‘No to SA Roadlink buses’

This headline just goes to show that once a company develops a bad reputation, it is not easily restored.

You can take the authorities to court, but facts remain. You can deny responsibility, but facts remain.

A poll showed that most readers – who participated – agree that SA Roadlink buses should be banned on South African roads. (For my international readers, this is a company who have had a number of incidents).

‘No to SA Roadlink buses’
Sun, 21 Dec 2008 22:00:00 GMT

Once perceptions or rumours establish themselves, they are not easily shifted.

The problems with SA Roadlink is that they never practiced proper Crisis Management and Crisis Communication from the beginning.

One news report states that SA Roadlink is irked by new Bus Bust. The report states that the KwaZulu-Natal transport authorities denied that SA Roadlink luxury buses were being targeted by the provincial government after another Roadlink bus was impounded at Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape, on New Year’s Eve.

However, Roadlink said it had not been allowed to use independent mechanics to confirm whether the brakes on the impounded bus were defective.

“We are not happy about what is happening because we feel that we are being targeted,” said SA Roadlink spokesman Sam Fidelis.

“Why is it that suddenly after the accident all our buses are being stopped? The bus that was impounded at Mthatha was a brand new bus and it was given a permit last week.”

They miss the point. It has nothing to do with the new bus. It has to do with perceptions…

Waterfalls flow top to bottom and once there are doubts about safety and management’s ability to control a situation, then trust is in doubt.

Will you travel in a new bus, even if you are not sure whether the driver is of standard?

The lack of speedy response is now coming back to haunt them.

How a company reacts in a crisis is of vital proportion to the reputation and success of any organization. No MBA or business qualification prepares you adequately for this type of situation, AND that was apparent right from the beginning.

AS a reader, what would you do to rectify the situation?