There is nothing worse than a client canceling at the last minute. How we define “last minute” varies from market to market. It also is defined by corporate contracts, affiliate contracts and credit card chargebacks.
In small markets, when a corporate client that cancels a trip on Friday at 5 p.m. for a 6 p.m. pickup, it means your vehicle will sit lonely in the garage all night rather than barreling down the highway earning cash. Maybe! It depends on who is doing the canceling, their view of the situation, and your own policies. However, many times we are left without recourse, especially if you are a little fish in a big pool working for the “big-boy networks.”
I'm not naming names, but a really big network recently left me high and dry on a no-show. We showed up on time. We waited 15 minutes before calling the affiliate. We were told to wait for 15 more and call back. In the second call, we were released and told that they (the network) had made a mistake and the run was for the following week. Our chauffeur returned to the garage instead of making a six-hour trip. We paid him for the entire period as we just knew we would be paid. Not only was I not paid a no-show fee, I got nothing! Zilch! What am I going to do? They feed me work all month long so I have to just suck it up.
Yesterday, we had a client call 45 minutes before her pickup to say she was canceling her trip. We reminded her of the terms of our cancellations and that she would be charged the entire amount of the fare for the last-minute cancellation. She told our dispatcher that she would contact American Express as no service had been provided and therefore we should not get paid a dime. Unfortunately, the order was placed earlier that morning, bypassing the usual confirmation signature as it was a “for sure deal.”
Nothing is “for sure” until you have done the run and the money is in the bank.
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