Sunday, April 14, 2013

How I'll Miss You

I have a new position at Enterprise, on the fleet side of things, out of rental, and into a much more administrative role. Basically, I'm more or less responsible for preparing cars for rent after they've been purchased.

But, this is not to talk about my new job - frankly, most of you would probably find it pretty boring. Rather, it's to share a few gems from my rental experiences:

Mr. Garbutt

This one actually happened more to Gareth than to me, but still, it was within our first 90 days at Enterprise as we were forced to take turns running the Alliston branch by ourselves. Gareth has the esteemed pleasure of - on his very first shift in Alliston - driving the nearly 70 kilometres to pick up a customer named Mr. Garbutt.

His initial rental was for a few days, but that turned into a week, and then two weeks, and then a month. Unfortunately, his credit card quickly began declining, and he was having difficulty actually responding to our phone calls. Whenever he did respond, there was always some sort of a problem on our end that caused it to be our problem that he didn't have any bloody money.

Eventually, he finally returned his vehicle - basically, on threat of being told the car would be reported stolen if he didn't return it - and I got the joy of driving him home.

Or, rather, 70 kilometres to Collingwood.

To a Canadian Tire.

Where his car was waiting.

A 5-minute ride down the road from the Enterprise in Collingwood.

And he spent the entire drive telling me about Enterprise's history, and suggesting that I research the company a little better if I wanted to advance.1

What Do They Do? Drive Around? Guy

We ask customers for their license, credit card, and secondary piece of non-financial identification with their name on it - literally, anything with their name on it works. This causes way more arguments than it needs to, and while I don't think I need to explain why we would ask for a second piece of ID from someone2 in exchange for a $30,000 vehicle, I will:

People steal identities and cars.

I explained this to a customer that was being particularly belligerent about the second ID - despite the fact that I could see he had his passport, boarding pass, AAA card, and work ID either in his hand or in his wallet. His response to my explanation of fraud mitigation was, "So, what do they do? Steal a car and, like, drive around?"

Yes.3

That's My Office Phone, and That's All Your Getting Guy

This one happened to Shahbaz, not to me, but I was on the opposite end of the phone while it was being dealt with, and I shared a good laugh at the point you'll see at the end of this tale.

We ask for two phone numbers - partly as fraud prevention, partly to keep customers up to date about things like vehicle recalls, and, mostly, to call people after their rental and say, "Hey, you forgot your cell phone in the car, we'll send it to you". Again, one would think this is being dragged out of them with a barbed whip, when, in reality, all we need is a cell phone number, and any of the following: home, work, hotel, friend, relative, pizza place you like to frequent while in town, etc.

Shahbaz was lucky enough to deal with a gentlemen from Vancouver that informed him, "You've got my office number, and that's the only number you're going to fucking get. If you need to get ahold of me, you'll leave me a fucking message at my office, and I'll get back to you when I fly back home."

Shahbaz actually got to test this system, and left a message in this vein: "Hello, Mr. Customer, it's Shahbaz from Enterprise. I just wanted to let you know that you forgot your laptop here in the office when you picked up your car. When you get this message, just get back to us. Thanks."

Good for you, Shahbaz. Good for you.

I'll miss rental so much. I have other stories about repoing cars, dealing with broke-ass customers trying to bargain for cars, and myriad other subjects, but those can be meted out over time.

1 - He spoke the entire time, so I'm not sure why he thought I did or did not know anything about the company
2 - And, frankly, you're at an airport - you have something with your name on it. If you say you don't, you're being an ass for the sake of being an ass
3 - It's a little known fact, but 73% of all auto thefts are to go to Wal-Mart

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