FEE FIGHT: Are You Adding Too Many Charges?

Posted on May 12, 2009 by LCT Magazine

SLAMMING CLIENTS: Have you ever looked at a hotel bill? The $100 room you were quoted on the phone or Internet really costs you $150 when you see all the extra line items that are taxes and service fees. I absolutely hate this because I believed the price that I was quoted was the price I would be paying — period. It is a sure-fire way to lose a customer from ever returning to that property regardless of how good the service is or how well the property is kept. The practice is deceptive.
Limousine companies are following the lead of the hotel industry and they too are adding line items to the final bill. The most familiar is the STC or standard transportation charge. There is nothing standard about this charge. It varies among companies. When I call for a quote for anything, all I want is the bottom line. What is it going to cost me when all is said and done? I am annoyed when the person on the other side of the phone has to sit and calculate costs for me. Don’t you know your own prices? Want to really fire up a consumer? Add both an STC and a fuel service charge to your bill.  Consumers are getting smarter and know to ask the questions, but periodically one will slip by who doesn’t “understand” the charges. Wouldn’t it just be easier to give the consumer the bottom line?
One argument that companies use is that they don’t pay the chauffeur on STC, thus the joke that the acronym stands for straight to the company or save the company. From the chauffeur's side it could mean “stick the chauffeur.” Who are you fooling though? 
Another interesting charge is the late-night/ early-morning fee. If your passenger arrives after a certain time of night such as midnight, the passenger is charged an extra $25. If your client’s plane gets delayed and arrives two hours late after midnight, does your chauffeur tell the client that he now owes another $25?
I hope you didn’t like him too much because after that he won’t like you. I know that operators will argue that they can’t get chauffeurs to take the late night or early morning runs. That is just bunk. Most of the companies who charge it don’t pass it along to the chauffeur for the inconvenience of getting out of bed late at night or early in the morning. Come on folks, let’s be honest here. 
While we are at it let's discuss gratuity. When you add it automatically to the bill, it is not gratuity. It is just another charge.  Gratuity is given at the grace of the client for good service. When you automatically add it, you have taken away the client’s choice. I have heard it all. The client just needs to call in and we will eliminate it. Right, how often does that happen? Know what really happens? They go somewhere else. 
With the state of our industry right now, it might be a good idea for all of us to relook at hidden charges and consider quoting bottom lines.
-- Linda Moore, LCT East Coast editor 
View comments or post a comment on this story. (23 Comments)

More LCT Blog Blog Posts

August 16, 2017

Don’t Let Poor Grammar, Spelling, And Punctuation Ruin Your Image

You are what you write. Make sure you leave a good business impression, especially on social media.

August 8, 2017

Behind The Screens: Why Face Time Matters

Computers and smartphones have conditioned us to text and email our way through life. Here’s how Millennials and managers can work together to break the habit.

July 31, 2017

Let's Not Make AI The New Y2K Scare

Machines will not take away all of our jobs any more than the Y2K scare ushered in Armageddon.

July 25, 2017

"Does No Smoking Mean Weed Too?"

What's the response to that question now that more states are legalizing recreational use of marijuana?

July 18, 2017

Getting It Wrong On Uber’s Return To Austin

See Exhibit A on the misleading spin the limousine industry faces when exposing the unfairness of TNCs.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (23)

Show All 23 Comments

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - August 2017 $12.95 MILLENNIALS/FAST 40 ISSUE COVER STORY: * How to Score & Keep The Best Young Talent * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment



Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close