Top 5 common limo scams you should avoid

When you enter into a business venture with an company you should always go forth with a buyer beware attitude. There are a few industries out there that provide both a product and a service simultaneously; this leaves the consumer vulnerable across the board. The consumer may feel scammed or dissatisfied with either the product, the services, or in bad situations both. Luxury transportation rentals are an example of an industry that provides both a product, in the form of the luxury vehicle and services in the form of the driver and amenities. We have pulled together some of the more common reasons customers have reported for being dissatisfied with limousine rental companies.

Not getting the vehicle you expected

The majority of the luxury transportation companies have an online presences. This can be a double edge sword in reference to booking the exact vehicle that you view, especially If the luxury transportation company has multiple vehicles in their fleet that can fall within the same category. An example of this would be you view the stretch SUV rental they advertise on their website, and call to book a stretch SUV rental for that coming weekend. What you viewed online was their crown jewel, a Cadillac Escalade Stretch SUV Limousine, what pulled up was a much older Chrysler but still a stretch SUV so the company did not break the contract but as a consumer you feel scammed. This is not what you thought you were paying for. As the consumer you should insist upon the U.S. Department of Transportation identification number and a photo of the interior and exterior of the limousine assigned to the identification number. The D.O.T identification number should be identified somewhere in the contract. This will eliminate any misrepresentation or honest miscommunications between the consumers and the limo service miami company.

Third party booking

You want to avoid booking with a third party booking agency. You can recognize these sites if they are showing information on a number of competing limousine rental companies and only offer a single point of contact. You can use these sites to find and compare some of the competitors in your area. However, you should always work with a company that is owner operator to guarantee that you get the right limo for the right price and the service is delivered as promised. Third party bookers take a large percentage of the fee then contract the workout without providing or demanding a service guarantee. When you contract directly with an owner operator you are more likely to get their best offer and with direct communication services and amenities become negotiable and all terms guaranteed.

Beware the deal of the century

Beware of a deal that sounds too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true that’s
because it is. A limo that is $300 cheaper than everyone else means you will probably get a limo that is 20 years old and falling apart if the limo shows up at all. When you book luxury transportation it is for a special, important, and sometimes a once in a lifetime event. There is nothing wrong with shopping around for a good price but you want to make sure you not sacrificing quality and service for price. Every event has a budget but don’t sell yourself short. Your event begins and ends with transportation. What impression do you want to make on your guest. If you work with an owner operator you can make the first impression a first class impression even on a tight budget. Often they will provide a champagne toast or red carpet service at no charge. If you decide to roll the dice with a basement bargain deal than your guests first impression may be one of plaid or torn interiors with smells and stains no lighting or tvs with a sound system no better than your old 1998 Camry. Keep in mind what you want out of your experience and booking a “deal” may cost you more than your willing to pay.

Cash Only

If you have never contracted luxury transportation before usual terms are negotiated as an
hourly rate for a predetermined number of hours. Limousine rental companies know that often once a group begins their intended itinerary the atmosphere becomes fluid and the itinerary changes. Some companies may empower their drivers to negotiate changes but we strongly suggest you reach out to the person you negotiated your original contract. Often if you increase the length of your service the price per hour may decrease, but that is a call the booking manager or owner would make. If you do choose to change contract terms directly with the driver do not continue if the driver ask you to deal in cash only. The contract is an agreement between you and the luxury transportation rental company if you do not have an agreement with the company, not the driver, to extended services the company has a right to get compensated for the use of their vehicle. There is also legal implications if an accident occurred and the vehicle was not under contracted use. If a driver is asking for cash only its for his benefit not yours. Be smart contact the company directly.

Access and Ala carte charges

It is important that all pricing and fees are negotiated and agreed upon before service is
rendered. Some scenarios that may need to be addressed in the contract are:

  • Overcharges for time delays,
  • Surprising Food and Beverage Charges,
  • Satellite TV and Internet Access Charges.
  • When booking a one way, to airport for example, and you request a 3pm pick-up however you have a meeting that ran until 3:15, will there be charges and what are they? Is there a sliding scale? What if it is a driver error? These terms should be agreed upon before receiving services.

Is your transportation rental providing any food or beverages? If so are those charges included in your negotiated contract? You do not want to find yourself paying for bottle service without prior knowledge. Lastly if your rental offers wifi access or satellite tv make sure access is free before you connect.

How To Avoid Limousine Scams

If you contact the luxury transportation rental company you choose to use directly. Make sure all terms of service are agreed upon beforehand. If terms change, contact your booking manager or owner operator directly. Be sure amenities are included or that rates are agreed upon and included in the contract. Clear communications and expectations are the best way to ensure an enjoyable experience.