The Oracle of Apollo Snippets from the life of Apollo Lee

May 27, 2007 - 22:05

Life, Miscellaneous, Travel

Feeling Cory’s Pain

Cory Doctorow tells of his experience with Fox Rent-A-Car in Oakland. I’ve had pretty good luck with Fox. It’s generally the only rental car place at the San Jose airport that will take my debit card (I also don’t carry a major non-debit credit card). That must have changed recently.

But, when I read Cory’s account, it felt like I was reading my own account of the way I was handled by Alamo Car Rentals in Boise, Idaho. I flew in to rent a car in March to take some of my family on a road trip around Oregon. On landing at Boise, I discovered that the rental agency was more than a click away on South Vista Avenue.

“Oh, we don’t take debit cards.”
“I just flew in here and have a car reserved.”

“We need an itinerary, sir.”

I opened the gmail application on my Pearl, showed the email to the guy at the counter.

“No,” he sneered. “We need a printed return ticket. We’re not renting any cars to you on a debit card unless you have an airline-issued return ticket.”
“When’s the last time you flew and had a printed plane ticket?”

“Do you have a place to print one off?”

Eventually, after an extended argument that involved my explaining that Alamo really should list the requirement on their website, they finally shuttled me over to the airport, where I got the counter attendant at Alaska/Horizon to print me off a return itinerary. Thankfully, it wasn’t in Oakland, where I’d have had to wait in line for an hour.

I will never rent a car at Alamo again. They could have done something for me to relax that bullshit requirement (the counter attendant must inspect … yadda yadda) or at least list such a policy online. I just don’t have the time to waste explaining stuff like this to someone who considers himself powerful because he wears a badge that says “Assistant Manager.” Customer service should trump the power trip.

1 Comment

Posted by
May 29, 2007 - 07:05

I’m glad you posted this, I’ll be printing out all the unnecessary information for Dollar Rent a Car just in case.

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