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Archive for the ‘Automotive’ Category

Review: Petersen Automotive Museum

13 Oct 2017

Review: Petersen Automotive Museum | DaveTavres.com**To Petersen Automotive Museum: If you do see this, do NOT respond to *ME* – respond to all of the people who try to come to the museum who have to park blocks away**

Review: Petersen Automotive Museum - FAIL | DaveTavres.comOn Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at about 11:15a, we got to the Petersen Automotive Museum – with our internet-purchased tickets in hand – but were turned away from the parking garage. On a WEDNESDAY at 11 am. How is that possible? Because the Petersen Automotive Museum doesn’t hold parking for patrons of the museum. Apparently, they don’t even hold enough parking spaces for people who have purchased regular admission tickets AND Vault tour tickets the day before arriving.

Instead, the Petersen Automotive Museum wants museum visitors to park… well, anywhere you can find a spot on the street. However, there is very little street parking near the museum. After spending $125 million on the renovation, they chose to ignore paying customers so that they could rent out their parking to nearby office buildings.

On this day, there wasn’t a big car show, or movie screening, or special guest. This was a normal Wednesday morning. And even though the Petersen Automotive Museum has 3+ parking levels, they sadly forgot WHY they have a parking garage in the first place – for the people who want to go to the museum! And for those who say this is a “public parking garage”, I see no signs that say that, and I the parking tickets have Petersen Automotive Museum logo printed right on them. And if it IS a “public parking garage”, the Petersen Automotive Museum needs learn how to negotiate with the city to get enough parking to serve their customers.

Petersen Automotive Museum parking is ATROCIOUS!! | DaveTavres.comDuring our Vault tour, there was a total of 8 visitors. Most of the group had to be 60+ years old, but NONE of the other visitors were able to park in the MUSEUM PARKING GARAGE, because they garage was ‘full’, so they had to walk several blocks to get there. And this isn’t a tiny garage either. A guestimate, using Google Earth images of the garage, is that there are over 700 parking spaces in the garage – but apparently there aren’t enough for paying customers.

Yes, I completely understand that there is money to be made by renting parking spots to nearby businesses – but when you inconvenience the people who want to come visit YOUR business, you’ve completely missed the point of customer service.

How can the Petersen Automotive Museum fix this problem?

A few incredibly simple ideas come to mind:

  1. Look at the number of tickets and Vault tours that have been purchased online and hold AT LEAST that many parking spots.
  2. Look at the data from their daily ticket purchases to come up with an educated guess based on how many tickets are usually sold on a Wednesday (or Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday, etc.) and hold that number of parking spaces for Museum visitors.
  3. Sell parking tickets online along with the admission and Vault tour tickets – then hold that number of parking spaces (yes, I know this is repetitive, but if the Petersen Automotive Museum ever does see this, they may not understand the simplicity of these ideas without pointing out the obvious.)
  4. Install parking counters like MANY malls in Southern California, to display how many spaces are actually available, since we saw SEVERAL open parking spots as we walked through the garage to get to the entrance.

 

I’ve been to the Petersen Automotive Museum many times and I’ve never been so upset with them. Most people drive a long way to get to the Petersen, so having to hunt for parking blocks away from the Museum just exacerbates the frustration of LA traffic. In the future, I’ll be sure to share this story with anyone who is even thinking about visiting the Museum, being sure to tell them that it’s not worth the trouble. Just go to one of the many other car museums and experience in the Los Angeles area.

 
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Posted in Automotive, Business, Customer Service, Reviews, Reviews

 

Uber takes 33%, plus $60/mnth and doesn’t pay tolls

03 Nov 2015

I recently took Uber across a San Francisco bridge, which cost the driver $4 in cash. Cash that I don’t carry. Cash that I can’t add to a tip in the Uber app. I apologized to the driver (he wasn’t upset in the slightest and fully expected to pay the bridge toll.)

It surprised me that the Uber app doesn’t recognize that I went through a toll and automatically add it to my fare – especially considering that Uber charges my a ‘safe rider fee’ separately from the fare.

Uber takes 33%, plus $60/mnth and doesn’t pay tolls - DaveTavres.comAs we drove, I asked the driver more details about fees and found out that Uber is now charging drivers $60/mnth for an old iPhone (with service) that is used for connecting to the Uber servers for getting and tracking rides. I DO think Uber can/should charge for the device, as drivers apparently have the option of using their own phones instead (although I do not know all the details of that.) However, Uber is handing out ancient iPhone models, while at the same time adding thousands of Uber drivers each month, which would reduce their costs. So, this is yet another money-grab by Uber, but the cash-grab is from the drivers, rather than the riders.

To top it off, I learned that the rate is now 33% of each fare goes to Uber. That is HUGE considering how many drivers there are around the world. In 2014, Uber’s revenue was $1.6 Billion.Lyft - DaveTavres.com

In talking to other drivers, I’ve heard that Lyft only charges drivers 20% of each fare and (probably for a limited time), if a driver does 25 or more rides in a single day, they get 100% of the fares.

I’ll be re-thinking my commitment to using Uber and give Lyft a try.

 
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Posted in Automotive, Business, Customer Service, Technology

 

Uber’s “Safe Rides” fee is ridiculous

22 Oct 2015

I’m a huge fan of Uber. But, I also know they take a huge percentage of each fare (I’ve heard from Uber drivers as much as 30%.) However, I also understand websites and technology and the costs to run such businesses, so when I see $1.65 fee on top of an $11 fare – of which Uber gets 20-30%, it makes me click on the link next to the ‘Safe Rides Fee’ line item.

Here’s their reason for charging that fee:

I WAS CHARGED A SAFE RIDES FEE (US + CANADA ONLY)

I WAS CHARGED A SAFE RIDES FEE (US + CANADA ONLY)

The Safe Rides Fee supports safety efforts for the uberX platform, including among other things a background check process, motor vehicle checks, driver safety education and development of safety features in the app.


Here’s the issue… As of October 2015, Uber confirmed a $40 BILLION valuation. That’s a lot of money – and I love entrepreneurship and capitalism, but in this case, Uber is just being greedy. That $1.65 for “background checks’ and ‘vehicle checks’ should be coming from the 30% they take from EACH fare that a driver collects. That IS the business that Uber is running. When I see the line item on my phone bill for $1.28 to help extend phone service to rural areas, I get that – it’s basically a tax to help those people Uber’s “Safe Rides” fee is ridiculouswho choose not to live near city centers, and it’s an infrastructure cost that will give a return in years to come. And yes, you pay that $1.28 each month on your phone bill. But that’s each month, not each fare.

Uber – you’re doin’ a great job (be sure to thank your drivers), but seriously, you need to re-think this fee. Those checks are part of doing this business. If you want to raise fees, do that – don’t try to hide your massive profits in lame excuses in the name of “safety”.

 
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Posted in Automotive, Business, Customer Service, Marketing, Reviews, Technology

 

Call Uber to get a battery jump

28 Aug 2015

I recently left my headlights on and killed my car battery. It’s not the first time I’ve done that. That’s why I carry jumper cables in my trunk. Cables are great – when someone will give you a jump. This most recent time was the last straw though… it was 98° in Anaheim and I was on the top-deck of a parking garage at the Anaheim Convention Center. Apparently the Anaheim Convention Center isn’t as concerned with helping guests as Disneyland is… when I asked if they could give me a jump, both the security department and the parking department said they couldn’t because of liability. (Wouldn’t you think they would already have a HUGE amount of liability insurance being a Convention Center and all?)

It got worse… I asked five people if they would give me a jump and they all basically said no. Okay, last option is AAA / roadside service. And how long does that usually take? I’ve never seen it take less than an hour for one of their pickup trucks to show up. I REALLY did not want to wait around in almost 100 degree temps, then explain to the parking gate that AAA was coming and to direct them to find me among a sea of cars.

Jump-N-Carry battery jumper - DaveTavres.comSo while waiting for roadside service, I popped open the Amazon app and ordered a “Jump-N-Carry” portable battery jumper. I haven’t had to use it yet, but at about $70 it will be worth every penny when I need it.

imageIt showed up at my office and I was showing one of the office boy-geniuses, Randy Walker, who pretty quickly asked “Does Uber give jumps?” WOW. That’s why he’s a boy-genius. I would HAPPILY pay $20 to an Uber driver who would show up in 3-12 minutes, pull one of these portable battery jumpers out and get my car started again. Seriously. If Uber isn’t doing this yet, they should make it an option for any driver who wants to make a couple extra bucks. Uber – PLEASE – add this to your app and give drivers the option to do it as an add on.

 
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Posted in Automotive, Business, Customer Service, Technology

 

Where’s the gas tank?

16 Sep 2014

Where’s the gas tank? - DaveTavres.comI don’t know when I learned this trick, but it was many years ago.

Have you ever rented or borrowed a car and had to stop for gas, but as you’re driving up to the pump you suddenly realize that you don’t know if the gas tank filler is on the left or right side? I’d say there’s a… 98% chance that has happened to everyone. And with the popularity of the Toyota Prius and Chevy Volt, which gives people much longer time between fill-ups, even those car owners probably forget which side the gas tank is on!

So, here’s a the tip that seems to be true for most cars from the past… 20(?) years:

Gas pump - DaveTavres.comNext to the gas pump icon is an arrow that tells you which side the filler spout is located.

VW Jetta instruments - DaveTavres.com2014 Chevrolet Spark LS - DaveTavres.comFord Focus ECOnetic - DaveTavres.comNissan Micra Tekna - DaveTavres.comFuel guage - DaveTavres.com2011 VW Jetta SE 2.5 dashboard - DaveTavres.com2014 Nissan 370Z Roadster - DaveTavres.comToyota Prius C - DaveTavres.com

 
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Posted in Automotive, Technology