September 05, 2008
Is it possible to rank these people a zero? I've never had such an awful customer service experience in my life. After moving to London from the USA earlier this year, we booked Addison Lee several times with good results, and then it all fell apart. I was to be picked up July 26 at night at Heathrow, upon my return from the U.S.. I went to the appointed meeting place (the Hertz counter), and found no driver. There was another Addison Lee driver there waiting for another customer. Luckily, he took pity on me, as neither of my mobile phones were working. He helped me phone my husband, and he then spent about 20 minutes on the phone with various Addison Lee contacts, locating my driver. Meanwhile, his own client (whose name I remember, as it's the same as a now-deceased former U.S. president) showed up with his wife, and said that they had seen another driver halfway across the terminal. The other clients were also quite kind, and the wife actually started across the terminal to find the other driver. The other driver then showed up (after I had been waiting some 40 minutes), apologising profusely, saying that he had just started working for Addison Lee that week, and wasn't aware of the pickup point. I chose not to report the incident to Addison Lee at the time, thinking first that they should've been aware of it based on the other driver's multiple phone calls, and secondly not wanting to get my driver into trouble with his new employer. Boy, do I regret that decision now. Some weeks later, my husband finds mysterious charges from Addison Lee on our credit card bill. Some are subsequently explained, but there is one charge that we are told is for WAITING TIME for this driver! We explained, first by e-mail and then by phone to a customer service rep the string of events. She insists that my driver claims that he was at the Hertz counter the entire time, and that they choose to "stand behind their employees." I then point out that she could prove that I am not lying by (a) speaking with the other driver, (b) checking his mobile phone records (which include both a phone call to my house and multiple calls to Addison Lee) and/or (c) speaking with the other customer who surely remembers the situation. Both the customer service agent and her supervisor (who claims she's been in customer service for 10 years), refuse to do any of these things, preferring to implicitly accuse a customer of lying (for a GBP 8.00 charge!), lose our business and retain an employee who has repeatedly lied to them, rather than take care of a repeat customer who was on track to bring them at least hundreds of pounds of revenue per year. I've now been told that I can contact the Chairman, but that he doesn't have e-mail (!?) We choose not to waste our time further with this poorly run firm, and will dispute the unbelievably small charge with our credit card company, and happily take our rather larger amount of business elsewhere. To all who use this company, enjoy your free newspaper, but beware of the customer service team, and definitely report any issues immediately, as you will never be believed ex post facto! These people are the textbook example for how NOT to run a customer service operation!