This is a bit long, but you need to know this horror story.
Our pick up in North Port was scheduled for Sunday, May 18th at 1 PM for a 4:30p flight out of Newark.
I called the office on Sunday morning to confirm the trip, and was told that everything was fine, and that the van would be there at one o'clock.
Then, at 1 PM, they called us, saying that the driver was delayed by 25 minutes. The dispatcher said the driver was his best man, and that there were no pick ups after us so we should arrive at the airport on time.
1:30 and no van. We called again. The driver is minutes away. Another ten minutes. We called again. The driver had stopped for gas.
He rolled up at 1:55 PM Just shy of an hour late.
We asked the driver what happened, and he started a huge story about how it was not his fault, he was called at the last minute, he had to drive from the other side of East Islip, etc. He made us feel that we were lucky he showed up at all.
My cousin asked the driver if he would be making any stops on the way. Joke: I'm going to stop at every red light in Manhattan.
We're off, and the driver tells us right away that the company didn't receive the credit card authorization I had faxed, and we were going to need to pay cash.
I get on the phone to the company office. Jeff, the manager tells me they don't have the fax. I offer to give him the credit card number but he says he has to have the signed fax.
Meanwhile, the driver is yelling. We have to pay cash, or he'll pull over and throw us out of the van (I'm not making this up). I offer to give him the signed authorization, which I had with me, and he tells me to wipe my a*s with it.
Jeffcalls and calms the driver down, then we have two more discussions about paying in cash, the driver can stop at an ATM if we don't have enough on us, etc. Not on your life, Jeff.
Finally, Jeff agreed to run our credit card. He must have had the fax all the time, because I never gave him the number over the phone. I'm still wondering about that.
The driver is ranting again. He's not going to get paid, etc.
We get to the airport and make our flight only because it was delayed an hour. Jeff calls me again about processing the credit card, and he's putting a tip on there for the driver. This is count to ten time for me.
I told him if he charged more than I authorized I'd dispute the payment, and hung up. Then the driver calls me. (Jeff must have given him my cel number) and goes nuts over the phone about getting stiffed.
Sensing that a man who behaves like that wouldn't understand my point of view, I hung up.
We were put in a hopeless helpless position, late for the airport, with no options and in fear for our safety. I understand that in actuality our driver is a dispatcher who got pulled in on his day off. To make matters worse, the weather was horrible, and driving conditions were very unfavorable. Especially through the heart of Manhattan.
If there was question about our payment, it should have been addressed before we were even picked up. I called especially to make sure everything is in order.
At this writing, on May 19, we have spoken to the manager briefly about this awful incident, and scheduled a phone meeting with him for this afternoon. When we called, he was not in.
Fort Myers, Florida