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This article is courtesy of the Better Business Bureau

Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
Press Release
For Immediate Release

Keep Special Events Special:
Check Out Limo Service Before Hiring

Pittsburgh, April 8, 1998. With prom and wedding season just around the corner, many special event goers will be hiring limousine services to travel in style, but the Better Business Bureau in Pittsburgh warns, if you don't hire a reliable company, you might not get to your event at all. To reduce the risk of a no-show, getting poor service, or not getting what you expected, the BBB urges consumers to check on the limousine service before hiring them.

"People usually hire limousine services for special occasions or to transport important business associates or clients. In these situations, not having the limousine service arrive on time or having the wrong vehicle or another problem can really put a damper on the event," says Jennifer Boerio, spokesperson for the BBB in Western Pennsylvania. " The overwhelming majority of businesses work hard to satisfy their customers, but this is an area where you don't want a surprise. You really want to do business with a firm you know you can count on," says Ms. Boerio

Complaints against limousine services in 2001 ranked 30 out of approximately 400 types of businesses tracked by the BBB in Pittsburgh. Complaints over the last few years cite:

unclean vehicles
inoperable equipment in the vehicle, including in one case the heat and lights
unsafe operation, including reports of drivers unfamiliar with the oversize vehicles, speeding and being involved in a minor traffic accident
the wrong vehicle being sent, which in some cases was not large enough for all the riders
inability to cancel the service and difficulty in getting refunds, even after being promised billing adjustments.
To avoid these hassles, the BBB suggests:

ask others you know if they can recommend a service they have used
inquire about the company's cancellation policy so you know your rights,
book as early as possible to get what you want, and
check with the BBB for a report, keeping in mind that companies who are unresponsive to complaints filed at the BBB, may not be responsive to your complaints either.
If you do encounter a problem, remember that mistakes do happen, and even very reputable firms make them. Be patient and try to work with the company to resolve the issue. If this doesn't work, contact the BBB to file a complaint, or use the BBB online complaint form.

The Better Business Bureau is a nonprofit business membership organization promoting ethical standards of business practices through voluntary self-regulation and monitoring activities. More than 2500 local businesses support the BBB through membership.