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US Coachlines Complaint - Fake limousine / charter bus company

Review by just 4us on 2010-10-17
SPRINGFIELD, VIRGINIA -- US Coachlines & Universe Bus Charters LLC, located at 5238 Port Royal Rd, Springfield, VA 22151. Also goes by the name of US Coachlines & paradise Party Bus.
August 11, 2010 I contracted with the above company and gave to them a $250.00 deposit for a party bus for my daughter's birthday celebration on August 28th. The contract was for a party bus that would accommodate up to 34 persons for 7 hours for a total cost of $980.00. The bus unlike a limousine allow occupants to stand, dance and interact during the lease period of the bus. The bus was to come stocked with water, ice and soda, as well the bus was to be flat screen TVs and MP3 player. I contacted the company 3 days prior to the event and I assured that the party bus would be delivered on the contracted date. I called three hours prior to the arrival time on the date of the event to insure that the driver had the correct address and the company assured me everything was fine and on schedule. At the scheduled time of the event, instead of a party bus a dirty stretch limousine pulled up to my door. when I called the company about the mix up I was told take it or leave it. The limo driver informed me that the company I contracted with does not own a party bus and subcontracts all of their work to other companies. The subcontractor "AAA Limousine" regularly get customers from US Coach lines & Party Bus. The company and subcontractor's ploy is that they count on the customer being desperate and in need of transportation at the last moment and therefore the customer will take what ever is delivered for the same price. I refused the limousine and told the sales manager, Paul McAllister, that he breached the contract and I demanded my deposit of $250.00 to be returned.
I was told by the sales manager that they would refund my deposit on several occasions. Each time I call I was told the deposit would be refunded but to date I have not received the $250.00 deposit and no one will return my calls.
This company should not be allowed to continue scamming customers.
If anyone has any suggestions on how to keep this company from preying on other people please share.
Comments:12 Replies - Latest reply on 2013-05-06
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-10-17:
When you gave these people the deposit, did you enter into a contract that stated what you would receive? I would hope that when spending that much money you would get everything in writing. If they refuse to return your deposit, I guess you could take them to small claims court.

Just curious. Was the bus going to be in motion while the kids were partying. Is that safe?
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-17:
I dont know about venice's response, but It sounds like a SCAM to me! If you paid by credit card, dispute the charge immediately because it seems to me they are playing the "waiting game" with you to hold off as long as possible to get your money. I have been a chauffeur before, and drove luxiry busses. I dont know the legal aspects about kids running around and jumping around, but I never really made an issue out of it when I was a driver.
Posted by Skye on 2010-10-17:
I think the fact that it was only $980.00 for a party of 34, for 7 hours, would have sent up red flags, to me, anyway. That is beyond inexpensive. Sounds like a big bait and switch.

Take them to small claims court. They always have cases like this, where you pay for a certain type of vehicle, then on the day of the event, they send something totally different, and you are at their mercy, either take it or leave it. Shame on those companies who do business like that.
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-10-17:
Did you sign a contract? Venice has a great point. MANY of these transportation services use subcontractors and have a clause in the contract when you pay your deposit that clearly states there is a possibility of substitution.
Posted by Skye on 2010-10-17:
True, it's all about what's in the contract. Still, you pay for a party bus, and get a limo, and a smelly one at that!
Posted by raven2010 on 2010-10-17:
EWWWWWW!
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-17:
Like Prince-Caesar, I'm hoping that you paid that deposit by credit card so that you can dispute it and put that matter to rest.

As far as suing is concerned, I would be curious as to what kind of damages you can sue for. This, clearly is a breach of contract. But what actual loss did you suffer that you can claim for.

Good luck.
Posted by Obsfucation on 2010-10-17:
In many states, MA being one, you can sue in Small Claims Court for deceptive/dishonest business practices. If you prevail, you are entitled to triple damages. It is worth investigating. (It's called a 93A action here)
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-10-17:
Getoverit, the OP would be suing for the return of the deposit. Damages might also include compensation for finding a way to entertain 34 people at the last minute.

Obs, that's good to know. The OP should definitely check into that in their State.
Posted by just 4us on 2010-10-20:
Thanks for the comments- just to clarify a few things.I gave a $250.00 check that was cashed. The contract was based on several email exchanges that we had regarding the party bus.He sent pictures of the party bus and what I should expect to receive on the day of the event. The passengers on the bus are all over 21years old.I want to sue them for the return of my deposit and I want others to know the type of deceptive practices this company engages in. I am going to look into the "disceptive/dishonest" business practice with the court as well as filing with the small claims court.
Posted by Venice09 on 2010-10-20:
The emails and pictures might be good enough. I hope you saved them. Let us know how it turns out.
Posted by Angelica on 2013-05-06:
I just got scammed yesterday by them for my senior prom

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