When The Party On The Bus Gets Out of Hand

Posted on January 20, 2016 by - Also by this author

Party bus aftermath.
Party bus aftermath.
There is in an inherent risk that the party going on inside of a party bus rolling down the road can get too wild and create problems. Those can range from how the chauffeur handled the situation to damage so severe that a third party company must be brought in to clean it up. Then, there is the subsequent decline of the client's credit card that should have paid for the damage done. All three issues are frustrating to say the least.

My tale begins with a two-hour trip to Hollywood on a bus chartered from our company by a club promoter to transport a group of 25 people to a Hollywood nightclub. The promoter didn't ride along on the bus but fortunately signed the required paperwork prior to the trip commencing.

Ravages of savages.
Ravages of savages.
While the signature agreeing to pay for overtime and damages is present on a contract, it doesn't matter when the credit card presented is declined and the promoter doesn't return phone calls to discuss the matter. The only options now are to file a claim in Small Claims Court or refer the client to a collections agency and lose half the money if you are able to collect at all. You might be thinking we should call the police about the damage. That's not an option as these situations are referred to as a "civil matter" in legal terms. A contract was entered into and to enforce a contract you must go to court.

Next time, they should take Uber.
Next time, they should take Uber.
The passengers smoked cigars, cigarettes and marijuana as the bus traveled over a mountain range during the trip. The chauffeur said he dropped the partition down and told the passengers to stop smoking. They apologized and put the partition back up after telling him they would stop. They didn't and neither did he. The stretch of highway he was traveling had off-ramps few and far between and stopping on the mountain highway would have endangered 26 lives. A reasonable consideration for safety is always life over property.

Riders used the glassware for ashtrays and some  vomited on the carpet. Others or the same ones smashed tortilla chips and salsa into the carpet. There were six broken champagne flutes and tons of trash and debris just thrown on the floor despite multiple trash recepticles. Obviously, the passengers had no concern as they were merely guests on the bus. How they were selected for the ride is beyond me. The club promoter must have made a call for the dumbest, most inconsiderate people on the planet to attend this trip.

I can't tell you how disheartening it was to learn that the credit card declined the additional charges for overtime and damages. Perhaps we should charge a security deposit upfront. For the most part, we have been lucky in the 22-years we have been operating party buses. We have had very few instances like this. I think asking affluent people to pay a security deposit is offensive but selectively imposing a security deposit is discriminatory. There must be a solution. What is yours?

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