Bad Experience with Super Shuttle Equals Refund for Me

As I mentioned on my last post on traveling to New York City, I decided to use Super Shuttle to get from the airport to my friend's place. I got into town at 10:00 at night, and figured I shouldn't take the subway that late (actually, it would have probably been perfectly safe - if only my friends had told me that in advance!).

Well, I had a terrible experience, so I decided to write a letter to Super Shuttle requesting a full refund. Here is the letter I wrote:

Dear Super Shuttle Representative:

I am writing to express my concern about the appallingexperience I had with Super Shuttle on Friday, September 26, 2008 in New York City.

I made a reservation online several days in advance. My reservation stated that my flight would be arrivingat 10:00. My flight arrived on time, and I followed the instructions in my booking confirmation to use the courtesy phone in the baggage claim area to call the Super Shuttle. The shuttle going in my direction did not pick me up until 11:00. Then, the shuttle went to two other terminals to pick up additional passengers. We were not actually on the way to our destination until 11:30. By this point, we could have already been home if we had taken the AirTrain and subway.

It then took another two hours to get to our destination, partly because the driver did not speak enough Englisht o understand the passengers and not drop thepassengers off in the most efficient order as a result. The language barrier was not the main problem; it only contributed to the greater problem of the service generally being extremely late and extremely slow. I can't say whether this is a problem with the driver or with something in the way Super Shuttle operates. Based on another experience with an extremely late shuttle in San Francisco, I am inclined to think the main problem is with Super Shuttle's system.

There is no excuse for 1) the shuttle to pick us up anhour late and 2) the service to take three and a half hours to accomplish what the subway could have accomplished in an hour and a half or two. I signed upfor Super Shuttle because I thought it would be afaster and more convenient way to get to mydestination. Instead it was slow, hot, cramped, and full of unhappy passengers bickering with a driver who could not understand their directions.

I am writing both to alert you to this problem and to request a full refund. This is actually the second bad experience I have had with Super Shuttle so I am particularly upset. The details of my reservation are below for your convenience.

Amy Fontinelle

Within a few days, I got a phone call stating that I would be receiving a complete refund. Hooray.

Interestingly, Super Shuttle does not seem to provide any way to contact them except by email and my refund phone call came from an unlisted number. At least they replied to my email. If Super Shuttle had not issued a refund, I would have taken the issue up with my credit card company. Credit cards will also sometimes issue refunds to consumers for faulty products and services as long as you attempt to resolve the issue directly with the company first. This is one of the many protections available to consumers from purchasing products with a credit card and one of a few reasons why I buy everything with my credit card.

It's always a good idea to write a letter to the company when you have a legitimate complaint about something. You'll probably end up with a refund or some free stuff. Unfortunately, even though they gave me a refund, after two bad experiences I will still not be using Super Shuttle in the future, which is too bad, because the idea for their service is a good one. Maybe another company will step into this niche one day and provide superior service. Until then, I will have to rely on friends, cabs, and public transit.

Photo by stevelyon

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