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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Planes, Trains and Automobiles...Screwed

Traveling alone as a woman has never been a problem until this last trip. I decided to take a flight home from New York City instead of a train because I didn’t want to have to wander about Boston at 11pm when my train got in. So, I took the safer route by flying since I could go from the airport, hop on a bus and the bus brought me directly to my car. You’d think this would eliminate shadiness. Well no, it didn’t!

When I left my conference I stood in the taxi line to get a cab to the airport. The concierge noticed a vacant car waiting to bring people to the airport. The driver said that his party didn’t show up and he’d take $25 from each person that got in and that he was going to the airport. I thought “Great! I’ll save my company money.” I use this service all the time for business trips so I didn’t think there would be a problem.

The guy who got in with me was running late for his flight. He told the driver that he’d give him a cash bonus if he could get him to the airport on time. Mind you, this is during rush hour in NYC! We stopped and went with gusto! I mean this guy slammed on the gas and sent me flying into the back of the front seat. Slammed on the breaks and I’d go slamming right back into my seat. Repeat for an hour like this! Insane. I popped mints like it was my job to keep my stomach from turning.

We get to the airport and since the guy was running late, I allowed him to get dropped off first. The driver dropped him at his terminal with a half an hour to spare. The guy gave him the $25 and a cash bonus and he was off. The driver took me to my terminal and he changed his tune.

“Where you go now?”
“Jetblue please.”

We arrive at the Jetblue terminal and I have my $25 plus tip ready. He looks at my money and says “I want $50.” I told him I didn’t have $50 (I did but he wasn’t going to know that.) He repeats himself “I want $50.” I replied “Do you take a charge card?” (At least if I charged I could do a charge back) he says he doesn’t. He get’s out of the car and get’s my bag from the back. I hop out of the car and look for security. There is no one. Of course this guy pulls up to the curb that is vacant. I realize I am not even at the JetBlue terminal. I am two up from Jetblue.

I walk around to the back of the car to get my bag and hand him his $25 (no tip now because he pissed me off). “I want $50!” I look around. There is NO ONE and I am ready to puke. I rummage through my purse and realize I ditched my pepper spray because it’s kinda frowned upon by the TSA. DAMN!

I look at him and say “I book you all the time. I know how much you charge for a trip to the airport and it’s not $50 and I know you can take a credit card. I am not paying $50 and I can guarantee you if I do pay $50, I will never book with you again.” He stares at my blankly “$50” he says while holding my bag. I reach out for my bag and he pulls it away “$50” he screams.

I can guarantee you that had I been dropped off first and that man was in the car still, this would never have happened. This driver knew what he was doing.

Since there was no security around and I was ready to puke and I ditched my pepper spray, I paid $50 cash. He threw a taxi cab receipt at me to fill out so I could at least expense the $50. The funny part is that had I taken a cab, it would have cost me $60 to get to the airport and I would have been fine with that. It’s the fact that this guy intentionally screwed with me that made me angry and feel violated.

I have notified the company and they are trying to resolve the issue but come on… that was uncalled for. I will never take a stray car service again. I’ll only be using car services that are pre-booked for me or a cabby. Lesson learned. HMPH!

1 comment:

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