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Panic setting in; Helen Donegan tour cancelled & now I can't reach her.

Panic setting in; Helen Donegan tour cancelled & now I can't reach her.

Mar 31st, 2008, 07:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
Panic setting in; Helen Donegan tour cancelled & now I can't reach her.

A couple of months ago I booked and prepaid 2 tours with Helen. The After Hours tour of the Vatican (500 euros)and a separate 3 hour Ancient Rome tour (250 euros)for a total of 750 euros.

Thursday afternoon I got an email from Helen that our After Hours tour of the Vatican had been cancelled. No reason was given but OK, things happen.

She offered us instead a private Vatican tour that would be during normal hours, which would cost 250 euros less than the After Hours tour, which she would refund. The time she offered was smack in the middle of the other tour we had booked with her.

I emailed her back and told her we would take the Vatican tour if she could cancel the Ancient Rome tour, leaving us in need of a total refund of 500 euros if my math is right. I've had no reply since Thursday and cannot reach her by either of her phone numbers.

What should I do? I only have 2 days to sort this out before we leave. I'm the sort who has to have everything nailed down before I leave. Panic is looming.
Linda431 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,060
She has your money and she is the only one who can resolve this. All you really can do is keep trying to contact her. I suppose you paid cash - right? If so you are sort of at her mercy . . .

(If you used a credit card, you can dispute the charge - but then you will have no tours at all. Which may be what you have anyway)
janisj is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 07:34 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
Thanks Janis. She had me pay with Paypal and I changed the funding source to my credit card. The clock is ticking on the chargeback time limit though so I need to settle this before we leave.
Linda431 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,249
Excuse my ignorance , but what is a "chargeback time limit"??

If it is that you can reverse the charges I would do that in a minute, given the scenario you describe.
cruiseluv is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 08:32 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
Most credit card companies give you 60 days from the statement date to contest a charge.
Linda431 is offline  
Mar 31st, 2008, 08:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,170
Helen has an office near the Vatican, if you do not get this sorted out before you leave. I would email her with your hotel details in Rome and be sure to contact her when you get there.

I've met Helen, and I'm certain you will get this straightened out, it's just a matter of how and when.
amyb is online now  
Mar 31st, 2008, 08:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
Thanks. I'm sure it will, just a tad nervous because it was sooo much money, and we debated long & hard over doing it.

I read on another site where the March 27 After Hours tour was in danger of being cancelled for lack of participants. I think she is having to make a lot of refunds lately.
Linda431 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2008, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 507
Linda - what happened? I am planning a trip to Italy next year and was going to try to book this tour.

Did it work out?

Thanks! 8-)
cwojo99 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2008, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,710
I got an email from Helen Donegan, today, saying their office has moved. I can forward the information if it is still needed.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Apr 21st, 2008, 03:30 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 673
Yes everything got sorted out. I got the refund today as a matter of fact.

We took the daytime private tour (just the 2 of us and the guide, Jay Good)in place of the After Hours tour. It was 250 instead of 500 euros.

As it turned out, I am soooooo glad the night tour got cancelled. Our tour started at 2:30 Friday afternoon and we walked right in. I'm not saying there was a short line, I'm saying we literally walked up to the ticket booth, paid for our tickets and walked right in. Even the guide couldn't believe it.

The night tour would have been just as easy getting in, but we would have been in a group of maybe 8 or so. Plus we would have missed a wonderful dinner since the tour was supposed to start at 7 P.M.

Jay was fabulous, he knew to duck in a side room when a school crowd was approaching and let them get out of the way while we looked at artifacts. There were no guards pushing us along, lots of people yes, but not anything near the throngs I had heard about. Hardly anyone was outside in the gardens. Well worth the price.
Linda431 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
We also had Jay Good as a guide, though for the After Hours tour. Wow, does he know a LOT! It was amazing. I don't know if I have ever met a guide more perfect for a job than he. We loved his tour.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
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