Tuesday, July 25, 2006

National Car Rental sucks

This blog has really fallen by the wayside, huh?

Anyhoo, here's a public service announcement for all you folks who might be moving in the foreseeable future: do NOT rent from National Car & Truck Rental.

I'm moving in a month (end August) and booked online. The National website quoted a very good rate for a Sunday move and had better hours than other rental agencies. Perfect. Book'em, Dan-O. I got an email notice that said my booking was pending (not unusual) and that I would get a call from a rep (which is unusual - usually you just get an email confirmation).

One week later - no call.

So, being the paranoid guy I am, I call them just to make sure everything's cool.

Good thing I did.

The dope on the other end babbles on incoherently. Finally, I manage to figure out that my online booking is essentially worthless. It's just a request which is not a booking until confirmed by a rep. Now, here's the stupid part: the rep won't call if there are no trucks available. The rep will only call if the trucks are available, and even then they may not call soon. The rep explained that if there were no trucks by mid-August (!!) I would get a call explaining that there were no availabilities.

Gee, thanks.

At that point, of course, I would be S-O-L in terms of finding a moving van elsewhere in time. I was stunned. I couldn't believe what this moron was telling me. By the end of the conversation, we were both annoyed at one another. Of course, I couldn't tell this guy to kiss my perfectly toned ass because I might actually need that long shot truck.

As fate would have it, I called Budget, where I expected to have to pay $159. Instead, I got a truck for the same moving day for $49.95!


I wrote a note to the National head office via their website, explained what happened, and told them I would spread the word about their ridiculous protocols.

My mission is done.

Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.
- Paul Gleason as Principal Vernon in "The Breakfast Club" (1985)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you have any desire to protect your personal privacy, and to do business only with companies that respect you, you will not rent a car from National or their sister company, Alamo. Here's why...

Try dialing any of National Car Rental's toll free reservation numbers (ex. 800-328-1234) from a VOIP line, especially a SKYPE line, and you will get endless ringing. Nobody will answer. Why? Because, as I was told by a National "customer service rep", "National needs your home and cell phone numbers to service you better". Huh? Say what?
The truth is that National wants more detailed customer info so that they can sell it - you are aware that your personal info is worth money, right? - and also, of course, so that you have nowhere to hide from their marketing weasels.

If you call National - Alamo from a SKYPE number, all National captures is the SKYPE termination number, and your privacy is protected...and National apparently doesn't like that.

So, rent Hertz and Avis.