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#354070 - 10/08/09 07:11 PM Unfair practices in ferry competition?
Marty Offline
From the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce minutes:

The topic of the ferries who provide the service of transporting people up and down Ambergris Caye was brought up. The new Coastal Express's highly discounted rates has caused the Island Ferry to seek help stating unfair business practices. The owner of Island Ferry was going to attend the Chamber meeting but was not present. It is the Chamber's position that although fair competition is good for everyone, we condemn any intimidation or any unsafe practices that could result in damage to personal property or injury to passengers or crew on board a ferry. Price wars to put a competitor out-of-business is not healthy competition, and the ending result is to hurt our community and customers.

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#354077 - 10/08/09 07:22 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Marty]
Three_Palms Offline
Cannot do a whole lot to prevent price wars. Monopolies can be problematic as well.
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#354078 - 10/08/09 07:27 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Three_Palms]
Peter Jones Offline
In a price war it becomes essential to monitor and regulate performance. We don't want one operator to get a short-term advantage by cutting back on maintenance.

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#354081 - 10/08/09 07:33 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Peter Jones]
Three_Palms Offline
The customers job is to monitor performance and regulate it by spending money with the company or not.
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#354083 - 10/08/09 07:59 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Peter Jones]
champion Offline
Originally Posted By: Peter Jones
In a price war it becomes essential to monitor and regulate performance. We don't want one operator to get a short-term advantage by cutting back on maintenance.


That should be regulated by an outside concern on some kind of inspection plan.
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#354087 - 10/08/09 08:16 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Three_Palms]
Peter Jones Offline
Originally Posted By: Three_Palms
The customers job is to monitor performance and regulate it by spending money with the company or not.

Absolutely impossible and a very dangerous viewpoint. How is the customer to know whether the bilge pumps are working, whether the fuel is clean, or any of a myriad of other things invisible to the customer but critical to safe operation?

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#354091 - 10/08/09 08:39 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Peter Jones]
TravelinMan1 Offline
Are you guys serious?

You change the oil once a month and a quick service bingo good to go. The single most important thing to me would to ensure that the lights work and the persons driving are competent.

I have always felt that the water taxi was too expensive but I have never done the numbers to figure out what the costs were so I can't say for certain if it was over priced. Time will tell and competition is needed to ensure that the consumers get the best possible service at the best possible price.

If any of these boats breaks down then the real cost to the operator will be a loss of business.

These things tend to sort themselves out in the long haul. simple economics.

Don't know what could happen if the bilge pump stops working? Maybe they would have to stop and bail.

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#354093 - 10/08/09 09:06 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Marty]
Cayemen Offline
Originally Posted By: Marty
From the Ambergris Caye Chamber of Commerce minutes:

Price wars to put a competitor out-of-business is not healthy competition, and the ending result is to hurt our community and customers.



If you budget all the discounts and free rides in your business plan, you can ease get ride of the competition and after you charge higher prices as ever before.

Darwin called that:
Survival of the fittest or was it the wealthiest?
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#354095 - 10/08/09 09:43 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: TravelinMan1]
Peter Jones Offline
Originally Posted By: TravelinMan1
Are you guys serious?

You change the oil once a month and a quick service bingo good to go. The single most important thing to me would to ensure that the lights work and the persons driving are competent.

I have always felt that the water taxi was too expensive but I have never done the numbers to figure out what the costs were so I can't say for certain if it was over priced. Time will tell and competition is needed to ensure that the consumers get the best possible service at the best possible price.

If any of these boats breaks down then the real cost to the operator will be a loss of business.

These things tend to sort themselves out in the long haul. simple economics.

Don't know what could happen if the bilge pump stops working? Maybe they would have to stop and bail.


Have you ever operated a boat commercially, anywhere? Do you actually have any idea what you're talking about?

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#354098 - 10/08/09 10:45 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Peter Jones]
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
I don't know enough to speak intelligently about this specific issue between the two ferry companies, but in my travels around Belize over the past 20 years I've often noted the typical reaction by Belize businesses to declines on the top or bottom lines is to raise prices, rather than to try to operate more efficiently or to reduce prices to bring in more business. "Hey, we're not making money at $10 a widget, so let's raise our prices to $20 a widget and see what happens."

The result in the end is significantly higher prices in Belize compared with every other country in the region for just about everything.

Of course, it's not totally about competitive approaches as much has to do with Belize's market size, low population densities, government protection of monopolies, government over-taxation and over-regulation, and so on, but I must say it's damn nice to see price competition for a change.

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