Should businesses look to the ride-share providers to save on black car service from airports or around town? The bottom-line; with ride-sharing businesses, you may not always know what—or whom—you are getting.
PROFESSIONAL BLACK CAR SERVICE PROVIDERS
Executive transportation is a private conveyance, several steps above the average taxi or ride-sharing service. Rides are scheduled in advance often via phone, email or thru a website. A trained and vetted professional who is aware of the “ins and outs” of the city does the driving. The vehicle is of a certain class, kept clean and well-maintained, inside and out. Your business is assigned a driver who is your point of contact should any problems or scheduling issues arise. This can be of the upmost importance especially when arriving at an airport you aren’t familiar with for an important meeting.
THE DOWNSIDE TO RIDE-SHARE APPS FOR EXECUTIVE BLACK CAR SERVICE
Law firms and corporations have become accustomed to employees using a ride-sharing service in place of a taxi, and some may even encourage it. Ride-share services can be a legitimate way to save on some ground transportation costs; however, it’s important for businesses to understand the potential downsides and concerns.
One of the primary factors to remember is that these types of services don’t insure passengers or passengers’ belongings in case of an accident or theft. Considering that executives and attorneys are carrying mission-critical and confidential information, on paper and/or in electronic format, potential risk and loss goes far beyond the replacement cost of say a laptop computer.
Lack of consistency can be an issue. Executives accustomed to having black car service at their disposal are also accustomed to a certain kind of driver, someone they know they can trust. With ride-sharing, they really have no way of knowing who the driver will be or if they can get the same driver every trip.
OTHER BLACK CAR SERVICE CONSIDERATIONS
When looking at these popular alternatives it’s important to note the following:
- Rides may be canceled without notice and service may be unreliable, especially during big events or at busy times. One of the huge benefits of traditional black car is knowing that your booking will be honored, no matter what time it is or any other circumstances.
- They are known to increase prices during peak hours sometimes 2- 3X fold, resulting in a trip cost that could be significantly more than you expect, whereas black car companies offer fixed rates—no bump-up in price because the big game is in town that night.
- Limited or no liability in the event of theft, loss or other damages, and options to file complaints and have them addressed in a timely fashion are limited.They don’t have or they poorly monitor their standards for the vehicle’s interior and exterior cleanliness, and the appearance and demeanor of the driver. Whereas a couple of years ago ride-sharing companies had drivers in certain cars and dress that is no longer the case.
But perhaps the most important consideration to remember is this:
When you turn to ride-share apps, you are not truly dealing with a business entity that you can hold accountable—you are dealing with a large and diverse group of independent contractors. Ride-sharing apps are simply technology platforms that connect drivers with riders. They offer no underlying foundation or framework for a critical facility spend category in many corporations and law firms.
The savings may look attractive and the luxury models and other trappings may look the same, but over time, those savings may not add-up. The potential risk may not be worth it. Businesses and other types of professional firms must consider security, privacy and safety—not only of key personnel, but of confidential business information as those ride times are often used to conduct important business.
The best black car companies have stepped up their game by creating and using back-end technologies that enable:
- Reservations via apps, phone, email or website and payment through the app or a corporate summary payment.
- The black car driver to know when your plane is landing or if it is delayed.
- Sending a message with the name and arrival time of the driver.
Black car firms can also weave in the preferences of each executive or guest, such as requesting a specific driver or a certain type of coffee or bottled water waiting for them in the car. Riders can specify certain routes, with real-time input from the driver about weather and traffic patterns. Along with individual executive rider preferences, the black car companies also handle company preferences, such as required billing information.