an International Inbound Tour Operator stated that
he claimed R150 000 back from a coach operator over
a touring season due to poor service delivery - basically
15% of its total cost for bus hire on a particular
Taking into account that the coach operator in question
is generally considered to be a reputable company
- owning a substantial fleet with depots in both Cape
Town and Johannesburg - the poor service delivery
scenario seems quite surprising. However, it has been
the trend lately that some coach owners and operators
focus more on survival than on service delivery of
scenario involves coach companies that are owned by
large holding companies active in other industries.
Whether these coach companies operate profitably and
effectively with proper service delivery standards
is almost an irrelevant matter to these holding companies
- as long as the safety requirements are met with
no bad publicity in the media with regard to accidents,all
the case may be, it seems that suppliers in the bus
hire market have become plain "order takers"
with little regard to the level of service they offer
their clients - almost like "well, I own the
R3m bus and you don't - so take it or leave it".
The more reputable companies sometimes have a blatantly
arrogant attitude, since salaries get paid at the
end of the month by the "big sister" holding
companies and they couldn't care less about retaining
clients through good service.
Those that do care are unfortunately so involved in
tough recession survival strategies that they also
fall out of the bus - pardon the pun - resulting in
a bus hire industry that is plagued with poor service
is it not lost for buyers in the bus hire market though.
As with any other industry where a huge gap is left
through poor service delivery by suppliers, the rise
of Charter Management Companies (CMCs) are slowly
but surely filling this gap,not only offering the
level of service that buyers deserve, but also offering
its clients very competitive rates by taking advantage
of the current over supply of buses in the market.
these Charter Management Companies here to stay? Well
unless there is an inherentchange in the way bus owners
/ coach companies do business in general, CMCs are
going to flourish - maybe that will start the fire
that is necessary for some of these coach companies
to wake up and smell the roses - a few CMCs upsetting
the status quo can only be beneficial to the industry.