Fleet News

Beware the bedroom broker

Fleets are being warned about a trend towards online solutions, which provide another “layer of disguise for bedroom brokers”.

This is a term given to sole trader fleet brokers who operate with very little support and are renowned for very low levels of customer service.

The more web-savvy amongst them are increasingly passing themselves off as respected fleet professionals through the use of slick websites.

The warning comes from Network, a funding provider to the fleet broker market.

The market itself has seen somewhat of a renaissance in recent years, with brokers becoming more professional and providing a more encompassing service.

However, the bedroom brokers that continue to display poor levels of customer service are finding a new home online, thanks to the recent trend for conducting fleet administration, from initial orders through to disposals, via website and email.

Indeed, a recent study suggests over two thirds of fleet managers use the internet to help manage their fleets.

“There’s a two-fold challenge here. Firstly, the SMEs that use fleet brokers need to build a more personal relationship with their suppliers.

"The value a broker can add will only really be harnessed through regular and personal contact – a quality we place a great deal of emphasis on when recruiting brokers,” Clive Goffin, general development manager at Network, said.

“Secondly, there’s a key challenge to the high end brokers. These tend to be companies that have operated with their clients for some time and rely on recommendations and repeat business for their success. There needs to be a greater awareness of the internet among these players, as these are the brokers that need to have an online presence if the industry is to continue to move forward.”

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