Manop was recommended in the forums here. I contacted him and he promptly gave me a quote for round trip transfer and a day of travelling around the island. It was 500 each way to a Karon beach hotel and 800 for a day-trip.
When we arrived in Phuket, we found a man holding a sign with my name. I thought this was Manop, but it was his assistant. He said Manop would be there in 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, he said Manop was having car trouble. I know he was lying. After 20 minutes of waiting, I was starting to get impatient to the point where I was about to say 'screw this' I'll find my own driver. And then Manop shows up. He gives us an informative tour on our way to our hotel. He was late because he thought that it would take awhile for us to get our luggage. I have status with Thai airways, so my luggage was first to come out. I did not like waiting.
The daytrip. We had an agreed upon schedule of activities. We brought out beach wear and towels, and he looked surprised and said this is a city tour not a beach trip. I was kinda mad, because I hired you for the day - just take me to where I want to go. Here is the list:
1. karon beach
2. kata beach
3. kok chang
5. promthep cape
6. rawai beach (he forgot to take us here)
8. chalong temple
9. Phuket town
He forgot to take us to two places; the Big Buddha and Rawai beach. He said he would take us on the way to the airport, but this did not happen. He also dropped us off at the malls to do shopping when we were looking for local markets. He also dropped us off at the mall to eat lunch... wtf... We were looking for a great lunch meal. Although one good thing he did was bring us dessert that my gf was craving.
The return trip to the airport - No Manop. He had his friend take us to the airport. This driver didn't take us to any of the places that Manop said he would make up. And upon leaving, he claims that we're suppose to pay him 600. I was like heck no, 500 with a small tip. We go back and forth. I'm about to show him the emails and then he backs off. I was kinda pissed that Manop didn't show up. I hired Manop, not his friend.
Overall, Manop is a busy guy. He tries to juggle too much. He dropped us off at the mall so he could run an errand or do a quick pickup. He is a nice guy. He did tell us that he gets vouchers for gas money for various tourist spots. We stopped by a cashew factory and we just ate the samples. I would have been happier if he wasn't late and took us to the beaches and let us relax.