By: Natalie Gladman
OTS seemed like a good option for our transfer from Glasgow airport to Gleneagles in just over 2 weeks’ time. I booked a taxi transfer online today, along with the meet and greet service. Wish I'd read review sites before doing so, but never really consider that for taxi services (yes for hotels/accommodation/restaurants etc but not so much for taxis). If I had done so, I probably wouldn't have been so confident booking them given the large number of no-shows/late cancellations and late arrivals that people complain about. Anyway, my issue is with their cancellation policies.
I booked the transfer at 13:21. I sent in an email on the same day at 16:40 to cancel (as our flight arrangements had changed unexpectedly). I was told that I would have to pay £7 or 10% of the booking fee, whichever was higher. I had not received confirmation that the booking had been processed (as the acknowledgment said I would receive when done), the journey was over 2 weeks away, and I had cancelled within 3.5 hours of the original booking!
OTS had not provided any service, nor incurred any costs, and had not even allocated a driver! I queried the cancellation fee - as a consumer you are usually entitled to a full refund if you cancel within 14 days (if the booking is made online). OTS it seems feel that they are exempt from consumer protection regulations under the Consumer Contract Regulations, but when queried they could not tell me precisely which section applied to them and the service I had booked.
Numerous emails back and forth with 'Josh' who tried to hide his goading, insolence and general apathy in an apparently 'helpful' tone without much success - but didn’t much like it when I responded in a similar manner (couldn’t help it). The net effect being that OTS couldn't tell me precisely why they were exempt from giving me a full refund other than a generic reference to the statute I mentioned to them, and they relied on their terms and conditions which do not make it clear that your normal consumer protections do not apply if booking their service. Bear in mind, I cancelled within 3.5 hours for a taxi service over 2 weeks away! If you use them, do so at your peril - their cancellation policy and customer service is very poor. For the sake of £7.50 which is what they have deducted from the £75 I paid, I will be spreading the word as far and wide as I can to NOT use them - unless you're 100% sure your plans won't change, and you're prepared to run the gauntlet of maybe receiving a good service (or not). I have never been charged for cancelling a taxi with more than 2 weeks' notice (and so quickly after booking!) Very short sighted, very poor customer service, and overall a very poor experience. Avoid them - would give them zero stars if I could.