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LETTERS to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

FagNav sounds great – roll on GasNav

I AM delighted to see that Masterlease has taken the bull by the horns to assist junior members of staff who are forced to smoke by their bosses.

 Can we expect GasNav to follow for those other unmentionable smells that emit from company vehicles (especially after a sudden braking procedure at 70mph on a motorway)?

On a more serious note is it my imagination or are the motorways getting roadworks every 30 miles or so (with 40mph limits) to slow us down prior to road charging?

After all, Mr Livingstone did it in London and claimed that his charging had speeded up traffic in London. Or am I just a cynical old road user? 

  Peter Connah, company secretary, Lancaster Partners
Editor’s note: Like Peter, many of you spotted the FagNav April Fool in last week’s issue, although not everyone was quite so keen-eyed. The anti-smoking action group ASH included a piece about FagNav in its daily news bulletin on March 28, titled ‘Smoke detector for cars’, even quoting the April 1 launch of the device.

Service was not worthy of an award

RAC Auto Windscreens are a Fleet News 2007 Award winner but you may wish to consider the following:

I telephoned them at 8.10am on March 30 to report that two side windows of my delivery van had been smashed overnight. I was promised a response within an hour. At 10.30am, I tried to contact the fitting centre but was put through to Auto Windscreens and promised a response within half an hour.

At 1.55pm, I tried again but had the same result. At 2.55pm, I tried again and this time Auto Windscreens transferred the call to a fitting centre which offered to repair the vehicle on either April 3 or April 11. I explained that my vehicle was now insecure and that I had already lost a day’s deliveries.

‘That’s the best we can do’, was the reply. Is this the type of service that qualifies for an award? I personally am insured through the AA and when my windscreen was shattered last year it was replaced within five hours. That’s what I call service.

Derek Cottrill by email.

An RAC Auto Windscreens spokesman said: ‘We would like to apologise for not providing a high standard of customer care in this instance. The problem has arisen due to human error and we are taking measures to ensure this does not happen again. We are now going to deal directly with the customer to ensure that this issue is amicably resolved.’

Blended fuel rate is not the answer

I AM writing about the letter ‘Adapt fuel rates for greener fleets’ (Fleet News, March 15). I can understand the comment ‘these rates have caused some aggravation’, given how close some of them are to the wire.

However, although I understand Paul Jackson’s argument that a ‘blended fuel rate’ would encourage greener vehicle selection, surely this poses the following questions:

  • How would he deal with people claiming unfairness due to the fact they selected their vehicle before he introduced this new (lower for many drivers) reimbursement rate?
  • How often would he propose recalculating this blended fuel rate? As people selected greener vehicles, the true average rate is going to move.
  • How would he account for changes in average rates caused by differing mileages travelled (eg business mileage for non-green vehicles would undoubtedly fall sharply)?
  • How would his tax office deal with those who benefited from the better rate (those who lost out could claim relief under the AMAP scheme) – surely this is a taxable benefit on the driver? Mr Jackson states that ‘the payments would obviously even themselves out’ – I really don’t think this is the case.

    And I really don’t think this is the answer – taken to the extreme, I assume that his company would probably propose reimbursing only a small percentage of airfares (to dissuade people from using this most polluting form of transport) and pay 150% to users of rail travel.

    Rob Bell, director of finance – Europe, API Group

    Still waiting for Blair’s email

    IN response to John Sidebottom’s letter concerning road pricing in the March 13 issue of Fleet News, I would like to say that I too have not received an email as promised from Tony Blair, nor did my father.

    I wonder if the emails sent tally against the signatures on the petition? 

      Alan Basham, fleet administrator, Ellenor Foundation.

    Don’t patronise women

    IN my regular dealings with my leased vehicle supplier, all four of my main contacts – the sales support executive, the sales support manager, the operational account manager and the account development manager, are all women.

    On a recent fleet-related course I attended, half of the participants were women.

    Out of the three car manufacturers I deal with, one of my contacts is a woman. The current chairman of ACFO is a woman, and at the most recent regional meeting of ACFO almost a third of attendees were women.

    If your own photographs are to be believed, almost a third of the attendees at this year’s Fleet News Awards were women. So come on, Fleet News, it’s time to move into the 21st century and drop the ‘Hello Boys’ attitude from the front page of the March 22 issue.

    Lynn Fortin, fleet administrator, Fortin Services

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