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Thread: Avis/WeDriveU Hurting Limo Ops

  1. #1
    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Default Avis/WeDriveU Hurting Limo Ops

    Here is a message that was forwarded to me by a colleague:

    Hello Everyone:

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH:

    It's time for all of us to get together and stop Avis once and for all otherwise we can all say goodbye. Art Basel is currently in full swing in Miami Beach and every year 85% of our fleet is booked. This year our numbers are way down. Miami Beach has multiple unlicensed vehicles doing chauffeur transportation. The vehicles are not permitted to do for hire work. The drivers do not need any drivers certifications. They go in and out of the airport without any AVIs (transponders). There are other noncompliance issues but I only mentioned 3. Two weeks ago I forwarded an ad from Avis WeDriveU to Allan Shanedling and Jonna Sabroff, the President and VP of the California Limousine Association. Avis was asking for drivers in LA because they had an event in LA and needed additional drivers. My good friend Joe Jordon, President of the Houston Limousine Association also keeps me posted on current Avis issues. The Florida Limousine Association has met with county regulators but somehow Avis is still operating. My company and my colleagues are loosing our drivers to Avis. The county will not license certain drivers and as a result they now driver for Avis. What does that tell you. As President of the Florida Ground Transportation Association, I can assure you that we in the State of Florida will take action. Please keep me posted on what you all want to do and I will certainly keep you posted on what we will do. Remember the old saying "strength in unity".

    Carla Boroday
    Associated Limousine Services
    Miami/Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach Florida
    Telephone: 954-771-5466
    Fax: 954-492-5556
    cboroday@associatedlimo.com

    Subject: Avis WeDriveU Targets 28 cities for takeover from Limo companies



    We're Hiring!
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    Do note that AVIS owns a large hunk of, you guessed it, CAREY! Of course their operations hurts city folks more than us country bumkins.
    Last edited by gunny; December 6th, 2008 at 12:36 PM.
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Cool Just Being A Wise Ass

    The solution for the Florida Limo Associations is simple. Just Petition the Legislature to include in the Chauffeur definition contained in State Regulations that such definition includes all drivers transporting passengers for compensation.

    Ooops, forgot, there are no State Regulations for the VFH industry. My bad..........
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Default http://www.businesstravellogue.com/accommodation/avis-chauffer-drive.html

    Avis Chauffer Drive
    Avis Rent A Car announced today a new premium service called “Avis Chauffeur Drive” through which Avis customers can rent a car and hire a professional driver at the same time. How cool is that? Chauffeur Drive is the product of a new alliance between Avis and WeDriveU, Inc., a company who provides fully insured and certified chauffeurs. Now, customers enrolled in Avis Preferred or another Avis loyalty program will be able to rent a WeDriveU chauffeur to operate the Avis vehicle of the customer’s choice, adding a new level of convenience and productivity to both business and leisure travel.

    “Avis Preferred members can now let a locally-based professional driver worry about traffic, directions, parking and the bags, and the customer can sit back and relax if they’re on vacation, or make the most of their business travel time to get their work done,” said Michael Caron, vice president of product and program development for Avis Budget Group, parent of Avis. “And using Avis Chauffeur Drive can also cost less than hiring a sedan from a limousine service, so it saves the customer money, too.”

    I guess you could skip the $10 navigation system add-on if you had your own chauffeur. A driver will set you back $30 per hour with a three-hour minimum, plus standard rental car charges. Customers can rent the vehicle and use a WeDriveU chauffeur during the entire rental period or as needed. If a driver is used more than once during a rental period, the three-hour minimum applies each time. The chauffeur can pick up the Avis rental car for the customer and meet the customer wherever desired, including airline baggage claim or curbside loading zones for airport arrivals, or at a hotel or business meeting location. The driver can also handle the return of the vehicle. Very handy.

    Avis Preferred members can reserve their chauffeur by calling (800) 272-5839 at least 24 hours prior to rental pickup time. Customers using Avis Chauffeur Drive will be billed separately for the driver charges by WeDriveU.

    Currently, Avis Chauffeur Drive service is available in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The service is available for Avis customers enrolled in Avis Preferred, as well as members of the Avis Chairman’s Club, Avis First and Avis President’s Club programs. The service is available at major airports and within a 60-mile
    radius of these city centers.

    For more information or to enroll in Avis Preferred, go to avis.com/driver.
    Airport Limo Service Spring Hill, Brooksville, Citrus County FL
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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Someone Who Gets It

    The good news is that for an airport transfer which is a large part of our business.

    The cost would be $90.00 minimum for chauffeur fee plus the cost of the rental car, all in all about $200.00 and we all know how much work and experience it takes to provide perfect operations and customer service…I am sure we all have experienced customer service at car rental companies. I don’t think they can get it right.

    I will have Rich Azzolino get an update on SFO’s stand…Last we were told they were not going to allow this type of operation with out license authority, inspection and fees. Our airport is not willing to loose income…I’m sure!!! I think for this fight we could look to the airports to be our allies.



    All have a great weekend.

    Kind regards,





    Sam Amato

    President

    Gateway Limousines Worldwide


    If this is the case, why all the bellyaching?
    Airport Limo Service Spring Hill, Brooksville, Citrus County FL
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  5. #5

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    Good stuff Gunny. Avis found a nice loophole, but they'll only be able to take advantage of it for a little while.

    I read an article on it a while back and it came to the conclusion that if Avis is allowed to do that, then all of the current limo companies would switch and become rental companies and use the same loophole. Somebody will shut Avis down before that happens.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  6. #6
    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Default Another Opinion

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Levine View Post
    Good stuff Gunny. Avis found a nice loophole, but they'll only be able to take advantage of it for a little while.

    I read an article on it a while back and it came to the conclusion that if Avis is allowed to do that, then all of the current limo companies would switch and become rental companies and use the same loophole. Somebody will shut Avis down before that happens.
    Here's another opinion from an Operator on the subject of the Deep Pockets of AVIS:

    Yep, that's it Sam. They are going to take on AVIS, a Fortune 500 company and then AVIS gets an injunction and they keep operating while it drags through the courts for 4-6 YEARS and then of course there are the appeals. I've been paying a lawyer to fight MIA since 2003 and we are now in the appeals process. What you aren't realizing is that by the time it's decided in your favor IF IT IS DECIDED IN YOUR FAVOR, you will ALL be out of business--they rent cars by the hour too--not just by the day.
    Can you afford to stay in business paying the fees and costs while AVIS undercuts you and takes away your customers? Their Chauffeurs can't be any shittier than some of the ones y'all have and I speak from doing consults to limo companies as a mystery shopper. AVIS will put you out of business because they can wait forever because they have so many cars and so much money and your customers do not think that the rates you charge are worth the service you provide.
    Raise your hand if you remember the LAST time they did anything besides take your money. Do you think AVIS did this on a WHIM? They are an international company, they put a lot of research into this and they are pretty sure they can do what they are doing or they wouldn't be doing it--and you can't afford to fight them. Do you think you can out-bribe AVIS to the most corrupt assholes on the planet? You need to do something REALLY DRASTIC and REALLY SOON because you are going to be out of business--AVIS will out advertise you, they have national name recognition, they can afford to undercut your prices and they have more power than the FLA.
    Airport Limo Service Spring Hill, Brooksville, Citrus County FL
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  7. #7

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    Sad, but true. Limo companies will have to follow suit and become rental companies and use the same loopholes until it is all finished in the court system. It should be very interesting. I still think the airports won't put up with it. They'll make special new rules.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  8. #8
    Member Limo Padawan Rafael905's Avatar
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    Default

    As long as airports get paid, they don't care if its a rental car, limo, or taxi company that pays the tolls. So airport board will make seperate rules, regulations and fee structure to add more revenue from the rental car industry.
    ALLEN LIMOUSINE SERVICE.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff Levine View Post
    Sad, but true. Limo companies will have to follow suit and become rental companies and use the same loopholes until it is all finished in the court system. It should be very interesting. I still think the airports won't put up with it. They'll make special new rules.
    Have to keep 2 things in mind:

    #1 - Not all airports extort money from limos (LAG & JFK for example)

    #2 - Car Rental Agencies pay big concession bucks to be housed at the airports.
    Last edited by gunny; December 7th, 2008 at 06:05 PM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    Default

    Its called self drive hire over here and the only legal way at present to carry more than 8 passengers, i say only way, thats actually not quite true as, if your vehicle has a COIF, then you can carry more than 8, sadly american vehicles do not comply to european standards so a COIF vehicle is like hens teeth.
    Its a loophole, but a legal one in the uk (presently) , the hire vehicle is a seperate entity to the chauffeur hire.
    http://www.squireslimousines.co.uk Limo Hire Northampton
    http://www.a-pink-limo.co.uk Pink Limo Hire Northamptonshire
    http://www.limo-hire-kettering.co.uk Limo Hire

  11. #11
    Senior Member PhillyLimoGuy's Avatar
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    If you operate in any of the city areas or near the closest airport of where AVIS is hiring, call up the rental office and say you would like to apply for a chauffeur job. I called up the Philly office @ PHL, and asked them about hiring. The convo went like this....

    PhillyLimoGuy: "Hello, I would like to speak to the HR person in charge of hiring for your chauffeur positions."

    Avis Representative: "Ohh great, you must have heard about our advertising for chauffeurs for our rental fleet."

    PhillyLimoGuy: Absolutely!!!

    Avis Representative: "A few quick questions first, "Are you over the age of 18?'

    PhillyLimoGuy: "Yes!"

    Avis Rep: "Do you have a valid driver license with no points in the past 18 months?"

    PhillyLimoGuy: "Yes!"

    Avis Rep: "Ok good, hold on and I will get your contact information so our Driver Mgr can call you up for an interview."

    So I give her my info, and I am awaiting a call back from the "Driver Mgr" as we speak.

    Wake up people, this is serious, and could be very bad for our industry if AVIS is allowed to continue operating in their "Above the Law" ways. Many cities covet their licensing credentials, and right now, Avis is making your licensing/permits worth absolutely nothing. This threat hurts big operators the same way it will effect smaller operators.



    Philadelphia Limousine Guy

  12. #12
    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Default From the 'burbs

    Personally having worked 2 states & both in the 'burbs with putting up with a minor inconvenience of city licensing (NYTLC) & now watching/fighting the Tampa Regulator & the Tampa Limo ops putting the screws to the small operators outside of metro areas in addition to knowing how the larger operators statewide play fark - fark games at the expense of smaller operators, I say fark the city operators & I hope AVIS/CAREY puts the screws to them good. Payback is a mo fo!
    Last edited by gunny; December 11th, 2008 at 10:40 PM.
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  13. #13
    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Default Forget All The Regulatory BS

    Split the business into 2 models

    A Car Rental

    A Driver Rental

    For Easier On The Eyes Reading:
    http://www.management.travel/news.ph...iveU.Jan-09.08

    Hiring Chauffeurs Sans Limo Raises Controversy
    by Mary Ann McNulty


    January 08, 2009 - A year after Avis partnered with WeDriveU to provide rent-a-chauffeur services along with rent-a-cars, the business model is coming under increasing scrutiny by limousine operators and some government regulators. Critics argue that the model allows companies to provide chauffeured services, but forego the extensive regulations covering vehicles and drivers. Regulators in New York and Miami are reviewing the issues. Of greater concern to the head of the National Limousine Association is that economic realities are prompting an increasing number of operators to copy the model--to the detriment of the industry, he claimed. "I think it will set us back 40 years," said NLA president Richard Kane of business models that he described as circumventing regulations. Other car rental companies also are considering the model, according to Kane and other sources. To grow its business and revenues, The Hertz Corp. is "looking at a number of growth opportunities, chauffeur services among them, although we are not near a final decision," according to Hertz senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications Richard Broome, in an email response to Management.travel. Hertz already has expanded into car sharing and multi-month leases, he added. Avis Rent A Car System in June 2007 introduced its new Avis Chauffeur Drive service, delivered through a partnership with 20-year-old California firm WeDriveU. The service allows Avis customers to hire a professional driver, at a cost of $36.80 per hour with a three-hour minimum, to drive the customer's rental car. Avis launched the service in 10 major markets, expanded to 16 by the end of 2008 and offers it in 25 today, according to a WeDriveU spokeswoman. Avis by press time had not responded to several requests for comment. "Using a chauffeured rental car simply involves an Avis customer adding an authorized driver to their rental agreement, an option that has been available in the car rental market for many years," said a WeDriveU spokeswoman. "Avis Chauffeur Drive lets customers add a fully certified and insured chauffeur from WeDriveU as that authorized driver, providing greater levels of safety and comfort while minimizing risk." Avis and WeDriveU tout the "convenience, plus savings over limousines." Independent limousine operators and associations contend that the model takes advantage of legal loopholes to enable a car rental company to function as a limousine service, without the required licensing and regulation. Local and state laws typically regulate limousines, according to NLA's Kane, who also is chairman and CEO of International Limousine Service in Washington, D.C. "My company spends more than $100,000 a year" on licensing, inspections and regulations for 120 cars in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia," he noted. "Rental car companies don't have that same type of regulation." Limousine Association of Houston president Joe Jordan likewise argued that the practice evades local, state and federal regulations on limousines and chauffeurs. Of most concern to Jordan is that unregulated drivers forego the background checks conducted by regulators. The WeDriveU spokeswoman responded via email that the company provides its own "five-point certification program that incorporates industry standard screening and selection services" to ensure that all chauffeurs possess a valid driver's license and responsible motor vehicle record. The certification also includes substance-abuse testing, criminal background check and professional training. The economic realities, Kane said, have prompted 40 to 50 licensed limousine companies to copy the Avis/WeDriveU model and separate their businesses into two companies: one that rents cars and a second that provides drivers. The trend, he said, has emerged "within the last 90 days," as operators didn't renew licenses as of Jan. 1, 2009. He declined to identify any of the operators but said, "Almost every operator is rethinking their model." Kane said his company isn't one of them. "I want to have the ability to say we're better than" operators who forego the regulation and licensing. NLA represents about 2,500 limo operators, but Kane said about 10,000 such companies operate throughout the United States. About 20 of his members decided to adopt the new dual-company model, he added. "We've been in front of all the regulators and frankly we've been ignored," Kane continued. "What we have to do is create legislation on the local level." But officials in both New York City and Miami-Dade County reported that they are studying the new business models and current regulations. A spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade County government said its legal team is looking at the issue and "trying to see if any regulations" have been violated. New York Taxi & Limo Commissioner Matthew Daus said, "We have been looking at the Avis/WeDriveU issue and have not, to date, come to any firm conclusions about the necessity of taking specific regulatory action. We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate with our regulated industries about the issue as necessary." As for Kane's concern about limo operators not renewing licenses, Daus said that "the number of black car bases licensed at the end of 2008 remained consistent, at 73, with the number at the same time the prior year, and the number of licensed luxury limousine bases increased by 21, from 145 to 166, in the same period." Phoenix Deputy Aviation Director Deborah Ostreicher said that the "additional service that Avis wishes to provide in partnership with WeDriveU is not permitted under their current contract with the City of Phoenix." Kane said the topic has emerged at various industry meetings, including a meeting this week of the New Jersey Limousine Association.
    Last edited by gunny; January 8th, 2009 at 04:16 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Default

    I too applied on line for a chauffeurs position to see what they pay etc.. I did that the begining of Dec and have yet to hear back from anyone. Avis is smart just like Blockbuster was smart when they started putting mom and pop video stores out when they started. Office Depot and Staples did the same thing in office supply business, most of them were small family businesses. I should know I was an outside sales person when they started up, in 3 years a fifty year old company was gone. And my service to clients was head and shoulders above Office Depot. Avis has the buying power as well with the big 3.

  15. #15
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    Default Sweet deal

    A Guy here in Michigan did this same thing a few years back in the Bus business. You pay one fee to "rent" the Bus from him and you are welcome to drive it yourself but if you wished to have A Driver, He would provide you with a list of Drivers you could hire to be your Employee. You make the deal with the Driver. The Drivers only paid him to be on his list.

    No need for MDOT/USDOT authority because he "unbundled" the service. No need to worry about the IRS because the person "renting" the bus was the Drivers Employer. Little did the "Renter/ Employer" know what kind of can of worms he was getting himself into if there was an accident. Basicly it became a private coach.

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