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The Secret of Ryder-Walker's "Secret Swiss Valleys"
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TELLURIDE, COLORADO -- Ryder-Walker does have a secret about their "Secret Swiss Valleys" inn-to-inn hiking tour in the Swiss Alps, but it's not one you're going to like, and it's a surprise you won't learn about until the first night of the tour.

I went on the "Secret Swiss Valleys" tour in August of 2008. Except for the secret, there's a lot about the tour to like. The tour cost about $3000, including a single supplement.

I chose this tour because Ryder-Walker advertised that we'd be hiking inn-to-inn carrying only day-packs each day, staying at 3-star inns at night. It's mostly true.

We began the trip in Leukerbad, a charming small but well-heeled spa town in the Valais, a few hours by train east of Geneva. The group -- four couples and me, plus our two guides -- met for our orientation. Our guides told us about the trip, and cheerfully mentioned that one part of our adventure -- and this came as a complete surprise to every one of us -- was going to be a night at a hostel, without showers, or even hot water. (They didn't mention that there would be no linens -- fortunately I decided to buy a dishtowel at the Leukerbad supermarket.) Also, there would be two nights when they wouldn't bring our baggage to our inn, so we'd have to backpack in whatever we needed. We were all very good sports about it all.

Our hikes took us across terrain with views that were great to spectacular. The highlight of the trip was the hike along a ridge overlooking the Aletsch glacier, Europe's largest, a long curving tongue of ice stretched out below us. We generally stayed in inns in small towns with great views, such as Hotel Belalp in Belalp (on a point of land overlooking the valley), or the Hotel Edelweiss in Blatten (on a stream on the valley floor, looking down the valley), or the Hotel Panorama in Bettmeralp (in a charming mountain town with -- you guessed it -- a panoramic view). The food was generally good; breakfasts and dinners were included, while lunch wasn't.

The hiking was true to the advertised difficulty level, but I learned that I had no idea how to gauge difficulty level. We generally walked 7-9 miles each day, but the length doesn't make for the difficulty: it's the number of feet of ascent that counts. I learned that 1500 feet of ascent is a substantial hike. On our most strenuous hike, we climbed up 2900 feet. You must be in good shape for this and be prepared for serious uphill, although there is no technical climbing.

Finally the night arrived for the stay at the hostel. We arrived to find we were sharing it with, among others, 26 Belgian teens. I was put in a room with a French family with 3 small children. I was given a (fairly dirty) sleeping area with (fairly dirty) pillow and blanket, with eight of us in the bottom bunk and eight on top. We all (meaning all 35-40 of us) shared one bathroom with one towel, nailed to the wall. (I was glad I had bought that dishcloth.) The teens got served dinner first, and we waited outside in the rain. Then we had spaghetti. Thank god I had brought sleeping pills and earplugs!

We were blessed on the trip by good weather. It was only in the last half-hour of hiking on the last day that there was any significant rain. Otherwise there were only a few drops here and there but, of course, the weather in the mountains cannot be guaranteed. We said goodbye at a farewell dinner. It had been a good group to travel with -- we were all over 50, educated, sociable, spirited, and good company.

When I came home, I wrote to Peter Walker, owner of Ryder-Walker, to say that I felt that I should get some kind of refund because the accommodations were not as advertised. I never got any response. I tried disputing part of the charge through my credit-card company, but Ryder-Walker said that I had accepted the trip as it was (what choice did I have?), and the credit card company sided with them.

What a shame. Other than the secrets, "Secret Swiss Valleys" was a good trip.

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Starlord on 12/14/2008:
Even I, who cannot afford to travel, know that a hiking trip across any portion of Europe is going to have accomidations that vary from plush to spartan. I have trouble getting excited about some wealthy person who wants to complain that hostels in Europe aren't all five star hotels for free.
out_hiking on 07/08/2009:
Wow! What a shock to read this. I’ve attended a number of Ryder-Walker’s tours over the years, including the Secret Swiss Valleys, and every one of them has been first rate. Ryder-Walker’s service is always impeccable, the staff members deliver prompt, friendly and courteous service, and the trips offer memories that I know I’ll have for a lifetime. If this guy had problems with Ryder-Walker than something very out-of-the ordinary occurred. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs, and I don’t plan to go anywhere else.
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Avoid Ryder! They take FOREVER to return security deposit!
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EAST SYRACUSE, NEW YORK -- I rented a truck on 9/5/09. The clerk swiped my card without informing me how much the security deposit would be. It was $250. I am still waiting to get refunded my money!!I am waiting for $150 to go back into my account. In the meantime, my account was overdrawn and I got charged an overdraft fee from my bank. When I spoke with the rep, he told me it would take 72 hours to get my money back. He submitted the request on 9/8 @ 9am ET. I am very disappointed and would NEVER EVER Rent from Ryder again. It's funny that my security deposit was taken out right away but when it comes to giving the money back..it's taking forever! This is by far the worst experience ever. Next time, I will stick to UHaul!
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Anonymous on 09/10/2009:
Getting money credited back does take longer than having it taken out.

As for it "taking forever." He said he submitted it on the 8th, at 9am... credits and things like that don't process until that night. So, 72 hours, that's 3 days. 8th, 9th, 10th... today's the 10th. It hasn't even been 72 hours yet. Be patient. I'd say, if it's not in thereby next week, Tuesday, call and see what happened to it.
CSD on 09/10/2009:
I have never understood it either but it always takes much longer for it to go back in then when it comes out. It is like this anywhere. Typically it will take 72 hours but there are times that it will take up to a week. Ryder has done what they can do on their end. You just have to be paitent
martyk13 on 09/11/2009:
Either way, I am very disappointed by the lack of caring with anyone at Ryder. This is what gets me the most!
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Reservation made but no trucks available!!!!
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OMAHA, NEBRASKA -- On June 28th, I called the 800# and made a reservation for a large moving truck to be picked up on 6/29 @ noon. I told her I tried to do it on-line, but since it was less than 24 hours that the computer said I needed to call the 800#. She told me to print off the on-line coupon and take it with me so that I could use the coupon when I picked up the truck. I printed off the coupon, wrote down the confirmation # along with the p/u location and time. I went to Ryder on 68/L on 6/29 at about 11:50am and the gal said they had NO TRUCKS. She pulled up my reservation and the gal I had spoken with made it for the same day I spoke with her!!! There were no other trucks available from any other companies either. I was completely angry -- I had four guys lined up to help me move at 1p on Friday, June 29, and had to cancel with them. I had to turn in my keys to my apartment by the time the office closed on Saturday, June 30. I had no luck on Friday finding other options to make my move and only could fit little things in my car. I did end up having to move my stuff with two small pickup trucks on Saturday with the help of 2 guys. It took us quadruple the time because of Ryder's error and much more stress on me. We didn't get done moving until very late on Saturday and Sunday I did a very brief walk-through with my manager and turned my keys into her. I ended up not being able to clean my apartment completely and got stuck with them taking $175 of my deposit.

I am very disappointed in Ryder and the lack of care for the customer. The Ryder guarantee -- is bogus!
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Pomona Guy on 07/11/2007:
The day before you move, you try to reserve a truck. Sounds like you should have planned things better.
MRM on 07/11/2007:
Pomona Guy, my thoughts exactly... reserve trucks several days in advance before moving out.
yoke on 07/11/2007:
He was wrong in waiting, but Ryder should not have lied to him about having a truck available when they did not.
Voice Of Reason! on 01/16/2009:
Seriously, have you heard of preparation? If you need to rent a truck book the reservation at least 5 days in advance. If for some reason you need a truck the same day, call the branch directly. 800# operators are trained to take any reservation no matter what.
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Ryder customer service / prices
Posted by on
NE PHILADELPHIA LOC, PENNSYLVANIA -- Hello everyone . I am dealing with Ryder truck rental for 2 years I work for large company who leases 35 trucks ( at location I work ) I am independent contractor so I pay for truck and I get do deal with Ryder. company I work for is just middle man so point is their customer service is worst I don’t wish to any one to deal with Ryder’s mechanic’s or shop workers they are meanest people in the world ! it takes them 2 days to change oil on truck and if you need something more than that you are stuck for weeks ! they won't give you replacement truck but if they do they will charge you for 2 trucks one for truck witch is in shop and one for replacement truck ! couple of times they give me truck with empty tank and when I return it back they charge me for fuel and there is no way you can prove tank was empty just make sure you check that before taking keys or signing paperwork . shop workers are very aggressive (at blue grass road in ne Philadelphia )they don’t care about you and they don’t heave any respect for customers they look at you as animal and they treat you like one to ! we recently fired Ryder and got contract from another truck rental . only defense Ryder had was just trashing other company and telling us how bad they are but they heave never said they will take our complaint and fix problem instead they start to look away and keep quiet about all problems 35 people complaining didn’t mean anything for them ! so that why now they lost contract which paid them $50.000 a month ! by Ryder !
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tnchuck100 on 04/01/2007:
Do you rent trucks for a company or rent one for yourself? If you have problems with Ryder for the company why would you do business with the personally? By reading both of your reviews they lose some credibility.
truckin21 on 04/04/2007:
No sympathy for someone who starts a business (being an independent contractor is a business) they cannot afford. Maybe you should think about working as a company driver until you can afford your own truck, then you won't have that problem.
shavi musha on 04/04/2007:
I don't need to buy truck I am not planing to be in business for long time and I get big discount from Ryder so its not wort it to buy the truck when my lease price is same as financing payment and with Ryder I don't even heave to change oil or worry about engine or transmission and I get brand new truck every year .
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Posted on
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- I am angry at Ryder TRS. Extremely angry. I authorized a $100 deposit for a rental storage truck and was returned only $60. I was charge $40 for not filling the gas tank full, when in fact I had. I was given the run-around by a store supervisor, and then by 2 other 1-800-Go-Ryder reps, and I am still $40 short. I told them I had filled the truck until the gas nozzle clicked, signifying the tank being filled. When told that this "click" does not mean its full, I became furious. I was charged 5 miles of gas, an $25 "service charge" for stopping the nozzle when it clicked. Ludicrous. THe contract I agreed upon states that I would return the truck full, "F" on the gas meter. I fulfilled my part.
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Anonymous on 01/10/2002:
It doesn't surprise me that you were treated that way. What does surprise me is them giving you flack over whether the gas tank is full when the nozzle clicks. Obviously these idiots never read the signs at every gas station that "topping off" your tank should not be done. If you rent any type of vehicle whether a moving van or a car at the airport, the companies will use any assinine excuse to get money from their customers. In fact, if you think about it, have you ever seen a gas station with fair prices at a location when you return a rented vehicle. NO, OF COURSE NOT!!! I've rented cars with Alamo and Hertz, filled up the tanks 1.5 miles away from the return point and each time they said that they were going to levy a gas charge on top of the rental fees. I proceeded to raise hell with them until they relented. There should be a law against such unscrupulous and pathetic behavior from these companies.
Anonymous on 01/28/2002:
I am extremely angry at Ryder too. I was making plans to move my household goods from Austin TX to Las Vegas NV. I made a reservation over the internet, and called the day before I flew into Austin to make sure they had my truck ready for me. They assured me they had plenty of trucks. I arrived at their office first thing Saturday morning. I was the first customer there, but mysteriously, now there were no trucks available. I had to cause a huge commotion in order to spur them into action, and miraculously, a truck appeared.

Next came the issue with the insurance. Their paperwork on the different sources of insurance was baffling at best. None of the people at the counter could explain the differences. Finally, after crossing out several options I picked one. I took the truck (which they gave me with no gas in it, then later charged me for returning it empty) and proceeded on my drive to Vegas.

Unfortunately along the way I had a minor collision with the truck. I misjudged the height of the overhang at a motel and caused slight damage to the truck and the motel overhang. However, having purchased the insurance and having my own liability, I felt assured that everything would be taken care of.

I returned the truck in Vegas and made all the appropriate calls to Ryder and my insurance. Nevertheless, I started receiving threatening phone calls and letters from their insurance people, Claims America Inc. In the mean time, Ryder was having a fine time putting unauthorized charges on my credit card. One was for $25, for "Cleaning out the little styrofoam balls from the back of the truck". I never used any styrofoam in my move!! How can this company randomly charge your credit card without your knowledge???

The final straw is now, after two months, after everything is supposedly settled, I receive a bill from Ryder for the full damages of the truck. They have covered their ass in their ambiguous contract so that no matter what you do, the insurance you purchase from them does not cover you. I repeat, no matter what you do, you will not be covered!!! And to top it off, I was charged administrative fees and additional fees for "lost revenue" while the truck was in the shop.

Why should I pay for insurance when later I will still have to pay for the damages in full, including admin fees and lost revenue fees???? And more importantly, if I'm to be held responsible for the repairs, why was I not afforded the opportunity to get my own estimates for body repair?

Ryder TRS is a fraudulent, scamming, unprofessional company that threatens their clients and charges their credit cards without their knowledge. DO NOT RENT FROM RYDER TRUCK!!!
Anonymous on 05/28/2002:
Consider yourself lucky that you got to move on time. Our move was delayed by a day because that the Ryder truck we had put a deposit on was nowhere to be found. They even refused to help us find another one at all. It took us a day to locate a UHaul truck 35 miles away that we had to drive to pick up. I wrote a letter to Ryder with a copy of our rental agreement and demanded they pay the difference between their truck and UHauls and all they sent me was a letter saying they were sorry and a coupon for 10%off the next truck rental. As if! I will never give Ryder my business again!
Noneill on 07/04/2006:
We rented a Ryder truck in 2001 from Livermore, CA. They too didn't have the truck we requested, but they were nice enough to offer us the next size up which was available. We were impressed as this truck appeared to be new. It had only 8000 miles on it. Fortunately my husband is the suspicious type and he check the oil dipstick anyway. It had NO OIL AT ALL in it. We still had not left the rental yard so he goes inside to get someone to add oil. Of course there is no oil anywhere to be found. So we sit in the truck while our son drives his car to buy oil. This put us behind schedule (infuriating hubby). Other than that we have no complaints of Ryder. The truck had no problems during our 3000+ miles across the country. No issues on the gas refill either. One good thing I want to add is at least it is rare to see a broken-down Ryder truck along the road. Can't say that for other well-known truck rental companies.
shavi musha on 04/01/2007:
I am leasing truck from Ryder full time when I left truck in shop for repairs they could not find parts for it and they said it will take about two weeks to fix it and they will call me when its done they give me small rental van which I could not use for my work but I just needed something to get back to my warehouse I had to call my manager to send courier service to finish my stops and courier service costs my company $100 hour Ryder promised 16 foot truck for next day 4 am ! but next day when I called to make sure they said they only heave 24 foot truck with air brakes which requires class b commercial drivers license witch I don’t heave but Ryder’s response was don’t worry no one would stop you ! so I had to call my manager take day off and loose $ 400 for failed work day ! finally someone called me 1 pm and they said they heave truck ready for me ! but surprise was when I got my bill in the end of month I was getting charged for two trucks plus van and plus diesel witch they heave never filled up in van they gave me I barely made it to first gas station ! one more surprise was when I called Ryder to pick up my truck they said they wear running short and they rent it out ! finally when truck came back with damaged box and cuts on rear tires I got it back and Ryder rep said look we even wash your truck for you what a big service ! when you pay $ 1400 a month ! but all truck rental company’s are same way they charge prem. prices and provide very poor service !
na on 05/13/2014:
Ryder is a bad company to work for the will rush you and push you like slaves when you cannot do the work fast enough they wil get rid of you.
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