KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Facing numerous complaints, the owners and operators of several local shuttle services have agreed to reimburse their overcharged customers more than $26,000.
The agreement between Missouri's Attorney General and Nikolas Saylor comes after an exclusive 41 Action News Investigation last year.
"I learned my lesson," said Bob Wailes, a former customer of one of Saylor's businesses.
It was a tough and expensive one for him. A receipt Wailes exclusively gave the 41 Action News Investigators shows he booked a late night February ride with Quiksilver Shuttle from the airport to his Lenexa home for about $60.
It was with a company Wailes thought he had used before and liked.
But the driver was a no-show.
So Wailes took a cab to his home at an additional cost of about $120.
A closer look at the shuttle receipt shows the "quick" in "Quiksilver" is spelled q-u-i-k with no "c".
"And I found out the harsh realities that it was not the same 'Quicksilver,'" Wailes said.
Wailes did get a refund from his credit card company and found out Saylor runs the shuttle service he hired.
Saylor confirms Wailes was his customer.
Saylor sent the 41 Action News Investigators a text which reads in part, "I have no notes as to why he (Wailes) got left, but that is definitely not professional on our part. I'd be happy to cover the difference on the cab bill as a courtesy".
But Wailes said that courtesy reimbursement to cover the extra cost of the cab has not happened.
"Just a little looking around, you find out real fast that you've been taken," Wailes said.
Wailes complaint is far from an isolated incident.
An attorney, who did not wish to be identified, told the 41 Action News Investigators he and his family nearly missed a plane because Saylor's company failed to show up on time to get them to the airport.
He hired another ride but was charged by Saylor's company for both the ride to and from the airport.
The attorney said only after aggressively threatening legal action, Saylor reimbursed him.
In February 2017, the 41 Action News Investigators reported companies Saylor, his brother and his mother either owned or operated had a pattern of overcharging customers.
Specifically, those companies would charge customers multiple times for one ride or even a canceled one.
Now, 41 Action News has exclusively obtained a consent judgment the state of Missouri entered into with Saylor.
Under terms of the deal, Saylor must pay more than $26,000 to a restitution fund to repay overcharged customers.
That amount is being paid overtime at a little over $2,000 a month until September. The first payment was made this past October.
What's in a name?
The settlement, however, does not prevent Saylor from continuing to do business in Missouri.
"He shouldn't be allowed out there," Wailes said.
"I was a little surprised and kind of scratching my head as to what they ended up settling for," said James Kernell.
Kernell is the attorney representing Khalid Malik, the owner of the other Quicksilver.
A Pakistani immigrant, Malik started as a driver before buying the company.
The Better Business Bureau of Greater Kansas City gives Malik's business it's highest rating, an "A+".
By contrast, the BBB gives Saylor's company, which falls under the umbrella of Kansas City Transportation Services, an "F" — it's lowest rating.
"Well, I mean it's a sham," Kernell said.
Malik and Saylor are in an ongoing legal dispute.
It started after Malik sold the rights to Quicksilver to Saylor.
But Malik told the 41 Action News Investigators last year Saylor failed to make a payment as required as part of the deal and also had numerous customer complaints.
As a result, he took the company back.
But Saylor than sued claiming breach of contract.
However, Saylor then dropped his lawsuit and signed a release with Malik last November.
As part of that deal, Saylor agreed to no longer do business as Quicksilver Shuttle.
But Saylor is still doing business as Quiksilver, with no "c" in the word quick.
His website uses that spelling.
Saylor sent us a text showing he registered that website in March 2017 — shortly after Malik took the company back from him and many months before Saylor signed the release with Malik.
Saylor claims the Quiksilver name without the "c" doesn't break his deal with Malik.
Malik's website uses the Quicksilver with the "c" spelling.
Both Kernell and Wailes believe Saylor is badly damaging Malik's business.
"They've just continued to use his trademark, use his goodwill that he built up in his company against him," Kernell said.
"This guy's just ruining that guy's reputation," Wailes said.
Kernell said he's working on a new agreement with Saylor on behalf of Malik.
He said this new one will be more comprehensive and enforceable.
While Saylor is still paying off his debt with the state of Missouri, the 41 Action News Investigators have confirmed the Johnson County, Kansas District Attorney's Office has an open criminal investigation against Saylor and his businesses.