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Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 12:31 PM   #1
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Grrr...

OK, I found someone sleazier than annuity salesmen: rental car drones. DW takes the van in for repairs and leaves with a rental car. She is stressed about it (don't honestly know why) so she lets them pressure her into the supplemental insurance on the rental for $25 a day (!), even though we are covered through our regular car insurance as well as the credit card the rental is going on (and the fact that we could afford to buy them a half dozen new vans with cash if we dented this one). And she knew this was a rip-off and agreed to it anyway just to get out of there. So I call to complain and they said "no problem, we will take it off." But... she has to take the car back, have them look at it and initial the papers. Ain't gonna happen today, so there's $25 down the drain.

Its not that the 25 bucks will kill me (I wouldn't notice if the portfolio moved by that much). It is the principle of the thing. Worthless, redundant insurance sold at outrageous prices...

Must resist temptation to run them over (with the LDW and supplemental liability left in place)...
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 12:37 PM   #2
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Re: Grrr...

Yep.

And $7 to add a second driver. And $6 a gallon if you return with a non-full tank (unless you take the full tank option in which case you pay for a full tank and return it 1/4 full).

It's an unpleasant business from a customer service angle.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 12:40 PM   #3
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Re: Grrr...

Yeah, but it doesn't need to be. It reminds me of the auto-buying biz. Most places, it is an extremely painful experience for the customer. Yet I have dealt with flat price dealerships that took a consultative view of customer relations and made the experience quite painless. I think the same could be done for rentals.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 12:44 PM   #4
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Re: Grrr...

Brewer -

These places get you coming and going

And they (the State) add EXTRA state tax (11%) to the total car rental fee where we live.

Just think of this - your wife will never again let some jerk talk her into that stupid extra insurance again - so think of it as a lesson well learned for her - she will be more agressive next time. Also, as we women get older (40 ish)) there seems to be a switch that turns on that stops us from being "pushovers." Something else to look forward to in your (& her) "old" age!

Smile and be happy - step outside and get a fresh breath of air, and go home and hug your wonderful wife and kids!

Jane
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 12:52 PM   #5
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Re: Grrr...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane_Doe
Just think of this - your wife will never again let some jerk talk her into that stupid extra insurance again
Oh, how I do wish that were true. But she is a counselor by nature and training, so she is always trying to be sympathetic to the other person. So I am sure that she will continue to take the path of least resistance in these things. She isn't a nasty bastard like me.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 02:09 PM   #6
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Re: Grrr...

Somewhat OT, but I've had good experience with Enterprise on a number of occasions, here locally as temp replacement ride, & also on vacations in various parts of the country (don't know if they have an international presence yet).

Last I knew they're privately held - one family, I think - & seem very customer oriented.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 02:11 PM   #7
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Re: Grrr...

Oddly enough, I have usually had good experiences with Enterprise. Not this time, though...
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 02:22 PM   #8
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Re: Grrr...

SIL went to work for Enterprise as his first job out of college. He really hated the hard sell, pushing the supplemental insurance on anyone and everyone. But that was where the money was and that was the primary focus of the employees working the counter. Promotions and raises were tied to what % of customers arms were twisted until they purchased the insurance.

He hung on to the job for several months, wanting to stay at least a year to look better on his resume, but it was not to be. His dad (now deceased) was a barber and was telling a customer in his chair how much his son hated working for Enterprise. Turns out his customer was an Enterprise regional VP, he was fired the next day.

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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 02:37 PM   #9
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Re: Grrr...

I've had good luck renting from Budget.

But just a question/thought - why not get your repairs done somewhere that offers loaner cars?
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 02:51 PM   #10
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Re: Grrr...

I briefly worked for a rental car place right out of college, too. Everything was indeed tied to pushing overpriced insurance. I didn't last more than a few weeks when I found something better.

I've had some luck with the job market. Came out of undergrad in a "jobless recovery" and finished my MBA in the pit of the worst market crash in recent history.


They have $3500 worth of repairs to do on the van and expect it to take 9 days. I guess we will be hanging on to that Nissan van rental for a while...
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Old 11-29-2006, 04:00 PM   #11
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Re: Grrr...

It won't make them leave you completely alone, but most rental agencies will now let anyone sign up for one of their preferred cards. When you do that, which is free, you not only get your car faster, but you can enter all your preferences (such as declining all options) so they are already on the reservation when you show up. In my experience, at least, they usually don't mention insurance at all and, if they do, they just ask to confirm that you don't want it.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 04:36 PM   #12
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Re: Grrr...

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
DW takes the van in for repairs and leaves with a rental car.
Hang on a minute, why are you paying for any of this anyway? Didn't someone run into you? Surely this should be on their insurance tab....
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 10:44 PM   #13
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Re: Grrr...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anansi
It won't make them leave you completely alone, but most rental agencies will now let anyone sign up for one of their preferred cards. When you do that, which is free, you not only get your car faster, but you can enter all your preferences (such as declining all options) so they are already on the reservation when you show up. In my experience, at least, they usually don't mention insurance at all and, if they do, they just ask to confirm that you don't want it.
Exactly. I have cards for both Hertz Gold and National Emerald from my megacorp days. Do not even have to go into the building to pick up keys. Just get dropped off at the Gold/Emerald section as applicable. Course if you get a better deal via Hotwire.com or something, that is a different story.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-29-2006, 11:04 PM   #14
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Re: Grrr...

A lot of insurance policies have rental reinbursement. You dont have the brewer?

>for everyone, remember if you're going to use that credit card insurance, you need some paperwork that demonstrates the card actually has that coverage. Even if you mention your card has this, they wont just take your word for it.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-30-2006, 02:37 AM   #15
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Re: Grrr...

Are the rent-a-car companies getting worse or is it just me? Lately I've been plagued by:

"sorry we overbooked and don't have any cars right now" (Hertz!)

"oh, if your departing flight is that early, you'll be getting the car to us too early for the weekly rate.. I can't override the computer... you'll pay more due to the daily rate applying.." (Hertz!)

Even though it's small change in the scheme of things, I absolutely hate it when they give you the car with half a tank of gas. So now I've got to guess how much to fill up to hit the halfway mark when I return the car. The last time I rented a car (Enterprise!) the only car available had a half tank.

Many more annoying experiences. These just off the top of my head. Why do we tolerate such lousy service?
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-30-2006, 04:19 AM   #16
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Re: Grrr...

Is it just me, (I don't rent cars all that often..) or have you noticed that the Economy/Compact options now don't have electric windows and locks? I used to get by fine renting Economy models (I use Enterprise), but the time-before-last they gave me one whose windows you had to roll down manually (a first for me). Not very much fun for me when I got caught in a rainstorm. Also, no fun with lots of bags and hauling junk my sister's inheritance between mom's house and sis's house running around and locking/unlocking each door one-by-one.

Maybe I am too spoiled, but I ended up asking this time and was told that there was "no guarantee" that even the Intermediate cars would have power windows/locks (!). Which led me to the "only car that was clean right now", a Nissan Altima at $15 extra/day. I paid it. It was a nice car, but I think they have worsened the low-end offerings in order to get people to switch up as I did. In the past they were handing out low-end Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs.. now it's the Chevy Aveo. (Even the Geo I got once was better).

Couldn't stop thinking as I hit the little button on the Nissan remote ("chirp!").."THERE! That just cost me $1!" with a mixture of self-satisfaction and self-disgust...

I end up buying the 3rd party supplemental as I'm sure my Italian car insurance won't cover me in the US.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-30-2006, 06:45 AM   #17
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Re: Grrr...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jj
Hang on a minute, why are you paying for any of this anyway? Didn't someone run into you? Surely this should be on their insurance tab....
It will eventually be on the perpetrator's tab, but first it goes through my insurance and then they chase down/wrangle the other company for reimbursement. In the meantime, I get to put out my deductible and the rental fees, which frankly aren't that big a deal.
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-30-2006, 07:19 AM   #18
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Re: Grrr...

It's a very competitive business with thin margins, and upselling services is an important profit center. Just like the car business ... without F&I income, many stores, especially these days, would go under.

We've had the same frustration, but ultimately it's the customer's duty to buy what they want and need.

The taxes have gotten out of control in the rental market ... I paid something over 40% recently, BWI as I recall.

Would you like fries with that, sir?
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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-30-2006, 08:53 AM   #19
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Re: Grrr...

One of the things I absolutely HATED about air travel was the car rental. Occasionally an area with a lot of tourist business would have great rates and a reasonable selection of cars. But often car rental was quite expensive and piled on with taxes. What a hassle. Oh yeah - I really hated air travel too - mainly the airports, luggage hassles, not to mention security.

I always fantasized about just putting my own car on a train and being dropped off at my destination with my own car. Now, of course, I just pull my own car behind my motorhome.

Interesting - when we went to Europe we never rented cars. It was so easy getting around with public transportation (plus you didn't have to worry about interpreting road signs). Trains are an awesome way to travel around Europe too. So relaxing and scenic.

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Re: Grrr...
Old 11-30-2006, 12:03 PM   #20
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Re: Grrr...

Quote:
Originally Posted by califdreamer
Are the rent-a-car companies getting worse or is it just me? Lately I've been plagued by:

"sorry we overbooked and don't have any cars right now" (Hertz!)

"oh, if your departing flight is that early, you'll be getting the car to us too early for the weekly rate.. I can't override the computer... you'll pay more due to the daily rate applying.." (Hertz!)

Even though it's small change in the scheme of things, I absolutely hate it when they give you the car with half a tank of gas. So now I've got to guess how much to fill up to hit the halfway mark when I return the car. The last time I rented a car (Enterprise!) the only car available had a half tank.

Many more annoying experiences. These just off the top of my head. Why do we tolerate such lousy service?
Because we're stuck in an airport without any transportation...
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