Friday, April 9, 2010

Zipcar and Me

Let me start by saying that I think Zipcar is a freakin' fantastic idea. Although yet to make a profit apparently, it allows people who have either decided to give up their cars for environmental reasons or people like me who own a vehicle but it's broken and can't afford the god only knows how much it is going to fix it price tag.

We signed up with Zipcar through Groupon at Christmastime. We have used it once prior to this week - although it's cheap, it isn't free... I got a Subaru Impreza wagon the first time and loved it. Fun and zippy, even though it was obviously just the base model. (No big deal there... didn't matter - I just needed to get stuff to a craft fair).

This week I reserved a cute little blue Mini Cooper called Mahi-Mahi. Right now, Zipcar is running a deal where it is only $29 from 6pm to 8:30am. AWESOME! I got a text as we were stuck in traffic (around 8:20) from Zipcar, saying "Going to be late?CALL!" Sooo, we did. The girl on the phone said, "No problem". We returned the car to it's ridiculous parking space - there is a tree in the lot. Behind the space. You have to manuever around the tree to park the car, which winds up being at your bumper. 10 minutes late. We called.

I later get an email from one of the guys saying that as a one time courtesy, they refunded my late fee of $50. Okay, great, thanks! However, since I was late and it took me out of the overnight hours deal, I now got to pay the day rate for the car - $81. Uhhh, what? It took me 5 minutes just to park the thing... and WE CALLED. The girl on the phone never said, "okay, well, just to remind you, because you are going outside the hours, you are going to be charged the day rate, blah blah blah." Just said, "Okay, no problem". I would've understood, had there been someone waiting for the car - there wasn't.

I fought it, explaining that we had indeed called, and it had never taken us 45 minutes to get from our house to downtown (it is a 20 minute trip, tops) and we had left with 45 minutes to get the car back... traffic was THAT bad. The guy that I was dealing with was nice - I mean, via email, you can only get so much of an impression... he did refund the charges and I am still paying the $29 rate that I signed up for, so I am satisfied with the resolution of my issue. (Thanks to Jacob)
We have another Zipcar experience planned for Saturday... with another Mini... that I love. :)