LINDA MOORE: Don’t Lose Your House

Posted on July 6, 2009 by LCT Magazine

CUSTOMER DISSERVICE: What happens though when the client misses their flight because of your break down? How about if they miss an important meeting that costs them millions of dollars of business? What are you responsible for paying? Do you have to pay the cost of the new ticket? How do you make up for that lost business?
Joe Jordan, president of the Greater Houston Limousine Association, suggests that you include a clause in your contract for the unlikely event of a breakdown.  He suggests including a clause such as the following:
LIMITS OF LIABILITY — INCIDENTAL DAMAGES. In the highly unlikely event of one of our vehicles breaking down or having a flat tire, etc., and delaying your transportation in the process, or delays for any other reason, Xxxxxx Limousine Service's liability, expressed or implied, is limited to the amount you paid for that transportation.
By signing this contract, you fully acknowledge that XXxxxx Limousine Service shall in no event be liable for any incidental, consequential, indirect, or special damages whatsoever arising out of or related to a delay in getting you to your destination in a timely manner, regardless of the reasons.
Joe suggests wording it so that it is appropriate for your business, and have your attorney review it so that you are covered. 
This works if you have contracts signed, but how many operators actually get contracts signed? When I worked in a limousine company and we had a problem, we stepped up, but the resolution was equal to the loss. If your client is delayed only a few minutes or only slightly inconvenienced, you don’t need to give away the house. In these cases, a discount might suffice. Only you know your own clients and how they will react in these circumstances. 
I am curious to know though what happens when the client seeks a stronger remedy. We all have had those clients who just aren’t satisfied with paying nothing, they want blood. What do you do in those cases? How do you handle them?
— Linda Moore, East Coast Editor
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