Why Not to Take Chances with Unauthorised Resort Transfers
Geneva Airport has sadly not proved immune to the growing global problem of unauthorised taxi drivers, transfer operators and general touts operating outside arrivals and looking to pick up the business of travellers. Returning after an admittedly peak-season Christmas trip to Megeve many travellers can say without hesitation that they have never in all their travels to the French Alps seen so many resort transfer services never heard of before and frankly always run a mile from.
However it cannot be said the same for dozens of families doing the exact opposite and more experienced travellers shy of becoming something of an on-site crusaders trying to save Geneva from illegal taxi touts, could do nothing else than sit back and watch them have their merry way.
On the surface it can seem as though there is little harm to be done by these drivers and services. After all, those arriving and needing onward travel require nothing more than a vehicle and a driver – boxes ticked by anyone and everyone in attendance, right?
So, what are the basic reasons why a person or group should keep away from the non-official transfer providers?
Right off the bat, there’s little to no way of knowing whether or not the driver you entrust with your safety has a license to carry passengers, or even a license to drive in the first place. Ask yourself – do you know what the appropriate French driving license looks like? Could you spot a fake? If not, the only safe bet is to side with official, registered and reputable transfer companies in order to avoid putting yourself at enormous risk.
Moving on, the vehicles they’re operating in order to carry out their transfers may look all well and good on the surface, but how can you tell what the story is underneath? Have the tyres been changed this decade? Is the engine likely to give out? Has fire safety been assessed? Carbon monoxide? How about the brakes? Registered transfer groups are bound by extremely strict codes of practice and standards in terms of vehicle condition, performance and safety – the rest represent the roll of a dice at best.
How can you be sure that the unauthorised driver you’re putting your trust in has any real knowledge, talent or experience when it comes to driving on icy and congested mountain roads? How do you know you won’t find yourself in the first roadside ditch you come across?
Contrary to the knowledge of most, stepping so much as a single foot in an unlicensed or illegitimate transfer/transport vehicle can 100% invalidate even the best insurance policies. Is this a risk you’re willing to take for you and your family?
Last but not least, even if the transfer itself proves to be safe enough and get you where you want to be, it goes without saying that you’ll end up paying way over the odds for a service you’d have been better off taking with a superior, authorised transfer provider. And what are your chances of a refund or reimbursement…beyond zero!
Given how affordable the most reliable and reputable resort transfer providers are these days, there’s really no sense in taking chances with anything less. Let your gut be your guide and make sure a little common sense is thrown in…chances are you’ll be glad you did.
Photo sources: flickr.com/photos/francoisroche – flickr.com/photos/ironmanrecords – wikipedia.org – flickr.com/photos/loimere – flickr.com/photos/doug88888