(WHAS11) The news station received dozens of calls and e-mails after an I-Team Investigation shown on Monday night that uncovered a limousine company operating outside of the law in Kentuckiana.
So in tonight’s consumer watch, Andy Treinen tells us how to spot a fraud.
“It was dirty and stained and smelly,” that’s the way one previous customer described her experience with a limousine service.
Two days before our investigative report into an illegal limousine company, Deanna Martinez hired Above the Clouds Limo to drive her to an 11:00 a.m. wedding.
“It was supposed to be like my perfect day and it wasn’t,” she said; the limo didn’t show up until 11:20 a.m.
“I want them to close down and make them pay everyone back for what they ruined for them.”
Deanna called us on Tuesday, and together we matched phone numbers from “Above the Clouds” to the company in our report.
Deanna’s sister said the whole experience was a nightmare. “They were just slamming on the brakes; they were just driving all crazy.”
After tips from viewers, former drivers and legitimate limo companies, WHAS11 has learned the husband and wife team at the center of our investigation is using several different business names, including:
1. Affordable Limo
2. Ground Transport
3. Ground Transport Limo Services
4. Above the Clouds Limo Service
5. All Stars Limo Service
6. Portable Limo Service, and
7. John’s Limousine.
Obviously, there are a number of legitimate and very good limousine companies in Louisville.
The president of the Kentucky Limousine Association told us that this is a very-regulated industry; it’s just poorly enforced.
“The general public will assume because you’re in the limousine business that surely somebody is watching over you; when in fact, they’re not.” Fieldhouse points to the yellow pages where there are 22 limo companies advertising in Louisville; less than half are licensed through the state.
“I was delighted to see that the story was on the air, because this type of behavior from poorly operated limo companies needs to be exposed,” added Fieldhouse.
Stickers, license plates and numbers indicate federal, state, city and airport compliance. Drivers with valid chauffer’s permits have had criminal background checks, license checks and etiquette training.
“They should operate like a Maître-de at a fine restaurant,” he said; making the frauds easy to sniff out.
There is a web site to make sure that when you’re taken for a ride… you’re not taken for a ride; it is Kylimo.org
“That’s the home page of the Kentucky Limousine Association and on that page we have helpful tips, things to watch out for. And not only that, but we have a listing of all of the qualified members; limousine companies that are authorized to operate in the state of Kentucky,” said Fieldhouse.
It could be the difference between the perfect wedding, and this: “She said give me your damn credit card, and tried to like grab my credit card out of my hand,” said Martinez.