Dollar Rent A Car Can Go Suck It

Today I’m going to use my unlimited power as a blogger (don’t laugh) to call out a really crappy company. I was living a Seinfeld episode yesterday; specifically this one:

I don’t own a car. Owning a car in the city can be really onerous and expensive. On the flip side, we sometimes can’t be very spontaneous. But we’ve made due with Zipcar and various traditional rental companies and have been fairly lucky. Until this weekend.

We decided to go out to Riverhead in LI to go to the Splish Splash water park. That is a story for another time, but suffice to say that it is a good thing I couldn’t carry my camera around in my bathing suit. There were some spectacularly awful tattoos there. But I digress as usual.

Our dear friends “Alice” and “Willie” and their daughter accepted an invitation to come along, so we needed something that would seat seven. Getting cars on summer weekends is sometimes challenging, but after hunting around we found a big SUV at Dollar, a place we never patronize. But they were the only establishment who had one available.

Two days before the rental date, we received a call confirming that we still needed this specialty vehicle. “Why, yes, Yolanda we do! That’s great, thanks for calling.” Fast forward to Saturday morning when we confidently strode into the Dollar office to collect our vehicle.

We were greeted by a deadpan yet diabolical young woman who informed us that we should put our name on a list because there were no cars available and it was going to be at least two hours before one became available. Cue the seething, blind, red-hot rage which led to me leaving quite a sweary message on Willie’s iPhone attempting to explain why we were going to be late picking them up. Oh, and did I mention the crushed, sad faces of my little dumplings Five and Seven who desperately longed to go on water slides?

The devil incarnate behind the counter informed us that she couldn’t do anything because she was just an agent and that we should call the 1-800 number to complain. Which we did. They only accept calls Monday through Friday.

She then said, “I think Budget next door has cars. You can check there.” So I bolted out the door, slightly more slowly than the poor guy in a suit who needed a car to get his family to New Jersey for his baby’s baptism. I let him go ahead of me.

Miraculously, Budget had a minivan available and it was actually CHEAPER than Dollar. So the crisis was averted, and we had a lovely day out on Long Island.

MILo penned an absolutely scathing email to Dollar, which I have no doubt will be promptly addressed by the company. My favorite line: “It appears to me that you had no intention of ever fulfilling my reservation. ‘Yes, we do see that reservation. We were thinking about calling you,’ said the agent in a perversely empathetic taunting manner after telling me I was no better off than all the other Dollar-screwed ‘customers’ in the room.” It’s too bad he’s so internet-shy. MILo could be quite a snarky and successful blogger.

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