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Avoid Problems, Avoid Rip-Offs When Booking a Limousine

We want every one of our clients to have a fantastic time when they book limousine service with us.

Dan and I both take a great deal of pride in helping people get the most from their limousine service. We both come from fields in which we’ve pledged to be truthful and to serve the needs and interest of the general public – Dan’s prior career was in law enforcement and mine continues to be in journalism. We try to bring the same commitment to truth, honesty and fairness to our work in Sonoma Sterling Limousines, Inc. (Wow … the only thing missing is the American Way of Life, but that would be a whole different blog.)

Naturally, limousine companies are not immune to the occasional customer service issue – we have our share of challenges. It’s how a company chooses to deal with the problem that is most telling. I’m posting this story so that potential clients can be aware of things that can go wrong when booking luxury transportation.

I found the following story from Newsobserver.com (News and Observer) in Raleigh, North Carolina about a year ago:

This week, I heard from Tanya Zinner of Raleigh about a bad experience she had with a local limousine company.

In November, her son, Zachary, had his bar mitzvah. As a gift, her brother ordered a limo from Safari Limousine in Raleigh to take Zachary and nine friends to the bar mitzvah party at The Factory in Wake Forest.

It wasn’t the limo experience they had hoped for.  

Her brother was required to prepay the $120 fee, and he added a $30 tip, Zinner said. The limo was set to arrive at 5 p.m., so Zachary and his friends could be at The Factory by 6 for pictures.

The limo, however, showed up 45 minutes late, she said, and there was no GPS, so Zinner got in to direct.

“There was actually no front seat, so I had to sit on a board and hold on,” she wrote, adding she got some parents to drive their children to other homes to cut down on stops.

What can a potential limousine client learn from this experience?

  1. Get a contract spelling out all of the services you are receiving and the exact amount you will be paying for the services rendered. Be sure the exact start time is specified. If you receive anything less than what you were promised, you’ll have a leg to stand on when seeking a partial refund.
  2. If there are numerous stops planned, round up all addresses and forward these to the limousine company at least 24 hours prior to your trip.
  3. Late changes to the itinerary can sometimes take certain transportation providers by surprise; to avoid confusion, try to have your itinerary finalized 24 hours prior.
  4. If having a GPS system or an upgraded sound system or certain types of seating is important to you, talk with the limousine company about your expectations. Ask that these extras be spelled out in your contract.
  5. Ask about the experience and the qualifications of the driver who will be working with you.
  6. Ask about the company’s drug-testing policy, training procedures and standards when hiring drivers.
  7. If a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Rarely is the cheapest limousine company the best value.

COPYRIGHT 2011 MOIRA REYNOLDS BESSETTE AND SONOMA STERLING LIMOUSINES, INC.