Don’t Let The Hand That Feeds You Bite You

Posted on July 2, 2014 by - Also by this author

I was recently contacted by a small operator in Boise regarding a potential story for LCT Magazine. Unfortunately, it will never make the magazine. It is an all-to-familiar tale of a big kingfish operator preying upon a little operator.

Here’s the story with a moral at the end. In the 1990s, big companies like Music Express, CLS (not Empire/CLS), Dav El, Carey and other large networks financially exploited little guys like me. I was so eager to get “in” with the networks, I would gladly take their last minute rush orders and invoice them hoping for more work and more invoices.
Music Express and the original version of CLS were not bashful at all about telling you their payment terms were Net 60. If you wanted to play ball with the big boys, that is how the game was played. It was not uncommon for payments to take 90-days. If you made a stink about it, they would simply give their work to someone else in your city and punish you for even asking about the money.

Well, at some point, after nearly reaching the point of bankruptcy and taking a few financials baths because companies such as CLS fell from grace and left me holding the bag, I said, enough is enough.

I am in the business of providing transportation services. There are companies such as Capital One and American Express that are in the business of financing. I figured I would let them do what they do best and I would do what I do best. If you want to use our service, you pay up-front. I don’t care who you are, how big you are, how long you have been around — it’s money up front before the garage door even opens.

That’s right!  We run the card for the estimated amount BEFORE the run. I don’t ever have to worry about seeing the dreaded “DECLINE” message after the run has been performed. If we owe them money at the end of the ride, we refund them promptly.  Some affiliates get mad, but if they knew the road I have been down in the past 24 years, they would understand.  
Now, back to my friend in Boise…..chances are there is no signed contract in place.  There was no client signature obtained.  There is no back-up credit card on file for delinquent accounts and the bottom line is, the $1,300 balance will be an end-of-year bad debt write-off.  That money will never, ever be paid. In a conversation with LCT Publisher, Sara Eastwood about this situation, she advises, “Today is a whole new world and you better have your bases covered.”

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

View comments or post a comment on this story. (4 Comments)

More LCT Blog Blog Posts

September 22, 2017

Dealing With Weird And Bizarre Passenger Requests

One party of girls wanted to be smacked upside the backside every time they exited the limousine.

September 13, 2017

Create A Handbook Your Employees Will Actually Read

Black and white words on a page are boring and uninspiring; here are some things to consider when creating a how-to guide for your company.

August 29, 2017

Billy The Coach: How To Plan And Prepare For Success

The LCT Summit keynoter starts contributing this week to our blog by asking: What is it you want bad enough to work for?

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.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (4)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2017 $12.95 MOTORCOACH / BUS ISSUE COVER STORY: * Irizar Racks Up A Good Rookie Year * *


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