In today’s world of E-Commerce, there are a seemingly infinite amount of options to choose from. Whether you’re buying clothes, learning another language, or even making a potentially life-changing decision, there are hundreds of people/companies jumping to claim themselves as the know all be all.
While there are advantages to this, it can become overwhelming trying to put your trust and hard-earned dollars behind someone or something. We to provide insight into what you should be expecting from your ground transportation provider.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
We’ve all been in the situation before, you’re inquiring or researching a new idea or product so you decide to pick up the phone and call. After the conversation is finished, you’re elated, excited, and so certain about what you’ve just heard! All without really understanding much about what you’ve just signed up for.
While it’s important for a provider to make you feel excited about what you’re purchasing, there should also be a certain amount of objective transparency concerning the methods, equipment, staff, and liabilities that you are entering into with a chauffeured transportation company.
With the recent tragedy in New York involving a stretch limousine, it has stressed just how important it is to know what kind of vehicle you’re getting into, and how that vehicle is maintained. Ask about the year, mileage, and maintenance programs the limo company uses to ensure YOUR safety. If properly maintained, older limousines can be a safe option. Don’t be afraid to probe limo service providers for vehicle information, it is your right and responsibility to protect your party. Also, ask for pictures, and make sure they are not stock photos.
Equally important to what vehicle you’re being driven in, is the person that is driving it. What kind of training programs do the chauffeurs participate in? How long have they been driving limos or party buses? Are they permitted with the City of Austin? If they’re driving a bus, do they have the proper commercial driver’s license? If you ask these questions and a company is hard-pressed to answer them, that should be very insightful.
Communications and Dispatch
Are you planning to have a large group that needs a significant amount of airport transfers? Or if you’re booking bus transportation for a conference or wedding, the last thing you need to worry about is whether your driver is on time, late, or even lost. Inquire about how you will be notified about your driver’s location, phone numbers, and who to call if plans change. Again, it should not be difficult for a car service to tailor-fit a dispatch program that keeps you informed.
Cancellations, extra-time, incidentals, etc.
Every limo company differs slightly in regards to their internal policies regarding extra-time, damage to vehicle, deposits, and refunds. Make sure you understand clearly what you’re agreeing to before you confirm a reservation.
Insurance and Compliance
The City of Austin, TXDOT, and FMCSA all have certain requirements regarding the amount of insurance a passenger transportation company is to maintain. While this line of questioning should probably be saved until after you’ve already noticed some red flags, it should take a company no time to be able to provide up-to-date proof of insurance.
Hiring a limousine company while exciting should be treated with care. Hopefully, these questions will help you in your quest to pick the right black car, limo, or party bus for your special event! Even if you’re not hiring our services, please feel free to reach out to any of the experts on our team for advice.