Ditch The Fuel Surcharge?

Posted on December 9, 2008 by LCT Magazine

FINE LINE: Should you cut your fuel surcharges now that gasoline is headed well south of $2 per gallon? Will clients resent surcharges in a down economy? Would you be seen as gouging your customers? Or is maintaining a fuel surcharge a way of recouping earlier losses?

These companies, including a limousine operator, are staying the course.

Each operator needs to evaluate fuel surcharges individually, considering markets, revenues, client tolerance, and cash flow. But at some point the question will beckon: When is it time to let it go? Many businesses thrived without fuel surcharges, even when gas was in the $2 to $3 per gallon range. We're entering a dicey business climate that may not be forgiving to fuel surchargers, and consumer backlashes can be quick and brutal. Remember the lessons about greed that the current economy is teaching. Pay attention. -- M.R.

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