Below is a copy of a complaint letter I sent to Adrenalina Tours regarding a ticket for two from Panajachel (Pana) to Huehuetenango (Huehue). As you can see, I was not happy with their service for a number of reasons. And considering their price... it's outrageous! Needless to say, after this incident I stopped taking shuttles and took local transport for a fraction of the price. At least the local bus drivers are more courteous than the driver for Adrenalinas. Shame on him !!!
"I am writing to inform you of an incident which happened on October 19th, 2009.
My partner and I booked a shuttle from Pana to Huehue for $25 per person. (Photo of ticket attached). We had planned on continuing to Todos Santos upon arrival in Huehue so had specifically booked the ticket for a drop off at the main bus terminal in Huehue. As you can see, this destination was clearly marked on the ticket and I confirmed with the driver when we entered the shuttle, and again when we approached Huehue. His response was yes (si). I am certain he understood the written and verbal destination instructions as he and his colleague discussed us purchasing an onward ticket with Adrenalina to Todos Santos instead of being dropped off at the bus station. In fact, he spoke with your office to confirm the shuttle price.
In the end, we decided not to book the shuttle to Todos Santos and be dropped off at the Huehue station, as originally planned. When we arrived at the outskirts of Huehue, the driver said to the (tourist) passenger next to him that he had no idea where the bus terminal was. I thought this was peculiar, but assumed he would inquire with your office or someone else as to its location. Instead, he said to me, as we start to enter Huehue, that he wouldn't take us to the bus termnal because there is too much traffic. (!!) I said that was not acceptable as we paid $50 to be dropped off as written on the ticket. He then continued driving for a few minutes, pulled off to the side of the road and pointed randomly to a side street and said the terminal was down that road.
As we had never been to Huehue and I know it to be a large city, I asked my partner to get out of the shuttle and verify it's location before the driver left. He got out but couldn't see anything. When I asked the driver whether he was sure that was the direction of the bus terminal he said yes, and insisted we get out, taking all of our luggage out of the shuttle and dumping it on the sidewalk. I argued that if we couldn't see the terminal we must be no where near it. He then said it was down the main road. When I asked him to clarify he pointed toward another direction (!!) He obviously had no idea and was getting increasingly irritated that we wouldn't get out of the shuttle. He then said that we could catch a bus (who knows which one or which direction) that would take us to the main terminal.
We weren't happy with this since a) that's not what we paid for b) we didn't know where we were going c) the driver couldn't tell us where we were going OR where we were on the map d) it was unsafe
In the end he huffed and puffed and after much complaining agreed to take us to the terminal. En route, he had the nerve to say to the passenger next to him that "WE were a problem" (!!) We arrived at the microbus terminal in central Huehue - not the main terminal. It was not what we paid for, but at least there were lots of buses around and the local people were able to provide us with information.
We were not happy with the shuttle bus driver on many accounts:
1) He didn't know our destination and was reluctant to find out the information
2) He didn't want to take us to our destination
3) He was very unprofessional - complaining and becoming visibly irritated when asked to do his job, and speaking poorly of us to other passengers
4) He put us in a very unsafe and stressful situation trying to leave us at the side of the road in a location where neither he nor we knew where we were
I invite your response before forwarding this complaint to INGUAT and posting an Internet review of Adrenalina."
To be fair to Adrenalina they did respond to my letter. I had an email from the Operations Manager who confirmed that the driver was supposed to drop us off at the terminal. And, although they don't normally drive into Huehue, they made an exception for us as part of their customer service. Well, whoppee!! I'm so glad I experienced their company's "customer service". This email was followed by another from the owner of Adrenalina Tours. He apologised for the incident and said the driver would be questioned. I have yet to hear if anything came of the discussion with the driver. Either way, it left me unimpressed with the company. I would be VERY cautious about booking a shuttle with Adrenalina Tours.