Monday Rave: Rental Car Save
There was some kind of computer glitch, I suppose, that cancelled my last-minute car rental at Logan Airport in Boston. I certainly didn't call to cancel the car I would need to get to Cape Cod for my friends' wedding. If you were reading last week, you'd know that rental got mysteriously keyed at the end of the weekend, but that's not what I'm writing about today. I'm writing about Hertz's customer service.
It was a dark and stormy night in East Boston, and the line at the rental car counter was long. When I finally got to the front of the line, I gave the agent my name, hoping the reservation would pop up and she'd hand me my contract so I could hit the road.
When she started making faces, I started worrying.
Somehow, my reservation, which I'd made that morning on Hotwire.com, got cancelled between booking (and paying for) the car and landing at the airport. I'd forgotten to print out or even write down my confirmation number and info, so the Hotwire agent who answered my call couldn't help.
"I should have brought my laptop!" I said to my travel companion, who offered his iPod Touch before realizing there was no free WiFi at the rental office. As we were debating the purchase of a day's worth of WiFi, the Hertz agent named Esther had taken out her phone and seemed to be texting....
But she wasn't. Esther reached across the counter with her phone and said, "I have Internet on this," offering it to us.
We were too dense to figure out her phone in our rattled state, so I asked her about making a new reservation. The initial cost? $55/day, more than twice Hotwire's offer. My heart sank.
"Wait, maybe I can find a better deal," Esther said, and she started typing furiously. Glancing at my credit card, she said that card would get us a discount. "I have an AAA card, too," I offered, and she factored that in.
"Do you want a Mustang?" she asked us. Thinking of the people we'd likely be driving around all weekend, we said no, but did she have a Prius? She could get the price down to $7 extra per day. We took it.
Extra driver? Free with AAA. Anything else we'd need? Nope, all set. Through it all, she kept us laughing, relieving the tension of what could have been a terrible start to the trip. And we only paid $10 more than what Hotwire charged us - and that's with the hybrid upgrade.
We flew out to "our" Prius and headed off into the Boston traffic, thanking our lucky stars for Esther, who saved the day.
(BTW after several phone calls and lots of transfers, I finally got the address where I can send a letter giving props to Esther: www.hertzsurvey.com. Good to know.)
Do you have stories of customer service that saved a trip?
By Christina Talcott |
October 6, 2008; 9:53 AM ET
Previous: Southwest Security Line Changes | Next: It Came From the Chat: Random Acts of Kindness
View or post comments
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Tom | October 6, 2008 11:20 AM
Posted by: Walt N | October 6, 2008 3:53 PM
Posted by: PRINT | October 7, 2008 2:45 AM
Posted by: toby | October 7, 2008 10:51 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.