10 Apr 2017 Lancaster Fall Bicycle Trip
This was the fourth bicycle trip my wife and I have taken with the same group of people and Gary Smith as our guide. Despite concerns with Wilderness Voyageurs, we will continue to take your trips as long as we can have Gary Smith as our guide.
Our group was unpleasantly surprised to learn that we were not staying at the General Sutter Inn as advertised by Wilderness Voyageurs and instead were put up in the Holiday Inn Express. We thought this was “bait and switch”. At the least, we thought your company should have communicated the change to us before the surprise. We also should have been told that we did not need to pack “business casual clothing” for the accommodations we did have. To be fair, Kasia came to your rescue and after the fact listened to us, explained your problems, and won over our support.
The lesson I hope you learned from this incident is that up until now there has been a lack of customer focused communication. For example, in four years of taking your bicycle trips, this is the first time I can remember your company asking for my feedback. Thank you for this opportunity. It is a great step forward. I suggested to Kasia that either she or Gary should go through the whole process of signing up and taking a Vermont Bicycle Tour (VBT) trip to learn how the competition operates. I believe you would make some changes that would help you in the long run.
The last item I feel compelled to comment on relates to bicycle safety. I told Kasia that based upon renting bicycles from VBT, I expected the bicycle rented from Wilderness Voyageurs to be equipped with a bell and mirror, both of which were missing. Kasia was genuinely surprised there was not a bell on the bike. This suggests to me a lack of focus and follow-up on safety details. I do not know if the problem is lack of communication, training, assignment of responsibilities, organization, or company culture, but proper bicycle safety is too important to get wrong.
Please look at these comments in the attitude of opportunities to improve a good experience. After all is said, my wife and I look forward to our next Wilderness Voyageurs bicycle trip with Gary Smith as our leader.
Rating: Pretty good ****
Bike Tour Taken: Cycle Amish Country Bike Tour