• Report:  #3424

Complaint Review: Travelways - San Francisco California

Reported By:
- Tempe, Arizona,
Tue, September 26, 2000

300 Toland St. San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
415 642 9400
Bus Companies
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This is a complaint to report a Transportation / Bus company called Travelways of San Francisco, whom totally Screwed up a big event that my company organized: I organized a big event for 390 people to go see the Gipsy Kings in Concert on Friday Aug. 18,2000, departing San Francisco at 6:15pm, destination The Greek Theater in Berkeley, CA. I had set up a 2 hour pre party with food and drinks at Barcelona Restaurant. Everybody was dressed in a Spanish theme, Ladies red dresses and Gents had black pants, white shirts and vests. In other words, people were not dressed for staying outside on a cold Street down town windy and cold San Francisco I had contracted with 8 buses to come pick us up, where by one transportation company, Travelways of San Francisco, were going to supply me with 7 of the 8 buses.

In the contract it was stipulated where they were going to Spot Check (6:00 pm on Aug. 18, -00) as well as actual Pick Up Time (6:15pm), See original contract / fax sent to them below. My clients were waiting for the TWO last buses from 6:15 until 7:05pm, but by that time 21 of my clients was so cold having had to wait for the buses since 6:15, that they decided to go home....and were very frustrated and disappointed that they could not go to this very much anticipated concert.

I contacted the bus company the following Monday to get a refund, however all they were willing to give me back was $134 and change, that they claimed they would have charged me for overtime - which in the first place should never have been charged due to the fact that they in addition to not only having not been there on time with TWO buses, they did not follow my Typed Up directions (See letter at bottom of this text) for how to get back from the concert and thereby getting stuck in traffic - however, had they followed my explicit and very clear directions that I had faxed to them, there would have been no overtime at all. Not only where they late picking up, they ALSO dropped people OFF at the wrong area when arriving at the concert, while at the same time telling 100 clients (2 buses) that they would pick them up again at the same spot that they were dropped off.

This of course caused us to lose people after the concert since they went to the wrong area. I have learned later that some of them had to take a taxi back as there were NO buses there after the concert.

I am in the process of paying them back a refund as well, but obviously not a full refund. I had VERY detailed directions with even a map, marked off where the Drop off and Pick up was going to take place....so there is NO excuse for this to have taken place either.

I personally took responsibility for my clients and refunded them the money, however this bus companys GM Jim Casey, is not willing to fess up to his responsibility by not being able to follow through on their part. They even tried to say that there was a clean up fee for many of the buses, and I kind of knew that they would try something like this too, since that was the FIRST thing I asked about (before voicing my complaint) when I called them the following Monday. AND they told me then, before knowing about my Big complaint, that there was NO clean up fee for my event!

I then proceeded to let them know about the two buses being late. I have called them repeatedly and the GM, Jim Casey, is obviously NOT willing to take responsibility for the mess they caused and I wonder what to do. Mr. Casey denied that there were two buses late he claims it was only one and in addition he claims that the bus (s) were there by 6:35pm.

I had hired a man, Kevin Rambke, to be in charge of all the ppl. getting on the buses and he confirmed with me that the buses did not get there before 7:05pm. I even suggested for Jim Casey to call Mr. Rambke, however Mr. Casey has to this date not spoken with Mr. Rambke to get this confirmedNOR has Mr. Casey made any other attempts to get hold of Mr. Rambke. Mr. Rambke has called and left several messages for Mr. Casey, however, up until Sept. 22, -00 Mr. Casey has not yet made contact with Mr. Rambke, WHOM can confirm that there were TWO busses late as well as that they did not show up until 7:05pm.

The only money I got back from them was the $134 that they wanted to charge me for the overtime, WHICH they should Never have charge me in the first place! I have asked them for 2 x $449 in refunds ($898) , which was the price for the two buses that showed up late. However, again, I have taken a much bigger loss than that, both monetary and customer relations pertaining to my clients.

This whole incident did not only make it a VERY bad experience for my clients, whom I have been arranging events for many, many times before, but it is also very unlikely that they will ever come back to my events for the future. So the loss to me is much more than just the money I have had to reimburse my clients for this very unfortunate incident.

Sicerely, Alf Marcussen Event Planner Contract / Fax sent to the company, prior to the event; To: Lanae / Bus drivers for Friday August 18th From: Alf and Alf Group / Jennivine Lee. RE: Details for the trip. Going from SF to Berkeley to see the Gipsy Kings in Concert. Needed: Bus with working Tape Deck Multiple garbage bags in the rear and front and Middle of the bus Working Restrooms PLEASE number the buses with numbers 1 through 7 (this is very important so that I can send the right ppl. to specific buses to lead the groups)

Please give me Two Cell phone numbers that some of the chauffeurs will have with them My Cell is xxxxxxxxxx (Alf) Pager # for Berkeley Police. Sgt. Shipman is xxxxxxxxx, I will get his Cell later on. Spot check is at: 6:00 pm at Pine between Montgomery and Kearny, Fri. Aug. 18,-00. Then at 6:15 pull up at Kearny and California to start filling buses. Once bus is full, start proceeding towards The Greek Theater in Berkeley immediately. Route: Make a Right on Montgomery, L on Market, R on 2nd st. take on ramp to the Bay Bridge just before Bryant st. Exit at Ashby and make a L at Adeline. Proceed to University. Make a R on University then a Left on Oxford then a R on Hearst. We can Stage the buses by double parking on Hears between Euclid and Leroy.

They we will communicate with the Berkeley Police; sgt. Shipman (will get Cell phone for him later) to bring in two or three buses at the time to drop ppl. off. Park buses off site so that we don't need to pay for parking. I am working with the Berkeley Police to see if they can advice us where to go. Pick up / Drop off: I expect the concert to be over anywhere from 10:15pm to 10:45pm and we should have the buses ready Spotting at the same spot we dropped ppl. off from 9:50pm. Drop off will be at R. on Gayley when coming up Hearst, then make a First Right down a small hill (See Map. There is room enough to make a U-turn here).

We will Spot check at the first Right off of Gayley where we dropped ppl. off when coming to Berkeley. Going back: Go down Hearst make a L on Oxford pass University (too much traffic there after the concert) and make a first possible Right Turn down 1 or 2 blocks to Shattuck and make a Left on Shattuck. Then go Ashby and make a Right and go straight down to the freeway again and drop off at California and Kearny where we did the pick up.

I look forward to speaking with you later today at 5pm. Please call me if you happen to leave earlier or leave a message for me. But it would be great to talk with the person in charge later today.

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