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This company offers Flight Seeing Helicopter Tours of Maui, Big Island and Kauai
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that Sunshine Helicopters, Inc. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for Sunshine Helicopters, Inc. include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 1 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||0|
|Total Closed Complaints||1|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Licensing, Bonding or Registration
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
These agencies may include:
State of Hawaii Department of Taxation
PO Box 1425, Honolulu HI 96806
Phone Number: (808) 587-4242
The number is W20375726-01.
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMr. Ross Scott, President Mr. Edwin Alvarado, Reservations Manager Mr. Steven Hodges, Marketing Director Mr. Paul Morris, Director of Ops
Aircraft Charter, Rental & Lease
Alternate Business NamesWill Squyres Helicopter Service
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Additional Phone Numbers
- (808) 245-7541(Phone)
Additional Web Addresses
Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.
|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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BBB Letter Grade Scale
Star Rating scale
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Read Complaint Details
Complaint: Having booked a helicopter tour 3 days in advance, we received notice of cancellation for efficiency reasons less than 12 hours in advance. On 2/20/2013, we booked a two person Circle Island Deluxe helicopter tour of Maui for 7:00 AM 2/23/2013 with Sunshine Helicopters. The craft has 6 passenger seats. On 2/22/2013, we received a call around 7:20 PM, informing us of a "cancellation" by other parties to the tour, resulting in cancellation of the flight: " We do not fly with only 2 people." We were offered rebooking much later in the day, something we are not available for. We depart Maui on 2/23/2013. The issue at hand is a cancellation by the service provider for efficiency reasons with unacceptably short notice. A secondary issue is the highly unprofessional conduct of *****, the individual representing the company, and her refusal/inability to connect us to an individual with decision making capability. We perceive a lack of truthful communication. There is no reference to cancellation by the company in the communication we received at booking. The entire company web site makes reference only to cancellation due to weather. The stated policy for cancellation by the customer is with 72 hour notice. The representative contradicted this and stated that cancelation by the customer requires 24 hour notice. Regardless of which is true, it calls into question the assertion that the cancellation occurred less than 12 hour prior to the scheduled flight. - we feel cancellation by the company for efficiency reasons is not legitimate, particularly as there is no mention of this possibility anywhere in company resources - we feel cancellation by the company with less than 12 hours notice violates any standard of decency. The short notice appears designed to deprive us of the option to find an alternative with another company. There is no justification, given the much longer requirement for cancellation by customers. Our requests were simple: we asked a series of questions to understand the company position. We stated that we did not accept the cancellation for efficiency, but that we understood that ***** was doing her job and asked to speak to a decision maker in the organization. Dealing with ***** was very unpleasant. Her statements and explanations were contradictory and changed over the course of our communication. She actually heard us say twice: "I am not interrupting you, please do not interrupt me". We had 4 phone calls in 50 minutes. The first call was from her and ended when she hung up on us after we indicated that we did not accept the options we were presented with and asked for more detailed information. We called back and this call ended with the promise that we would hear back from a manager imminently. We called back again after not hearing back for about 30 minutes. It was now minutes from closing time. We were promised a transfer to the manager; this ended in his voice mail. A fourth call to ***** in which we expressed understanding of her personal situation, but the expectation that she should be capable of connecting us to a decision maker in her organization ended with her hanging up on us again.
Desired Settlement: There is no way the company can make up for depriving us of the opportunity to see Maui from the air with another tour company, something they could easily have allowed us by at least being truthful and timely. The company should be transparent and prominently feature a disclaimer on their website and in their ads: "We reserve the right to cancel your flight for efficiency reasons at any time. We may cancel your tour without notice if we do not sell all the seats on your flight."
Business Response: Business' Initial Response /* (1000, 5, 2013/03/06) */ Hawaii Better Business Bureau March 06, 2013 ATTN: *************** Brand Integrity Service Specialist BBB Complaint Department Dear *********, This is Sunshine Helicopter's response to a complaint filed with your organization by Mr. ****** ******. To the best of my knowledge this is the first complaint filed with the BBB about our company and we've been members for about 28 years! Mr. ****** is complaining that Sunshine Helicopters cancelled his helicopter tour on the evening prior to the planned event. The report is partially correct. We called to offer a similar flight at a later time or date because the flight was unconfirmed in our opinion. The incident is regrettable, but we felt it was necessary and prudent and consistent with good business practices. We offered Mr. ****** other options but he declined all offers. As a commercial enterprise, we are in the same position as other businesses i.e. airlines, hotels, car rental companies etc. that seek to earn a profit or at the very least break even. Just as Mr. ****** had the option not to show up for his flight or pay for it if he chose not to (the 24-hour cancellation policy notwithstanding), we have the option to do what we felt was in our best business interests. In the course of investigating this complaint, we discovered that our reservationist could possibly have handled the situation differently to assuage Mr. ******'s concerns. She was dealing with a hostile customer and probably wasn't equipped to effectively defuse the situation. Instances of this nature are rare and we do not necessarily train for them. We will discuss this with our reservations personnel in an effort to learn from the experience and prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future - it is not a pleasant happenstance for any party involved. Instances such as this one are rare and it is unfortunate it happened to Mr. ****** who felt he was in no position to be flexible. We sincerely regret the inconvenience created by this action. As a token of good will, Sunshine Helicopters would like to offer Mr. and Mrs. ******, upon their next visit to Hawaii, complimentary seating on a tour of equal value to the one he had recently planned. This offer is valid at any of our four locations; it has no expiration date, it is non-transferable and it has no cash value.