IT’S a fact and getting to understand them is a real problem says Michael Mifsud – a Costa entrepreneur. Luckily, they speak some English, in the main, but they know what they want and pitch stubbornly for the right price.
Attempts, as always, by members of the service sector to take advantage, have made them bare their teeth at rogues on a number of occasions but it does not take them long to find a straight and efficient lawyer after some lamentable experience.
The problem with the coast is that fancy marketing and designer webs full of visual lies makes the good and the bad stand side by side. All too often, the ridiculous prices offered by the pirates are too tempting, particularly for the banal penny pinchers who opt for the cheap and are not too worried about the state of the hole they put them into.
What can one say? Simply that anything under €3 a day for parking at the airport is not going to end up in a secure compound at or near the airport. It will go just anywhere by transporter or irresponsible teenage drivers who migh, if you are lucky, not take them and their families, as has happened, to Madrid and back.
Over Easter all the alleyways at the airport and nearby San Julian, were filled with cars left out in the open unattended day and night, yet many of the good car parks were left half empty. Why ? Because these undercutting delinquents know that they can take most of the business away if they offer ridiculously low rates.
The savings as opposed to going to genuine suppliers, during Easter, were as little as €10 for a fortnight, but hundreds just fell for it.
A genuine carpark has to charge a little more, at least. It has staff permanently on duty, good, qualified drivers, understandable voices on the telephone and secure, alarmed compounds to ensure cars are safe and ready for when their owners come back.
One particularly shady company managed, for one reason or another, to corner the market with web pages that mysteriously always came first on Google. Whatever anyone did and however good the optimisation of their own pages, (according to a group of car park owners), they never got anywhere near the top 10. Investigations revealed that all the key words of all the competitors, including photographs of their depots, were on these pirate pages. Well paid Google ads ensured they stayed there . So much for 21st. century balanced market forces!The lesson, it would seem, is to ignore the glossy carparking web pages guaranteeing indoor space for anything under €10 a day. Working out the good from the bad is as easy as chatting at length with the car park managers). The Russians will no doubt gear their investments to their own nationals as already happens with other foreign investors and the supply will without doubt dwindle to the point of scarcity if bargain hunting becomes the order of the day.
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