WE OFFER YOU SMALLER GROUP SIZES
WOULD YOU TRULY ENJOY A CATTLE DRIVE?
We limit the number of participants on our Jack the Ripper Tours for a very good reason. Limited numbers make for a much more enjoyable tour for our clients, for our guides, and for the local residents.
WE USED TO BE ONE OF THE CATTLE DRIVE WALKS
We know all about the cattle drive tours that start at Tower Hill Underground Station because that's where we used to start and that's what we used to do. We were one of them.
BUT THEN WE LISTENED TO OUR CLIENTS
However, when our clients told us that 80, 100 or even 200 people on a tour simply wasn't enjoyable, we listened and decided that we would limit the numbers on our tours to around 34 people per guide.
BY BOOKING YOU HELP US TO CONTROL THE NUMBERS
A booking system means that we can keep the number of participants on your Jack the Ripper Tour to a sensible and manageable number.
If you think about it, a booking system is the only way to be able to restrict group sizes.
Because by knowing in advance how many people will be on the tour we are able to allocate enough guides to ensure that our tours will never be one of the London walks cattle drives that there are so many horror stories about on travel forums across the internet.
FURTHERMORE, WE RESPECT THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE AREA
The people who live in the area have long been complaining about the Jack the Ripper Tours disrupting their evenings. But, in fact, the tours that are doing this are the huge cattle drive Jack the Ripper London walks from Tower Hill.
Last year we were contacted by the people who live in the flats in Goulston Street to ask us to stop using amplifiers on our walks as it was really annoying and disturbing them.
We were able to explain that our guides don't have to use amplifiers. The walks using amplifiers are the London walks from Tower Hill whose guides are trying to be heard by exceptionally large groups.
Our smaller group sizes mean that the local residents are not disturbed by our Jack the Ripper tours. And the way we limit the numbers is by asking you to book in advance.
THE REALITY OF "NO NEED TO BOOK JUST TURN UP"
It sounds so bohemian when a company advertises that "there's no need to book, just turn up." But, pause for a moment and consider what that really means.
THEY HAVE NO WAY OF CONTROLLING NUMBERS
So you decide that the free-spirited, bohemian approach of "no red tape" sounds, well, free spirited and bohemian. So you decide to do what they advocate and you "just turn up."
When you do so you find to your horror that 50, 80, 100 or even 200 other people have also "just turned up." That's a massive number of people for one guide to herd around the streets of the East End. Be honest, would you really enjoy it?
Worse still, there's nothing you can do about it. Your choice is to either hand over your cash to the guide and become part of the huge impersonal horde, or head home without doing the walk you'd been looking forward to. By booking your tour you help us to ensure that you become part of a sensibly sized group not an unsightly mob.
PLEASE SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE AREA
Furthermore, spare a thought for those who live in the area.
In May 2010 we received an email from the warden at the former Providence Row Convent, which is now student accommodation for the London School of Economics. The email asked if we could stop disturbing the students, who were revising for their exams. Apparently some guides have been standing directly outside the students rooms and either shouting at the top of their voices or, even worse, using megaphones or amplifiers to address their huge groups.
Since none of our guides actually stand outside the former Providence Row Night Shelter, and, because of our smaller group sizes, our guides have no need to use amplifiers or megaphones, we knew that it wasn't us that were disrupting the students studies and were able to explain this.
It's a small point, perhaps, but put yourself in the position of the students and local residents. Is it really fair to blight their lives by taking round groups that are so huge and unwieldy that you have to use an amplifier to be heard? We think not. That is why we like to advertise that our tours are the ones that are heard NOT herd.
HERE'S THE REALITY ABOUT "JUST TURN UP" WALKS
There are numerous complaints on various travel forums from people who "just turned up" for a Jack the Ripper Walk from Tower Hill and found themselves joining a huge cattle drive.
Several people have commented on how they arrived at Tower Hill Underground Station to find crowds of over 100 people all being expected to join just one guide.
One lady even commented in a forum posting that the guide offered "no apologies for the huge size of the group" and that he told her that "this many on a Friday night is normal."
Her other point, which is something else to bear in mind about the huge cattle drive tours, is that, as the aforementioned forum poster put it, there was no time for "interaction, no time for questions, just a fast paced hustle to about 5 stops, where the guide, "spoke his piece and on to the next stop without a breath."
That, sadly, is the reality of a "just turn up" cattle drive Jack the Ripper Tour. Without a sensible booking process there is no way of restricting the numbers, and there are numerous forum postings on different websites that attest to large numbers of 60, 80, or over even over 100 people being the norm as opposed to isolated incidents on these London walks.
BY CONTRAST OUR WALK HAD 34 PEOPLE ON IT THAT NIGHT
Our clients had pre-booked for the tour. We had closed our Jack the Ripper Walk several days before as we had reached the maximum number we allow on a tour - 34 people. And the reason we were able to limit our numbers was because we operate a booking system.
In addition the smaller size of our group meant that we went at a far more relaxed pace and actually took in twelve stops.
A FAR MORE PLEASANT EXPERIENCE ALL ROUND
So, not only did our clients enjoy a far more intimate tour, which made for a far more enjoyable experience, but they also got to see more sites actually associated with the Jack the Ripper mystery than on the cattle drive tour from Tower Hill.
An experience that was better for our clients, better for the guide, and most certainly better for the students at the Providence Row Night Shelter and the residents of the Wentworth Street Model Dwellings - who didn't have to have their night disrupted by a guide either bellowing at the top of his voice to be heard or, even worse, using an amplifier so that his clients could hear him.
PRE-BOOKING MAKES SENSE
If you simply hand over your cash to a guide who gives you no receipt then you have no recourse should the experience be a disappointing one.
Our clients pay by credit card, so they have plenty of recourse should we fail to deliver on our promises.
Furthermore, because we are governed by the strict regulations enforced by the major credit card companies we are duty bound to deal with customer dissatisfaction promptly and efficiently.
IT WOULD BE UNTRUE TO SAY WE'VE NEVER HAD COMPLAINTS
We're not perfect. From time to time our standards slip and a customer has a genuine grievance about the standard of the service they've received from us.
But we always respond to complaints about our service promptly and efficiently. With us it's personal.
We are a small, family run, business, and if our guides fail to deliver on our promises then we want to know about it since our goal is 100% client satisfaction.
BUT IF I CAN'T MAKE THE TOUR HAVEN'T I LOST MY MONEY?
In a word - no. We understand that things can crop up. We understand that problems arise. Recently, during the terrible winter of 2010 we had numerous clients who found that they couldn't make it to the tour because trains weren't running from their local station.
They called us and we happily transferred them to another night.
During the flight cancellations due to the cloud of Icelandic volcanic dust several people found themselves delayed in reaching London. There was no problem, they just called us and we transferred them to another night. Some of them found that they couldn't get to London, let alone join our Jack the Ripper Walk. They were able to let us know and we refunded their money without argument.
In fact, you will find that we're always just a phone call away and we're always willing to be reasonable and helpful.
SO IT'S YOUR CHOICE - HERD OR HEARD?
Our smaller groups, expert guides and more atmospheric route have helped make our tour the premier Jack the Ripper Walk in London. Our clients appreciate that booking makes sense and, when they catch sight of the huge cattle drive London walks as we pass them in the street, they often comment on the fact that they are so glad that they took our advice and chose to book as opposed to "just turn up."