Drive happy? Drive happy?!? I think NOT!
I’m not a vindictive person – okay, well, maybe just a little – but here’s what happened. I travel to L.A. often, and for the last 13 years, I’ve always rented cars from Alamo. Always. I know the guy at the booth – Caesar – and he knows me. We don’t say a lot, just a little small talk, but there is definitely mutual affection there. Hell, thirteen years: we’re getting older and grayer together.
And then, about six months ago, I turned in my car – everything fine, everything normal – and about two weeks after that, I get a letter accusing me of turning in a damaged car. Whaaa??? I didn’t notice a thing when I turned it in, and the return agent (NOT Caesar) said nothing.
I called, irate, asking the branch manager where they came up with such unsubstantiated garbage. He said he’d get back to me. He called me back a few days later, saying he talked to the return agent, who claimed he had had a conversation with me about the damaged car.
He straight up lied.
The manager threatened to sue when I said I would not file a claim for damage which had nothing to do with me. Is it possible my car got dinged up while parked and I didn’t notice it? Yes. Is it more likely that the car got dinged up after I turned it in, and they were looking to pin it on someone? And is it a fact that the return agent lied? YES.
I was pissed. I talked to my insurance agent, who said that, unless I got a return receipt saying the car was undamaged (who the hell does that?!?), it wasn’t worth the fight. So I filed a claim.
And Alamo lost a customer.
But you know what? It was meant to be. If the Alamo big whigs hadn’t gone all douchey on me, I never would’ve discovered my new favorite car rental company:
You haven’t heard of them. Neither had I.
Why do I love Fox?
Where to begin?
Because they’re about half the price of the big boys – your Alamos, your Hertzes, your Avises – they’re twice as shabby. And I get a kick out of shabby.
It started with the shuttle bus to the rental lot…
Even the paperwork was printed out on some crappy printer which left a weird streak on the contract…
Fox’s idea of “washing a car” is to shift some dirt around. It’s like they have some five gallon bucket of water and a pinch of dish soap which they change out maybe once a week…
I’ve rarely received a rental car with more than 10,000 miles on it. This baby had about 41k, and you could smell it: no matter how much Febreze they sprayed in there, I could still detect the underlying whiff of stale cigarette smoke….and then there was the garage opener stuck on the visor. What sketchy car auction had they found this thing at, and why hadn’t they been observant enough to pop off the remote, itself old and worn?
The bumper was on its way off…
The license plate had already been smashed…
Even the key chain looked like it had been fished out of a cold cup of coffee…
But no one at Fox – NO ONE – falsely accused me of damaging their car. Hell, even if I had, how would they have noticed?