This blog post has, as well as many of my tour reviews, been back-dated to the time of when it occurred.
In 2013 I decided quite late (in March) to go storm chasing and decided to go with Weather Gods from May 10th to May 19th. I chose this tour because it seemed like many chase days for the price. At the time I think they had one of the best cost per day-ratios. I had been in contact with Mark Lingl before, through my website, and had some contact with him in early March 2013.
According to their website they still had seats left so I paid the deposit but awaited a confirmation in order to buy my plane ticket. When I didn’t get any confirmation I tried to get a hold of him by e-mail (there were no phone number on their website) and Facebook but got no replies.
Through StormChasingUSA reviews I had heard of tour companies that scams the tour guests and I was getting really worried that Weather Gods was one of them. Finally, after asking for them on Storm Track, someone who knows Mark contacted him and soon thereafter Mark got back to me over e-mail on April 17th. This was 12 days after I had paid the deposit and about three weeks before the tour was going to start. In his reply Mark said that he had been sick and had computer problems. He also paid the deposit back right away.
Luckily, I still had not bought my plane ticket so no money was lost but I was still really disappointed. From my point of view, if you run a tour company in which the tours cost a few thousand dollars, you can’t put yourself in a position where sickness and/or computer problems will cause these kind of problems for your customers. I was not impressed!
I was lucky enough to find a tour with Tempest Tours on a short notice. The plane ticket was much more expensive than it should have been if it hadn’t been for this delay. My tour with Tempest Tours was May 1st to May 10th instead, which turned out to be really unlucky. The start of season 2013 was extremely slow and we had several down days on that tour.
The tour I was supposed to have been on with Weather Gods, in turn, was really intense in terms of weather – with the Moore F5 for example. This is of course just a matter of chance, but it made matters worse. Fortunately, it seems like I didn’t miss much either considering the reviews from that tour.