September 20th, 2007


Car Rental Suck

Several weeks ago I rented a car from an unnamed company. (Aw, who am I kidding? Alamo.) I got a car that was in fine shape. I returned a car that was in fine shape. They even looked it over when I checked it in. No problem.

So, imagine the rage when I got a letter - a FORM letter - yesterday, saying that (a) I had damaged their car, (b) NOT saying what the damage supposedly was, and (c) demanding that I send them all my insurance information so that they could make a claim.

No, I don't think so. Not in a million years, asshats.

I was civil - barely - when I called them yesterday and pointed out that you do NOT send a letter like this. At the very least, you specify what supposedly happened before you ask someone to have their insurance company pay for the damage. The answer? "Well, it's a form letter."

No, really? So, why would you send out a form letter demanding someone's insurance information to pay for unspecified damage, and why would you expect them to just do it without some explanation and proof that the car was actually damaged? "Well, it's fair to assume that YOU KNOW what the damage is."

Um, no. If I had actually damaged the car, my first call, 5 minutes later, would've been to you. My 2nd call, 10 minutes later, would've been to my insurance company. But when some lot attendant or subsequent renter damages the car, no, I would NOT know what the hell the damage is. And you might realize that you asking me to write you a blank check for it might just piss me off.

So they told me what the damage was. The hatchback on their SUV had a big dent in it. DEFINITELY not anything that I could've done. To dent that, the way that the car is shaped, you'd have to either run a taller SUV into it, or open it so that it slammed against some hard object overhead. The very last thing I did, when I brought the car back, was to get my luggage out of the hatch. If there had been even a tiny scratch there, I would've seen it. So would their attendant who did the once-over before giving me the receipt.

So I told her that I was going to challenge them on this, and I definitely wasn't going to give them any insurance info. She asked a few questions like whether the car had been inspected by one of their people when I got it (no), and had it been inspected when I got back (yes, duh). Then she said to put the challenge in writing, and they probably would just close it out after a quick internal investigation. She also said that it was quite likely that the damage could've been done in the lot after I returned the car.

And yet... you wanted my insurance information... when you could've investigated it already and found out that the care was just fine when returned... How many people would've just handed it over after getting a threatening letter out of the blue? How many of your staff's mistakes and joyrides get paid for by your renters' insurance companies every year?

Bite me.