Some things are so preposterous they deserve to be filed in the “They can’t be serious!” file.
But they are.
I was attempting to rent a car tonight. I was on the phone with the one national rent-a-car company that happens to have a location in my town. (I won’t name names, but they will pick you up.)
I’m looking to rent a car one-way, from Northampton to Boston’s Logan Airport, as my mid-October work involves a client session on Cape Cod, followed by a flight for a client in Toronto, then a flight back home.
For those that don’t know: Northampton is less than 2 hours for Boston by car. We’re not talking vast swaths of land here.
Angela, the very pleasant call center service representative, was more than happy to look into one-way rentals for both midsize and full size cars. She calmly and cheerfully stated, “The midsize rate for a 2 day rental will be $91.98.”
I’m thinking “That’s a really good rate for a one way rental!”
After a two second pause, Angela cheerily continues with “And there’s a one way drop fee of 999”.
“I’m sorry, Angela. Could you repeat that?”
“The drop fee is 999.”
I was momentarily stupefied. All I could say was, “I’m assuming you mean US dollars when you say that.”
Uncomfortable pause. “Yes, sir.”
I didn’t have anything to say.
Angela filled in the gap. “I don’t suppose you want to know the rate for the full size car, do you?”
“It’s got the same drop fee?”
“Angela, do you know that from where I live, I could rent a limo and a driver and fill it with champagne and caviar for less than that drop fee. Would you rent a car for 2 days for a thousand dollars?”
“No, sir, I can’t say that I would pay that much.”
Thanks for your help, Angela. I won’t be renting from you tonight.
It turns out I can drive the 37 minutes south to the Hartford airport and get a one way rental to Logan from there. Two days, unlimited miles.
Total cost: $235.68.
But, getting to tell the story of how ridiculous my local agency is? Priceless.