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Saturday, November 25, 2006

One reason I'm thankful...

I'm thankful knowing that I will never, EVER, rent a car from Thrifty again.

I'll explain: after a history of bad experiences with Thrifty in Chinatown, I had accumulated 4 (FOUR!) "No Excuses" coupons to compensate me for Thrifty's ineptitude. I wanted to cash these out, as my Thanksgiving trip home was my last foreseeable rental car trip (I drove my own car back from NC; it had been parked at my parent's house since I moved to DC because I did not have parking at my old place). I should have known better.

I made my reservation a week ahead of time for 5 pm, Thanksgiving Eve. I showed up at 5:10 to find people with 2:30 reservations STILL waiting for their rental cars to arrive. I was number 25 on the list of people needing cars; Thrifty employees were driving cars from their Dulles lot to the Chinatown location 8 at a time and were stuck in traffic. Thrifty counter employees' attitudes were, as usual, "well, there's nothing we can do; it's the weather; it's a holiday; don't blame use; etc." I know it's not the counter employees' fault so much as it is the fault of the company as a whole. None of my previous bad experiences occurred on a holiday or in bad weather, so I don't buy their excuses this time.

This has got to be the most poorly run car rental company ever.

SO, although I once prided myself as an urbanite without a car, I am thankful that my new house in Shaw has a parking space in the backyard so I need not rely on Thrifty any more.


Yt said...

I'm glad it's not just me....

My buddy and I had a big problem when we were trying to return a car to the same dealer. We went to the back of the (then MCI)/Verizon Center twenty (20) minutes before they were supposed to close, but it seemed that all the garage employees had left early. So, with 5 min. (per their office clock) to spare before the car was due, I walked into the main office on 7th St and KINDLY explained the problem at the garage. Regardless, the woman I spoke to flippantly refused to accept the return, told me we had to return the car to the garage first but refused to call the garage to verify that the employees had cut out early, AND that it was then too late to return it at that location w/o incurring a second day's charge. The only alternative was to return the car at the airport. ... I was so angry, I wont even describe the following exchange with the Thrifty staff -- and the security guards who were subsequently summoned for backup .... : )

They really should train their employees better with regard to appropriate customer service.

Mari said...

Depending on what special their running I have gotten Flexcars for the whole weekend. No counter to check in with, no paperwork, just book-n-go and I don't have to own a car. But you do need to be a member before you start all this.

Shaw Rez said...

YT--it's definitely not just you. Or me. Thrifty in Chinatown has a laundry list of folks they've wronged.

Mari--thanks for the information on Flexcar. I dragged my feet for 12 months regarding my plan to join Zipcar or Flexcar. Which is better? Which has more locations in Shaw?