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What started off as a fun and exciting snowboarding trip to Whistler and Blackcomb mountain turned i
6th of Jul, 2010 by User949057
What started off as a fun and exciting snowboarding trip to Whistler and Blackcomb mountain turned into a nightmare as we realized how tall the mountain was as time began to quickly run out approaching our deadline of 4:30 pm. I managed to make it back to the bus stop at ~4:40 to find out that 2 of our friends (who were together) were the remaining people left to board the bus. At that moment, another friend of mine told the tour guide and I that he received a phone call from our friends that they had got off the gondola and that they would be there in a few minutes. The tour guide also kept urging us that we were late and had to leave immediately. I knew that the gondola exit was just a few minutes away, so I told the tour guide that I would help him out by running back to help my friends carry their equipment and rush back more quickly to the tour bus. I took off and found them and we ran back, making it to the same location by 4:50. The bus was gone though and my friend called them to find out that they left at 4:45, reiteraing that they were running so late and had to leave so urgently. She pleaded and begged with the tour guide on the phone almost to the point of tears for him to turn around but he refused and told us to take the Greyhound bus back to downtown Vancouver and hung up. At this point, all three of us were enraged that the tour bus left just a few minutes before we got there knowing that we were on the way and also just a few minutes away. We could not understand why a few more minutes mattered so much when they already waited 15 minutes past deadline while we arrived 20 minutes after deadline. Also to the tour guide why it was so unreasonable to turn around when they were only a few minutes gone, aside from the question why they left in the first place knowing we were just a few minutes away. My other friend decided to call the tour guide and again pleaded kindly and apologetically to the tour guide if they could come back for us or if the tour company will reimburse us for the cost of the Greyhound tickets to go back to town. I became frustrated at the pointless exercise my friend was going through and grabbed the phone from her, screaming, "F*ck you" into the phone and hanging up instantly. To make the rest of the long story short, we managed to find a free ride back to town with a friendly couple who were going back into town later and were willing to drop us off at the nearest bus / seabus station in north vancouver where they lived. We made it back to the tour office several hours later to return all the equipment, but not before the tour guide let us know (thru our friends and not a direct call) that we had better return the equipment (snowboards/skis, boots, pants, jackets, gloves, goggles) or be charged $350 for each single piece of equipment missing. We had no intention otherwise anyway and found out from our friends that the tour company also tried to put one of our friend's credit card on hold for our equipment rental return but he refused. Then we found out that the company would not let them take our stuff (change of clothes, shoes, bags) with them (per our instructions) and would not be releasing them from their hold until we returned the equipment. I knew that what the company was doing was illegal. The only form that we had signed was an agreement that included the tour cost receipt and that we could not sue the tour company if anything bad happens while we use their equipment. Since the only stipulations we agreed to and signed had to do with injury liability, the company was afraid that we might not return the equipment and they would not recover any money for the equipment loss. So they tried to secure the money by asking one of our friends to use his credit card, which he refused. Then they illegally threatened that we would be held liable for $350 in cash for every single piece of equipment not returned and that our possessions would be held as collateral, something that we did not agree to or mention at all. While this enraged me further because I understood the situation, my friends convinced me not to cause any trouble and for us to just return all the equipment and get our stuff back without a single word. When we got off the seabus into downtown Vancouver and getting ready to get on the bus, we called the tour guide to make sure he was still waiting for us. He told us he would be there in 10 minutes. After taking 20 minutes to get to the front of the tour office, we saw all the lights on but no one inside and the door locked. After knocking loudly for a minute, we called the tour guide, who said that he needed to call someone else and that that person would be there in 15 more minutes. At this point I just became enraged at the games this tour guide continued to play and stated that they were illegally holding, stealing our stuff and that the cops should give that tour guide a call. I began calling 911 on my friend's cell phone, which she cut off and hung up a second into it. At that moment, some lights came on in the back of the office and out came a group of 6-7 employees, all male. The door was opened and as we were coming in, they all stared at us intimidatingly while crowding the small door entrance, almost making us push past them to come inside. Not many words were said as we made the exchange for our stuff with their equipment. We started changing our clothes and shoes to find out that they let our friends take some of our stuff with them and only held about half of the clothes/shoes we needed. A quick phone call to our friend had him on the way to arrive with our stuff in about 10 minutes. During the uncomfortable wait, the tour guide and employees heckled us, cursing in korean loudly about us to each other and a heated exchange ensued about my last words on the phone. I retorted that all of us in the room would not have wasted all this time had he just taken 5 more minutes to turn around and pick us up; 5 minutes which he could have waited further knowing that we were running and on the way. The room became quiet after I said this and I continued by saying that things here could have been very different if I had just called the cops reporting that they were stealing our possessions, not to mention the intimidation and scare tactics they employed. The room became even quieter and soon our friend came with our remaining clothes/shoes, we changed, then went home. After getting home my friends decided to complain about our experience online on some korean forums and apparently they got their attention, as someone from Skyline Tours called to make a fake apology about what happened but trying to place blame back on us. We explained that all we know we were wrong about being late, but it was a much greater crime that they left with the knowledge that we were just a few minutes away from getting on the tour bus - an apology for that was all we asked for. We also found out from our friends that the tour guide continued to spread lies on the ride back to Vancouver, claiming that we all called his phone in turn to curse him. He did his best to twist the story, telling those on the bus that we demanded for him to turn the bus around and that he would have turned around if my friend only apologized while on the phone. I could not believe the audacity of this tour guide and that their business practices of intimidation and scare tactics have kept them in business. Upon further research, we learned that this company Skyline Tours Limited/Inc. is a large franchise business with many locations. While contacting them they claimed no responsibility regarding the incident because "a different company by the name of 'Snowdude' was renting out the office space." I found this laughable because you could ask 1000 people that last walked in that office and ask them what company it was and they would all say Skyline as the company name and logo is pasted everywhere with no mention of a 'Snowdude.' Either way, checking the merchant name on my friend's debit card charge revealed a 'S M Consulting' group or company which serves further to remove financial responsibility with another 3rd party I assume. Not sure if this sort of thing needs to be investigated further.

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