Thursday, May 19, 2005

Enterprise Car Rental

I'm talking about the Enterprise Car Rental company. The insurance is paying for a rental while my car is in the shop.

So I went last week to pick up a rental. I was in a rush to get back to work for a meeting, but the guy was really talkative. He took forever, and I was kind of encouraging him to move it along a bit.

So he gave me the keys, says that he didn't have time to fill it up but that's okay, just bring it back with a quarter of a tank.

I threw my bag in the passenger seat, jammed the key in the ignition and took off. That was a mistake.

The car was filthy, extremely dusty, and it smelled bad too. I couldn't see the traffic lights for all the smashed bugs on the windshield. When I went to fill it up with gas, I scrubbed the glass with the scrubber-squegie thing they provide, but the bugs were baked on. These things weren't coming off. But that wasn't the worst of it.

The seats were stained and the car was as dusty as a western prairie. And there were soda spills that left a sticky residue on the vent fins of the air conditioner. Maybe the car had been rented to their garbage man?

So I call the guy. I tell him I've just come back to work but the car is filthy. It's unacceptable.

"No problem, I'll swap it out for you. In fact, I'll upgrade you. Just call me about an hour before you want to come."

I do, and arrive about an hour later but there's no car available. "Sean" I say, "I called you an hour and a half ago, you promised a car, where is it?"

"I can't help it if there was a sudden demand on our fleet." was his lame reply. "I can give you a van for a little more." but he knows the insurance is footing the bill and I ain't about to cough up a penny extra.

The rental place is about 30 minutes from work. I'm about to blow a gasket. I drive back with the same car. I call the Branch Manager and tell him the story. Then I said: "I'd like to know, if you, the Branch Manager, see any problem with this behavior."

He says: "I'm sure Sean was aiming to please you as the customer, but this time he failed."

I'm thinking: THIS time? Hello? The car was previously loaned to a construction crew who brought it back filthy and empty. Sean didn't fill it, didn't clean it, and then attempted to bait and switch me when I told him it was unacceptable. Three strikes, you're out!

"What can we do to make it up? Do you come out here often?"

"Adam, why is no one listening to me? I drove 30 minutes out of my way to swap it out and 30 minutes back but still have no car I can drive without getting my slacks dirty. Can you figure a solution, or do you need me to give you a hint?"

"We'll get a car out to you this afternoon."

"Thank you Adam." I said, and then thought: Now you're thinking like a Branch Manager.

The salesman knows nothing of what he is selling save that he is charging a great deal too much for it. -Oscar Wilde