We took a day trip with King’s Landing
Canoe Rental on February 18. We were told that our pickup at the takeout point would be 4pm. We got to the takeout at around 3:30, noted a large group waiting the King’s Landing van, and took a short walk. When we returned a few minutes before 4pm, the group had already been picked up.
What ensued was more than an hour of phone calls or attempted phone calls in which the phone at the King’s Landing office was rarely answered (amazing, isn’t it? With people out on the river, the Loomises evidently don’t bother to carry cell phones). I was able to connect on two occasions: once, about 4:20, when I was told there had been “van trouble” but that the driver would “be there shortly.” During the second successful attempt after 5pm, the promise was the same: he’s on his way, he’ll be right there. The driver finally arrived at 5:30.
During those calls, however, the Loomises were disingenuous enough to admit the truth of what had happened: The large group, which we'd noticed earlier, “didn’t want to wait” when the driver arrived. So, even though it wasn’t yet 4pm, the driver decided to leave us behind (he picked up our kayak, oars, and life jackets, so clearly he knew we had landed but weren’t on the bus).
Oh, by the way: the “van trouble” story turned out to be a lie. When our ride finally came, I asked the driver whether this was a replacement van. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about. They hadn’t had any van trouble that day.
When we got back to the office, Bob Loomis told me it was “one of those things that couldn’t be helped” because their driver had been “in a quandary.” That wasn’t a quandary: that was a conscious decision to screw two customers.
But here is what made the experience worse. It would have been one thing if they'd contacted us immediately to say, “Sorry, but we can’t get back there until 5:30." That would have been annoying, but at least we could have gotten something to eat and relaxed by the river. Instead, we were forced to stay at the pickup point (next to reeking, overflowing trash bins) because we never knew when or whether the driver might return for the day’s last pickup. In other words, 90 minutes of tension and frustration. No to mention that we had a 3-1/2 hour drive ahead of us that night to get back home.
Two days later, I wrote to the Loomises to ask for a refund. Bob Loomis waited a month to respond, claiming not to have received my letter. At that point, more lies began to multiply.
In a March 21 phone message, Bob Loomis claimed that, on Feb 18, he’d offered us a free river trip if we returned to Apopka. No, he didn’t. Had he made such an offer, I would have refused it. I never want to subject myself willingtly to these people again.
In an early April email, instead, Steve Loomis invented a new excuse: We had been “late” for our pickup. That’s another lie, but it’s an especially stupid one. If we had been late, not getting picked up would have been our fault. So why would Bob Loomis have (supposedly) offered us a free return trip? Wouldn’t he simply have told us, “tough luck”? Doesn’t make sense, does it?
Steve Loomis’s final word was that he wouldn’t issue a refund because he didn’t “bow down to bullies.” That’s the kind of people they are: quick to consider themselves “victimized” when they screw a customer over and the customer pushes back. Quick to lie to get out of admitting an error: the “van trouble,” the “free trip” offer that never existed, the last-ditch “you were late” excuse. If these guys haven’t yet appeared on Jerry Springer, they’re sure to show up any day now.
P.S. Since Bob and Steve Loomis run a rigorously cash-only business and they do not provide receipts, maybe someone at the tax collector’s office ought to mosey over and monitor their till.
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