martes, 13 de septiembre de 2011

EF (Educatio First) Brighton

Nos llegan quejas e imágenes de Ef Brighton. Aquí podéis ver como estaba la residencia.

domingo, 4 de septiembre de 2011

EF es un Timo: Razones para "NO" escoger EF

EF es un Timo: Razones para "NO" escoger EF: Veamos lo que pone aquí y comparemos con mi experiencia. Luego cada cual que juzgue por si mismo: Enlace:

Experience ef (Education First) 8 (English)

"EF was a very large disappointment, considering the fact that it is represented as an excellent provider of world travel. My grandparents invested several thousand dollars into this defunct program to give me the opportunity to see Europe on a 23 day tour. Needless to say, the flight was NOT nonstop as advertised; but that was a small inconsistency compared to our arrival in London. The flight was overnight but it was impossible to sleep due to how noisy and cramped the (economy part of the) plane was, then upon arrival we had to wait 3 hours in line for customs. We were not allowed a free day to sleep; instead, we had to go on a lengthy walking tour and multiple trips on the Tube. I was extremely exhausted and was irritated with deprival of sleep. Then we found our hotel in western London was very disappointing; (beware: EF advertises using very upscale hotel chains but only one out of the 15 cities we visited was nice.) Not only in London but most of the other places we had to stay in 1 or 2 star hotels; NO air-conditioning, (one time we had 3 people to a 2-bedroom room!), no way to do laundry, tiny beds, loud traffic, and rarely did we have functional elevators. When we were in Venice, Italy, someone (possible the hotel manager) entered our room and took hundreds of euros (I personally lost about $200) and our passports were found laying out in the rain, ON THE BALCONY (which if you read the EF website it GUARANTEES safety and says no balconies!)
Also, the hotels were located outside of the city, so it was impossible to venture back if needed.
There were a number of occasions where we could not find our destination on the bus; for example, our driver couldn't locate the leaning tower of Pisa, which was an additional paid part of the trip.
Our tour director could not locate a few of our restaurants at times; in Amsterdam, we had to walk for 2 hours because he couldn’t locate it! He was not multi-lingual as EF guarantees, and half the time in Europe we had to eat Asian food as that is his preference. Also: the meals are small and you have to pay for drinks yourself. And once we had to pay for breakfast even though EF says that all meals are free.
Also, some of the group leaders (who were not even mine) were very domineering and acted inappropriately multiple times.
Finally, the EF website states that you only need money for snacks and souvenirs. THIS IS NOT TRUE! Your group leader ALSO requires at least 100 euros ($150) or more for tips for the tour director, etc. I was not informed of this. "

Experience ef (Education First) 5 (English)

"BEST PRICE DISCOUNT given at booking, removed 2 days later ???
Has anyone else seen this?

My stepdaughter was signed up for a Europe trip. She wanted my daughter (her stepsister) who to go with her on the tour. I looked at the price of $3146 and said that it was quite expensive to send them both, but I would check into it. I got on the EF website 8/10/11 and looked at the tour. Their website showed the tour with a “best price discount” of $570, and my daughter had been on a tour to DC last year so they offered a $50 repeat customer discount. The made the total price $2526. This seemed more affordable, so I called them to double check on the $50 repeat customer discount and clicked confirm while they were on the phone and they verbally confirmed that it was booked. Of course the girls were ecstatic that they could go to Europe together!

This morning I get an email from EF saying that my monthly payment had changed. I logged on to look and my payment had gone from $458/month to $572/month. I looked into it further and the $570 discount was gone and they had me paying the full $3146. I called them to resolve it, they called back and said that the discount shown before was a “computer glitch” and that they would not honor the price I had confirmed with them, or give me any concession whatsoever for their mistake. I tried to speak to a manager, but they would not let me.

I find this very hard to believe that an ethical company would do this. If it was truly a “computer glitch” I would have expected the sales lady to tell me something was wrong when I confirmed the tour while she was on the phone. Now I’m in a position where I have to severely disappoint my girls and cancel the tour, or pay EF the extra $570. I would not have signed my daughter up under the full price because it is so expensive to send them both. Now that she was planning to go, it seems quite unfair to cancel it.

Has anyone else seen the "best price" discount on any of their tours? I would like to know if this is a regular practice?"

Experience ef (Education First) 4 (English)

"I was a parent chaperon on a tour to New York and was absolutely disgusted with eftours employees. Their 'trip/tour' person hit on my 14 year old daughter the whole time. He then texted her asking 'are you asleep'. This is bs, when I called the company, they simply said: 'we are not responsible as they are NOT employees of eftours, we will investigate and get back to you'. It's been 8 months and nothing! a$$holes, you will be hearing from my lawyer."

Experience ef (Education First) 3 (English)

"I booked a trip for my son and paid for it over a year ago. . .i recently logged on to pay for additional "departure fees" and learned that the trip i had payed for had been changed - WITH NO NOTICE. My son is now going on a shorter trip with different departure dates for the same price . . . THIS IS ROBBERY!! I contacted the company and after being on the phone with several people for 2 days i was told - there was nothing they could do, they did not know why the prices were the same, to basically it is not their problem. I was advised to write a letter!

This was VERY frustrating!! I will make sure and tell ALL my friends about my experience with EF Tours."

Experience ef (Education First) 2 (English)

"I took a 17-day trip to Europe with EF Tours. The itinerary is as follows (It was the "Europe at Leisure" package they offer):
Day 1 - Overnight Flight to London - Perhaps the only part of the trip that went smoothly
Day 2-4 - London
Day 5 - London, Canterbury and Paris
Day 6-7 - Paris
Day 8 - Paris, Board overnight train to Switzerland
Day 9 - Lucerne
Day 10 - Lucerne, Florence
Day 11 - Florence
Day 12 - Florence, Rome
Day 13-14 - Rome
Day 15 - Rome, Sorrento
Day 16 - Sorrento, Capri and Rome
Day 17 - Travel Home
The trip itself cost about $2500.00, but with "supplies" about $3000. I went during the month of June.

I had taken one other trip with a student oriented travel company to Washington D.C. and may I say they did 4000 times better than EF could dream of. Upfront EF projected a great image and made my blood run wild through me. The thought of going to Europe was extraordinary. Things began just as planned with my group departed on time and arriving a few minutes early in London, but that was the LAST time that our group of 50 people was on-time for anything. First off if you are going to Europe a group of 50 people is way to many to try and maneuver successfully.

The fact that EF stressed punctuality shocked my friends and me. When we arrived in London we began our hours of waiting when the tour guide was late to pick us up. Throughout the trip we found ourselves sitting and waiting for buses and people (Often times the tour director!). When we arrived in France by boat we waited for at least an hour for our bus to drive us to Paris. While in Paris we waited for about an hour and then found that there was no bus coming because EF didn't want to spend the money on us (They actually told us that). The bus was for an "excursion" to the palace of Versailles. We ended up going the next day for 45 minutes in stead of the 2 hours. If we weren't waiting for something we were hurrying to make up for "lost time". I have never seen such terrible conduct from a company that takes young people to experience culture. Because of our tardiness on three occasions we missed out on guided tours and exploration opportunities. Also because a bus didn't show up in Paris we missed out overnight train and had to break the law and stow away on a later train.

EF promised food that was native to the countries we visited. Unfortunately this was not the case. I don't know about you, but I don't think chicken breast and fries are what every European eats. Granted we did have a few variations of this especially in Italy, but for the most part we ate chicken and fries for dinner. Breakfasts were even worse. They were all continental breakfasts of cheap motels. And on one occasion we didn't eat breakfast because, you guessed it, we were late.

The motels that we stayed in were absolutely atrocious. It sounded like people were being murdered in the streets of Paris from our motel there, thank god we weren't on the first floor! Our motel in Florence wasn't even in Florence it was in a town that was about 45 minutes out of town. This was also the case with our Rome hotel. We did however have nice lodgings in London. Everywhere else was a different case though and the hotels after London were VERY cramped. EF was obviously saving money by putting 4 people in a motel room with two twin-sized beds. The conditions were appalling. All the rooms had their own bathrooms, although our toilet in Sorrento looked as if it were filled with Mercury.

The tour guide that went with us on the whole trip was bilingual, and almost constantly on the phone to EF trying to figure out a way to make our trip work that is while we were at motels. While we were out in the city he couldn't communicate because he didn't have a cell phone. I don't even what to know what would have happened if there had been an emergency. Also in 17 days we never once did laundry. We kept asking our tour guide to tell us where we could wash our clothes, but alas we never did laundry.

The EF credit/phone card was useless. It never worked to make phone calls and to get the remaining balance was next to impossible with the instructions they gave you.
EF gave us coupons to use at special stores, but the stores had OUTRAGEOUS prices.

They were always sure to remind us of the danger of pickpockets.
The tour guides that they hired actually were very informative and did a wonderful job telling us about the city and the sites.
They gave us time almost everywhere to go out on our own…In a group of 3 or 4.

Regardless of whether you go with EF or not here is what I learned going to Europe...
1. Have your trip completely planned. This is only for those who do not go with tour groups, but when in Europe phones are sometimes VERY difficult to use and also very difficult when you do not speak the native tongue.
2. Bring a debit/credit card! NOT cash and NOT Travelers checks! There are ATM's EVERYWHERE. The only place my group had a little difficulty finding one was in Rome, but it was near by and we found it with some help from the locals. With Credit cards be careful because I was charged $5 per cash advance which for me amounted to $40 in extra spending.
3. Get a pouch that goes around your neck and under your shirt. Pick pockets are everywhere and this lets you keep your valuables (i.e. Passport, Credit/Debit card) I found it VERY helpful.
4. If you want to call home a good phone card is invaluable. I used an MCI phone card which worked everywhere except for the Italian payphones, which don't work unless you buy a card for them in Italy, but if you find an older payphone MCI worked great. I have also heard that you can rent cellphones for European uses, but I do not know the cost or what it entails. But always remember you aren't going to have time or want to call home all that much.

In spite of all the bad things about EF I got to go to a different continent and because they gave you time on your own to go look through the city and experience the culture. I would NEVER go with this travel company, but if I had the choice to go with them or not at all. I would definitely go with EF again. The rewards of going to Europe, even if the conditions are poor, outweigh everything. So go, but if you can avoid EF do so. I am still waiting for refunds on the things we missed. I went 8 months ago… "