In March I ordered 3 tours from Orca Enterprises. Two of the tours were fine (Captain Larry's whale watching and Icefield Excursion), the 3rd was a complete rip off. Orca Enterprises represented that the 3rd tour would consist of a 6 hour dog sled ride through the woods with our own personal guide and a maximum of 3 other dog sleds in the group. They even sent me a receipt, and the description of the tour is "6hr Dog". When we actually took the tour on August 22, it consisted of a 5 hour bus ride with a bus load of other tourists to a destination where the dogs were housed, and the actual dog sled ride was a 15 minute ride around a dusty track.
I called Orca Enterprises about this yesterday which is when I got back from my Alaska vacation. They told me that the original tour operator went out of business and that my excursion was "picked up" by a replacement tour operator. They also observed that they had many complaints from other people they sold packages to from the original tour operator. But then they said that because I went on the tour, they could not refund my money.
I pointed out to the Orca Enterprises person that I didn't know we weren't going to have the dog sled ride until after the bus was already on the road and out of town, and therefore I had no choice but to go along with the ride. The fact is that I hated the bus ride and chafed over the fact that I was essentially a prisoner on this tour from hell and couldn't get off until the bus returned to Skagway from where it originated. I was also peeved to the max that I wasted our only day in Skagway when we could have been doing something a thousand times better.
The Orca Enterprises person said that since they had already remitted my payment to the tour operator, there was nothing further they could do. I told her that whether or not Orca Enterprises remitted my payment to the tour operator is irrelevant. Orca Enterprises misrepresented what the tour would consist of and should refund the payment. I also pointed out that it may very well be true that Orca Enterprises was mislead by the tour operator, but that's their problem not mine.
I told the person that I was calling to give Orca Enterprises the opportunity to do the right thing. She said that the owner would call me back that day, but I never received a call.
I've already filed a complaint with American Express who processed the payment, and I expect that I'll get a refund which in turn will get charged back to Orca Enterprises. Bottom line is that I'm very disappointed with Orca Enterprises for at least 2 reasons. First, they apparently learned sometime after I signed up for the 6 hour dog sled ride that the tour was being changed to something else, and they should have let me know in advance. Second, when I called to give them the opportunity to do the right thing, they declined to do so.
My suggestion: Don't buy any tours from Orca Enterprises other than Captain Larry's Whale Watching and Icefield Excursion. In other words, if they try to sell you any other tours, I wouldn't go for them.