Viator Reviews

Viator
( 52 reviews )
Website: www.Viator.com

Viator is a global travel booking website that lets users plan a variety of popular tours, attractions, and experiences.

Viator is part of Tripadvisor, Inc. which has used their considerable resources to build a large marketplace that pairs travelers with tour operators and ticket sellers.

How Does Viator Work?

Much like booking a trip through TripAdvisor, Viator lets users price select from trips in a large number of popular global destinations.

Viator trips include:

  • Walking tours
  • Site visits
  • Day trips
  • Museums
  • Boat Cruises
  • Snorkel trips
  • And more

For travelers, Viator.com offers numerous ways to customize searches and also offers curated itineraries based on your profile and interests.

The company advertises flexible bookings, allowing travelers to make last minute changes.

For tour operators, Viator provides a providing a marketing and sales platform and access to their booking platform, making it easier for small tour operators to advertise and grow their business.

Viator also provides services for travel agents, allowing them to market and sell the tours available on the marketplace.

The platform allows customers to publicly review the tours and experiences on Viator.com, similar to how it works on TripAdvisor

This transparency should, in theory, incentivize all parties to strive to provide and recommend the best services for travelers. 

Managing and Canceling Reservations

Each tour page will have an 'Overview' and a 'What to Expect' section that should give you a a sample itinerary, time management info, and a good idea about how to prepare for your excursion.

Since popular destinations will have multiple tour options, it’s important to carefully read through the details to make sure you book the option that best meets your needs.

Viator states that most tour options will allow you to make changes to your booking up to 24 hours before the tour.  It's up to you to verify this ahead of time by reading the 'Terms and Conditions' of any option you book.

Further, each tour will have a 'Cancellation Policy' section which you should check before booking.  Activities have several types of cancellation policies.

  • Free Cancellation  - In most cases if you cancel at least 24 hours before start time you should qualify for a refund.

  • Moderate  -  You have to cancel at least 4 full days before the experience's start time to be eligible for a refund.

  • Strict - For a full refund, you must cancel at least 7 full days before start time.  For a 50% refund, you must cancel 3-6 full days ahead of start time.

Keep in mind that these cut off times are based on the local time of the destination.  Modifying or cancelling can be done from your account on Viator.com under the 'Cancel Booking' tab.

While Viator does advertise flexibility, it’s best practice to book activities and tours ahead of time as not all options will be available last minute.

Customer Support

Address:  400 1st Avenue, Needham, MA 02494
Phone number:  +1 (888) 651-9785
Email:  [email protected]

You can also use Viator's online help center to get answers to common questions regarding the use of the site or booking issues.

Viator Customer Reviews

Viator has mixed user feedback with a large number of negative reviews.

Obviously a company overseeing hundreds of thousands of global transactions is bound to generate at least some customer complaints.  We've noticed a few common complaints.

  • Miscommunications with tour operators resulting in missed/canceled/unsatisfactory experiences.

  • Issues attempting refunds, when accidentally booking non-refundable products or after problematic tours

  • General customer service issues

Viator does has an A+ rating with the BBB and their customer service reps routinely respond to complaints filed on that platform and offer to issue refunds.

Viator also receives many positive reviews from customers who appreciated the ease with which they were able to book international experiences.

Competitors and Alternatives

There are a large number of online tour companies that provide specific bookings, however there aren't many robust platforms like Viator.com.

Some other major brands that offer tour packages include Go Ahead Tours and Collette Tours.

Another alternative is to explore the recommendations found in your favorite travel guide books, travel magazines, or from local travel writers as those are usually well vetted.

Is Viator Legit?

While Viator is a legitimate company backed by publicly traded Tripadvisor Inc, the question remains whether Viator is actually a good company.

Overall, we believe there are pros and cons to using Viator.  

By searching online you can get a clear idea of what the market rates are for certain activities and also have the convenience of price matching and reading reviews from other customers.

You can also communicate directly with the tour operator and find out the information you need to know ahead of time.

Viator provides a platform to cancel or rebook your tour if your plans change (depending of the tour operators terms).

The risk with using Viator is that you are adding an extra layer between you and the service provider.  In most cases this isn’t an issue but, as many of the complaints can attest, failed communication can result in a ruined trip.

The best thing you can do is choose highly rated experiences and thoroughly read their negative reviews.  From those instances you can narrow down the issues to be aware of and hopefully take preemptive measures to ensure a smooth experience.

This can be as simple as messaging the operator ahead of time, asking questions, and making your needs known.

Ultimately it’s a personal decision whether to rely on a third party for your vacation bookings or take matters into your own hands at location or ahead of time.

If you have any experience with Viator or their services, please leave your reviews below.

Viator Customer Reviews

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UNRELIABLE OR DISHONEST
November 24, 2022
Regarding Viator Cesarina food tours in Italy, don't get sucked in to their rhetoric. I had multiple "reservations" or pending reservations subsequently cancelled for rather vague reasons or that they don't book that far in advance (why have a calendar that allows you to pick a date?). Then they try to offer a cooking lesson instead. What is sad is that Trip Advisor is the parent company. It sure poisons my opinion of Trip Advisor.

Avoid 3rd party booking companies!
November 5, 2022

Viator is a 3rd party company and anyone booking with them will be confused, and lost in a mess of information.

You get no good info on the actual company you booked with. If you call their customer service, they are based in the Philippines. The staff knows nothing about anything.

The worst thing you can do in the travel industry is book through a 3rd party company like this crappy corporation.

The wise thing to do is, find an activity you see on Viator’s sight that you’re interested in, then go to the actual company’s website and book direct. Or at least, book through concierge at your hotel. Judge from all these bad reviews. Stay away from 3rd party apps like this junk.

Easy to use, on the pricier side, and now can't even get a proper tax receipt for the tours
November 3, 2022

Good selection and easy to search. Do note many of these tours are available on other sites which seem to give better pay later options. The main issue I have with this as a site is that having taken tours with them and now returned home, it has been impossible to get a tax or proper receipt for the tours we booked. I tried their online help, their customer service, seems now we have been, paid and completed our trips, the care factor has waned. Being told to refer to the booking is not providing a tax receipt. It is not even like there is a link to download the receipt from the booking."

DO NOT BOOK - they scam customers
November 1, 2022
i booked an airport car in Sydney and it never arrived. viator “pretended” to extend support but their intention was never to give a refund. they let me know that the driver exhausted the “free” wait time of 15 minutes and allegedly left. who gets out of an airport in 15 minutes?! no one even bothered to call and check. This service is obviously a scam. Zero stars.

Do not book through viator or Tripadvisor
October 20, 2022

Viator is not reliable and will not guarantee that your booking will always provide you with the services you want. Book directly through the service provider. Viator is a ticket seller and they make lots of errors.

Snippy Customer "Service" and Crickets from Operator
October 7, 2022

I booked several tours with Viator and with this evenings interaction will not do any tours with them EVER. I had booked a tour that I was really looking forward to, and had some questions for the tour operator. I messaged them 17 days ago. Crickets. Messaged again, and again, and one last time. Still Nothing.

At that point, after quite a bit of searching, I found a phone number that I could call. I presented this issue to the customer service rep, who proceeded to get quite snippy. When they start doing the "ma'am" thing, you know the interaction is going south. She made it sound like I was demanding contact (well I kinda was since it had been 17 days), that I was accusing her (of what I'm still not sure), and that I was being quite unreasonable.

I was calm and pleasant and not at all angry - I just wanted to see if they could make contact with the operator. Eventually, all I could finally say was "wow." I cannot believe the animosity from this woman just for questioning whether they vetted their tour operators and could guarantee their legitimacy. When I called, I just wanted help contacting this operator and had good feelings about Viator. Now? I'm just angry. Never ever do business with Viator if this is the kind of "service" they provide. BAD NEWS.

No stars would be a better option.

Avoid
September 23, 2022
Avoid this company. We were never picked up from our hotel for a Grand Canyon tour. After lots of phone calls and e mails we were told lots of different stories about what happened but apparently it was all our fault. We lost £538 and the experience of a lifetime. The customer service personnel are dreadful.

Middle Man With No Customer Service
September 12, 2022

This company is a fraud. They are nothing but a middle man using the cheapest sub contractor they can to eek out their profit. When something goes south, good luck. BOOK WITH ANYONE OTHER THAN THEM AND SAVE THE DISAPPOINTMENT!

Beware—Terrible Service
September 11, 2022
Unreliable Service. Will leave you stranded without transport contact phone numbers don’t work.

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

They left us stranded, well, their cheap subcontractor did, and then they accepted no liability. BOOK WITH ANYONE OTHER THAN THEM!

Do Not Book With Viator, Go Elsewhere!
August 13, 2022

We booked two tours with Viator, one was great but on the second we were scammed by the tour operator and Viator refused to refund our payment. We supplied all the evidence and a full account of what happened but they refused to refund any of our money. If you read other reviews you will see similar stories where Viator refuse to refund tourists that have been scammed. This event put a complete downer on our last day in Rome. Save yourself the trouble and go elsewhere.

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

CONCUR, low ball middle men. Go to the actual tour operator.

The WORST!
August 7, 2022

Truly the worst experience ever - a complete scam. We had to dispute charges for the (non-existent) tour through our credit card company. We’ve done tours with other guides and companies all over the world and never had a problem. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

I Concur!

Avoid Viator at all cost!!!
July 24, 2022

I would avoid Viator at all costs. We booked ground transportation between Rome's Fiumicino airport and the Civitavecchia cruise port several months ago. They failed to pick us up and the number we called was disconnected. We were billed for the service that they never showed up for and we were stuck having to find a taxi to take us on the 45 minute trip. To make matters worse they were supposed to pick us up from the cruise terminal and take us back to the airport and again they never showed up and we were billed for the service. We had to pay over 300 USD to take a private taxi back to the airport or miss our flight. I will NEVER use Viator again!!!

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

I will never use them again as well. Sadly I did not check the reviews first!

Please DO NOT use viator! It is a scam!
July 10, 2022

As everyone keeps saying, Viator could care less about your experience. Or if you were not able to take their tour because of THEIR FAULT!! They will not work with you and will cause you a disappointing trip.

I would say for sure book your trip when you get there, not ahead of time...as they do not fulfill their agreement and will not EVER refund even if it is their fault.

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

Cheap middlemen. Avoid at all cost!

Viator's Glacier Day tour
July 5, 2022

The tour company Viator should have informed customers the tour will only take you to Discover Center, not including the glacier ahead of time. There is very limited cell phone signal.

Our family of three booked the “Columbia Icefield Tour including the Glacier Skywalk from Calgary” from Viator.com. When we arrived at the pickup location Delta Downtown Hotel, tour guide Mark informed us that the tour includes Discovery Center but not the Glacier.

However, he offered no help on how to purchase additional ticket to the Glacier. When we were searching for the ticket to the Glacier on the road, he told us the cell phone signal would go out in few minutes.

My family were in a hurry to buy online but were unable to complete transaction before signal went out. When we arrived at the center, he asked us to buy Skywalk ticket only (the ticket was sold in either a combo of Glacier and Skywalk or Skywalk only) because we must return by 3 pm.

We were not happy but we listened to him. When we returned to parking lot at 3 pm, we found Mark was looking for a missing guest. The group were not able to leave the parking lot until 5 pm. So, we would have made it back to the group even if we had bought the 3 pm combo ticket.

In hindsight, Mark did not handle it well because he told us that he could skip other attractions such as Bow Lake and Peyto Lake, and directly go to Discovery Center as needed. He explained that the tour could get to the lakes as it returned on the same route. But he did not do so. If the group arrived in the center early, we would have enough time to complete both attractions.

That Mark offered no assistance in helping us to purchase the tickets either online or at the center is a shame. Also he waited until we were already on the road to inform us about cell phone signal being out was his fault because he knew buying ticket requires cell phone service.

The company Viator should have emphasized the tour takes guests to Discovery Center ONLY not the Glacier attraction because the title of “Glacier Skywalk” is misleading.

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

YUP!

Do not trust this company.
June 6, 2022

I canceled tour 5 days before payment due date. They charged me anyway.

They do not want to issue the refund. Theft company.

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

Crooks!

Don’t use Viator
April 30, 2022
Viator has been a huge disappointment in Spain and Portugal. We booked 3 tours. There was miscommunication, grouchy guides, cancellations. Would not use again.

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

Yeah, scammers. They have no skin in the game, just middlemen . Will never stand behind anything.

Viator does not have your back
April 18, 2022

Viator does not have your back

I purchased 3 tickets through Viator 6 months ago for a helicopter trip provided by Blue Hawaiian. I was later informed I would need to pay an additional fee of $170 because of my weight. I requested the fee be waived, which blue Hawaiian agreed to.

On the day of the flight they demanded the fee anyways. I refused and they would not refund me. Viator claims they are there for the consumer, but they sided with Blue Hawaiian in the dispute, I do not believe they took my case seriously. As blue Hawaiian broke our agreement the day of the flight. Don't trust Viator to do the right thing.

HorstOdparlik September 12, 2022

The have no idea what the right thing is!

Viator.com - Scam alert - barcelona tour
April 11, 2022

On March 30th this year, I purchased Camp-Nou F.C.Barcelona stadium tour tickets from the website www.viator.com

I purchased tickets from this website several times before, and each time, after buying tickets to the experience, the tickets were emailed directly to me.

However, after the purchase, tickets were never emailed to me on this occasion. Instead, I received a "voucher," which needed to be brought to a tour operator to exchange for the actual tickets.

However, nowhere on the Viator website did it state that it would be a voucher sent after the purchase, not the actual tickets. Furthermore, it was not noted anywhere on the Viator website that the customer would need to travel to a tour operator's office (Julia Travel) to exchange the voucher for these tickets.

My issue was that I was hours away from the tour operator's office after purchasing from Viator. Thus, I called the tour operator by phone ( Julia Travel), and they refused to email me the tickets; they stated I must collect them in person, which will also not be possible today. I asked why I could not collect in person, and they advised that the office was closing! Thus, I purchased tickets from Viator.com to go to the Barcelona stadium tour on March 30th at 16:45, and the tour operator where I had to go to exchange the voucher for the actual tickets was closed! So it was never even possible to get the tickets on this date.

I contacted Viator travel, and they told me I needed to get a Refund from Julia travel. Then Julia travel sent me back to Viator, advising that Viator is responsible for the refund. It turns out that Viator needs to do the refund, and Viator has sent me an email now advising that the refund request has been denied. To me, this is clear fraud.

Under the law, I believe I'm entitled to be made aware of a cooling-off period on their website for a product or service, and I also never was at any stage. Nor was I made aware (at time of purchase) I was paying for a voucher, and not the actual tickets. The purchase was made for an experience on March 30th, and as the tour operator was closed, I could not even go to the experience on this date. Due to this, I requested a refund, and Viator has denied the refund request.

I made a video to demonstrate the purchase on their website to clearly show there is no mention of having to exchange a voucher or travel to a tour operator company. Please never use this company. Wish I saw reviews about them before. Complete scam.

Corporate Stealing
January 23, 2022

Booked two show tickets in LV. Needed to change my "no change" purchase two minutes after I purchased. Viator would not change the requested dates, then took my full purchase price. That is called stealing.

Stay far away from this company.

Unethical Company - Stay Away
December 20, 2021

Terrible. We had used Viator many times in the past and had been pleased because all had gone well. However, we booked a tour in Cancun and I did not receive an email from the local tour operator regarding a pick up time.

The Viator tickets said 0900 and the tour bus showed up at 0800. The company said they sent the email, I never received it, and so we missed the tour.

Viator refused to refund, their reps were rude and said no further consideration would be given. After using this company for all my tours, I will never use them again.