On 1 June Geoff and Marie Southern had checked out of their hotel in New York and were waiting for their transport, a ‘Supertshuttle taxi’, to Newark Airport. They had confirmed the airport transfer arrangements the evening before by phone. The six day holiday had been very good, wonderful continuous sunshine, sight seeing, a show Geoff had always wanted to see, and on Broadway, and shopping. But then things started to go down hill rapidly.
• The ‘Supershuttle’ didn’t show. • The only available transport, a black limmo not a yellow cab, would only take them for an inflated charge. • Time was then very tight to make the flight, on fixed flight no refund tickets
It appears that Supershuttle is a franchise company, and the company who hold the New York Franchise are called Blue Van. On the Supershuttle website they introduce themselves as:
“Welcome to SuperShuttle, the easiest and most cost-effective way to get to and from the airport from your home, office or hotel.
We are the nation's leading shared-ride airport shuttle, providing door-to-door ground transportation to more than 8 million passengers per year. Our friendly drivers, comfortable vans and reasonable rates take the hassle out of getting to and from the airport in 19 major US cities!” (Supershuttle.com website , accessed 30 Jan 2008).
Back in the UK, and unable to find a customer service point on the web, the Southerns sent an email to Supershuttle reservations, which was forwarded to Ivy Boatwright, the ‘Quality Assurance Rep’. In the letter it was explained that the Southerns had an arrangement to be collected at 3.10 pm at their hotel to be taken to Newark Airport. When Suppershuttle not arrive on time the doorman was kind enough to telephone them three times to check what was happening. Twice they said that the van would be arriving shortly. On third attempt at about 3.55 they told the Southerns that they should take alternative transport, and that the company would reimburse the cost of this. After some further delay searching for a ‘Yellow cab’ they could only find one ‘Black Limmo’ driver willing to do this at a price of $75. (They had a receipt…