Cheap Groundlink Car Service Offer Back on Jetsetter (sort of)

The Wall Street Journal yesterday picked up that car service company Groundlink has acquired Limo Anywhere.

That minor piece of news might have escaped me, except that I’m been using Groundlink quite a bit lately, discovering them through a deal posted on Jetsetter back in January, a Groupon-esque offering that gave me a cheap airport pickup and introduced me to the company.

It seems that Jetsetter is offering that deal again.

If you aren’t already a member of Jetsetter, you can sign up with my link and if/when you purchase something from them, in theory I get a $25 credit. I’d love to find out if they’re actually going to honor credits earned through the Groundlink promotion, or at all. (Update: to be clear I wanted to see whether they would honor referrals to me going forward to understand whether Jetsetter had learned anything from past mistakes, I really am not interested in receiving referral credits from them. I have moved my own referral link, and encourage anyone that is interested in these credits to post their own link in the comments.)

If you have a Jetsetter referral link, you’re welcome to add yours to the comments, if someone uses it I’d appreciate it if you would come back to this post and comment on whether Jetsetter honored the offer for you or not.

When Jetsetter last offered these discounts on GroundLink airport transfers they were also offering new customers $25 towards their first purchase. Which made a $29 one-way LaGuardia to Manhattan transfer cost $4. Which was an amazing steal, of course, $4 for a Town Car instead of a $35-ish cab.

Jetsetter learned its lesson on the first go-round with Grounlink. They pulled the deal early. And while new members booking the car service in most cases did get their $4 or $14 airport transfers, some folks that Jetsetter suspected of referring themselves for the deal did not. Jetsetter also decided they didn’t want to pay out the $25 referral credits for the folks that referred these new customers.

My post Why I Don’t Trust Jetsetter set off a social media firestorm, even getting the attention of their CEO.

In the end, my understanding is that they restore credits that were rightfully earned. Please comment here if they didn’t ultimately honor/restore yours. (I think I had $275 in credits at stake.)

But they also shut down the $25 credit for new members. There’s still a credit for the person doing the referring. But they won’t give out $25 which can be used towards this $29+ offer.

(That said, if you’re a Jetsetter member you can still refer a friend, spouse, significant other… they can buy the offer and set up the ground transfer for when you travel together.)

Social media schooled them and they decided not to play anymore. This wasn’t immediately obvious and two popular bloggers posted the Groundlink deal as though folks would get the car service for $4 – $14, only to discover there’s no longer a $25 credit for new members to use.

There are other competing services, I haven’t checked them all out, and there are certainly local services as well. I didn’t have a great experience with Groundlink in San Francisco when I actually redeemed my voucher from the January offer, the driver’s English wasn’t great, he didn’t seem all that familiar with the airport, but I still got a cheap ride in a comfortable car.

But all in all I’ve liked them enough that I plan to use them again, and when making previous bookings I’ve noted that they promote coupon code RIDE2 offering 10% off as well, which may be useful to some.

Update: And it looks like the deal has been pulled again…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Jetsetter/Groundlink didn’t honor this offer for me last time around. I set up a new Jetsetter account and purchased the offer. After a week I still hadn’t received my Groundlink code, even though my credit card had been charged. I tweeted to Groundlink – they told me to contact Jetsetter. Jetsetter never responded directly, but after some time just refunded the cash, and never fulfilled the offer.

    I felt the whole thing was handled unethically and I have completed unsubscribed from Jetsetter as well as the affiliated company Gilt Group

  2. Why put up a referral link for a company you say you don’t trust? And what’s up with talking smack claiming “Social media schooled them”. Really? If anything they schooled you into posting a referral link again. These kind of deals are a dime a dozen on groupon. It’s one per lifetime. What are you saving? $30? Once? Nothing special about this deal, other than the referral.

  3. @HikerT I think your priors are blinding you here a bit.

    I explained that I’ve been using Groundlink, reported on my experience. I wanted to do a followup asking how Jetsetter treated folks. “Schooled” was meant in fun or jest, it was interesting to see how they reacted and changed behavior based on their experience.

    And I also explained why I was posting my own referral link, I was genuinely curious to see whether Jetsetter would pay out on this minor purchase, after the last experience with them. I also encouraged others to post their links as well.

    When these sorts of referrals or offers from travel sites have come around in the past I have done my best to GIVE AWAY whatever I have received.

    So while I explained exactly why I was posting what I was posting, and when my history is to give away as much of these thigns as I can, I don’t understand why the hate? Except that you go in looking for it, and see it everywhere. And that’s really unfortunate.

  4. I never said you weren’t a noble guy. I actually have a lot of respect for you. You don’t see any irony in your statement that Jetsetter got “schooled”. I think it’s actually pretty funny that social media was so quick to pick it up again. If pointing that out is “hate” but saying Jetsetter got schooled is “fun or jest”, well, that’s somewhat an irony as well. Yes, I do believe there was some motivation to post this deal again to earn a referral. Nothing wrong with doing that and it doesn’t mean I am filled with hate. I realize my comments aren’t always popular but I call it as I see it and I stand behind my comment.

  5. No more useless back and forth. Gary, any advice on the best way to get 2 parents and 3 kids from JFK to Westin Times Square? Thank you for all you do. I’m taking family for a two week vacation to NYC and DC, 14 nights, and I am not paying one penny for a hotel room, thanks to you. I’m even proud of my airfare deal, all 5 of us HNL-JFK roundtrip for $900 bucks on Hawaiian Air’s new service (we leave in late June). Anyway, most of the trip is planned, but I’d like a smooth and excellent transfer from the airport to the hotel. Just got my Sapphire card last week, feels cool and heavy, anyway, thank you!!!

  6. @HikerT perhaps I shouldn’t reply to comments at 4am, I did not mean to be indelicate. What I objected to was your characterization, “Nothing special about this deal, other than the referral.” Questioning my motives, and you ‘stand by it’. Yet I’ve offered some pretty meaningful countervailing evidence I think, in my comment above, none of which is answered.

    The comment about schooling, that was sort of a throwaway. Comments about my posting the deal to get referrals, that’s PERSONAL. And frankly I understand why some bloggers (other than this one) delete comments. Honestly makes me wonder why I do what I do. And it ain’t for referrals.

  7. @John so I haven’t traveled with 5 people / in groups from JFK. “Dial 7” car service and a coupon code? Anyone else?

  8. Why promote a shady company just bec they offered a referral fee? Even if you are giving away credits to that same untrustworthy company. If u like groundlink, by all means write about it. But dont promote jetsetter as if your previous post never happened. I wasnt affected by the jetsetter debacle, but feel there should be some integrity here.

  9. @tonyims Seriously, I recap the shady story, I provide links to the shady story, it was as much an opportunity to do that and solicit feedback on how the whole thing worked out for others in terms of being made whole, as anything else. It was prompted by seeing that Groundlink was in the news, knowing there was a Groundlink offer on Jetsetter (which I didn’t bother writing about last week when others did), and tying it in to the previous debacle. I truly do not care about the referrals, I give away this stuff all the time, and I encouraged others to post their link if they wanted to with the caveat that I wanted to know how it worked out for folks this time, whether Jetsetter had learned any lessons and got their act together or whether they were still playing games.

  10. F jetsetter. Got burned last time, found out last moment and had to book a taxi to JFK for 70 bucks not including tips. No thanks!!! I don’t even want their promo if it was free!

  11. @Gary
    Disappointed that you would post a link to anything from this company given the fiasco the last time around. I think you had the attitude a month or two ago that you wouldn’t be satisfied until they honored the referral credit for all of your readers….and they haven’t. Why give them free press?

  12. @Chas – I had no idea idea whether they honored it or not for everyone, that’s one of my reasons for posting, I asked for reports on this in the post. If folks share their specific situations I am more than happy to rail on those — but I need full disclosure of details (eg there certainly were folks who cheated and created new accounts, referred themselves, etc).

  13. Gary, sorry if it looked like I was questioning your integrity. There’s nothing wrong with accepting a referral as long as you believe it provides as good or better value than one can get elsewhere with or without a referral. Is it so bad to say there’s nothing extra special this time around other than someone gets a referral?

    As far as social media – the loophole in Jetsetter’s referral program would have been eliminated sooner or later. All social media did was accelerate that process. We see social media have similar impacts when a deal that doesn’t necessarily involve fraud dies quick death, and not all would agree that’s a good thing. I don’t think the folks at Jetsetter are bad people – they just did a poor job of reacting to the fraud and threw the baby out with the bathwater. They have now taken steps to minimize the potential fraud in the referral program going forward, and if anything that’s something they should be applauded for this time around than belittled for past mistakes. I’d rather see sites like Jetsetter survive than go by the wayside, particularly those that offer higher end properties. I apologize for the bad vibes that seemed to come out of my comment.

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