Whether you're planning transportation for a wedding, prom or for an important business associate or client, being well informed is the key to having a safe and satisfying ride. To reduce the risk of a no-show, getting poor service, or not getting what you expected, the BBB recommends the following tips before hiring a transportation service provider:
*Verify that the company has a permit with Colorado state regulatory body, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Follow this link and enter the company's name: http://www.dora.state.co.us/pls/real/PUC_Permit.Search_Form.
*Beware of problems with brokers. A broker is a company that facilitates transportation service but does not actually perform the service, therefore, is not currently required to hold a permit with the PUC. When you call to book service, ask if the company is a broker, or if the company provides the actual transportation service. If the company is a broker, ask what company will be picking you up. If they can not provide this information, get the following before you enter the vehicle picking you up:
-The name of the company with which the driver is employed.
-The LL number located on the exterior of the vehicle. (If there is no LL number, the company may not be permitted by the PUC to operate.)
-The vehicle license plate number.
With this information, check out the company with the BBB and verify the company's permit with the PUC.
*Check references. Choose an experienced, reputable company with references. If a company can demonstrate that they have successfully operated for many years and have a solid reputation for quality and safety, you are probably in good hands. Contact your BBB for a reliability report.
*Ask for proof of insurance. Operators should be eager to provide proof of valid, current insurance coverage for their fleet.
*Request proof that a business and its drivers are properly licensed to drive the route for which you hire them. Local municipalities may require special licensing that if not obtained by the driver, could result in expulsion of passengers and impounding of the hired vehicle by local police, mid-trip. Every licensed driver of a vehicle for hire must exhibit licensing upon the request of a passenger. For details regarding such licensing in the City and County of Denver, visit http://www.denvergov.org/LicensesandPermits/TaxiLimousineDriver/tabid/379918/Default.aspx or contact the Department of Excise and License at 720-913-1311.
*For service that will be taking you or your party across state lines, check with that state for regulations and compliance. In some states, the vehicle can be stopped and immediately impounded if found not in compliance.
*Get everything in writing. Special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings and proms typically require personalized attention to your specific requirements. The more specific your requirements, the further in advance you should reserve and pay for your transportation. When doing so, insist on a written contract that clearly states all details of your reservation.
*Know your rights. Inquire about the company's cancellation policy and get a copy in writing.
*Visit the company in person. If you haven't used the provider before and time allows, visit the company personally before hiring them. The time to find out what you're getting is not on the date of the special occasion.