With more and more customers pricing and reserving cars online, the task of upgrading the company Website has crept onto the to-do list of a growing number of operators. But such a project carries some risks. Just ask Miami Rent a Car in Florida.
Miami Rent a Car was recently sued for copyright infringement when a company hired to revise its Website copied material from MetroGuide.com in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., without permission.
“We hired this company to put some local events, hotels and attractions on our Website,” says Miguel Garau, owner and president of Miami Rent a Car. “We wanted to be at the top of the search engines, so people coming to Miami would find us. The Web company added the information we requested. They charged us, and they were gone. I couldn’t get a hold of them.”
After the site was up for about one month, Garau says, he took it down to make some other revisions. Even though the site was no longer accessible, it came up on the search engines.
“The site was removed but some files were left that put our site first,” says Garau. “MetroGuide found those files and realized that the events on our site were copied from them.” Garau didn’t realize this until MetroGuide filed a lawsuit.
As soon as Garau learned about the lawsuit, he called MetroGuide. He spoke with Scott Rogers, general counsel to MetroGuide. After hearing Garau’s story, Rogers went to Garau’s office to further discuss the case. “After meeting with him, I felt he was being honest and he had been duped,” says Rogers.