On a flight layover back to Los Angeles on January 3, 2012, I went online to Shuttle2LAX.com (who I have successfully used in the past) to reserve a shuttle ride back to my home from LAX where I was scheduled to arrive later that evening at 11:20 pm. The assigned reservation number was SL1249358.
My flight arrived approximately 30 minutes early and per the instructions that accompanied my reservation confirmation, I proceeded to the PrimeTime Shuttle line adjacent to the baggage claim area and checked in with the representative that was there. When I gave the representative my confirmation code, I was told that my reservation was not for a shuttle ride but rather for a luxury sedan ride with a private driver! I immediately told the representative that I did not want (nor could afford) a luxury sedan ride and that my reservation needed to be modified to a shuttle ride and that the $95 charge to my credit card needed to be adjusted/credited back.
The PrimeTime Shuttle representative called her supervisor who instructed me to call the PrimeTime Shuttle office where a representative there would take care of the error. The supervisor additionally told me that their office was open for approximately another hour - until midnight. When I called the PrimeTime Shuttle office, the representative there put me on hold several times (one of which was for over 25 minutes). The office representative told me he had taken care of the problem and had canceled the luxury car sedan, but that he couldn't credit back my credit card at that time. He offered some excuse related to the charge's status which was still showing as a pending charge on his end.
His directive was to call their office in the morning and that their customer service department would take care of completing the credit then. In the meantime, I would have to pay separately for the now $20 needed to pay for my shuttle ride home. I told the representative that there was only about $105 left on my credit card and if I was not to be credited back the $95 already charged on it immediately, I would not have the funds to pay an additional $20. I asked him to please make some sort of accommodation for me given the situation and once again he put me on hold.
After a few minutes, it sounded as though he got back on the line, but in fact it was someone disconnecting the line. When I called back, it was well after the midnight closing time and my call was put into an endless automated system que telling me their offices were now closed. So I have now been charged $95 and am stranded at LAX with the PrimeTime Shuttle representative at the airport not knowing what to do.
The female representative has completed her shift and has left - putting me in the custody of a male supervisor who tells me he will be "right back." I see him drive by me several times over the next 40 minutes - each time giving me a hand signal indicating that he was not ignoring me nor evading the situation - that he was indeed taking care of the problem and would be "right back." Finally at 1:45 AM, approximately three hours after I had arrived and originally checked in, a sympathetic shuttle driver named Henry (Van # 687) arrived and gave me a ride home.
When I called the PrimeTime Shuttle office the next day to confirm the credit back to my charge card, I was given the telephone number (310-465-5499) for a man by the name of Kushal who worked in their luxury sedan department. Since the original erroneous but now cancelled reservation was for a luxury sedan, only Kushal could authorize and execute this credit back. When I speak to Kushal, I inform him that I am recording the call so that I have a record of the dialogue and its specifics.
Kushal apologizes profusely for everything and repeatedly assures me he will take care of the situation and would credit my charge card the full $95. As I have patronized his company many times over the last couple of years, he hopes I will continue to do so and that this isolated mishap wouldn't happen again. Kushal is able to strike a good rapport immediately to diffuse the situation and is a personable guy. At the end of our dialogue I thank him for taking care of the situation and that I will hold him to this being an isolated incident when I use his company next time.
Unfortunately Kushal does not follow through with what he says and I have to call him back three more times(January 27th, February 23rd and yet again on March 27th) to remind him. All of these dialogues are additionally recorded with his knowledge, each assuring me that he is crediting back the full $95. Yet to this date, NOTHING HAS HAPPENED - except that I have now incurred four months worth of APR charges at 21% in addition to the $95!
I am so angered by the situation that in addition to seeking your intervention, I have also made formal complaints (against RED VANS MGMT SERVICES INC, SHUTTLE 2 LAX, Sanjeev Bhatia, RIDESHARE PORT MANAGEMENT LLC, AIRPORT TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATES LLC, Parminder Joea and Rattan Joea) to the City and County of Los Angeles, to Michael Lawson and the Board of LAX Airport Commissioners, and the State of California's Department of Consumer Affairs. I have scheduled a meeting with the news editor of NBC-4 on April 25th to inform them of the egregious customer service.