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#354070 - 10/08/09 01:11 PM Unfair practices in ferry competition?  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 52,597
Marty Offline
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.

#354077 - 10/08/09 01:22 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 148
Three_Palms Offline
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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 01:27 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Three_Palms]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,046
Peter Jones Offline
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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.

#354081 - 10/08/09 01:33 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Peter Jones]  
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 148
Three_Palms Offline
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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 01:59 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Peter Jones]  
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,941
champion Offline
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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 02:16 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Three_Palms]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,046
Peter Jones Offline
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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?

#354091 - 10/08/09 02:39 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Peter Jones]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
TravelinMan1 Offline
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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.

#354093 - 10/08/09 03:06 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 273
Cayemen Offline
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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?

#354095 - 10/08/09 03:43 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: TravelinMan1]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,046
Peter Jones Offline
.
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?

#354098 - 10/08/09 04:45 PM Re: Unfair practices in ferry competition? [Re: Peter Jones]  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
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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.



Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com
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