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Smoke Wagon Water Taxi Complaint - Smoke Wagon water taxi will leave you stranded

Review by ctrue on 2007-08-16
HOMER, ALASKA -- On Friday, July 6, my friend and I paid Smoke Wagon water taxi service $150 each for an all-day kayak tour. The taxi got us to Kachemak Bay where the tour started. But when it came time to pick us up, the taxi was a no show. We got word that the taxi had broken down. After two hours, our kayak guide took us back in his open aluminum boat. When we tried to ask the owner, Todd, for a partial refund, based on not receiving return transportation he was not only unwilling, but rude about it.

"You got back" was his response, even though it was not from his service.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-10-04
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-08-16:
did it cost you extra to get back?
Posted by ctrue on 2007-08-17:
No, but it was not the service promised. We had to wait around for 2 hours and it was a rough ride.
Posted by jktshff1 on 2007-08-17:
When you go to the wilderness, stuff happens. I would put it down as part of the adventure and savor the memories.
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-08-18:
I sure have to agree with the poster here. The fact he/she got back is irrelevant since the people paid to get them back stranded them. Their mechanical failure is not the posters fault or problem. I'd lean on them and threaten the old BBB and state's attorney general stand-bys. Follow though if you don't get a refund. I don't think a consumer protection division wants to here about tourists (and their important revenue) being ripped off.
Posted by gellgrl on 2007-10-04:
During the 2 ½ spectacular weeks I spent this summer in Homer, Alaska I exclusively used Smokewagon Water Taxi for all of my water transportation needs in order to access the trails and fishing sites on the south side of Kachemak Bay. The service was very good and the owner, Todd, and his employees were always friendly and professional.

In all of the trips we took with Smokewagon Water Taxi, and there were several, not once were we left “stranded”. As a matter of fact, on one particular hike, the group of people I was with was late to arrive at our pick up point. Todd, the owner of Smokewagon Water Taxi, was in the Taxi Cat and patiently waited for us to arrive. He was never rude or unprofessional. In addition, it just so happened on our return trip from this hike there was a whale in the bay and Todd made a point of spotting it for us and giving us an opportunity to view this magnificent creature in its natural habitat.

I, too, paid for a kayaking tour for which Smokewagon Water Taxi was the transportation provider. The majority of the money that was spent was for the kayaking tour and a portion was for the transportation to and from the lodge where the tour originated. Not knowing what company you kayaked with, I know from my experience that if I had to wait an additional 2 hours for a ride back across the bay, after having an enjoyable kayaking experience, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. The weather was great, the scenery spectacular and since the lodge was right there, shelter and provisions would not have been an issue.

Perhaps you should clarify what you meant by “leave you stranded”. It sounds as if you received word of the delay for your pick up and I am sure the water taxi company did not intentionally break down just so they could not pick you up. It also sounds like they were communicating with you on this fact since you said you “got word”. Apparently arrangements were made to get you back across the bay at no additional cost to you and although they were not able to pick you up with the vessel they took you over in, were you not provided with transportation to and from your kayaking destination?
Consider how many times have you been to the airport and had all or part of your flight delayed due to mechanical technicalities or weather related issues. Do you demand a partial refund from them? Sometimes things happen that are out of your control.

The folks at Smokewagon Water Taxi were more than willing to make my trip enjoyable with recommendations and helpful suggestions. I plan to return to Homer next year and will use Smokewagon for all my transportation across the bay and will definitely recommend them to others.



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