I don't normally write reviews for anything but I feel I have to for this.
Initially I had an excellent experience with Vine Taxis. On my way to the airport Terry showed up on time. I had confirmed that ahead of time drivers accept credit. I confirmed again with Terry. He said yes because "if you don't accept credit cards you lose customers".
I booked with them for my return journey using WhatsApp (their preferred method of communication). I was given no information, except the name of the driver (Aamir). Since Vine knew I was a return customer, I figured that if anything about the policy had changed they'd let me know.
About 5 minutes into the trip, the driver asks how I'm paying. I tell him credit. He says "only bank transfer or cash". I tell him I'm from Canada and instant e-transfers wouldn't be possible (transfers from Canadian banks take days). I suggested I send him cash through PayPal. He said no because he didn't have an account. He wanted cash. I didn't have any cash so he wanted to drive me to an ATM.
I tried to convince him otherwise, telling him that I was lead to believe this was company policy. He gave some story about credit machines not working in the area, even though I already told him it worked for Terry on the same route. I had been travelling for seven hours and the UK is a foreign country so I gave up and allowed him to drive me to some random ATM. I was charged a withdraw fee.
Over WhatsApp, I asked for a refund of some money to cover the bank fee. Vine threw this back at me saying they couldn't refund a bank fee when I "chose" to withdraw from a bank.
I explained the facts
- I was forced to withdraw by a bank
- Vine drivers clearly accept card
- the website says they accept card
- ATMs charge international cards
- besides being let out on the middle of a highway, the driver gave me no other option but to do whatever he wanted
- the Vine website says there aren't hidden fees but I had to pay bank fees, why is this trip technically costing me more that they said?
What followed were a bunch of poorly worded messages never addressing anything I was saying. Then they offered a discount on my "next journey" (as if there would be one), but only because I was picked up at the drop off zone, when I should have been greeted at the airport. This was never a concern I raised, so it made no sense why this would solve anything or why they would deserve future business. If anything it just proved that they knew that I was being overcharged but were keeping my money anyways.
I would say this could have been driver error, but the response from Vine indicates it takes customers for granted and preys on tourists' inexperience and vulnerability. They now are ignoring me. I was a return customer but won't be one again. I suggest you shouldn't be one either.
EDIT in response:
the owner claims I didn’t want to prepay. I was given no option.
The first employee had zero problems with my card on the same route. Mobile phones do work.