It all began the second morning we were in Dublin. I had signed us up on a tour that would take us to Powerscourt Gardens as well as Glendalough. Neither of us wanted to drive on the wrong side of the road, nor did we want to navigate an area that we'd never seen. Additionally, it is somewhat difficult to find a tour that will take you to both areas, and boy was I excited when I found that this one did.
I should have listened to the few negative reviews that I read about this tour company. We are not the first to have been ripped off.
At no point did they contact us to tell us that they were unable to provide the tour we signed up and paid for. At no point did anyone contact us to tell us that they could offer us a different tour. They certainly didn't tell us, even when they were in the act of doing so, that they were instead just placing us on another tour.
We showed up at the correct location at the correct time (early, even, cause I am anal) and waited for our bus. The driver looked at my printed confirmation, which very clearly said POWERSCOURT ESTATE and Glendalough above where our names were printed (and DUDE, he read it, 'cause it took him forever to find our names on there). He then looked at his sheet where he had a list of people who were supposed to be on his tour, and guess what? We were on there, plain as day...even though it wasn't the right tour.
Right then? That is when he could have told us that this was a different tour. Not should, since someone should have told us long before that moment. Did he say a thing? Nope. We spent the next forty-five minutes traveling to different locations in Dublin, all fine places for us to get off the bus and get our money back, picking up other people who were going to Glendalough.
Oh, why didn't I mention Powerscourt? Because that wasn't on this tour schedule.
In fact, after collecting everyone, we spent about an hour driving through the ritzy section of town and even had a stop at Dublin Bay (both things we were supposed to drive past on our tour, which is why we didn't suspect anything) where we saw some boats:
And although they were okay to look at, they were a complete waste of time.
You hear that, Day Tours Unplugged?
A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.
We all got back on the bus and headed out, Rocket Man and I thinking to Powerscourt.
Yet another WASTEFUL STOP: Avoca Handweavers.
Now, I have nothing against the Avoca people or their store. Actually, they were very helpful and kind to the four of us who were in the process of being screwed over by a disreputable tour company.
Yes, you're DISREPUTABLE, DAY TOURS UNPLUGGED.
I say that this was a wasteful stop only because at Powerscourt Estate, where we were supposed to be going, there was plenty of Avoca to view and purchase. So for us, wasteful.
Only upon our imminent arrival did the bus driver, Paddy, tell us our schedule for the day.
At this point we were far away from DART stations or any other easy way of getting back to Dublin. There may have been a bus stop nearby, but I do not recall...I do know that the Avoca workers told us that we'd need a cab.
So, to recap: Paddy knew from the get-go that we were signed up to go to Powerscourt, and then he took us on the bus and wasted half of our day and didn't tell us that we weren't on the tour we paid for until we were in a position to basically have to stay there with him and complete the tour we didn't want. Oh, Paddy, you are a sneaky one. Sneaky, dishonest, and pretty much a thief.
We weren't the only ones who were being messed with. There were two New Yorkers who had signed up for the same tour we chose who were not very happy indeed. All four of us approached the driver to try and figure out what was going on. His immediate reaction? To be snooty and huffy and act like we were attacking him and tell us that he couldn't deal with us or the situation until he'd had his tea.
We approach you all nice and thinking there must be a mistake and you'll help us correct it and you act like we're all attacking you and then say you can't [read: won't] deal with things until you've had your tea?
Incredulous doesn't even begin to describe us.
Paddy huffed off and into the store and there the four of us were, unbelieving and a little ticked off.
That is some terrible customer service, Day Tours Unplugged.
The four of us roamed a bit, and then finally got together and decided that this was silly; he should be dealing with the problem first, before his tea. So we approached him, and you'd think we were throwing insults right and left about his dear Mum, the way he acted. He was a tad irritated and fuming, and the like...which was quite the act. I guess he wanted to make us feel bad and guilty and by doing so get us to stay on the tour for the day. Who knows. It didn't work.
FINALLY we got him to go out and he supposedly made a call to someone (I don't know that I believe him, really, after the whole thing was said and done) and the best they could come up with? Stay on the tour or don't.
You can call to see if you can get your money back.
Again, terrible customer service.
Luckily for Rocket Man and I, one of the New Yorkers had spoken with a couple of the Avoca workers to ask how far we were from Powerscourt and how we could get there. We were amazingly only about 7 minutes from the estate (so why we didn't stop there on the tour like we were supposed to is beyond me...I mean, he could have had his tea there) and they could call us a cab to take us over.
We decided that we'd all leave the tour and head over to Powerscourt. We split the cab fare (we had to pay for him driving out to get us, since we were in the middle of nowhere, as well as the fare to the actual estate) and all had a lovely time in the gardens.
I must say that we absolutely made the right decision. We knew we were taking a different tour into the countryside while in Ireland, and we very much wanted to see the gardens at Powerscourt. Plus, we didn't waste any more time at silly stops and we met two very nice gentlemen to boot.
We met up towards the end of the day and got another cab to the DART station nearby (which has a bus that takes you to the estate, but we didn't have the bus schedule, so...) and rode back in together.
I know they were planning to call regarding their money, but I don't know if they were ever able to get refunded for the horrible experience. I know that I contacted them and was never able to get my money back. In fact, I never received any communication from them at all.
Needless to say, I absolutely DO NOT RECOMMEND Day Tours Unplugged, and I HIGHLY CAUTION anyone against taking any of their tours.
Our whole ordeal was made worse when the following day, we took the Over The Top Tour and mentioned to our driver that we'd had a bad experience the previous day. We were waiting for a few travelers at a stop in Dublin when he pointed over to a Day Tours Unplugged bus and said "There's the owner of Day Tour Unplugged right there."
Anyone want to guess who was driving that bus?