If you can't make it better you can laugh at it. ~Erma Bombeck


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rental Car Frustration - Warning: Rant storm ahead.

We're getting ready to go on vacation and I've been checking into rental cars since we are flying to our destination. It's been a while since I needed to rent a car, so I'm obviously very out of touch with car-rental reality. Maybe you more seasoned travelers can help de-confuse me a little...

Question 1. Why does it cost twice as much to rent a car Monday - Friday as it does on a weekend? Do they go through some automotive metomorphesis at midnight on Sunday and suddenly become nicer, cleaner, and more comfortable?

Question 2. Why do companies agree to have their coupons put in those books organizations sell as fundraisers and then either refuse to honor them? Do they just like seeing their name in print?

Question 3. WHY OH WHY do I have to talk to somebody in India who can't do anything but read his/her script and cannot answer any questions not included therein? Do American workers not know how to read scripts?

Question 4. What happened to good old American courtesy and good business sense?? If my drop-off time was going to be 11:oo p.m. (the time the place closes) but my flight plans change such that I need to drop the car off at 7:00 a.m. the next morning (when they open) WHY DO THEY WANT TO CHARGE ME A WHOLE 'NOTHER DAY'S RENTAL???? Do they really think they are going to be able to rent it to somebody else during those 8 hours? Is there a vampire pupulation that shows up at midnight and then returns the cars before dawn?? WHAT??

Question 5. If I already have the car reserved for 4 days, and my plans change so that I need it an extra day, WHY DOES IT COST ABOUT 2.5X the amount I paid for the reserved days????


Question 6. WHY IN BLUE BLAZES DOES IT COST AN AVERAGE OF $8 MORE PER DAY TO HAVE AN ADDITIONAL DRIVER ADDED TO THE CONTRACT??? Really??? $8 more just to put me down as a secondary driver just in case Hubby gets tired and would like to rest his eyes for a few miles??? (Bug - quit laughing. I KNOW your father would never allow me to drive, but HEY! I wanna be ABLE TO if hell should happen to freeze over while we were out of town!!)

Now, class, let's grade the test. The answer to all of the above is...

It is becoming a pervasive epidemic in this country. How can we squeeze the absolute maximum out of consumers without actually having to give them anything for their money? Plain and simple: GREED!

WOW! I feel so much better now! Thanks for letting me vent! I'll be gone for a few days, but I'm leaving a couple of post-dated things to make you giggle a little (hopefully). See you when we get home.


  1. Now this post reminded me of my last trip to San Francisco...rental car nightmare!

    I've tagged you for a Bookie Meme. Come on over to Rubbish for the rules. I hope you enjoy.

  2. And why is that guy in India named Bob? Really? That's your name? I'm guessing not.

    Have a great trip!

  3. You mean you could actually understand what the guy in India was reading out to you? Well done that woman!

  4. Oh, and have a great time away. You need a break. Keep your eyes open for stuff we'd like to hear. Love you!

  5. Have a great vacation despite the rental car blues!

    For what it's worth, I think companies should have the option to speak to someone in the country the caller is from. Or, perhaps they should just bring those jobs back to their own countries in the first place.

  6. I think all of America's customer services are outsourced to India. I hate dealing with customer service. Margie

  7. I heard some tricks to getting your money's worth on car rentals and I really can only remember one. If you request a car that has good gas mileage and they tell you they don't have any and try to stick you with a gas guzzler, ask for/demand a free fill-up or a discount on the car because of gas prices.

    Hope you have a good vacation and hope this is the end of your hassles!

  8. Oh yes, Rental Car Blues. So far we've been able to finagle a few deals out of Enterprise. We gave up on the others long ago. What a pain!

    Hope you enjoy your much deserved vacation!

  9. www.costco.com they have all kinds of discount codes for car rentals. If you need to change your days and such, start over with a brand new reservation and then cancel the old one. That way they don't have a chance to jack up the fees to add a day that way. As long as you don't pre-pay anyway.

  10. Well, too late for you, I know, but we went through AAA and got (GASP!) a free tank of gas with our rental - that's $50 or so! Of course when we went to pay for it all somehow that "Free tank" had disappeared from the invoice but after much discussion ( I had to send my husband out of the room - he was discussing things a little too loudly) we finally got things ironed out - two months later.......
    Hope you are enjoying yourself!

  11. I'm back again! I'm passing another award on to you. Collect it when you can.

  12. One tiny bit of advice, NEVER EVER call the 800#'s. Either rent them online or call a local office. They will honor your coupons and generally give you a much better rate! I used to work for a small rental company but it was across from Hertz and Avis. These tips have saved us $$$$$ over the years (ya, I know, why didn't I tell you this earlier???)


  13. Grrr...I have no answers but am perfectly ready to sympathize. Their policies are ridiculous and squeeze every dime they can out of a customer. Because they can.

  14. I hope the vacation was fun, though! Let us know all about it, ok? :)


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