Saturday, February 03, 2007

Car Renting Anecdote

I was doing a car rental online tonight for an upcoming trip and ran across some a comment that struck me as funny. I thought I was the only person in this guy's shoes. I prefer to drive smaller cars and always feel like I'm going to take down a wall or the car next to me in something big like an SUV or van.

Since I have preferred status with a couple companies, I normally get a class upgrade. When inventory is tight at certain locations that can lead to really strange upgrades. For example, I once reserved a mid-size car (smallish Toyota or something like a Pontiac G6) and walked out to the pickup lot to find my name attached to a Ford Expedition. I was mortified at the thought of driving such a large car but never thought about going in and asking for a *downgrade*. Never dawned on me that such a thing was possible.

Dayton Ohio a coupla days ago, on a one day business rental:

I went from (reserved a) Compact to (got) a Caravan.

...and then promptly marched right back in and stated "Unless you want the Caravan back wrecked, I'd like a car that I will not smash into things with" (like I had originally requested).

Since this was the second time (in a short period) that something like this has happened (last time I refused a Chevy Suburban for my compact), I called them up and now "no upgrades" is in my profile. I'm used to subcompacts.... If I drive a big car, I'm going to smash it into stuff... then noone is happy. Hopefully that note will stop these crazy upgrades.
The joys of "status". We used to have to fight for nice upgrades... now we're asking for downgrades. What is the world coming to?

If only Embarq would call me up and offer to upgrade my 5-6mbps DSL service to 45mbps DS3 service for no charge, boy would I be a happy camper! Even if it would mean I'd have to buy a $4000 router.