By Anonymous on January 5, 2014
Today we went on the Chocolate Tour of Beverly Hills that we looked forward to for a long time. Unfortunately our experience was so bad that I couldn't wait to go home to write this review. Hopefully no one else will have to suffer like we did.
Before the tour, I did a very thorough research on the tour which includes parking, route, types of food we will have and the review of the stores we will visit, etc., I even printed out the route according to the information provided on their website. Based on the so-called "map" published on their website, we were supposed to visit the following seven stores:
Spinkles, K Chocolatier, Edelweiss Chocolates, Bouchon Bakery, Vosges, Beverly Hills Brownie Co. and Teuscher.
But in reality we only went to six stores, which were:
Sprinkles, Edelweiss, American Tea Room, Lette, Vosges and Teuscher.
we were very disappointed that we walked right passed Bouchon but didn't get to go in at all! Bouchon was the one stop that interests us the most, but we couldn't go! I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the fact that we had a discounted tour offered by Living Social or not, but our tour definitely was not what they promised! American Tea Room was a very nice surprise for me because I drink tea every day, but I am not sure if anyone else in our group felt the same way, especially when all of us expected to eat chocolates/cupcakes throughout this tour!
We were 10 minutes late when we arrived, so I called their 800 number on our way there. They stated, on their website, that "If you are running late, please call the Great Food Tours office at 1-800-609-9321, and they will attempt to put you in contact with your tour guide." It took me three phone calls to get someone to notify our tour guide Derek about the situation, and I was told Derek got my cell phone number and will call me to make an arrangement.
When we arrived at the sidewalk in front of Sprinkles, Derek was just leaving there with the rest of our group. We had to run to catch them. When I asked whether or not he got my phone number, he said he didn't. Even though I was told Derek would take the same route described on their website, but in reality he didn't. Therefore I was so glad we made it there right when they were about to leave, otherwise we would have wasted our money/time to look for him on the street!
He didn't say anything about the first stop (Sprinkles) we missed, so I had to ask him if we could get a sample later, he agreed to take us back there at the end of our tour.
There were six children in our group, every one of them got a free sample at each stop. We were confused because they mentioned, on their website, "Small children may attend the tour free of charge. However, each tour guest receiving their own samples must have a paid ticket to the tour." If the tour was for people who are 12 years or older and there are only 20 people in each tour group, those children that came with the adults were definitely unpaid guests, why did they get free samples? This explains why Sprinkles ran out of samples for us when we followed Derek there at the end of our tour. It was so unfair to us paid customers!
The worst part was at the end of the tour, Derek did not lead us back to where we started. He lead us to some street corner and we had to wait there for a good 20 minutes after he suggested "gratuity will be appreciated." Out of 26 people, there were only four of us offered him tips. In spite of the fact he offered those children free food, those adults who came with children did not tip him at all!
When we followed him back to Sprinkles, he waited for 15 minutes before asking for samples for us. Then he started talking business with the clerk there, he totally ignored us. I noticed a box sitting on the counter and asked him if that was our replacement samples, he said, "oh, yeah." and continued discussing business with the clerk. We felt like we were begging for free food even though we didn't get what we paid for!
Derek is not only irresponsible, but also unprofessional. When I asked him why we didn't get to go to Buchon Bakery, K Chocolatier, and Beverly Hills Brownie Co., he said they were new in LA, and are still negotiating with those businesses, that's why we couldn't go. He also said those businesses were not worth going. If that's the case, they should correct the information on their website, instead of misleading people to believe they can do more than what Great Food Tours could promised.
There is a lot more Great Food Tours can do to improve the customer service of their chocolate tour, if they cannot deliver, they should be honest about it. Integrity and Honesty are the best policies for starting their new business in LA.
We do not recommend this tour and hope no one else will get mislead and mistreated by them.