Town Cars Demand Credit Card Details Despite Poor Security + Flaky Web Site
The move to change the information they hold on customers comes as taxi’s and hire car Companies battle with Uber for customers.
I have used Town Cars for several years, then suddenly out the blue they demanded that I provide my credit card details “To be kept on file”.
They claimed that this was being done for all customers who arrived back from overseas and wanted to be picked up at the airport.
When I asked them what security measures were in place to secure these credit card details the operator said she did not know?
When I asked where the data was being kept or whether the data was being stored on an overseas cloud service the operator again said that they did not know where the data was being kept.
When I refused to supply my credit card details she said that they would refuse to take the booking.
They also cancelled a prior booking claiming that their new police was based on all credit card details being held in their system.
This is the same car hire service who has a booking web site that struggles to process information.
Several times I have attempted to book online with this Companies web site only to have problems.
The last time I tried to use their web site to book a trip their online system kept telling me that my email address was “invalid” I had to book the service over the phone.
The Company has no security systems running on their web site nor are there any assurances that this Company is not employing known criminals in their booking call centre.
To simple hand over a credit card to an unknown Company who has a basic HTML template web site is taking a massive risk especially as they employ transient drivers who have recently arrived in the Country.
On one occasion a Towns Car driver picked me up from Sydney airport only to start taking me the wrong way home.
When I challenged him he said that he was following mapping on his mobile.
It turned out that this was his first trip and was “new to Australia” he said that he had never picked up from Sydney airport before.
What the Federal or State Governments need to do is immediately make transaction security a key element of their investigation into the NSW Taxi and car hire industry.
Drivers and hire Companies have access to millions of transactions every month and as a customer there is no way of knowing whether skimmers are being used in cars or whether Companies like Town Cars have a secure database system in place, especially one that is secured by a third party Company who have in place the fire walls and encryption needed to prevent a hack attack.
Town Cars operate a high risk booking system simply because they have not invested in the right IT infrastructure or the management that are capable of scoping a secure environment for credit cards.