Do you know if you are dealing with a broker or an operator? Simple question but do you know the answer?
A registered operator will own their own vehicles and will be legally required to adhere to strict laws regarding maintenance, driver conduct and financial aspects of their operation. They must hold an Operator’s license issued by a Traffic Commissioner.
A broker has none of these things for your protection. A broker will take your booking and money and then immediately pass it to an operator, who may or may not be eligible for BUSK accreditation. Very often, a broker will not operate any vehicles themselves and have no obligation to use a fully licensed and insured operator. There have been several cases of vehicles not turning up on the day because the broker has not handed over the money to the coach company, or, indeed gone out of business overnight only to start up again under another title. They usually employ the cheapest operator so that they can make a bigger return. Some brokers will knowingly hire a coach for your party from an operator that has a poor safety or compliance record.
BUSK has heard from many a school that has lost hundreds of pounds with little or no recourse. One school that contacted BUSK was devastated when, at the 11th hour it became clear their coach was not turning up for their skiing trip. The money lost ran into a four figure sum. These types of situation leave schools owing a lot of money to parents. It is almost impossible to get a refund.
Please ensure you are speaking to a bona fide operating company. Ask questions. If in doubt contact BUSK on 01495 981185 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.