Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Commission Agents Vs Sole Operators

Most parking operators have their own web sites and it has to be accepted that they would rather not pay agents fees if they could achieve the same sort of traffic without them. However, the agents are marketing experts and you will see this just by typing in the term ‘Gatwick Parking’ in your chosen search engine. The first page of results is entirely made up of Agents or comparison sites. Move on to subsequent pages and you will see more actual ‘Operators Web Sites’.

Sole operator web sites offer many advantages to the Gatwick Parking Customer. They explain in much greater detail every aspect of their operation including security, location, terms and conditions, operational procedures and complaints procedures. They supply landline telephone numbers, VAT numbers and 24 hour phone numbers in an effort to provide total peace of mind to the Customer. They will tell you exactly where your car is parked for the duration of your holiday or business trip. By contrast, comparison sites use ‘call to action’ methods on their landing pages.  They use a series of icons to inform you of the security, service offered and others. They will indicate an icon of a barrier where the said car park has an entry barrier or a CCTV icon where CCTV is being used. This in no way indicates the true nature of the barrier i.e., always closed or CCTV ( total or partial coverage) and in some cases there is no barrier or CCTV at all.

Gatwick Airport has recently introduced an Approved Operator Scheme. After achieving certain awards from Trading Standards and the Safer Parking Scheme operators are invited to join the scheme. Only 8 operators have achieved Approved Status. These approved operators have their car park sites inspected every year in order to remain within the scheme. It is the actual operator that receives the award not the agent or comparison site.

An approved operator will deal with you the Customer for the entire length of your booking from the time you make it to the time you return from your holiday and your car is delivered to you. They will keep you informed of any changes as a result of airport security alerts, traffic issues and any other issues. They have one very special item on their agenda and that is to provide you with a service that will keep you coming back time after time and for you to recommend them to your friends.

The Gatwick parking operator may not be so good at marketing but he does have your very best interest at heart.

Most sole operators will offer discounts on return bookings or ‘loyalty’ discounts the more times you use them even if this is over several years.

Good operators will have landline telephone numbers so any queries or requests can be dealt with just by lifting the phone. Good operators have 24 hour mobile contact or emergency contact. After all, you’re going to leave your prized possession in the hands of someone else so wouldn’t it be nice to have total peace of mind so that you can really enjoy your holiday!

So for your parking at Gatwick always choose an approved operator and preferably one that’s been around for a long time.


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