On these pages I’ve talked a lot about my experiences with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and their, in my opinion, bizarre ways. That said, I strongly dislike ‘difficult’ customers, and really try my best to be as reasonable and cooperative as I can be. The level of disrespect coming from so many of us these days towards people in the service industry is awful, truly awful. Beside human decency and mutual respect (one day that might be YOU making soy lattes!), don’t you want to be greeted by someone happy to see you? Other than at Best Buy and Guitar Center, two of the worst run stores I know, I always tried to foster a good relationship with every place I frequent.
Unfortunately, at Enterprise it hadn’t worked! Even though I never complained about the many times waiting for 45 minutes, even though I showed up on time for a reservation every single time, I always took whatever car they offered me, dealt with nothing but employees answering the phone while they were talking to me, renting there for what must be twenty years by now, at least 20 times a year, whenever I show up the look at me like I’m a pain in the ass! All because of one thing really: my refusal to answer the pathetic question (that the employees feel visibly stupid about asking, mind you!) of whether I was “100% completely satisfied with their customer service”!
When they first started asking me, I tried to engage in constructive dialog; I explained that Hertz did it better in my opinion, that a reservation there meant a car was set aside for me and things like that. That they didn’t ask me every single time if I wanted to get insurance, who my carrier is, how much my deductible. You know, stupid, time wasting BS, because they should know after hundreds of rentals that I carry my own! Here’s the kicker: I always explained to them that I don’t care about the customer service, I came because they’re adequate and cheap! I would ask: “Have I ever complained? I keep coming back don’t I?” My only request was to stop asking a question you don’t want to hear the answer to, especially to a regular like me. Every few months they change the whole crew at every Enterprise location and the whole dance starts again, because the little information that the old manager might have collected, was lost again in the transition. As I write it down I get a little nauseous inside….
The newest manager stepped in a few months ago when he overheard one of the new employees going there with me, and again I explained how I thought Hertz just does it better, but that I’m not complaining because I don’t care. He started arguing with me, trying to tell me that his other customers told him Hertz is terrible etc. etc. etc. So now he’s giving me major attitude and telling me I’m wrong, but deep down, I can tell he IS listening. When I ask him if it is good customer service to ask the same question that you don’t want to hear the answer too every single time it might have made sense! From then on, when I walk into the branch, I see the faces of the employees change: it’s fucking hilarious, like I’m a pain in the ass! But, the manager if he’s there steps in, or whispers something to the person who’s helping me: “Don’t ask him THE question! Don’t try to sell him insurance!” Hallelujah, it worked!
Stil, I take great care to treat regular folks with respect and there’s a part of me wondering if I’m being unreasonable. Compared to literally half the others I see renting it Enterprise, I’m a saint. From rudeness, inability to even come up with $100 deposit, no credit card carrying, ultra-picky assholes, to complete idiots making pickup drivers wait for 20 minutes the range of BS they have to deal with is crazy. I don’t want to be difficult…
So how about Hertz? Last Friday I went to pick up a car for the weekend. I’ve been giving them more and more of my business, sometimes at higher cost than Enterprise, simply because when I show up they have assumed I’m gonna be on time and have a car ready! What a concept! They tried to sell me insurance one time, I told them I will never need it, they put it in the computer and never asked me again, not even when I rent at an airport somewhere else! I’ve rented from them enough to get “President’s Circle” status (20 rentals per year) so I asked Josh over there how many other regulars are in that category. He told me about 20, but that I’m by far the easiest! How about that? They are happy to see me come in! I’m on time, not picky about exactly which car (and they always offer me almost whatever I want, even when I pay the lowest economy rate) etc. etc. Damn it, I’m not crazy after all!