Quick summary (in case you’re in a hurry): GS Cars will happily leave you stranded and out of pocket if anything goes wrong. The drivers they send out are not necessarily licensed or registered with them. There are many other, better minicab services in the Stoke Newington area, including Sam’s Cars almost right next door.
So, if you’ve followed this site at all over the last eight years, you probably know that I don’t like posting negative reviews. But what GS Cars, that good old Stoke Newington minicab company, put us through, and then left us to deal with and pick up the pieces… things, or rather GS Cars, really went as low as they could! Hope you enjoy a good rant…
Fasten your seat-belts, let’s go, and enjoy!
I have used GS Cars, as well as other N16 minicab services of course, for about twelve or 13 years now, ever since I moved to Stoke Newington. Never had much of a problem with any of them, apart maybe from a slight tendency of drivers to sporadically turn up at another address that shares the first two letters with my road 😉
And before I go on (and on) I’d like to make it clear that I tried for weeks (make that over a year now) to resolve this issue amicably, and that none of the below goes against GS Cars’ controllers or regular & legit drivers… this is exclusively about the company owner and his policies, the driver who caused this whole mess, and what can happen when you rely on GS Cars and something that is completely within their control goes wrong.
So here is what happened…
On a very early Friday morning in January 2016, we missed our flights out to a four day holiday due to GS Cars sending us an “independent” driver (aka “a random man with a car”) who’s car had an engine problem, which he was perfectly aware of, as he was happy to tell us and discuss with the controller at length during our two hour odyssey to Stansted.
After the first ten or 15 minutes that engine failure first raised its ugly head, and from there on out we stopped every few minutes, in the darkness, to wait for a miracle to happen – sometimes on the hard shoulder, sometimes in the middle of the motorway or in other innovative spots that put us at the complete mercy of other drivers having their lights up and paying attention.
Also unfortunately, this driver ignored our increasingly desperate requests to call a backup cab until it was way too late. By the time he finally acknowledged defeat (well over an hour into our journey), the only other GS driver anywhere nearby had overtaken us on the motorway a couple of minutes before.
On top of this, kicking a couple when they were down, our driver still demanded payment, which we stupidly handed over since we were in a tiny bit of a rush at the time, and probably white as sheets after arriving at the airport an hour late and a couple of minutes before the gate was supposed to close, just having narrowly escaped death.
Did I mention I was on crutches at the time? You should have seen me hop around the airport… hilarious!
Now, I know accidents can happen. In this particular case however the whole issue was not an accident at all but a situation that was completely and utterly avoidable.
As a result of the whole mess, we spent a few hours at the airport, miserable and trying to find our way back out of the secure area. After getting back home a few hours later we had to book new flights, and we also had to pay for the night at the hotel in Spain which we couldn’t cancel at such short notice.
To be fair, GS did pick us up from the airport for free to get us back home, and they took us back out there the next morning… which left us exactly where we were supposed to be the day before, only a day late, stressed as hell, and quite a lot poorer.
Since then, I’ve tried to call, email and turn up in person at GS Cars, but any request for compensation for the damages has been completely ignored by the owner (who apparently always arrives “in half an hour”, no matter when or how often you try.) His main arguments for not giving a shit seems to be that (1) the driver was independent and not a GS Cars regular, and that (2) they already gave us two free rides, as I mentioned above.
To which I say that (1) I booked the cab with GS Cars, who I used to trust, and not some random person, and (2) … are you kidding me right now? That’s like pushing someone in front of a bus, and then expecting a medal for calling an ambulance!
I guess posting an article like this will not exactly get me any money back, and that’s ok. I’ve tried, nicely, and failed, miserably.
The funny thing is that we’re not talking about thousands of pounds here… the damage in monetary terms was about £200, give or take a few quid. I never tried to figure in the time we took off work, the stress, the… I don’t know… any of that. I really thought that after that long period of being a regular customer I could expect some sort of reasonable compensation. Turns out that, no, not at all, loyalty doesn’t count for anything with GS Cars!
I figure that even the loss of my own business should cost GS Cars more than that £200 over a few months, and if even only a few of you read this it’s going to be a lot more.
I’m also not writing this for any financial gain. I just hope that a few of you will read this, and maybe mention it, especially when you’re inside a GS cab. And maybe, just maybe, other customers will not end up with the same miserable experience we did.
There are a few bits I left out from the above, like that this was the first holiday after I broke my ankle seven months before, or that it was supposed to be our first holiday as a couple, and that we have since broken up which also made it our last. Doesn’t really matter, but it certainly made me more sore than it might have otherwise.
Thanks for reading! Writing this has been quite therapeutic…
Other, more reliable, minicabs in Stoke Newington
- Sam’s Cars (right next door to GS Cars, just as cheap, with a larger fleet) – 0207 254 4545
- Eagle Cars – 0207 923 1923
- Premier Cars (definitely not cheap, but conveniently located on Church Street) – 0207 249 9999
- Diamond Cars – 0207 254 3030
- Yellow Cars – 0207 700 1111