I have a client who we have serviced many years. It is a mid-size operator in a larger secondary market. They are a very well run operation with all the parts. Brick & mortar, sedans, stretches, vans and buses.
Like most of our clients, they are aligned with several booking networks. Booking networks are a funny animal. In a previous piece I stated that 70–80% of the parts of all transportation providers are interchangeable. It is the 20–30% that makes a particular company unique.
I suppose it is the same with networks. They basically all perform the same transactions, they simply do it slightly differently.
So, I begin my conversation with the client, and he informs me that effective immediately they will no longer be working with XYZ limousine network. This was very surprising to me. I believe they were doing 3–6 orders daily and at 100 plus orders per month, we are talking about some nice money. First thing that comes to my mind is they are not getting paid. I quickly rule that out because I have numerous clients that work with them and if that was the case it would be all over the internet.
Turns out the reason behind the decision floored me. The company was fed up with the constant, duplicitous confirmations. Phone calls, texts and emails and emailed links. Confirming make and model of vehicle, etc…
Now I happen to know as a fact that most of their drivers ignore the phone calls. It happens with many of our clients because the network(s) will call us to confirm driver status. Sometimes they will engage with me why they don’t answer and I give the same responses. It is illegal to talk and drive. Our company does not allow blue tooth devices. The driver left his phone at home says his wife, so I am following him on GPS.
Even after the order is complete the crazy does not stop. It could be 400am and I get a call from a call center asking for final drop times. I obvious have no place to talk but some of these operations are making me believe you can’t teach a new dog old tricks.
I begin to think the drivers initiated this decision and the house had to give in. Drivers have a lot of leverage these days. I realize the network(s) harasses the offices as well so perhaps either-or the motivation is mutually exclusive.
Currently, I am guessing there are probably a dozen give or take major players and a handful are actual offshoots of established limousine services. On the secondary level I would guess there are at least 30–40 more of various sizes and types. It is anyone’s guess where the future network model will be, but 25 years ago they grew like weeds then started gobbling each other up. Modern tech will dictate what occurs next.
This overkill has to cease, and they must adopt some new operating protocols beginning with TRUST.