Warning for fleets over online ‘bedroom
brokers’

The anonymity of the internet is proving to be a boon to
so-called ‘bedroom brokers’ who are creating professional-looking
websites which give the impression that they are well-respected and
long-established when the opposite is true, fleet broker funding
provider Network
Automotive
has warned.

Network, part of LeasePlan,
is concerned that unscrupulous brokers who pass themselves off as
professional operators could cause damage to the UK’s legitimate
brokers, who have worked hard in recent years to improve the
reputation of the industry and to raise levels of
self-regulation.

The problem has been exacerbated by growing appetite among
fleets for managing processes online, Network said. “This shift in
customer attitudes has allowed the brokers at the lower end of the
market to hide behind the internet.”

Network added: “[B]edroom 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.”

Stressing the importance for SMEs of regular and personal
contact with their fleet brokers, Network general development
manager Clive Goffin noted that, consequently, the “high-end”
brokers who offer high levels of customer service need to ‘up their
game’ where the internet is concerned: “There needs to be a greater
awareness of the internet among these [high-end] players, as these
are the brokers that need to have an online presence if the
industry is to continue to move forward.”