Beware of the Booking Agents
Warning, the web is awash with resellers in all areas of business within the UK and they will increase the price you pay for goods & services...
We have used the image of cash as that is their focus, they just want your money, remember, they have no vehicles or drivers, they will sub your journeys out to the cheapest bus operator, sometimes using two different bus companies?
So, what is a booking agent?
A booking agent is basically a middleman.
You go on their web site and give them your journey details, they then pass these journey details onto a bus operator to price and fulfill, remember, they have no buses or drivers.
Booking agent websites have been springing up on Google in their droves and are out to charge you an admin fee on top of the fares the bus company charges, these admin fees can be up to 50% more! You are also agreeing to the booking agents terms and conditions, not the bus company's, as the booking agent is our customer, so in most instances this will lead you to paying more, they often have a no deposit refund policy, last minute cancellations allowed with no recourse, so I do recommend that you read all the terms and conditions.
In short, you do not want to have a booking with a booking agent who has no vehicles or drivers, because they are booking in your journeys without the ability to do them, so they will always need a bus company to do the work, so you could find yourself on the morning of your £10,000 holiday with an email saying transport cancelled due to us not being able to find a bus operator to do the work, or, excuses like I have seen, saying the bus has broken down, but they have no buses?
Book with a real bus company.
We are a real bus company, we actually have buses that we own and we reserve the buses and drivers who work for us to cover your journeys.
On the other hand, a booking agent will take your booking and you may feel it's booked, they may actually say it's booked, but of course it isn't, they have no vehicles or drivers, they will then, with finger's crossed, try to get it covered, but with no guarantees, with the worry for you of a last minute cancellation, it will be a message saying "the bus is cancelled".
Bus companies hate doing the work for these booking agents, because we are taking people on our buses who have been ripped off, they have overpaid for their journeys...
Any real business that is having up 50% +/- being added to their standard fares by a third party should not be allowed, it is the customer who is eventually paying the bill, this has happened with many businesses like the sale of concert or event tickets, Games Consoles and the practise need to be outlawed.
Booking agents are often located at the top of the search results pages as their websites are created and run by marketing people, strangely, most customers do not realise they have booked with a booking agent, even the savviest of customers are often duped by these booking agents.
The normal booking process is we quote the customer a fare and this fare is for the bus and driver.
The booking agent process is the booking agent quotes you a higher fare than the bus company, as they need to include their profit for taking your email or phone call and passing it on, they will often look for the cheapest bus company to do the job, quite different to what you would book and then keep the difference.
How does this look in real examples, these are real examples as we have covered several journeys unbeknown to us that these jobs were booked by booking agents, we only found out when speaking to the customers...
Example 1: The very first journey via a booking agent was to take a cycling group to a local destination, we agreed a £90 fare on the telephone, when we dropped the group off the lead passenger asked for a receipt, I gave him a receipt for £90, he said what about the £60 I paid the person on the telephone, I said what person, he became angry and abusive towards me, I realised what had happened and explained, but strangely he was not interested he had been ripped off for £60?
Example 2: I had a phone call to pick up a wedding party and take them home, a fare of £300 was agreed. I picked up the group, as we drove the lady said she had paid £600 for a Mercedes executive minibus, as we spoke it was clear what had happened, she took my card and said never again. She was ripped off for £300, double the fare?
Example 3: Hen party called me on Friday, do you have any buses for tomorrow, of course I said you are late asking, so she explained. I booked a minibus with driver with a company 6 months ago and paid the £500 fare in full. I tried to call him on the mobile and the number is disconnected, so I emailed him and it bounced back, so I went to his website and the whole site had disappeared, because it was 6 months ago I lost the ability to make a claim. We covered the journeys for her and she has paid twice, totally ripped off for £500?
Everyone of these journeys was hard for us to cover, they had all paid a high price for someone to pass on their details, customers being ripped off by booking agents will have a detrimental affect on this industry.
So ask the question before booking: Are you a bus operator? You can also find a list of all the real bus companies on the UK Government website here: https://www.gov.uk/find-vehicle-operators (opens in a new window)
We take our business very seriously, we do not like anyone overpaying for this service, you do not have to. If any customers are happy to pay twice the fare, then please pay it to us, because in the end, it is the bus company doing the work.
WE ARE THE BUS OPERATOR
YOU ARE BOOKING DIRECT
NO ADMIN OR BOOKING AGENT FEES
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