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A Warning for Parents Who Rent Limos for Prom Night

Original post made by Jennifer Hines, Oak Hill, on May 21, 2008

Parents beware--Limos are all the rage for transporting stylish, savvy teens to the prom, but they can also be more expensive than you ever imagined. Recently, my sister-in-law experienced a regrettable prom night to remember. Upon the pleas of her daughter, she and her husband acquiesced to renting a limousine (actually a party bus) for their daughter, her date, and 20 of their daughter's closest friends. I shall not name the limo company--let's just say the name is synonymous with The Large Event. She put the limo rental on her credit card with the understanding that each rider would pay an equal portion of the fare, and they all did. When the limo arrived on prom night, my sister- and brother-in-law signed the contract and took a quick tour of the bus. The bus was very impressive with neon lights, leather seats that wrapped around the entire cabin, and a 42-inch plasma screen television. Although she did have trouble scraping together enough money for the limo driver's tip from the other teen's parents that night, my sister-in-law was under the impression everything was accounted for. Imagine her surprise, when, upon dropping her daughter and friends off at the end of the evening, the limo driver informed her that there was damage to the 42-inch plasma, three scratches in the lower left-hand corner of the television's screen, and that she would be liable for the cost to replace the television. The next day, the limo company contacted her and told her it would cost her $2,700 to replace and install a new television, and they preceded to charge her credit card for that amount. To say that she was upset about the revelation would be an understatement. The contract stated that the limo company has the right to charge the rental party for any damage to the interior contents of the limo at their sole discretion. My sister-in-law rebutted that the limo driver should have given them a "walk-thru" of the bus with a check list for noting the condition of it's contents, and, besides, how did she know that the scratches weren't there before the kids even got on the bus. Needless to say, she is fighting the charge through her credit card company, and it is currently being investigated. Regardless, she is now facing a whopping $2,700 eye-opener, and, if the credit card company denies her claim, spending a day in small claims court (in San Jose) suing the limo company (not to mention all the stress and anguish). So parents, beware--do not rent a limo for your kids unless you know and understand your responsibilities and rights fully, and you realize that it can cost you a lot more than you bargained for. Some advice: let someone else's parents put the limo fee on their credit card, or, in the least, make sure you do a thorough walk-through of the limo noting any and all imperfections before signing that contract. I hope this post prevents any unwitting parents who want to make their teen's prom night special from facing the same plight as my sister-in-law.

Comments (7)

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Posted by Ann
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 21, 2008 at 12:23 pm

Good advise thanks for the info.

We rented from Black Tie because of their good reputation. I was however disappointed that what we paid for was their largest Limo for 12 passangers. They did not explain it really only sat 9 packed like sardines and the other three were packed into a back seat, splitting up the group and even splitting up one couple. Very dissapointing.

Make sure you know what you are getting.

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Posted by 5.0
a resident of Bridle Creek
on May 21, 2008 at 1:09 pm

Make sure the limo driver isn't supplying your teen with alcohol. Some teen will give the driver cash if they buy for them or look the other way.

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Posted by Tim
a resident of Del Prado
on May 21, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Bauer Limo is another one to watch out for, they tried to claim damage on a party bus, good thing we took a picture of it when we first got in. They also left friends of ours stranded on thier wedding day when the limo broke down then refused to give them a refund.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 26, 2008 at 5:22 pm

Make them walk. A limo for teens....sheeeeeeeeesch!

Grow up America. and you wonder why your kids are lazy.....get a life!

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Posted by Mom
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 26, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Limo's are a safety mechanism, a professional driver, to prevent against distracted drivers or drinking and driving on prom night.

The cost is divided up among several couples.

Protects our kids and protects the public.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on May 26, 2008 at 7:14 pm

Parents can also take their teens to the prom in the family car & pick them up in the family car. I've heard of unknown drivers offering teen''s alcohol from the limo's bar.

Nothing like responsible and loving parents loving their kids enough to drive them to the prom...

Your kids are safest when a parent drives the car. Keep it simple mom.

Like this comment
Posted by Brennan Hines
a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I totally agree with you. I think that this was a total scam. And to the woman who thinks limos are bad and teens should walk on prom night, you need to get a life. no teens should walk they need to be delivered in a formal, fancy attire.

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