On August 11, 2011, my friends and I took a bus from The Party Ride to Webster Hall in NYC. When I booked the bus, I was told that the tip was included and I could tip at my discretion if I really liked my driver. On the contract I signed, it clearly says "clients note: gratuity to the driver is at clients discretion."
Upon arrival of the bus, I gave the driver the balance I owed him in cash and he immediately said, "what are we doing about gratuity?" I was confused, and he claimed that I owed him a 20% tip up front, and that he could call the whole night off if he did not receive his tip. I questioned him and explained to him what I was told on the phone, but he insisted that I pay him a 20% tip. Unfortunately, my friends and I gathered cash to give him because in the moment, we were worried our entire night would be ruined if we didn't.
The day after our ride, I called The Party Ride and was told to send in my complaint by email and that I would hear within 48 hours. I sent it in on Friday afternoon and did not hear anything back. A week later, I called only to be told by Natasha that it takes them weeks to process complaints and that I had to speak to Mark, an accountant, who would be in the next day. I received nothing but attitude from Natasha. I called the next day, was sent to Mark's voicemail twice, and was surprisingly called back later that day. Mark took absolutely no responsibility for his employees, saying that Alan, who I booked the bus with, gave me the wrong information about the tip and that Elias, the driver, is not allowed to demand tip at the beginning of the ride or call a ride off based on gratuity. After telling Mark that I expect a refund of the tip I gave the driver, seeing that The Party Ride IS responsible for what their employees say and do on the job, he said that would only be possible if the driver if willing to give back the cash (obviously not going to happen).
DO NOT book with this company. They are a scam and treat their clients horribly. After reading other reviews, I guess I should be thankful a bus even showed up for our event!