Pamplona Posse Review


 
I found Pamplona Posse to be unprofessional, disorganized and unethical.  I would not recommend them based on their invasion of privacy, harassment and repeated negative experiences during the festival.

We wasted over $1300 U.S. with Pamplona Posse services. I was let down everyday. But my negative experience of their unprofessionalism didn't end at the fiesta!!! They repeatedly contacted me and threatened to sue me if I didn't take down my factual review. They constantly left back to back messages on the comment fields here harassing me, so unfortunately I had to remove the comment option to avoid their harassment.

A MESSAGE FROM PAMPLONA POSSE:
They are desperate to conceal negative reviews of Pamplona Posse. They have even said to a customer who reviewed them:  
"I have by now traced a number of your family members and potential employers and related associations... I will have to contact these people, pointy out your lies and your malicious actions, which points to an unstable personality and hopefully these relatives, employers, past employers, associations and educational bodies will take notice of these issues and also provide me with a contact addresses"  

Where can I buy balcony tickets or find housing?
Though I have not purchased balcony tickets or housing from any of these companies, you may be better off getting your balcony spaces from:
www.sanfermintravel.com
www.sanferminbalconies.com

What happened?
I have had multiple experiences of LOCKED DOORS to the buildings for the balconies. We only got in because we struggled tooth and nail to sneak in EVERYDAY.  It was sleeping hungover youths left with the responsibility of opening doors to let you in for the balcony, and Pamplona Posse is okay with that, but unfortunately they never woke up to let us in the buildings. All the pics below is basically what we encountered. In addition, Pamplona Posse kept sending me threatening messages to remove my review of them.

Day one: Arrived on time, no one was there. Door was locked. No one answered. Looked all over for another entrance. Barriars were being put up. Finally someone came and opened the door.

Day two: Arrived on time to the balcony listed on our ticket. No one answered.  Other tour groups entered for their balconies, we weren't allowed in. We walked back and forth a number of blocks to talk to another Pamplona Posse worker, and crawled under barriars four times. Never got to our balcony. Had to get on to another one.  I was told by the Pamplona Posse worker that issues of the kids not opening the doors is common because they're hungover sleeping or too hungover to come back to the apartment to open the door.

Day three: Arrived on time, no one was there. Door was locked. No one answered. We buzzed and buzzed. Got in when a resident opened the door.  No one answered the apartment door, walked up and down 5 flights of stairs 2 to 3 times with someone with a disability. We knocked and banged on the door; no answer! Eventually a hungover kid who just woke up let us in, then he went right back to sleep by the balcony and we let ourselves out.

Day four: Arrived on time along with some other customers; we buzzed and buzzed. No one answered or let us in.  When a resident let us in, we knocked and knocked at the apartment door.  No one answered. After waiting too long, some hungover guy woke up and opened the door.

*It was a lot more difficult than that though. That was just a summary. Scroll far below for the details.

Other Pamplona Posse Reviews?
"The information provided is not completely accurate, incomplete and not all that useful.  The number of people that are crammed into these apartments boarders on slum accommodations. In our apartment there were 10 people in a small apartment (1000 sq feet maybe) and ONE BATHROOM. . The shower did not work so a sponge or sink bath was the only way to get clean. The posse will fill your email with “newsletters” months before you arrive. Unfortunately they contain very little information and alot vulgar rants about loose women and monkeys.  We paid about $125 per ticket only to discover the face value was $19...you will get the distinct impression that your dollars and the Posse is not so much a business as it is a way to fund their week long party in Pamplona." (source)

"When we arrived we were not met as arranged. We had to call the organiser who had got our arrival date wrong, he was ABSOLUTELY blind drunk and then we had to wait one and a half hours for our key.  We were not made aware that we were going to have a "roommate" and there was nowhere in the apartment to lock our stuff up. We immediately checked out [and went to] the first hotel we came across - Hotel Yoldi - and got a room (even though the Posse will try to tell you that it is impossible to get a room during the Festival) for less than we had paid for the "apartment". (source No.5)

They also removed someone elses on this website here: Tour Radar. If you click on View More Details, it says "The Pamplona Posse's Tour has been removed by TourRadar following their request to remove a review that was written by a Facebook verified traveller but their management considered it to be "factually inaccurate and malicious negative comment". TourRadar recommended to Pamplona Posse's management that they don't remove reviews because we believe it's important for all feedback to be displayed."

Often on websites you'll find individuals signing up to offer one forum post whichis just to promote Pamplona Posse services. I will let you make your own conclusion on who those writers really are.
 
Customer Service?
Graeme was very rude and condescending when I first met him. When I came to them about my concerns, I found Pamplona Posse to be dismissive and unwilling to take accountability In response to my posting, they keep making up lies and excuses to defend themselves (like we came too early 4 days in a row, and the doors weren't open because we didn't attend their parties to understand the fiesta *rolls eyes).  They have even criticized this helpful blog and said my information will get people killed (see here).  Very childish and unprofessional.  To date they continue to evade the real concern of workers simply not opening the doors to let us when we arrived on time as noted on our tickets.  Instead of taking accountability, the continued to harass me even after I asked them to stop.

Bad Reviews?
Pamplona Posse tries to have negative reviews removed, and at times threatening to harass and take legal action.  (Click here and here.) I had to tell them they were harassing me and I actually had to demand three times that they stop. Can you believe it? These are not the kind of people you want to do business with. You will see more about this below the review.







I would like to recount my factual personal experience so that fellow travellers can come to their own conclusions and make an informed decision. 
The Details
We rented a number of balcony spaces with Pamplona Posse. When we arrived to pick up our tickets, it took quite a while for them to get their information organized.  Graeme asked us to pay some extra fees (not from our bank) that he didn't disclose from the outset, and when we told him we didn't feel comfortable than paying more than what we agreed on, he became very condescending.  We were taken on a walk ahead of time to see which doorways we'll enter to get to our balcony.  We were told people will be standing outside in yellow t-shirts on the morning of the bull run in order to escort us to our balcony and ensure we get up there just fine.  Our tickets said to be at the doorway entrance at a specific time. We always arrived at that time, and no more than 10 minutes earlier than that.

Day One:
The first day we got to the doorway ON TIME, no one was there in a yellow shirt or a labeled tshirt and THE DOOR WAS LOCKED.  We waited around for 10 minutes approximately.  We were getting nervous because the barriars were up and they were starting to clear the streets.  We paid a lot for our spaces and we didn't want to miss the bull run view.  We waited. Nothing. We double checked our tickets, we double checked the doors...We were in the right place where they showed us on our tour.  We walked back and forth checking for different entrances.  Eventually someone comes out and sees us standing there. It was an older guy, and he asks if we're there for the balcony, and let's us up. We were needlessly back and forth for just about 20 minutes or more.  Here's to hoping it wouldn't happen the next day...




Another door no one is at to let us in, and a buzzer no one answers either!
Day Two:
The second day we went to the doorway ON TIME that was listed on the ticket and that the person showed me on the walk ahead of time, and no one was there at all to let us in and the DOOR WAS LOCKED.  We rang the buzzer, and no one answered.  We waited and rang the buzzer again. This went on for about 10-15 minutes.  Some other people came with a key and entered through the door and I tried to get in, and they refused us. I told them we were with Pamplona Posse and they said 'no', and didn't let us in.  By this time the barriars were up so we had to walk a few blocks to go to another doorway where we knew Pamplona Posse people had balconies, because the guy pointed it out on our walk.  The responsible guy was waiting there for his people for their balcony.  He said they don't know what happened for the balcony we booked. 

I asked if this has happened before, and he said 'yes'.  !!!!  I asked why that usually happens and he said "usually because someone was out late partying and never came back to be available to open the door on time, or someone is too hungover while sleeping to hear the buzzer, or there was a misunderstanding of the booking".  I asked "Wow, so this is nothing new?!" He said "No, unfortunately not". (Their website admits to these kind errors under professionally labelled, "Are you a Twat(vagina) ?" on Point Number 2 Link). The crowds thickened. AGAIN I walked a few blocks and went back to the original door that I already paid nearly $200 for and rang at the buzzer.  Still no answer. I kept buzzing, no answer.  I was getting scared and worried and the bull run was about to start.

By this time, the barricades were up and I had to crawl under them four times. I was with someone who had a disability so this was not easy for them... I went back to the Pamplona Posse guy at another door.  He had a list of names of people he was supposed to have come to his balcony. He checked it, and I even looked at it and my name was NOT on it.  This was probably about 1 hour of bullshit spent back and forth that led us up to shortly before the bull run started.  In the last few moments, because people didn't show up at another balcony, the other Pamplona Posse guy threw us a bone and let us on his balcony. By this time, you can imagine I was fed up with Pamplona Posse. I don't want to spend my vacation wondering if my money is gonna go down the drain or if I'm gonna miss the bull run, let alone be walking blocks and under barricades between rowdy crowds!!

After the bull run I dropped by the office and spoke to one of the managers.  The worker I spoke to earlier was already there so he must have briefed them.  I like to be reasonable, so I respectfully asked them what happened and they were prepared with the answer, 'Yes, the second balcony you went to was the correct one, so I am glad you got there'.  But that was not the address they gave me on my ticket. That was not the door they showed me to before.  And if I was really booked for that balcony, my name would have been on his list he showed me, but we weren't. Clearly they weren't willing to take responsibility for their error!!

Yes, on the second day. I advised them of the door being locked on the second day, and that no one was waiting for us as promised on the first day.  I would have gone to Graeme again about my experience, but based on how he spoke to me when I arrived and when we already came to them about our concerns about the wrong address, it did not seem to me that they cared about taking responsibility.When I voiced concerns about the hungover and sleeping kids, Pamplona Posse's reply was that it was ridiculous to ask the workers not to drink.  Again, dismissive and no accountability.



 This floor and door was unlabelled.  We knocked and knocked and no one answered. We ran up and down 5 flights multiple times trying to get access.
 
Day Three:
The third day I arrived ON TIME as noted on the ticket and, again, NO ONE was there to let us in and the DOOR WAS LOCKED AGAIN.  I rang the buzzer for 5-10 minutes.  We waited and waited. No one answered. Finally a resident came out of the front door, and I went up to the floor I was supposed to go to.  There were NO numbers on the floors or the doors, so I didn't know which door to knock on.  There were NO signs on the door either to say 'Pamplona Posse Balcony' or anything.  There was no one there to help me. I didn't know where to go!!! And to walk back to their head office for this given that they'll be clearing the streets soon is unrealistic. I would lose my balcony!  

I rang buzzers on a few floors and no one answered. I was probably bothering the poor residents. I was confused and absolutely disgusted with Pamplona Posse.  I went back downstairs and rang on the buzzer again.  Mind you, I'm climbing 5 flights of stairs up and down with someone with a disability.  Finally some guy comes downstairs and sees me ringing the buzzer and tells me I could go up as he was in that apartment (I'm ringining the buzzer for).  I told him I've been ringing the buzzer and the guy tells me that I haven't.  He said either way - he doesn't care, that I can go up because the door is open now.  Even if no one heard it, Pamplona Posse said they're going to be downstairs to meet me.  So I went up yet again, and the person was half awake and hungover. He showed me to the balcony and fell back asleep on the bed beside the balcony.  He slept throughout the whole bull run and we let ourselves out.  I felt it was the most unprofessional half-ass thing ever. All I keep hoping with good faith is it won't happen the next day. Even though I really wanted to, I definitely wasn't going to speak to them about it again because in my opinon they presented themselves as completely disorganized, unapproachable and unwilling to take accountability.  The only thing Pamplona Posse didn't fail at is disappointing me.


No one let us in, and still we rang the bell at this door that we guessed was our balcony.
 
Day Four:
The fourth day, we went to another door ON TIME.  Yet again there was NO ONE THERE to let us inYet again the DOOR WAS LOCKED.  We knocked on the door and rang and rang the buzzer for about 15-20 minutes.  A group of four girls were also waiting there to get in too for the balcony they booked with Pamplona Posse.  We waited there for an additional 10 minutes. As usual, we all started to get worried that we would miss our bull run and our money would go down the drain.  No one let us in. Again someone happened to come out the door and we swooped in.  We went up to the door that we could only guess was ours, as it was unlabelled. A sign would have helped.  We rang the bell and waited. No one came.  We rang again. No one opened the door. Now we're infront of another locked door no one would answer.  

We waited so long we were able to strike up a good coversation with the girls.  We all got worried we might miss the run!! By this time, it was about 40 minutes we've been trying to get into our balcony, with Pamplona Posse no where to be seen.  Just as I was telling the girls my experience with the balconies for the past few days, and how the people that open these doors are a bunch of drunks in their 20s, there was a guy opening our door half asleep, hungover and confused, and they all looked at me and laughed as my point was clearly proven.  He let us in and we went to our balconies.

As you can see, if we didn't personally run up and down stairs, and from building to building and wait for someone to happen to open the door and sneak in when residents left the building, we might not have gotten in BECAUSE NO ONE LET US IN.








Expectations of Pamplona Posse?
My expectation is that Graeme will make reliable workers responsible for opening the doors so people can get to their balcony.  I mean, is this unrealistic?  Pamplona Posse might say, according to their website, that I am a Twat because I'm complaining even though I got into my balcony, but how? By sneaking in, running between buildings and up and down flights of stairs cause the workers were too busy sleeping. It doesn't matter to us customers that their workers are up on all night drinking and partying and that's why they can't always open the doors.  1. Thats none of our business, and 2. It's not our problem!!! 

No matter what your age or experience with travel, who wants to take a risk with hundreds of dollars with a company you have to ask all this?

You didn't travel all this way for this kind of distress:
I would not recommend this company based on my experience.