Thursday, August 11, 2005

Rental Car Espionage

Yesterday, while trying to obtain a rental car for the upcoming group bunny beach bash, I came to the conclusion that Car Rental Agencies are a bunch of soulless, idiot fuck-wads. Not only are their prices so high, it makes me seriously consider committing sepaku…but they require a credit card for all reservations…no exceptions. You’re not even allowed to pay in cash, if you want to.

Credit cards only? No cash? Sniff, sniff…I smell something SHADY.

I decided to try and understand this better, so I took it upon myself to call up a national car rental agency (who shall remain nameless) to help curb my curiosity. It’s time to get some answers from these numb-nuts.

Emily: Hello, thanks for calling (name omitted) this is Emily. Can I book you a weekly reservation today?
Me: No, thanks Emily. I just have some questions for you.
Emily: Ok!
Me: What would a person need to rent a car from you today?
Emily: Well, we require a valid driver’s license Kansas or Missouri. Are you 25?
Me: I was once.
Me: (rolling eyes) Yes.
Emily: Great. We require the driver to be at least 25 years of age. We also require a major credit card. We also accept debit cards, but we require a $150 deposit on that card before reservation.
Me: So…you want me to give you $150 until I give back the car?
Emily: Yes.
Me: Does that replace insurance, then?
Emily: No, accident insurance is extra. It’s also optional, though we do recommend it.
Me: Ok. So what’s up with this credit card thing?
Emily: Pardon?
Me: Why the credit card?
Emily: Well, for security reasons.
Me: I see. So if I were to walk in there today with a valid driving license showing my proof of age, the cash for the rental plus fees, but no credit card…I couldn’t rent a car?
Emily: We require a credit card for security reasons.
Me: I see.
Emily: Can you please hold?
Me: Sure.

*fancy MUSAK plays*

Josh: Hello, this is Josh. How can I help you today?
Me: Hey Josh. I was talking to Emily.
Josh: Oh, yes. She…got busy. But I’m sure I can help you today.
Me: I’m sure you can. Well, Josh I’m looking at renting a car for the week.
Josh: Great. Can I offer you some rates?
Me: I have a few questions, first.
Josh: Ok.
Me: What is this credit card thing?
Josh: Why do we require a credit card?
Me: Yes.
Josh: For security reasons.
Me: Ok…
Josh: It’s just the authorization fee. Do you have a credit card.
Me: I guess so.
Josh: Is it a major card?
Me: It’s normal sized. It’s a VISA.
Josh: That would be fine. We need that card so we can put an authorization fee for $150 on the card.
Me: Would I get that back?
Josh: Oh, of course.
Me: But not until I bring the car back?
Josh: Correct.
Me: Why can’t I leave you $150 in cash?
Josh: We don’t accept cash.
Me: No cash?
Josh: No, sir. Credit cards or money orders, only.
Me: Why is that?
Josh: Security reasons.
Me: Allrighty then.
Josh: How long will you be needing a car?
Me: Oh, I don’t need one.
Me: I mean…I still have some other places to call. Gotta get the best price, you know.
Josh: Of course, sir. Well please make sure you make me your last call of the day; perhaps I can offer you a better deal.
Me: Thanks, Josh. Have a good one.
Josh: Take care!

So…the rental Nazis have no good excuses for needing a credit card for car rentals. If I hear them say the phrase “security reasons” one more time, I think I might just kill myself in the trunk of one of their rental cars. No cash…cash is still legal tender, is it not? Places that don’t accept cash are shady…shady and crooked. Crooked like Josh’s dick, crooked.

What if a person doesn’t have a credit card? Guess what? You can’t rent a car…EVER. I guess you’re walking for the rest of your vacation life.

Car rental bunny bastards.


Bashful Blue said...

+10 for using a word i had to look up....(sepaku)

I like guys who use $10 words. :)

Danikabur said...

I have an uncle that doesn't own a credit card at all. He has all kinds of problems renting shit. Even staying in a hotel. Usually though he offers to double whatever security deposit they require and most places accept that.

Spinning Girl said...

POL (peeing out loud) or ... (peeing on linoleum)

Repetition of phrase, "for security reasons" does not explain the faulty logic.

Though, I can see how any person with $150 could walk in off the street and BAM, now they own a car. What's compelling a crook to return the car to the agency? Nuttin.

My favorite line in your whole piece: "Me: It’s normal sized. It’s a VISA." POL!

Spinning Girl said...

And the Silver goes to:

Emily: Well, we require a valid driver’s license Kansas or Missouri. Are you 25?
Me: I was once.
Emily: …
Me: (rolling eyes) Yes.

l'il bear said...

Fucking heathens... cocksuckers. Dress like a ninja and go take them all out - wipe 'em out, all of them. Then flash them a mastercard and say "Kicking you all in the fucking junk - priceless".

Callie said...

Yeah - I've never understood that, either. It's like, we want your credit card number, so if you total the car, we can charge you for it. Only, who's really going to have enough of a credit line on their cards to cover the cost of a car??? Makes no sense whatsoever.

Heather said...

It was Hertz.. wasn't it? Damn bitches.

Justin said...

LMAO @ your ME/EMILY/JOSH script... you coulda' wrote for Abbot and Costell (Who's on First)!

If you take your rental car through Topeka, I'll buy YOU a beer... although I'd recommend that whole "Insurance" policy, as I've heard drinking and driving causes some odd driving behaviors resulting in wreckage and carnage...


Justin said...

If I do buy you a beer, however, I'm going to need to see your ID, to make sure you are 21 (or once were). After I verrify that, I'll need to hold on to your major credit know, for security reasons.

drunkbh said...

Security reasons? They can't explain? They must of all worked for the US Embassy. Top secret shit! Why can't they just say that when you bring the car back they are gonna charge you for every mile, scratch, ding, smell or any other bunning reason that they can think of.

Ms. Adventures said...

First I concur with the group. It's total BS BUT in my opinion it has everything to do with your ability to obtain credit. They not only want to be able to charge you out the a**(or bunny? as you say?) if you wreck it but also they want to make sure you're responsible enough to have a working card.
I personally think the credit bureaus are trying to take over the world making everything depend on your credit rating. This is a prime example of how having credit is irrelevant. I just got a notice from my car insurance co. that they owe me a free credit report because they were sued for using it unnecessarily.

musie said...

you know, now car insurance companies no longer look at your driving history they look at your fucking credit report. why? because more people have shitty credit then shitty driving records and they can charge more...ok i may not be able to balance my checkbook but i can damn well drive a car well.
i cant help but wonder, if its THEIR security. Most places, are leary of handling cash, because of problems among employees and cash shortages.
anyways, hysterical thanks hon :)

Kay said...

Beaut of a post. My insurance company has a rental car in my coverage if my car gets totaled, but if I'm not 25, does this mean I'm paying for something I wouldn't be able to use? And why don't they rent cars to people under 25? That's discrimination damnit! Er.. Bunnyit!

HighMaintenanceHussy said...

You need a credit card to do just about anything these days. Visa is an evil overlord.

Heather said...

Yup and Mastercard is his bitch!

Jen said...

Ashley - Except if you have a credit card, they don't care unless you have enough credit left on it to pay for the entire rental plus 15%. So if I leave them the cash for the rental up front plus 15%, they still won't let me rent it unless I have that amount left on my credit card. It makes NO sense.

Shanshu said...

Whoa! I need to check comments more often. Um..I'm not going to reply to all of these comments, so I'll just say:

Some of you I agree with.
Some of you I do not agree with.
Some of you I want to see naked.
Some of you I want to have group bunny with.

Ms. Adventures said...

shanshu you're a perv.

Jen- you're right, I think it's a combo of money and responsibility. You wanna know what sucks about that too? I used to work for Lucifer himself, a credit card company, and sometimes people would call about this. If the car rental company puts an authorization on your card, that doesn't end up showing as a charge on your bill, but it puts you momentarily over the credit limit (which you can do sometimes), the credit card company will charge you an overlimit fee. Now that sucks, but they can do that.
Like I said- credit card companies-world's true.

Heather said...

shanshu!! Pick ME! Pick ME!

Mmmm.. group bunny

g_samsa said...

Yup, Credit card companies and the car rental people are in collusion. I didn't have a credit card for a long time and had to rent from enterprise because they were the only ones who would take a debit card, with a huge deposit of course. Then you get a credit card and end up getting dinged all the time on misc. fees and shit. Ashley was right, she did work for lucifer. But, no matter, I worked for American Airlines Customer service so I worked for Lucifers younger brother, Gus.

drunkbh said...

Aahhh...back to the group bunny. That gives me an idea.

ERL said...

this is the FUNNIEST THING i have read all day. by far. Josh: Is it a major card?
Me: It’s normal sized. It’s a VISA.

i'm sitting here giggling to myself. i can't stop.

B.O.B.I. said...

I called and asked for the security reasons. I was put on hold until my phone died.

Funny thing is, I was looking at a little piece of cottony paper from my pocket. It has this line of text on it, lemme quote, please: THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE.

Now, the only reason a car rental company would not be able to accept LEGAL TENDER is...? Can you guess it?

They're running an illegal business.
Let's call the cops on 'em!

Shanshu said...

heather: you're invited. bring the cool whip.

samsa: I also worked for an evil insurance company. fucking theives, they are.

drunk: an idea? ohhhh what kind? is it saucy?

erl: I'm glad I was able to make you giggle! stop by anytime!

bobi: dude, that's what I'm saying...shady. the whole thing is shady! any place that won't accept cash has got something brewing on the illegal side.

Nameless said...

Security reasons.. that's just something they say because they have no bunny clue why.

Callie said...

Group bunny! Group bunny! Woo hoo!!!!

Pizzle said...

Folks...lemme explain the security reasons:

1) The biggest security reason is cash sitting at a rental office! For most, they're run by brainless idiots that could lose track of the cash, forget to provide you with a receipt, etc. Also, they're not a big fan of having all that cash around so someone could come in and rob the joint. So part of the security is for THEIR security, as well as convenience and piece of mind.

2) If you fuck up the car or steal it, at least with a CC, they can track you down, have records, etc., and at the very least, ruin you credit-wise through your credit card company, etc. These people need records of who you are, etc. so they can persue the law should you break any.

Sorry dog, but I'm not with ya on this one. If you look from their perspective, anyone who wants to pay in only cash would look TOTALLY shady, even if you're not.

This is the joy of free enterprise. They don't HAVE to provide you with their service if they don't want to, based on their requirements, even if they are stupid.

Shanshu said...

pizzle: I understand those points. But look at it from the prespective of a person who DOES NOT OWN A CREDIT CARD. Rental companies offer no second option...either you have a credit card, or you are screwed. Not allowing these people to rent cars is not only's retarded.

They should, being a business, figure out a way to accomodate all of their customers. Don't have a credit card? Fine. We'll take a check. You don't have checks? Ok, we'll take a debit card. SOMETHING. They should meet us halfway, instead of this neo-facist "Credit Cards or Death" philosophy they've adopted in the past few years.

And I'm sorry, but if they are too dumb to keep cash in the office like every other business out there, then they deserve to get robbed.

But that is just my opinion.

Pizzle said...

I guess we could debate the part about how renting a car is not exactly a right of all Americans. I guess I don't see why everyone deserves to be able to rent a car.

Don't get me wrong, I do think it's a little silly, but I don't see why they should cater to the small percentage of people that can't or won't get a credit card.

As a business, my first thought would be, if someone can't or won't get a credit card, do I really want them driving my $10,000 car for three days?

If you can't or won't get a credit card...hmmm...I guess I just don't see a scenario as to WHY they wouldn't have one that makes said person a good potential customer of my business.

If you CAN'T get a credit card, the first two things I think of are: Your credit must be horrendous, or you're too young. Neither of those things make me thrilled, as a business, to hand over the keys to a car you don't own.

If you WON'T get a credit that, to ME, is retarded. At least a VISA check card or something. Tough to move through our society's economy without it.

Consider part of your post:

Emily: Great. We require the driver to be at least 25 years of age. We also require a major credit card. We also accept debit cards, but we require a $150 deposit on that card before reservation.

So, apparently there IS a debit card option, according to your conversation with the company. It may not be convenient, but there IS an option.

I totally get your point, though, and respect your opinion. Just don't agree with it.


Rowan said...

Justin: a local bar actually DID take my credit card in case I got too smashed to pay the tab. I was surprised as my friend owns the place and I had to repeatedly show ID as I look a lot younger than I am.

Shanshu: My GOD! I know how you feel, we rented a moving truck and same nonsense happened.