Speak up, you never know what’ll happen.
Last week I rented a car, so that I could drive down to see my KoD and get back, and not have to shlepp on the bus which would hurt my back and totally annoy me (although the blog posts I would get out of it might have been worth it). Why did I have to rent a car? Because the Canadian border people won’t let me drive my new Town and Country into Canada. And also because the car I borrowed kind of ….died. Yeah. Anyhow….
So I really wanted to rent a car with cruise control, but they aren’t in my price bracket. I rented the smallest car available. It was just me travelling, and I don’t need a lot of space. I had researched online all the various different companies and looked for the latest deals, but I ended up going with Enterprise who I have rented from before. The branch I rent from has given me stellar customer service. Every single time.
I showed up there, we took care of the paperwork, and I just casually asked how much extra it would be to rent the PT Cruiser. I had always wanted to drive one of them. They told me they wouldn’t charge me any extra and that they had one available. (That’s like a double upgrade). FTW!! (For the win!). I drove off the lot with a huge grin on my face.
Got to the parking garage at my apartment building and needed to open the window to insert my key so the garage door would open. Where the heck is the button to open the window? I examined the entire side of the door getting very frustrated. Finally I opened the car door, turned the key and entered. Once parked I set about solving the mystery of the unopenable windows. I have driven many cars over the years but this was the first time I had ever found the window opener buttons on the centre part of the dashboard. Who puts them there??!!
This car was the most comfortable car I have ever driven on the highway other than my Town and Country (she has seat warmers. Yes, my car is a girl. Make of that what you will). However soon after I started off I noticed there was a lingering odour of cigarette smoke, and all of Enterprise’s cars are supposed to be smoking-free zones. After an hour I had a headache from it.
So when I returned the car this afternoon, I mentioned it to the manager. I was very polite – told him I had a great time with the car, but there was one little problem. I told him about the smoke, he was concerned. He asked me how I would like to be compensated. Now, I didn’t want to be greedy, but I also wanted a decent gesture. Most Canadian rental companies charge you a daily fee if you are planning on driving into the States. It’s just over 5 dollars. I don’t know why this fee exists, but its policy. I had had the car for 4 days, that fee for me was 20 bucks and change. I asked for him to knock this charge off the final fee. He agreed immediately, and he gave me a coupon for a free upgrade the next time I rent from them. I guess I was being reasonable in what I asked for.
I made sure to tell the manager that the service I received from his team is always exemplary and that they are polite and helpful. I have rented from this branch three times already and I know that I will go back there next time. I always thought you had to get stroppy with people for them to give you freebies or money off of a bill. But I guess I learnt that you really don’t. I was all sweetness and light. But I am glad that when renting the car and upgrading to the PT Cruiser and when complaining about the smoke that I stood up for myself and spoke my mind. And that I did it politely.
(I must say that there is a snarky voice inside my head saying that if I would have been belligerent maybe they would have given me more of a reduction. But I am not listening to that voice. I will just swallow a snarkitol and that voice will recede. Truth is, I wasn’t looking to get $$ off, just wanted to make an observation so that they can fumigate the car. The $$ off was a bonus).