Twisted Tuesday

Some days are just not that fun to travel and last night and today tested my patience.  Late last night I landed at the Jacksonville airport where I went to the Dollar Rental car counter to pick up my PRE-PAID car.  I was told along with another person in line “We don’t have any cars and it does not matter if you have a reservation or not, we don’t have any”. So here I was at 11pm and still 1 1/2 hours from where I was staying that night with no car.  I called customer service, they could not help me and gave me another number to “refund” my money, really?  I rented from their website!  I ended up getting a car for $89 for a single night through Avis.  That is more than half of the entire week’s rental price I already paid!  When I asked about a week, the cost was between $400 and $500, wow!!  I had not choice, I had to have a car and they were quickly running out of them.  

Made it to my Airbnb about 1:15am, yuck!  Got ready and went to bed for a little sleep.  Made it to the training the next morning which was only 6 minutes from where I was staying, now that is close!  Taught some agents and had a less than captive audience.  They all had a meeting right after my class to be at for their new MLS system they were getting and they wanted to be out of there, so that made for and interesting session.  

After class I was in no rush to get back to the airport to return the car and fight the other company, so I went to eat at a nice little sushi place in Gainesville.  While sitting there I tried to call the Dollar customer service again and all I was told to “go talk to the manager”, so I resigned myself to walking into talk to them and was ready for a fight.  Maybe fight is a little strong.  I was assertive and yet firm but not mean.  I will explain how I’m sure of this later.  I guess it was just one of those days because after eating my food I go to open my fortune cookie and get no fortune. 😔

Wonderful lunch, but missing fortune!

After a 1 1/2 hour drive, parking in short term parking and walking in, I proceeded to talk to the guy at the counter and was not very happy about it.  I explained my situation and we went round and round a few times and it went something like this.  “So what you are telling me is that you can put me on a ‘waiting list’ and you don’t know when a car will be available, you can’t even say I will get one and you can’t refund my money because then you can’t put me on the waiting list?”  His answer was “yes”, really??!!  Oh and he couldn’t refund my money anyway because I had to call someone else.  I kept my cool and basically was not leaving until they fixed it or did something for me.  He suggested that I take the car I have with Avis to another city and return it and get a Dollar car in that same city at the reserved price of my pre-paid booking.  Then I could bring the car back to the airport when I leave.  That sounds great in theory, but when you return a car to another location they charge you a “fee”.  So I would get charged an additional fee from Avis and another one from Dollar!  I also added that technically I would be doing them a favor by bringing them a car from another location and helping them out.  I figured out we weren’t going to get anywhere without some assistance so he called his manager and spoke with him in a low voice so I could not hear everything they were saying.  He got off the phone and said “how about I just give you a car for the rental agreement you booked?”  REALLY!!!  Now why couldn’t they have done that in the first place?  I said yes and took the reservation but had to ask.  

Ok, so how does a car just magically appear when you call your manager to ask about waving a fee?  After he tells me that this was the most pleasant experience he has had in dealing with this situation, he proceeded to tell me “you didn’t here this from me, but….”  Hurtz owns Thrifty and Dollar rental car companies.  When the cars are brought back from a rental they go to Hurtz car lot.  Hurtz decides of Thrifty or Dollar get any cars and if they don’t want to give them any, then they don’t.  Wow, so this company that owns 2 other companies controls the system.  You see Hurtz charges more money for the same cars, so if you rent from Thrifty or Dollar you get the same cars at a smaller price, but even if you pre-pay for your car rental, you are not guaranteed a car!  I’m sorry, but this system is broken and someone needs to fix it!  It’s pretty bad when the Avis attendant tells me that when you travel you should make a reservation for a car on the same nights with 2 companies so that you are sure you will have a rental because one may not work out, wow just wow!

After that fiasco I headed to my next Airbnb, which is fabulous.  So much so that I am staying a second night!  The people are nice, the place is spotless and the amenities are wonderful!  Went for a walk down a shopping are that is close by and then sat in the hot tub for a little bit!  I so want to bring Caley down here to shop.  It’s not that far from Savannah and they have an Apple Store, and pretty much ever stor in our mall at home plus they even have a Tesla dealership.  She has had some issues with her phone lately so it might be an option.  I’ve been chatting and texting with Caley and Jacob lately.  I know I just saw her a few days ago, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to see her again soon!  Tomorrow is going to come early and 2 sessions will be fun.  I’m only 7 minutes away, I’m getting pretty good at close bookings!  I like being on a roll.  It will all be better tomorrow!

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