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Rick Steves' Europe Inc

Phone: (425) 771-8303 View Additional Phone Numbers 130 4th Ave N, Edmonds, WA 98020 View Additional Email Addresses

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This company offers specialty European travel services.

BBB Accreditation

This business is not BBB accredited.

Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and some businesses are not accredited because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

To be accredited by BBB, a business must apply for accreditation and BBB must determine that the business meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses must pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that affect the rating for Rick Steves' Europe Inc include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
  • Response to 2 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

2 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 0 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 0
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 1
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 2

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on Rick Steves' Europe Inc
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

BBB file opened: August 26, 1991 Business started: 01/01/1977 Business started locally: 01/01/1977
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:

Washington Secretary of State Corporations Division
801 Capitol Way S, Olympia WA 98504
Phone Number: (360) 725-0377

Business Management
Mr. Rick Steves, President
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Rick Steves, President
Business Category

Tours - Operators & Promoters Travel Agencies & Bureaus Sightseeing Tours Tour Operators (NAICS: 561520)

Additional Locations


    130 4th Ave N

    Edmonds, WA 98020 (425) 608-4233 (206) 652-5344 (425) 608-4217


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

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

7/20/2015 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I ordered a Veloce Shoulder Bag along with clothes packing cubes. I have no problems with the packing cubes. Upon receiving the backpack,however, I noticed several discrepancies between the product advertised online and the one I received. This included different back straps, a different hand strap at the top of the bag along with different zippers and d-rings/buckles.I have purchased this bag before. The bag that I owned looked the same as what is currently advertised online minus the omittance of a small mesh pouch on the front. Besides this minor change, the bag online looks the same as the bag I own. What I received is not what was advertised online via their website pictures. The changes are of poorer quality: thinner shoulder/back straps, a top strap without padding, and cheaper d-rings and buckles. Customer service refused to pay for return shipping on the return of the item, despite the differences in the product on their website versus what I received.

Desired Settlement: Given that I did not receive the product advertised, I wish to return the bag without having to pay for return shipping (having already paid a steep 11 dollar fee for the initial shipping).

Business Response: We will contact the customer by email and send a prepaid label to her so that she can return the item at our expense.

Best Regards,
Russ W*****
Operations Manager

Consumer Response:  
Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.


******* ******

1/27/2014 Guarantee/Warranty Issues | Read Complaint Details

Additional Notes

Complaint: I purchased two identical rolling carry-on pieces of luggage from **** ******* seven years ago - one for myself, and one as a gift for my daughter. Within two or three years the extending handle of my carry-on failed to work. The bag had a 15-year warranty. **** was unable to repair it so it was replaced with a Rick Steves bag. Last week when visiting my daughter in Montreal I asked her if I could borrow the bag I gave her. She told me that she had only used it for storage for the past four years because the handle had broken. It turned out that both of our bags had had the identical problem with the handle. Since my daughter is very busy with her new baby at present, I offered to contact **** ******* with respect to the broken handle. When I called I found that Rick Steves had purchased ***** My complaint is that although Rick Steves has purchased **** ******** it is apparently not honouring the 15-year warranty on ******* products. I was told they would only warranty **** bags for five years. I find this very strange because on Rick Steves' website it states: "Rick Steves travel product comes with our guarantee that it will be free from material and manufacturing defects for the life of the product. If a defect appears, we will either repair or replace the product (at our option) free of charge. This guarantee does not cover damage caused by an airline or other common carrier. Nor does it cover wear and tear to components and materials which may occur over time with use of the product." According to what I was told when I called Rick Steves' phone number, Rick Steves will give a lifetime warranty for Rick Steves' travel products, but not honour a 15-year warranty on the products of a company it purchased. This sounds like a questionable business practice to me and I would like to know whether a company like Rick Steves that purchases another company like **** ******* can make such changes to what is essentially a promise by the purchased company to warranty its products for a period of 15 years. I still have the original label that was attached to the bag with the 15-year **** warranty.

Desired Settlement: The preferred option would be to have the handle mechanism repaired or replaced; however, since the problem with my daughter's bag is exactly the same as the one I experienced with my identical bag, I know it cannot be repaired. Therefore, the only option would be for Rick Steves to provide a refund or to replace the bag. I have taken several photographs of the bag to show that the bag has been gently treated, is still in very good condition, and is also very clean both inside and outside. The only thing wrong with it is that the handle mechanism does not work.

Business Response: Initial Business Response /* (1000, 6, 2014/01/06) */ Hello, We are responding belatedly to this claim as it was misrouted internally. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We would like to clarify the situation as the consumer's information is incorrect. Rick Steves' Europe did not purchase **** ******** Rick Steves' Europe is a former customer of **** ******** **** ******* manufactured private label luggage and bags for our company under our brand (Rick Steves) for several years up until earlier this year. We no longer have a relationship with that company, which has now undergone a name change and change in business model. **** ******* also sold a great deal of luggage under their own brand and under other brands. None of these products are related to Rick Steves' Europe nor did Rick Steves' Europe ever assume any responsibility for any warranty offered by Kiva Designs for these products. Since our brand never carried a 15 year warranty, we suspect that the product in question is not ours. However, to offer the benefit of the doubt, we would like to see if you can confirm the actual brand of the product in question. If it is Rick Steves' brand, we will take reasonable remedial steps. I will await your reply. Final Consumer Response /* (3000, 9, 2014/01/07) */ (The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.) I originally called **** ******** and the person who answered the phone informed me that Rick Steves had "taken over" **** ******** I believe the number I called was X-XXX-XXX-XXXX, which is the number on the label that was attached to the luggage. It also states on this label that the bag comes with a 15-year warranty. The person I spoke with gave me Rick Steves' phone number. I called this number and spoke to a Rick Steves' associate who informed me that when Rick Steves took over **** ******** a decision was made to honour only five years of any warranty. They told me that my **** luggage did not qualify because it was seven years old. I objected to this because I had the 15-year warranty in my hand when we were speaking. The associate apologized and told me that this was Rick Steves' policy and that nothing could be done about it. Why did she tell me this if Rick Steves has nothing to do with **** ******** Perhaps Rick Steves EUROPE has nothing to do with this company, but perhaps there exists a Rick Steves sister company in the USA that does? Certainly the Rick Steves' associate I spoke with was in North America. I know this because I asked her. I have already stated that I have a **** ******* piece of luggage. If Rick Steves has taken over **** ******* (as the comments by Rick Steves' associate would seem to confirm is the case), then Rick Steves should assume responsibility for the warranty and honour it. The question here seems to be, did Rick Steves take over **** ******* or not? I was told by **** ******* and the Rick Steves' associate I spoke with immediately before completing the BBB form, that Rick Steves had taken over **** ******** If this were not the case why did the associate tell me that Rick Steves would only honour five years of any warranty? It doesn't make any sense. The written response to my BBB complaint, however, would seem to indicate that the company is now denying that it has taken over **** ******** Why am I being told different stories here? I wish to point out that when my first **** ******* luggage failed, it was replaced with a Rick Steves piece of luggage. Now that the second piece of luggage has failed, I think it should be replaced in the same way. My broken **** ******* luggage has the brand name clearly marked, as does the label / warranty on the luggage. I have photographs of the luggage and the label as proof of this. I can forward these upon request. By the way, the 15-year warranty label on this **** ******* carry-on luggage shows the original store (The ****** *** ******* / *** *** in Ottawa, Canada) price of $150, and the sale price of $99.99. I look forward to a fair and honest resolution to this matter. Final Business Response /* (4000, 11, 2014/01/13) */ Hello, There is very clearly a misunderstanding here on the part of the consumer and I will do my best to explain the **** ******* situation in an understandable way. **** ******** as I stated earlier, was a manufacturer/distributor of luggage and bags. These products were sold under the **** brand and others. Rick Steves' Europe entered into a licensing agreement with **** ******* that permitted them to manufacture and sell luggage and bags under the Rick Steves' brand. As part of that agreement, we purchased Rick Steves' branded products from **** ******* on a wholesale basis, and permitted them to sell those same products on a wholesale basis to other retailers. The warranty on Rick Steve's branded product was administered by the retailers that sold the product. In other words, we handled the warranty for Rick Steves' bags that were purchased from us and each other retailer in turn did the same for their customers. Rick ******' Europe, at the time, did not administer the warranties for Rick Steves' products sold by other retailers. This changed when the licensing agreement between **** Steves' and **** ******* was officially dissolved in January, 2013 shortly before they went out of business. In the interests of good customer service, Rick Steves' Europe voluntarily began honoring warranty claims on all Rick Steves' bags whether they were sold by us or any other retailer. I suppose that it is possible that if the people *** ****** spoke with believed that she had a Rick Steves' bag, they might have told her that we took over the warranty responsibility. *** ****** may then in turn have interpreted that to mean **** branded bags, which is incorrect. If *** ****** has a Rick Steves' bag, we would be happy to work with her. But, it seems that this is not the case. That she indicates that her purchase was made at *** *** confirms that for me since our brand of product was never sold at *** **** I want to emphasize again that Rick Steves' Europe did not acquire, purchase, or otherwise take over Kiva ******* in any way. Nor did we assume any of their responsibilities as they went out of business. We were simply a customer of theirs. We voluntarily decided to work directly with consumers who had warranty claims on Rick Steves' branded products that were manufactured by **** Designs because our name is on the products. We have no obligation whatsoever as it relates to any other brand of product that was manufactured by **** ******** I would respectfully suggest that *** ****** return the bag in question to *** *** since that is where the original bag was purchased. They may have a return or exchange policy that will be satisfactory to her. Since **** ******* is out of business and since Rick Steves' Europe bears no responsibility for the performance of any product other than that manufactured under its own brand, this would seem to be the only course of action available to her.

Customer Review(s)

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Customer Reviews Summary

0 Customer Reviews on Rick Steves' Europe Inc
Positive Experience (0 reviews)
Neutral Experience (0 reviews)
Negative Experience (0 reviews)