annoyances travel

Advantage Rent-A-Car Customer Service Story Wrap-Up

Following up on the story I started here and here and since I haven’t heard from Advantage Rent-A-Car for two weeks, I decided to give them a call before disputing this through a charge back. After just 15 minutes on hold I got to talk to yet another rep that immediately told me that my contract didn’t exist. Thanks, I know that much already, all I need to find out now is under which contract you charged my card. Fortunately, she was able to locate the contract the money were charged to and things started rolling again. I was given a “manager’s personal fax number” (that was wrong, of course) and instructed to fax all the documents again to that number. The regular “we will call you back in 24 to 48 hours” cued in. After I figured the fax number was wrong it only took me another 22 minutes of hold time to reach them back and find out what the right number is. No big deal, right? In addition to the documents I have decided to document the whole story (the copy is below).

To much of my surprise someone from Advantage Rent-A-Car actually called me next day. Imagine that! I was told that they have recalculated my rates and the final amount would be something around 20 dollars less than the amount on the receipt I have. However, the representative declined the responsibility for overcharging my account. Overall I had a feeling she thinks she’s doing me a favor.

annoyances travel

Advantage Rent-A-Car Customer Service: How To Sink Company Fast

There’s no doubt about various companies struggling in times of financial crisis. There is also little argument about lowered consumer spending. So if you want to keep doing business you have to provide an outstanding customer service to keep clients and to attract new ones – and that has to be just a part of overall picture.

Enter Advantage Rent-A-Car, where I booked my vacation’s car rental through Expedia. UponĀ  arriving at Orlando International Airport I was trying to figure out where’s their desk, since itinerary didn’t show anything about them. Finally I figured it’s out of terminal location (my bad, didn’t read the fine print) and nice electronic voice on the courtesy phone told me that there are Advantage Rent-A-Car shuttle buses every 10 minutes departing every 10 minutes from one of four locations at the terminal.

There were a few people in that location already, but they were quickly picked up by two other car rental shuttles. Then those shuttles came again. Then again. The Advantage Rent-A-Car representative told another waiting couple over the phone that they have four buses out there. As we found out later – he didn’t lie, we saw other three buses peacefully standing on their designated parking spots when we finally were picked up – 30 minutes later! Well, spending 30 minutes under Florida sun isn’t all that bad experience – but I rather do it on the beach, than all dressed up at the airport.

technology travel

Starbucks Experience – coffee, cakes and Wi-Fi

Due to some personal commitments (read: being engaged to a wonderful beautiful woman) I spend quite some time in a Starbucks near 7th Ave South and East 11th Street, New York, NY, waiting to pick her up after work. Regular visitors and staff already know me well enough to stop making passes on me, as well as learning that whatever I order is “to stay” and not “to go”. So, this post isn’t about them.

Before the ill-known Wi-Fi take-over by AT&T this Starbucks’s connection never had an issue. I come here with either one of my three laptops (my personal favorite T60p, smaller X61s or horrible company issued HP Compaq 6710b). None of them had any troubles connecting to T-Mobile’s Wi-Fi. Not until some time after AT&T took over.

Now, I am not trying to bash AT&T altogether. I am happily using their 3G with either BlackJack or Tilt (sometimes with my laptop tethered) while my fiancee’s second most loved thing on Earth is her iPhone (I hope I still hold the first place). What I was expecting to see from this clash of providers is that at the converted locations customers would experience intermittent outages while on T-Mobile hookup. You know – login process times out on you couple of times. Then some of your web sites are so slow that you can’t really so anything. Then the connection is dropped for no apparent reason. And that is just what I have been fed up with for previous two weeks. So much so that I had changed my weekly routine that I only have to spend one day of the week at that location.

A ticket submitted to T-Mobile customer support two weeks ago finally got answered today. In brief it says: “Yes, it’s a converted location, if you have any problems – call this number or that number”. Surely, just a template, with some name attached to it. Two weeks to send a canned reply – something tells me it isn’t a company that cares about me being their client. After all, if I decide to go with AT&T for Starbucks’ Wi-Fi, it’s going to cost me two times less money. Once the takeover by AT&T is complete, there would be not much incentive to keep T-Mobile, right?