Just thought I'd give a short review of our experience with ByTown Trolley Tours. On Sunday my wife and I decided to buy an hop on and off pass from them for $22 each for three days, we decided this was a pretty good idea as we really thought it would be helpful for going to some of the longer distance attractions we were interested in.
We purchased tickets from a fellow who claimed only to be a driver, who we later discovered was one of the owners "Dave", he said the buses were booked for the day for special parties, but said we would be able to get to Rideau Hall by Limousine and then simply be able to hop on by being at the stop on the scheduled time on the sheet of paper which he gave us.
We took the limo to Rideau Hall where we had a lovely time touring the Hall and watched a chamber music concert afterwards. My wife and I decided we would return to the pick up spot by 1:50 pm to make it for the 1:58 pick up time. ( being a bus driver myself, I know it is not unusual for a scheduled stop to be in the that 5min early, 5 minute late window, due to traffic etc.) we waited till 2:20pm then decided to phone the operator to see what happened to the 1:58 arrival. My wife talked again with this Dave fellow who said he was surprised that we were not picked up and that the limo was on Sussex Drive and would be there in 15 minutes. We waited another 55 minutes till finally the limo showed up, and we we returned to the depot after about a half tour around the canal. The tour guide asked us if we were out, we said yes, because we had been waiting so long, she gave us the excuse they went by but, we saw no limo from 1:50pm till 3:15, and the side street we waited on beside the Rideau Hall gates is very small, and a limo big and white is very obvious.
When we were getting out of the limo at the limo I noticed that "Dave" came out of the front passenger seat, and was surprised they didn't even attempt to clear up a possible misunderstanding.
Both me and my wife decided that maybe this was just a one time thing and that we would give them another chance the next day, afterall we wanted to go to the War Museum which is about a 2km walk from our hotel, and it was rainy, when we arrived at the depot the next day to get a ride, we were told all the tours were booked that day, and the trolley was unavailable, we told the attendant that we bought tickets on Sunday, under the assertion that we would be able to use the service in the next three days, the attendents simply said we couldn't use the service. My wife then asked if we could get a refund , she said she would have to call "Dave", she called him and he told the girl to tell us to return Tuesday morning so we could work things out, because he told her we were there for a full week ( as if it was up to him to make our schedules!) she relayed to us the information and my wife asked to speak with him on the phone, she tried to relay the fact that we planned on using the service Sunday through Tuesday, as he promised and that because they couldn't do as promised she wanted a refund , he simply hung up on her.
We ended up having to walk to the War Museum that day, feeling ripped off and betrayed, for awhile we wanted to go back and see the owner the next day, but we knew it would probably do no good, we just reserved the fact that this was just a $44 mistake, and a quick limo ride.
I can't tell you whether to use this service or not, but in my opinion this gives Ottawa a big black eye and in my opinion ByTown Trolley Service is far from professional and really only cares about making money, not bringing tourists to such a beautiful city. Believe me pay the extra money and use Greyline
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