Fuck you, Enterprise Rental Cars
So my car is screwed up. I called Enterprise yesterday to make a reservation. Got everything worked out and got a ride to pick it up. They'll come and get you, but the one that would've come to get me is opposite the direction from work to home.
Traffic was rough. Already a bit put-out by the fact that I feel like I am putting people out needing a ride in the first place, and also having made a reservation, I didn't have my ride wait. Instead I just got out and walked to the building so they wouldn't have to turn in and mess with trying to get back out on the busy street in front.
I'm informed by the frumpy thing behind the counter that I need two utility bills and a pay stub since I am paying with a debit card. Not to say anything of how ridiculous that is in itself, but it would have been nice to know BEFORE I showed up, like when I still had a ride.
Now, I went to this one because it is less than a mile from my home. So walking home wasn't completely horrible, which the customer service genius behind the counter prety much pointed out, after informing me that they stopped giving rides at 5:30p.
July 11th, 2007 12:19pm
Yeah, that "you need a credit card to rent a car without hassle" thing has been true a few years now.
I'm sorry you were surprised about it.
July 11th, 2007 12:25pm
It wasn't even close to a hassle at the alternative place I ended up going to later.
It wouldn't have been 1/2 so bad if they had told me before I got there since I talked to them about pretty much everything about the reservation or if that little bitch behind the counter had any sense of tact whatsoever.
July 11th, 2007 12:30pm
I don't understand. A debit card when swiped will deduct the amount due. Right? So what is the risk? Why insist on proof of address? Is it because it may be a case of a stolen card?
July 11th, 2007 12:37pm
Because if there are insufficient funds in the account backing the debit card, I believe that it's like a bounced check to the rental car company. Whereas with a credit card, the credit card company pays the rental car company and there's no risk to them.
That must be it, or they'd be interchangeable.
July 11th, 2007 12:40pm
I understand it has to do with liability of covering any damage.
Which is even more absurd. I don't think the majority of people have a credit card with a credit line on it that exceeds my account balance.
I could have easily paid cash and *bought* a few of the make/model car I wanted to rent.
July 11th, 2007 12:42pm
Didn't muppet and you guys have an entire diatribe about how banks ALLOW overdrawing, even on debit cards.
Don't any of you pay attention to the wealth of intellect and knowledge that is CoT? Damn.
Maybe it's easier to do $5000 on o credit card if they say you scratched the paint?
July 11th, 2007 12:43pm
Isn't it then, just as easy for you to call Visa or whoever and say, no I didn't, and I also did not authorize that charge, so reverse it?
July 11th, 2007 12:45pm
I've heard of all sorts of web-based business getting screwed over due to credit card reversals, even when services/products had been rendered in full.
July 11th, 2007 12:46pm
We had a diatribe about how banks *don't* allow overdrawing, even by a penny. They bounce the check and then whack you with a big bounced check fee. In addition the person you tried to pay also whacks you with a bounced check fee too, so you get a double whammy.
But as Allan said up top, I thought it was fairly common knowledge that you need a credit card to rent a car. It means if you damage the car or return it late they can automatically bill for the extra with a reasonable guarantee of payment.
July 11th, 2007 1:02pm
They DO allow overdrawing so they can charge you the fee.
Which is why Enterprise asks for your papers when you use a debit card.
Learn to read.
I hate Enterprise-- do they still do the really pushy hard sell for their insurance?
July 11th, 2007 1:16pm
OK, I read. Here is a quote from Bank of America's standard checking account:
"Overdraft Items and NSF1: Returned Items
When you do not have enough available funds to cover a check or other item, we may either pay it and overdraw your account or return it unpaid. In either case we may charge you this fee.
1st day2: $20.00 each item
2nd + day2 during the current month and preceding 12 months: $35.00 each item"
As you can see, they charge you the same fee whether they bounce the check or pay it. It's no skin of their nose either way, and they are highly unlikely to let you go overdrawn by a large amount without prior arrangement. Why would they take the risk?
July 11th, 2007 1:33pm
July 11th, 2007 1:40pm
Holding a credit card also automatically enrolls you in some weird portfolio of insurance products that you only ever hear about if you rent a car. That's probably it.
July 11th, 2007 2:37pm
"So what is the risk?"
With a debit card, you can only deduct money while you have the card in the machine, or if it's not a chip card, one swipe = one transaction. Which means that if you return the car with damage, or get a ticket while driving it, getting any money off you would require a small claims court case at least.
Whereas once they have a credit card number on file, they can deduct any cost later with ease. I'm sure there's some fine print authorizing them to do it.
"They bounce the check and then whack you with a big bounced check fee."
See, this entire concept seems foreign to me. How the fuck can they charge you for a service not rendered? It's like if they charged you for putting your card into an ATM, trying to withdraw money and having the ATM tell you there isn't enough in your account.
If they do cover the payment and overdraft the account, then yes, that I can understand.
They MAY charge you, they may not.
Clearing a check is a complicated process.
You wrote me a check of 100. I deposit it in my account. The balance increases by 100.
TWO DAYS LATER, you balance decreases by 100.
If everything went ok, everyone one is happy.
But if the check doesn't clear, they charge you.
July 11th, 2007 3:56pm
They may charge you too, assuming you've written checks against that $100 yourself. That's where it gets interesting.
July 11th, 2007 4:05pm
That's why I use only money from my paychecks :)
And if they do ... bye bye!
July 11th, 2007 4:16pm
If it took a little less effort, I'd withdraw all my money in cash briefly and put it in a briefcase all secret-agent style and go back in there to flash it and tell them that if they weren't so goddamned retarded they may have a case like that of their own one day.
But I'd actually have to do a bunch of stuff to get the effect of that.
July 11th, 2007 4:20pm
You know, JoC, it is possible to buy wearable objects whose purpose it is to efficiently communicate one's wealthy status.
July 11th, 2007 6:25pm
There are also things like Platinum Amex cards that discretely perform the same function.
July 11th, 2007 6:29pm
Discreetly too. And AE don't do debit.
And banks charge those fees because they can.
The only restraint on service providers (be they banks or hirecar services) is the nagging doubt that if they are TOO greedy you'll take your custom elsewhere. It's not as if they have an effective monopoly like the RIAA or M$
July 11th, 2007 7:42pm
I understand how it works, but it doesn't make any sense. ;)
"The only restraint on service providers (be they banks or hirecar services) is the nagging doubt that if they are TOO greedy you'll take your custom elsewhere."
Around here it's also government regulation.
I know, it's a difficult concept for someone grew up in a communist country :)
Well, if I can't access the deposit until the check is clear, then it does not make sense for them to charge NSF.
As it stands, you pay for my convenience and the $100 created out of a promise.
July 12th, 2007 3:59am
"You know, JoC, it is possible to buy wearable objects whose purpose it is to efficiently communicate one's wealthy status."
Heh, well, I don't so much want to do that. I don't wear any jewelry, for instance. Probably 50-60% of my clothes are brands nobody would recognize.
Mostly, I just want to make that individual feel small and worthless for not being more accomodating.
July 12th, 2007 10:04am