There’s a certain type of person you run into any time you are trying to do anything that time means nothing. Nor, apparently do the words “Appointment” and “Reservation” mean much either. Jerry Seinfeld did a bit about this on his show.
I had fender bender (actually more of a door bender) with my car. Its’ OK. I’m insured. And, my company has a relationship with a number of body shops where I can simply drop the car off for them to fix it. I also have rental coverage. So what normally happens is that you drop off your car and pick up the rental at the same time.
Sadly, nearly all these insurance companies and body shops use Enterprise Rent-a-Car, The rock bottom of the business. I have elite status with Hertz and Avis, where renting a car and picking it up are a breeze.
So back to appointments and reservations. I had an appointment with a service writer to drop the car. I had a reservation for a car with Enterprise. Turns out, thanks to me forgetting to light up the rental until this weekend, they were on different days. Fine.
I get to my appointment for the car, and was expecting to meet the service guy after some perfunctory signatures – I shouldn’t have had to fill out anything. Yet, I did. I had to correct every contact number, my name, and email. A dude comes and greets me, looks at the car only to tell me that Mike is my service writer, and he’s not here. He’ll look at it when he arrives and get back to me. I had an appointment with a guy to start the process to fix the hoopty and he’s not there and there’s no backup.
I rolled my eyes and ubered back home.
The rental people called me about an hour or so before I was headed to the body shop. I had my phone on mute, so I missed it. But the message was a clue to what I was up against.
“Hello Mr. [himself], this is [insert vibrant name here] from Enterprise Rent-a-Car. We have an information from [my insurance co] about the possibility of you renting a car from us. Please call me back at your earliest convenience.”
You don’t have an information about a possibility. You have an order from an insurance company to rent a car on my behalf. They are paying for it. I am driving it. I’m not shopping here.
So nope. Can’t have one when I needed it. They’ll have one for me 10:30 am the next day.
Fine and dandy. It’s what it is. My fault for procrastinating.
I Uber there, getting there at 10:30. There are two dudes cooling their heels, and two clerks with no one in line. So I go through the drill. License and Proof of Insurance? Why proof of insurance? So as I’m hitting my app to show my insurance creds, he’s asking questions, which I am answering.
I look up, he’s on the phone helping someone else. The questions he was asking were for them, not me. WTF? Not a ‘can you hang on a second’ or anything. Now, I’m starting to simmer. He’s about to wake up my inner demon, and hurty words are going to happen.
We get done and he tells me they are still cleaning cars and he’s going to get everyone (who is waiting) cars at one time. Ten minutes later, there are four of us waiting. I’m a half hour invested in picking up a car that I was told would be ready for me at 10:30. A reservation, not an appointment to do paperwork. They had that from the insurance company already.
Almost knuckles on the desk time.
Soon enough, the queue starts moving, the two ahead of me got their cars, and I was called to do the walk around, as you have to do with Enterprise. Make sure to note and dent, ding, or chip in the paint. The Enterprise woman made a special point to tell me hail damage was on me, so make sure I park in covered parking. Nice. Fine. Can’t see that happening for the rest of the summer. It’ll park in my carport.
That said, Lady Luck smiled upon me.
When I requested a car on the Insurance site, they had but one category for SUV, everything else was a sedan. I have a small SUV, so I picked that. What I got was a 4Runner.
My cup oversloppeth.
A day later the service writer calls my wife at work to tell her the details of the work needed and the cost. Apparently, entering all the data they had me write down, wasting 15 minutes of my time, was a bridge too far. Guessing from the price, they are replacing doors. No mention of the dog chewed fender. But that one better be no more than a couple hundred – like two – added to the tab. I can get the bumper cover for under a hundred, and they will already be painting.
We’ll see. I’m not hopeful.