Nearly two years later, my January 2010 blog post is still a hot industry topic.
In January 2010, I wrote a blog about DriveCam no longer wanting to do business with the chauffeured transportation industry. DriveCam was a pioneer in the industry, providing in-car cameras capturing video of exterior and interior views. The concept was unique and innovative. The camera would constantly record but “capture” the video for downloading based on G-forces. In other words, a sudden stop, a sharp turn, or a hard acceleration all were captured to be reviewed later.
The cameras are a tool for driver behavior training, accident documentation, damage documentation, and vehicle abuse. Using the panic mode can even capture an event in our out of the car at the push of a button. They were so cool and provided so much protection. I jumped on the bandwagon immediately and equipped our entire fleet.
I sent our fleet manager to DriveCam training out of town at great expense. I believed in the product and I thought they believed in us. But in 2010 they decided if you didn’t have 20 vehicles or more, you were not worthy of taking up their time to sell to you or support you. In my blog, I provided an excerpt of a letter from DriveCam to a prospective buyer that said:
Thank you for your interest in DriveCam.
You have indicated that your fleet has less than 20 vehicles. While DriveCam recognizes that all fleets can benefit from a Driver Risk Management solution, start-up costs associated with deploying DriveCam can be cost prohibitive when launching fleets of 20 vehicles or less. Accordingly, we have found it prudent to limit orders to a minimum of 20 units.
We apologize for any inconvenience that this policy may cause.
Well, nearly two years later, that blog continues to be the most prolific piece of material ever written by me. I have lost track of the number of readers who have contacted me about the article. Even more puzzling is the number of purveyors of similar equipment that continue to call or write me. This includes a vendor that sent an email to me on Monday touting his product.
Last week, another company called from Washington to ask if I selected another company that I endorsed. The company played itself to be a fellow limo operator. Its caller ID name busted them! I didn’t tell them I knew they were not a limo company.
Since that blog, I did a feature in our print magazine and outlined a few products, including photos that could easily take the place of DriveCam. Even after that printed article was published, people still continue to call and write asking for my recommendation or endorsement of a product. They call to tell me about their new product and ask for an article and an endorsement.
So I would like to set the record straight here about so many issues involving that blog from long ago.
First of all, I do not endorse or favor any of them. I think they are all good.
Number two, I am not going to do another story on in-car cameras anytime in the near future. The market is now saturated with them.
Last but not least, if you are a vendor and you are reading this, my advice to you is to have a booth at one of our shows, buy an ad in our print magazine to connect with our readers, or equip my fleet with your cameras at no charge so I can truthfully endorse your product or sponsor my blog with your advertising right above my name. I will diligently research your product and support you right back.
-- Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
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