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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We do not recommend Dusty and River Access and Transport Services (Rivershuttleus.com), 3 missing vehicles in one day and lots of bad information:

We arranged for shuttle service for our 7 day deso-gray trip for the four vehicles on our trip through Dusty (Owner/Operator) at River Access and Transport Service. We had met Dusty the year before at Sand Wash as he was there soliciting business. He seemed friendly and reliable and we like that he was on site. He was on site at Sand Wash again the morning of our departure. When we prepared our vehicles for launch and I spoke with him to go over details, he said as long as the information was in our online order, we had no need to go over the details and confirmations.

When we arrived on Tuesday June 22 at Swasey’s at 1pm we found one of our vehicles wasn’t there. We also learned from the two other groups pulling out that day that each of those groups was also missing a vehicle. They had contacted Dusty upon their arrival sometime between 11:30 and 12:30 pm and were told the vehicles were on the way and would arrive around 3pm. We reached out to Dusty by phone and text around 1:15/1:30 and when Dusty eventually responded an hour later he notified us the vehicle was on its way.

A bit after 5:30 pm, more than 2 hours after the estimate provided by Dusty to the other groups (which we had assumed was our estimate also, as Dusty had told us the vehicle was on its way, and had afterwards been unreachable) vehicles arrived but it turned out it was only the two vehicles from the other groups. At this point, Dusty again tells us the vehicle is in route but will be two more hours. He’s going to get his drivers arranged for their return home and then come back to the put in at Swaseys. But he never did return until our missing vehicle arrived after 9 pm. So in the end, despite at 2:30 pm Dusty informing us the vehicle was on its way (and doubling down on the same story at 6pm), it didn’t arrive until almost 7 hours later.

Ok, so things happen and our vehicle wasn’t there. But the lack of transparency and honesty from Dusty is the real problem. Six adults and, more importantly, six children ages 10 and under were left in the 105 degree heat (it dropped to a balmy 99 by the time the vehicle arrived) expecting an imminent arrival of the missing vehicle rather than making alternate arrangements to mitigate the situation. If the vehicle hadn’t left Sand Wash, why did he tell us over and over it was on its way when it clearly was not. This created more difficulties for our group, as well as eliminating any possibilities we had to resolve the problem created by Dusty’s error in not getting the vehicle to the take-out.

What could Dusty have done that he didn’t? Firstly, he should be double checking his daily schedule to avoid thses types of mishaps. Second, he should have an inreach satellite phone so that he is fully reachable when out of cell service. Lastly, and most importantly, he should be forthcoming about problem situations with his clients. He twice told our group the vehicle was on route, delaying us from taking appropriate measures to (1) arrange for adequate shelter for our children, (2) consider alternate plans for vehicle recovery (if we had know at 2pm that the vehicle wasn’t to arrive until 9, we would have just driven up ourselves to recover it), (3) consider making accommodation arrangements for the night, as the drive home is 5+ hours from Green River, (4) contact family and work and reschedule any planned meetings and calls for the next day.

So the point of this post, is to share our experience, as well as the experience of two other groups, hiring River Shuttles US to transport our vehicle. If everything had gone smoothly, we’d be as delighted as other reviewers on this site. If it had gone awry and Dusty had been honest and straightforward, we’d be posting that here. Unfortunately, though, our experience indicates that when there is a problem, Dusty is not the person you want to help fix it.

One last item, Dusty threatened to send his lawyer after us for posting on MountainBuzz and elsewhere, but I will not be cowed by this threat (as well as his threat made that day to cancel the shuttle due to our complaints about his handling of it).
 

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I always tell the shuttle companies we are getting off the river a day earlier than we really are for these reasons. Early on I didn’t and had to wait a few hours for a vehicle to show up.

I did have a vehicle with a broken strut apparently the shuttle company (RR) didn’t know they did. That was on Deso also.

That sucks especially after a long trip.
 

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I assume that he offered no amount of refund for the trouble he caused? I have found that humans are the biggest danger/threat on any river adventure which could easily translate into a ruined trip. I would rather run Hance, Bedrock and Lava all day long rather than to deal with "misfit's". Hope the rest of your float went well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I assume that he offered no amount of refund for the trouble he caused? I have found that humans are the biggest danger/threat on any river adventure which could easily translate into a ruined trip. I would rather run Hance, Bedrock and Lava all day long rather than to deal with "misfit's". Hope the rest of your float went well.
Excepting the shuttle the trip was great. Didn’t have too bad winds (last year we had 3 pretty windy days including one period where it blew for 24 hours straight).
He refunded the one car for our party. He made it clear that the two families that stayed (all for one. One for all) to make sure no one was left behind were not the effected party. And then we all incurred meals. hotel expenses in GJ for the night which wasn’t his problem either apparently.
 

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I always tell the shuttle companies we are getting off the river a day earlier than we really are for these reasons. Early on I didn’t and had to wait a few hours for a vehicle to show up.
I do the same thing for the same reason. I usually tell the shuttle companies two days early or the minimum trip length for a river trip like Deso. You never know how your trip will go or if you have to cut your trip short for unforeseen circumstances.
Thanks redrocks for sharing your experience.
 

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Hindsight is 20/20 (sigh)

#1 red flag:
"When we prepared our vehicles for launch and I spoke with him to go over details, he said as long as the information was in our online order, we had no need to go over the details and confirmations."
You were absolutely correct to double and triple check your shuttle details; the lack of willingness to do this on the part of the shuttle company (any company) shows lack interest and true customer service

#2: Misinformation without correction:
Repeated communication without specific and truthful information to benefit the customer

#3: Legality of posting customer experience:
As far as your write up is accurate and factual, the service provider is presenting an unprofessional and unethical manner of doing business

Doesn't help what you and your crew had to contend with, and I am truly sorry about that, but others may "benefit" from your experience

Deso is a great trip, glad you scored a permit and enjoyed the river!
 
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Well, everyone can have a bad day, and things can always go wrong. My past bad experiences with other companies stop me from even considering them. Granted MountainBuzz isn't representative of the entire Deso boating community, but I've seen way more positive posts from folks using Dusty than I have negative ones, yours being the only one.

I am sorry that you had to wait, I know what it's like sitting on the LoDore ramp for 7 hours, twice, while waiting for RRT to shuttle the vehicles which were supposed to be shuttled the day before. Herm Hoops (RIP) showed up to the take out with an old 70's Chevy dually, piled our drivers in the bed of said truck, and then proceeded to drive down dirt roads at high speeds.. Yep.. I feel your pain..

At the end of the day, nothing's perfect all the time. How folks handle problems makes all the difference, it's a shame that didn't end well either.
 

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Our party was one of the missed shuttles as well. I never spoke to Dusty afterwards but I do know that without our confirmation number he did not think we had a shuttle. I chose his service for our group due to the overwhelming positive reviews here. As I had no interaction with him I won’t comment on that, but just thought I would confirm the details above.
 

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Other, different experiences:

We used Dusty for our late May trip. He was on top of things at both ends and all nine? of our vehicles were at Swasey’s for our takeout.
Regarding Melanie and River Runners- we used her for at least 7 or 8 previous Deso trips. Never once had a problem. Once they went way beyond expectations - after 10 years I finally had a flat on Sand Wash Rd. Was in a new-to-me pickup and couldn’t find the key to release the spare tire. Had never even heard of that before. While I did check in advance of the trip that I had a lug wrench, air pump and jack, it never occurred to me that I needed a key. My bad, but i learned enough to add it to this years checklist! We still had cell and Melanie told us to take the dory and trailer down behind another car and leave the truck. They would come in later and fix it. Six days later my truck was at Swaseys with a new rear tire, spare in back of truck in case I needed it. Additional charge to me? Pretty much the cost of supplies, but you can bet I left a hell of a tip.
Ive read the reviews here and certainly respect the opinions and experiences of others. Just saying ours have been different.
 

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When I guided I also moonlighted a little driving shuttle vehicles. The pay was good for just driving. I would say though that it appears to be a tough business, toughest part is keeping reliable drivers. Not like anyone makes a career out of shuttle driving. Commo is key. Leave for the main salmon in a few days, made the shuttle reservation months ago. I called to verify a couple days ago, company wished everyone would do that. Apparently there are lots that make reservations and never check in.

I know from experience treat them well and they will take care of you. I just got a free shuttle from one because another vehicle had problems, they were shuttling my vehicle, know me so had to use mine to get help.
 

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Excepting the shuttle the trip was great. Didn’t have too bad winds (last year we had 3 pretty windy days including one period where it blew for 24 hours straight).
He refunded the one car for our party. He made it clear that the two families that stayed (all for one. One for all) to make sure no one was left behind were not the effected party. And then we all incurred meals. hotel expenses in GJ for the night which wasn’t his problem either apparently.
While this situation stinks, that he refunded one vehicle seems reasonable. That you chose to stop and eat and stay in GJ rather than drive straight through is a choice that was made, and does not seem reasonable for compensation when compared to what airlines and other transit companies do when your schedule is in flux as a result of an error on their part.
 

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Thanks for the info I’ll make sure to use them. I have used River runners for several trips without any problems. This year we used Jolley and had no issues.
 

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I won't be using that shuttle company. We all understand that things happen and schedules can be delayed. However, trying to cover it up and threatening instead of accommodating is sure sign of a bad company. In contrast, we ended a North Platte trip last year and only one of two vehicles was there. We got in touch with the owner (Hack's Tackle), he said it was on its way. He then called back and said his driver ran out of gas and it'd be a little longer. In the mean time, he showed up with pizza and sodas for the kids. And "of course" refunded the entire amount for the shuttle. That's good service!
 

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Some of you may remember Stagman who used to run Deso shuttles....had him shuttle our vehicles for a decade or more before he retired
Honest and up front about anything that might have occurred on the drive
Had a board come loose on our trailer, insisted on paying for the minor repair and gave us a free shuttle the next year
 

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Jesse with green river avaition back in the day, simply the best...
 

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For whatever reason I've had a lot of contact with Dusty over the last couple of seasons, including having him shuttle vehicles on two occasions. I'll disclose at the start that on one trip, one vehicle in our group did not arrive at Swasey on time. On that occasion, communication was fast and clear (as fast as it could be given the lack of service at Sand Wash) and a full refund was issued. I'll admit it made me think twice about using the company again, but I did.

Now I should mention that I've been a pain in the ass myself both times I've used Dusty's company. On the first trip I got a flat tire going into Sand Wash late at night. I called Dusty and made arrangements to get a usable spare lined up for his driver's trip to Swasey. When I got there I had a new (used) tire in place of the one I'd mangled and the cost to me was negligible.

On the second trip, a child in our party (come to think of it it was my child) fell seriously ill early in the trip and we needed to have the vehicle at Swasey early. I texted Dusty via inReach and when I next checked my messages 12 hours later he had replied that our rig was at the takeout.

Aside from those trips Dusty has been generous with his time chatting on the phone about conditions, giving me an honest assessment even when I was contemplating an ill-advised December float, and yes, assuring me that if I had entered my information in the online form I didn't need to do anything else.

All of that said, it genuinely sucks to arrive at the ramp and have no vehicle. People should genuinely consider the track record when using this company. My personal assessment was that shit happens, this is a new company in its second season of operation, and there will be kinks to be ironed out. It's pretty rowdy to assert that Dusty was willfully dishonest in a situation like this, where variables of communication and logistics are relatively complex. I might consider calling a lawyer too if someone defamed me by calling me a liar in the big bad world of Buzz Towne.
 
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