You guessed it, there’s a passionate rant about to unfold here. But fear not, this one bears merit and harps on the greed of a lazy company, attempting to erase rules as quickly as they are written.

From a customer standpoint, Groundlink is an embarrassment. From a tech standpoint, Groundlink is an embarrassment and in case you’re thinking about riding with them any time soon, heed this fair warning.

a car parked in a roomBackstory

I’ve been a Groundlink customer for over 5 years. I’ve spent thousands with them over the years in places all around the world. But they’re expensive and lately, they rarely seem to be the most practical solution. To tempt riders in, and compete with their tech savvy rivals, they started a referral program, where you earn $25 for everyone you refer who takes a ride. Simple enough.

The Issue

Perhaps we have a high ranking Google post, or maybe it’s because they recently had a tasty promotion – but lately we’ve received lots of referrals. It’s not actual cash, but for hooking them up with new customers, $25 in future ride credit is a nice gesture.

As someone who goes to the airport every few days, it’s been really handy. I was recently able to take a couple completely free rides which is a nice bonus for bringing them business. And again – I am regularly a paying customer. That is, until this week when my account was “shut down”.

a man in a suit opening the door of a carViolation

After booking a ride just two days ago, I received a phone call an hour later. It went something along the lines of…

Groundlink: You cannot combine promotions, you violated the terms by using a Visa discount and another credit.

Me: No I didn’t. And if you think I have, take the discount away and use my ride credit, it’s more than enough to cover the ride.

Groundlink: No, you can’t use more than (1) $25 credit per ride.

Me: That’s not true. There’s nowhere that states that and it’s not been the case for weeks now. Look at my account.

Groundlink: It’s in the terms and conditions.

Me: I’m looking at the terms and conditions, and someone from your company failed to ever write them. It says Lorem Ipsum over and over again, where someone was supposed to create terms.

Groundlink: We’re cancelling your ride and you cannot use your credits…

I eventually ended up speaking to a manager named Marco, who was the worst of the lot. He seemed to take pride and enjoyment in shaming me while unilaterally cancelling my ride for the very next morning, after 10PM. If I were a Groundlink human resources team member, I’d love a listen to that phone call.

a screenshot of a websiteCalling BS

There has never been a single word of language, term or context that suggested you could not combine your ride credits. It’s always been ok, it’s been done many times and not a peep had ever been uttered.

And why should it? Anyone referring customers is only getting credit AFTER someone has signed up and PAYED for a ride with Groundlink because of that person. You’d think you’d want to encourage such positive free promotion.

Clearly Groundlink got tired of the system which has long been around, which I’ve never had a problem using – and made a flash in the pan decision to change policy.

Legal Grounds?

I was denied a promotion for which there were no terms and conditions or legal basis for change. I believe this is both fraudulent and illegal. Reneging on promotion can get a business into serious legal trouble, especially when they’re taking away something which was used to garner new business. See: sweepstakes law. I now have no use for over $100 in ride credit which has been robbed by Groundlink.

My propensity to refer people toward this business was futile and has now been entirely in vain. I will never use this company again, unless they honor my remaining ride credits however I see fit – in one single use. Oh, and they cancelled my ride without warning. Good thing I checked.

What would you do?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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    1. CFPB’s mandate only covers the financial sector, it’s not a general consumer protection umbrella…

  1. After their big Visa Signature/Infinite debacle, I’m surprised they have any customers left. Uber and Lyft offer luxury alternatives that are far superior to anything Groundink offers and at a much better value.

  2. I got billed $129 for a ride from DFW to my house using Groundlink. I was charged a wait fee cause we couldn’t find the driver. Then the whole ride, the driver bitched about how he waited on us. That is his JOB to wait on passengers. Groundlink did give me $21 back. But the original estimate was $95, not $108. But I had to spend $95 anyways to get my AMEX offer

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