Category: Services

Limousine Hire Tips and Advice

Hiring a stretched limousine need not be a hit and miss affair if you ask the right questions and take account of the following.

No two limousine operators are the same and different organisations place varying levels of emphasis on service levels and investment in their fleet. You can gain an insight into the way a company operates by how responsive they are and the professionalism of their approach. For example, if you have completed an online enquiry form, how long does it take for them to respond, have they correctly interpreted your requirements and is the quotation professional or just a dismissive a one liner?

Similarly telephone enquiries can also provide an insight into how a limousine operator is likely to handle their customers. Is your call answered promptly and professionally with the company name, are they friendly or evasive when answering your questions, do they offer to send you a written confirmation of the price, or is your call answered by a telephone answering machine.

If you are visiting websites look for signs that they are a professional limousine operator. Do they have a fixed line number or just a mobile phone, does the website include the name of the company or individual, is there a physical contact address, or just a PO Box number, or worst still, no address at all? These are indicators, not definitive signs of a poor organisation, but you should ask yourself why, for example, a limousine operator would not want tp include their full company name or physical address.

Because the limousines are a critical aspect of the hire, look to see if the website includes images of their own vehicles. Study the pictures, many companies use generic pictures of limousines, if this is the case, ask yourself why they would not want to show images of their own vehicles. One clue maybe to look at where the picture was taken and the registration plate, if it looks as if it was taken in the USA, then take care. Also ask about signage on the vehicle, some operators use their limousines as advertising hoardings, which can leave many hirers disappointed.

If you come across a broker offering to secure quotations on your behalf you will need to consider the following. Most limousine operators will be paying for each enquiry they receive or a percentage of the hire value, will you end up paying a premium price for the convenience of using a third party? Some of these brokers describe their limousine operators as accredited or approved. If this is the case ask what this process entails, what guarantees if any, the accreditation process provides you, for example, will the broker underwrite the hire and also how often are the operators checked? You also need to bear in mind that you are relying on a 3rd party to complete your research, which means you are dealing with two entities of which you have no previous experience.

Whilst there is inevitably a temptation to decide on price, this should only form part of the process given, as should become clear from your research, all limousine operators are not equal. A professional limousine operator may charge £10 or £15 per hour more, but on an average hire of 5 hours, this amounts to no more than £75, a small premium to pay in order to secure a professional service, from an established full-time operator with modern limousines.

Another aspect to consider is the length of the hire. The average time taken to prepare a stretched limousine prior to hire is around 2.5 hours. Therefore, most professional operators will impose a minimum charge and/or a hire duration of 3 hours or so, this may be higher during peak periods. The minimum hire charge is likely to be in the region of £150. Beware of any company that does not apply these caveats given it often means that the operator intends to use the vehicle for several hires on the day. Inevitably this can lead to problems relating to reliability or timing and more often than not, a vehicle that has not been properly prepared. It is also worth bearing in mind that many limousine operators offer a reduced hire charge for mid-week hires, so if this is an option, don’t discount it.

Another aspect to bear in mind when searching for a limousine for your event is reliability. Stretched limousines are expensive to service and repair which inevitably results in some operators attempting to delay repairs until the last possible moment. Unfortunately poorly maintained limousines are notoriously unreliable. Whilst it is reasonable for you to expect the limousine operator to be diligent in such matters, it does not necessarily follow that they are and it may well affect your hire! In many cases a cheap hire really does result in a cheap service. Listed below are some useful questions to ask of your limousine operator.

Questions to ask Limousine Operators

How long have you been in business?

How many vehicles do you have?

Where are you based?

How old are you vehicles?

Where can I view your limousines?

Are there any minimum charges or hire durations?

Are you a full-time limousine operator?

What does the price include (VAT, Drinks, Gratuities etc)?

What contingencies do you have if the limousine breaks down?

What guarantee do I have that I will receive the limousine I have chosen?

Do you have the appropriate private hire insurance, can I view it?

Will I receive a written confirmation of the price?

Do you provide a booking confirmation with the itinerary and price

What payment methods do you accept?

What is the deposit and when is the balance due?

What livery is on the limousine is it discreet?

Questions to ask Brokers

What does your accreditation or approval process consist of?

How often do you complete this procedure?

Will I be able to see a copy of the last report for the company I book with?

How can I be certain that I will receive the limousine I ask for?

Do you provide any guarantees regarding operator reliability?

Will I have to pay any extra if I use your service, either directly or indirectly?

Who do I pay?

How can I be certain that you are truly an independent service?

Can I be sure that my email address will only be used for the purpose of a quotation?

None of these questions are unreasonable and no professional limousine operator will have any objections responding positively, however, if you meet with resistance or the answers are evasive, it should be a case of caveat emptor or ‘ let the buyer beware’.

In summary:

Prepare your questions in advance.
Know who you are dealing with (Trading name, physical address, landline number etc)

Don’t be frightened of asking probing questions.

Insist on viewing images of the actual limousine or visit the premises
Get everything in writing, the quotation and the itinerary
Make sure you are comparing on a genuine ‘like for like’ basis
Consider hiring your Pompeii Limousine mid-week, where significant savings can be gained. Never be tempted to decide on price alone
If in doubt, keep searching!

Movie Streaming the Future?

Netflix just announced their new “Watch Now” feature allowing subscribers to view their movie rentals streamed to them over the internet. This was a direct response to Blockbuster’s Total Access program which allows their subscribers to return and get new movies from local Blockbuster stores, a feature Netflix could never compete with. Blockbuster’s franchise is simply too big. However, as the internet speeds up and more people are connecting their TV to their PC, streaming movies is becoming the future.

Streaming movies is a service also offered by companies like Apple and Amazon, so Netflix is certainly in the first to do this, but they are the first company to stream movies in conjunction with renting DVDs. Subscribers can watch an hours worth of video per dollar their subscription costs. So, the $17.99 plan will get you 18 hours of movie watching through Netflix.

So what’s the big deal about streaming movies anyway? Who would ever want to watch a full length movie on their computer monitor? Well, technology is finally catching up to make this a possibility. First of all, broadband internet speeds are only getting faster. Second, more and more consumers are finding ways to hook their computer to their television, even wirelessly. So, video on your computer doesn’t need to be confined to your monitor.

And what does all this mean for the movie and DVD rental industry, and more importantly the consumers? Those who are depending on DVD rentals to make money better start finding a way to stream their movies to their customers. Consumers are beginning to want their videos and movies On Demand and as technology grows, the demand for immediate gratification will also grow.

For all the consumers out there, you may not be quite ready for streaming video just yet. Current offerings from DVD rental companies may suit you just fine. If that describes your needs, then you’re still in the majority. Streaming video isn’t as popular as traditional online DVD rental services that have been offered by companies like Netflix, Blockbuster and GameznFlix. The shift to streaming video will be slow, but it will happen. Don’t worry, you won’t have to switch until you’re ready.What can we expect in the near future?
More products designed to connect computers to TV screens, especially wirelessly

Larger LCD monitors becoming less expensive

Even more consumers will be using broadband internet at home

All major DVD rental companies will begin to offer video content directly through the internet.

So just sit back, relax, and wait for the changes to happen. Streaming video may seem like a novelty for now, but soon enough everyone will be using it in one form or another. Maybe someday all your movies, videos and TV shows will come straight from the internet to your television screen.

Watch free movies online streaming here movie2free

Business Promotion Using Custom T-Shirts

If you are looking for ways to promote your business one cost effective way is the use of custom t-shirts.

Pens and mugs are great but they are more of a personal reminder. However, when someone wears your tee shirt they are sharing your message with everyone who comes into close enough proximity to read the shirt.

People love t-shirts. Essentially all of us own and wear t-shirts. And you can put your company name, logo, message including a photo or graphic and your website on t-shirts. Every time they’re worn you’ll have your message seen over and over.

Custom t-shirts are a “Walking Billboard” for your product, event or business. They can be worn both in and out of the business environment.

Imagine how many people see your “moving advertisement” as someone wears your tee shirt and walks through the mall, at the amusement park or on the beach. As you can personally attest yourself, eyes are drawn to what is on the t-shirt. So if your t-shirt has your logo, slogan and your website, you have an instant messenger.

Custom t-shirts can immediately identify your staff. Whether in your store or at your booth at a trade show your tee shirts would instantly let your customers know who they should speak with.

And as you well know t-shirts also make popular and appreciated giveaways!

A new twist you may consider for your design is the inclusion of your QR code on your t-shirt. People are starting to see these codes and the novelty could entice them to scan your code which can easily be designed to take them to your website. Of course all of your t-shirts should contain your website address.

Another way to promote your business is by sponsoring a community event, charity or a baseball team and have your business information or message printed on the shirts. When people see this sponsorship it puts your business into a very positive light.

You could have your staff wear t-shirts featuring a product, an upcoming special event or a major promotion.

Have you ever gone into a roadhouse style restaurant and your waitress comes to your table wearing a t-shirt that says, “Try our hot wings!” I’m sure you would agree that the restaurant is likely to sell a lot of hot wings during that promotion. It’s a silent salesman.

I remember one time seeing a store-wide promotion where the staff were all wearing the store-wide promotion t-shirts. The store even put the t-shirts on all of the mannequins in the window. Along with their signage they turned their promotion into an impactful and very successful event.

As people wear your shirts all year round, your promotion and your business can be remembered on an ongoing basis even if the event is over.

Simply put; t-shirts are a non-intrusive marketer that is effective. Read more here

Taxi Services: Tipping Your Taxi Driver

Many people who work with taxi companies is exactly how and how much they should tip their taxi drivers. Coming up with an amount last minute can be embarrassing and rather frustrating as well, and calculating is not something that comes easy for some people. People may often time feel as if they are too cheap in front of others including the taxi driver.

One of the first suggestions is that your tips that should be given to the taxi driver are estimated. Tips are how taxi drivers earn their income, so keep in mind that whenever you catch a taxi, leaving a tip is almost always necessary. As far as how much you should tip your driver, there are a few different ways and tricks to help you figure out how much should be given to them.

First of all, if you are deciding on using taxi services, you should estimate what the total charge is going to be, and then make sure you have 10% of the taxi fair to leave as a tip. An average of 15% is normal, but 10% is just as fair and should be no less than that. Most people will just give the driver a set amount of money and then they will tell the driver to simply keep the change, but the problem with this is that sometimes the difference is less than 10%. Take for example if your fare is $17.50. If you hand them a $20 a say keep the change that is a fair tip to leave for your route. If your trip is shorter, or your total taxi fare is closer to the dollar amount you gave the driver, you shouldn’t leave a dollar for the tip. This is not a fair tip and should not be left. Taxi drivers work hard for their money, and therefore they should be tipped fairly. Maxican is one of the leading taxi service in Singapore.

Another method to help you tip your taxi driver is to calculate the math for the tip just as you would do in a restaurant. If you choose this method, never be afraid to ask the river for the change back and then issue him his tip. Normally, the tip should be 15%, but again, 10% is fair enough as well too. If however, you have a better than expected trip and the driver offers excellent service, maybe throw in a little extra to show your appreciation.

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