they will refund our money and they can give us tickets for next day'. Yes we got our money back, but we lost our whole day travel to Seattle space needle ( we went from California to Seattle - Olympic National park by the way ). And obviously we did not wanted to go to Space needle deck on 5th July rather than 4th July after being turned down with a confirmed booking in our hand.
So, the conclusion and perhaps the lesson we took ( which we also want to inform others who are booking with Viator ) is that sometimes our pre-booking confirmation doesn't matter at all and we should be prepared to get turned back !
universal city tickets scam?
universal tickets are cheaper, but are they good, the universal city said they are not we will see
Viator doesn't run the tours themselves.
We got to the Barcelona office of the local tour operator. They told us that they forgot about the "confirmed" tour that my whole family was supposed to join.
There was really nothing we could do. Nothing! I was thinking that Viator was recommended by my AAA agent that it should be really good. And knowing that it is a big city as Barcelona that it was a no brainer. They must have local operators that are dependable. Wrong.
What a waste of time and effort. They wasted our day in Barcelona.
Btw, I am still chasing Viator with regards to my refund. Even though I have a copy of the email sent by the tour operator cc'd Viator that they screwed up and to please issue a refund to me.
Viator is denying that there was an email sent by the local operator in Barcelona.
Okay, here is the operator's name ExploreCatalunya.com.
If you want a copy of the email from explorecatalunya.com just email me.
Took a cooking class and sake tasting tour in Japan - we were told on arrival that the sake museum was closed so there would be no tasting! This was partly the reason for booking the tour... no partial refund offered. The day of the tour was set so you would think they would check the museum was open.
Complained via email to Viator.com a month ago, no response to date. Avoid.
charge, conformation and no reservation
Company is garbage. They charged my credit card, sent me a confirmation and when I arrived to cusco, Peru the travel agency didn't have my name. Waisted one day of three chasing a reservation that was never made....... Pathetic
I agree, avoid this company
I bought a city tour through Viator on a trip to Costa Rica. The trip was bought at the airport the day before the tour. The next day, no one shows up at the hotel as agreed upon. When I called, I was told because I didn't confirm the day before, they cancelled the trip! The funny thing is why would I book the trip the day before, if I wasn't intending on going? Also, their website made no mention of needing to call the local provider to confirm. I thought my money and credit card was confirmation! When I called to complain, they did reimburse me for my funds, but it took almost a week for the reimbursment to occur. Avoid at all costs.
AVOID THIS COMPANY
This is a middle man agency which will charge a 10-20% extra for a tour, which you can book directly or do it yourself (some of this tours are given to agencies and their quality is not guaranteed).
Also if you book directly you have more chances to made arrangements if you have any problems in your trip, with them you loose your money.