Getting What You Ask For

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When the economy “swan dived” into the Great Recession several years ago, the limousine industry was hit as hard as almost any in the country. Predictably, many small or weak companies failed, and even the strongest had to rethink their approach to the future. Yet with all of the changes brought on by the bursting economic bubble, the biggest residual effect isn’t the slow return of retail clients, or the tightened purse strings of corporate America. The idea of safe and affordable luxury transportation is being tainted by the proliferation of one-car “gypsies” that offer limousine service at rock bottom prices. However, like any other purchase you make, try to remember…”caveat emptor”…buyer beware.
It comes down to simple economics. A Chicago limousine service that is running newer and well maintained vehicles, paying for insurance and good quality chauffeurs, is making pennies on each dollar sold. Offering limousine service at half price means something needs to give. Either the quality of the vehicle, the maintenance procedures, or insurance coverage is being bargained out of the equation. The quality of the “chauffeurs” is likely subpar, or some other aspect of the business is being factored out. Either way, these “bargain basement” transportation options are having a negative effect on Chicago limousine service, as well as operators nationwide, since most consumers group all limousine service under the same umbrella.
The best protection available to anyone is to do some research. Don’t rely strictly on a website. There are literally hundreds of websites for limousine service that are put up by companies that have no equipment of their own, regardless of the wording on their welcome page. A company website offering large motor coach buses and super stretch limousines may be put up by someone working on his basement computer with nothing more than a minivan in his driveway. Don’t depend on a website alone. Ask your friends and colleagues, or check with the Better Business Bureau for advice on who to use.
Remember, you will get what you pay for. If you go to a great steak house that offers you a 16 oz. slab of choice cow for $6.00, you would probably ask yourself why, or just avoid ordering it.
If you suspect a limousine service is losing money by offering you a deal that’s “too good to be true”, maybe it is.

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.