Ditch The Fuel Surcharge?

LCT Magazine
Posted on December 9, 2008

FINE LINE: Should you cut your fuel surcharges now that gasoline is headed well south of $2 per gallon? Will clients resent surcharges in a down economy? Would you be seen as gouging your customers? Or is maintaining a fuel surcharge a way of recouping earlier losses?

These companies, including a limousine operator, are staying the course.

Each operator needs to evaluate fuel surcharges individually, considering markets, revenues, client tolerance, and cash flow. But at some point the question will beckon: When is it time to let it go? Many businesses thrived without fuel surcharges, even when gas was in the $2 to $3 per gallon range. We're entering a dicey business climate that may not be forgiving to fuel surchargers, and consumer backlashes can be quick and brutal. Remember the lessons about greed that the current economy is teaching. Pay attention. -- M.R.

Related Topics: breaking news, Sales & Marketing

Comments ( 1 )
  • David Glicklich

     | about 10 years ago

    I think it is very important to make a decision right away one way or the other. If you are removing it or lowering it do it before your customers bring the subject to your attention. This will reinforce the strong integrity you have worked so hard to establish with your clientele. When your customer asks your reservationist the status of the fuel surcharge, instead of having to say let me check with my boss, the reservationist can simply say "we stopped using it December 1". David Glicklich General Manager-Boston Car Service

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