Here are four horror stories and extreme situations with past trips that you can learn from others mistakes!Â These will save you time, hassle, money, and possibly even some lives!
1. Never allow anyone or anything on the roof of a 15-passenger van or minicoach that you rent and drive yourself!
A few years ago a church rented seven 15-passenger vans during the week of July 4th.Â They took the vans to a local event and watched fireworks.Â Instead of bringing their own seats, they decided to let the kids use the roofs as stadium seating!Â They jumped up and down on them and sat on them for the entire time!Â When they returned the vans, the roofs were extremely damaged, and the church insurance had to pay to replace the roof on each van!Â In addition, and because replacing a roof on a large van takes a month at minimum to complete, they were charged for loss of use.Â In a nutshell, they had to compensate the rental company for the daily rental rate of each van for 30 days!
2.Â Never place unleaded gasoline in a vehicle that has been clearly marked for diesel fuel only!
One church rented a 24 foot box truck for a week that had a sign right above the fuel tank that said DIESEL FUEL ONLY!Â During the entire week, the driver put in unleaded gas several times with little or no effect on the engine.Â Upon return, the fuel system had to be flushed and the glow plugs had to be replaced.Â The total damage to the box truck turned out to be $2000.Â In addition, the driver for the church was a professional truck driver by trade and should have known better.Â Fortunately, this church appealed to us and we got the bill settled for half of the original total.Â Since the sign was clearly marked, and the smell of diesel fuel has a very distinct odor, how could the guy not know wht type of fuel he was putting in there?Â He told my church contact that he never saw the sign!Â Open your eyes and just look!
3.Â Never cancel an existing order with a motorcoach carrier just to get the cheapest package without consideraing all other factors!
Back in 2003, a church in Dallas charted a coach with a carrier that was reputable and had older coaches in the fleet.Â Just a few days prior to the pickup, the church decided to go with a carrier that gave them an offer $300 less than they would have paid with the original one.Â They removed their reservation and decided on this carrier that they had done no research on before making this decision.Â At the last minute, the new carrier subchartered to another carrier who had multiple driver violations and expired tags on their coaches.Â On the way back home, the coach crashed into a bridge killing the driver and four passengers.Â Multiple lawsuits were filed and lives lost because someone was trying to be cheap and skip their homework.Â Do your research before you travel on a coach as your lives are riding on your choice!
4.Â Never withhold payment from a coach carrier in an effort to gain the upper hand in negotiations or to try and lower the investment!
One church in 2003 rented three coaches and went to Florida during a summer trip!Â Instead of sending the final investment to the carrier prior to pickup, the client took the final check with them to Florida in an attempt to negotiate the toal investment with the carrier!Â This caused the owner to become very angry and threaten to leave the group in Florida.Â After many hours of negotiation with the owner of the carrier, and many phone calls to the church administration, we got the coach paid for and the group was returned home safely.Â Many hours were wasted in solving a problem that could have been easily avoided.Â Both sides had tempers flaring and the whole situation could have easily been a disaster!Â In conclusion, if you hold back the funds from a coach agreement, you can be charged with theft of service and will not have a leg to stand on as you have autographed a legal binding agreement.Â My lesson personally was never do a three way call when tensions are high.
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