When A Farm Out Job Goes Wrong

Posted on January 29, 2014 by - Also by this author

Make sure you know who you farm orders to.
A couple of weeks ago, we ran into a big problem when something went wrong on a simple brake job on one of our buses. We had a pickup to make it in the morning from a cruise ship. It became apparent about 9 p.m. the night before that we could not complete the needed repairs.

I began calling my usual farm-out companies in the Los Angeles area without success.  I remembered that during the month of December, one of our dispatchers had farmed a job out to VIP Tours of California. They didn’t go through the normal procedures of becoming an affiliate because we were in a rush and I was on vacation. However, it seemed that all had gone well and I took a long shot and called to see if they had a party bus to pick my group up in the morning. They said yes!

During the process of giving them all the information, red flags were popping up everywhere. However, I was desperate and wanted to believe they could help me. They wanted a copy of my credit card and my signature. I told them I would send them a PDF in a few minutes. They said, “No, fax only.” Say what? Who uses a fax anymore? But, they did say they would handle the job. I was instructed by Mike to call Henry in the morning and fax over the required documents. I faxed as instructed in the morning. I called to make sure Henry got it. Guess what? Henry wasn’t even scheduled to work that day!

I wanted to confirm that my paperwork was received and that my group would be picked up. I was assured all would be fine. All was not fine.

I soon received a call from my client. She was as angry as a hornet. She said the bus wasn’t anything at all like a party bus. She said the driver had no paperwork, had no idea where he was going, and was very confused. When she continued questioning the driver, he finally produced paperwork showing the price that I was charged by VIP.  Anyone in this business knows that on a Farm-Out/Farm-In you never, ever, ever, under any circumstances share that information. The driver then told her that I requested the cheapest bus available. Now, anyone that know me and reads my magazine columns or weekly blog would know that statement would never come out of my mouth.

The clients had to place their luggage in the center aisle of the bus. This would create a serious safety problem if they had to evacuate the bus in a hurry. The client continued to call me to express her disgust and dissatisfaction. There was nothing I could do. Ultimately, I ended up refunding her money and taking it the shorts to preserve our good name.

To add insult to injury, I called on Monday to speak to a manager about the overall experience. He took my name and phone number and promised to get back to me with a resolution. I’ve never heard from him again and he won’t hear from me again. I thought I would share my story to remind you not to farm-out to people you don’t know and specially ones you know engage in poor practices.

― Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

View comments or post a comment on this story. (1 Comment)

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 (1)

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