Limo service gets complaints

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by By JESSE JONES / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @getjesse

KING5.com

Posted on May 6, 2009 at 11:41 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 31 at 9:30 AM

Video: Limo service with complaints

Several people called us to complain about  a Seattle Limousine company.

We heard about kids stranded and about unauthorized charges put on credit cards. And when we started asking questions, we found out the limo company is operating without a license.

The driver wiping down his Denali was about to pick up a fare right down the street. See, we called the company for a ride from KING 5 to the airport.

Here's the secret: The company doesn't have a valid limo license and they had no idea the customer was me.

The driver sped away from me, but the company can't run from their customers' complaints.

"I wouldn't use those guys ever again," says parent Gary Sharnbroich.

I asked student Annika Juhlin if she would ever take the company.

"No!" she responded.

Before Inglemoor High School's senior prom last year, parents took video of their sharply dressed kids and of the limo coming to pick them up.

"The limo comes down, it was kind of like a Hollywood entrance. Everyone was excited," said Gary.

"He said he was going to pull down the driveway and pull around," Annika added.

While one of the drivers tried to negotiate the cul-de-sac, all of the kids back at the top of the hill heard what happened next.

"You could hear it. It was a crunch, thunk sound," Annika remembers.

The driver hit a parent's car.

Then someone took a look inside the limo and this is what they saw: A tux coat, some shoes, and lots of trash.

"It was absolutely disgusting," Gary says.

The limo was already an hour and a half late and the parents had had enough. They canceled the limo and got the kids to dinner.

"But we only got one hour at prom, by the time we got there all of our friends were leaving," said Annika. "I spent half of my homecoming on the phone calling and calling. It was busy, or they weren't answering."

A few months later Kirsten Brunker and a friend hired the limo service for Redmond High School's homecoming. She says the company was an hour and a half late picking them up and then left them stranded at the school after the dance.

"So you guys were stranded?" I asked.

"Yeah, we had to call parents and everything, had to get rides back, it was a very frustrating night," Kirsten says.

Pam Lyle, one of the parents, says the company charged her $600 and then added a $120 tip to her credit card even though the kids paid them cash before the trip.

"He told me on Thanksgiving Day that he was going to bring a check to my house out of his pocket," Pam says.

I asked if he ever gave her the check.

Pam said, "No."

I contacted the Department of Licensing and they told me that the company's license to operate had expired in late October. And that's why we couldn't believe he sent someone to take us to Sea-Tac.

 

The owner promised to speak with us last night, but then changed his mind.

The company did take care of the parent's car that was hit.

But he did charge us $55 for the trip we never took to the airport.

By the way, owner can be fined $1000 per day for operating his limo business without license.

Update:

We just learned and confirmed that the owner got his license back. He still didn't want to speak with us.

Two more points:

The company did take care of the parents' car that was hit.

And they did charge us $55 for the trip we never took to the airport.

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