easyBus? Not exactly…

Claire Walters, Chief Executive of Bus Users, warns caution over easyBus, the low-cost airport transfer service.

I'm sure they carry thousands of people to and from airports successfully all the time but when things go wrong, which they often do, you really don't want to be one of their passengers!

They get you to book online or via your mobile and store that information for the legitimate purpose of communicating with you regarding your booking. However, if your booked coach is delayed for any reason, do they use it to let you know? No, they do not. The drivers of the vehicles which do turn up aren't able to take you because they're booked further down the route but they give you reassuring messages that your bus isn't far behind. Nobody answers the phone except during business hours when you might get a reply, but they'll tell you to get the next one or be regretfully unable to help you. By the time you realise you're not getting what you paid for, it's nearly always too late to get there by other means. 

You could miss your flight altogether and end up hugely out of pocket but they don't care, won't refund you even if the service never ran because 'it's not our policy'. Read the small print in their Terms & Conditions and you'll see they take no responsibility for anything. Service didn't show? Not our problem. Lost your luggage? It was carried at your own risk. Consequential loss? No chance! 

So what do you do? You can complain to the relevant body, Bus Users UK, but actually, easyBus doesn't belong to any trade body that recognises the need to follow good practice so even if the complaint is well-founded with plenty of irrefutable evidence, there's no way of enforcing a judgement in your favour.

The Traffic Commissioners could take this into account when their licence comes up for renewal but we've sent them 15 cases this year and, so far, the TCs haven't done anything to stop this sharp practice. 

easyBus Directors aren't bothered and the Chief Executive claims he hasn't got any discretionary spending power for refunds. They're perfectly happy to keep ripping off customers, ruining their holidays and shrugging their shoulders as long as the money keeps rolling in. 

So what next? You could go down the Small Claims Court if you can be bothered. You might even be able to get a Trading Standards office to take an interest as they're generally not following the trade rules either. 

In the end, the only thing that will have a real impact is to not use their service, ever.  Yes they're cheap but it's an expensive item, a holiday- do you really want to risk not getting away at all and spending the next few months arguing? 

Don't give them another penny of your hard-earned cash and hit them in the bank balance. Kick them to the kerb with the other road rubbish, it's where they belong. 

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