Don’t they want to talk to me?
Last week we rented a car at the airport in Seattle. On Sunday night, we drove back to Sea-Tac, found the rental center, drove over two sets of those tire-ripping security bars and left the car. Not that I’m big on waiting around to get a receipt, but there wasn’t anyone there to check in with anyway. I just left the keys on the console and we flew home.
Yesterday, we got a call on the home phone (although Thrifty has my cell number, and email address) wondering where the car is. They said I needed to call IMMEDIATELY to avoid the car being reported stolen.
Today I called the magic number. There was a long announcement, including a very long email address I could (if I always called companies prepared to write down very long email addresses) send a detailed email to with every fact of my life to solve their problem for them. There was the standard announcement that I should listen carefully because their menu had changed–as if I was responsible for memorizing their menu all the other times I had called, which is none.
Then a person answered. He asked my name, and instantly decided we were friends so he could call me “Chris”. We are not friends.
He asked why I was calling. I told him Thrifty had called me. That seemed to confuse him.
Eventually, he figured out the situation, and handled it in classic bureaucratic style. He told me I needed to call another number.
I refused. They asked me to call, and I did. If their purpose was that I should call only to be given another number, that plan doesn’t make a lick of sense, and it didn’t work, either.
I told the call center droid that I was making ONE call, and this was it. If they wanted something from me, this was their chance. He told me I needed to call some other number.
Is there some point to this exercise? Thrifty wasn’t capable of checking in the car properly. They seem to have lost it in their system. They need my help, and instead of asking nicely they threaten to call the cops. I call them at the number they left, and all they do is try to get me to make another call, to another bored call center drone, to get more runaround.
T’aint happening. I called them, and have the phone records to prove it. Thrifty chose to make no use whatsoever of my help and now they have to sort it out for themselves.
Now, the next time I need to rent a car, will it be from Thrifty, or Hertz?
The correct answer is neither. After my experience with Thrifty, I decided I definitely do not want to deal with rental companies anymore. I decided that I would instead visit my local automotive dealership, Nathaniel Car Sales, and purchase a car of my own. In the end, having your own car will be less expensive than renting cars. It will also be my own car, so I won’t have to deal with those pesky car rental agents.
So before you think about getting a rental next time, consider purchasing your own car. Save yourself the time and the money.