Since our Nissan broke down on a freeway a few days ago, we have been trying to zero in on some good deals on used Honda or Toyota vehicles. We located a few feasible deals far away from our town and decided to rent a car for a couple of days in order to pursue them (that is - visit some dealerships, test drive, haggle, try to aggravate an irritating salesperson, etc.).
Renting was not our first option; we first borrowed a *very* old car from a good friend - who forgot to mention that the registration sticker had expired. We didn’t notice it either - until a cop pulled us over - for exactly that reason! That effectively ended the productive phase of the old car and forced us into looking for rentals.
Now, let me whine about how Enterprise conducts it’s car renting (rather the lack of it) business. Since the last couple of days we have twice tried to rent an economy car from Enterprise. Each time, I booked the car online and scheduled the pick-up at about 11:00 am on the following day. This is what happened on both occasions when it was about time to pick up the car:
Me (called to ask for a ride): We need a ride to your location to pick up our rental car. Would you please arrange for someone to pick us up?
Desk Clerk (after checking up our confirmation number): Sir, we don’t have any economy cars available at the moment. In fact, I am not sure if we will have any available for the rest of the day.
Me: Forget economy, is there any other car we can get today?
Desk Clerk: No sir, we don’t have any cars available.
Me: Is it possible to get one later in the day.. say about 3:00 pm? It doesn’t have to be an economy car.
Desk Clerk: I am not sure.
We called at least FIVE other Enterprise locations and got a similar story.
What is the matter with these guys? Why does a car renting company doesn’t have a single car to rent at ANY of it’s locations at ANY time of the day? If they don’t have cars available (or have a backlog), why the heck don’t they say that on their website - or at least give a courtesy call to inform about the lack of availability?
Is this *normal* for Enterprise or am I just going through a bad car phase here?
On a related note, I will have some interesting stories (rants) about car dealers. From the experience so far, let me just say that ALL car dealers work on the same profound assumption - most people are born suckers.