An all too familiar scenario...
Your quest for a ride begins with the first company on your list. The person answering the phones tells you they want $150.00 to take you to the airport, plus tax, tolls, tip and fees. You say, "Well that seems alright. That was only the first call though. Let's try another and see if we can find a lower cost."
So you make the next call and the person answering the phone tells you $200.00 for the same ride. They also mention that the rate is all inclusive. And yes, that means exactly what it sounds like! Just like that resort you're going to where you pay one price and they include all the extras, this is what they're telling you.
So you look back at the first company you called and say, "Yes, but the first company was $150.00. How much more could taxes, tolls, tips and fees be?". You call back the first company and book your ride.
The morning of your pickup the driver arrives at your door, loads you up and whisks you off to the airport. That's when you start thinking. Maybe it's the coffee, maybe it's the lack of sleep, but you're starting to get paranoid. Hey, how much ARE taxes, tip, tolls and fees? Upon asking the driver for a total, you're told the ride will cost $225.00. Doh!
For starters, I'm actually being generous with the cost difference in my example. I've heard stories WAY worse from clients. I just wanted to illustrate a believable example! So how DO they get to that number? It doesn't matter now. You're at the airport and your rides been charged to your card.
And by the way, to make things worse, some deceptive services will even have you sign off on paperwork that has you waiving your right to a credit card dispute!
At Black Rock Limousine we do not quote flat rate pricing and then hide the other associated costs with a blanket "plus, plus" statement. We quote ALL INCLUSIVE TOTALS. So while it may SOUND like we are more expensive then another service, we may very well be (much) less.
Here's some common fees that companies hide with that bait and switch tactic:
- STC Surcharge (9%-17%)
- Admin Fee (4%-10%)
- Fuel Surcharge (5%-10%)
- Surge Pricing (10%-200%(!!))
That can add up to a lot!! And those are just some examples.
Please don't get me wrong, though! These fees aren't just made up to grab more money. In fact, most of these fees ARE there to cover legitimate operating expenses. The issue here stems from the way they are presented:
Like a sucker punch at the end of your ride!
Why do they do this, then?
Generally speaking, when companies cannot compete on reputation or creative marketing they are left to compete solely on pricing. So instead of working harder to attract new clients by, say, actually providing quality service, they resort to telling you one low price on the phone and charging you 50% more in person after services have been rendered. Not cool.
So when you're making those calls, be wary of what you're hearing! Simply ask: "Does that price include EVERYTHING?". These costs (with the exception of tolls and parking) are pre-determined. There's absolutely no reason the company should not be able to provide you with a breakdown over the phone when prompted.
Still have some questions about this? Call us @ (732) 444-8608 and we can explain it even further!
PS: Another option, if you REALLY want to take a walk on the wild side, is using Uber! (Yes folks, thats the fare estimate for a sedan ride from Matawan, NJ to JFK Airport. Hopefully it's a sunny day when you need that pickup ;).)