I have been a loyal customer to Zipcar for 3 years, using them all the time and recommending them to everyone. It's such a great idea and, at least in Back Bay, well-executed.
Then, in mid-December, my credit card expired and $23.39 wasn't processed, so I had a balance from a previous rental. Apparently, Zipcar sent me emails that I had a balance and I'm sure they did, but I dropped the ball and didn't get to it right away. So it is my fault that I didn't pay the balance right away. I ended up paying the balance at the beginning of February. My account was suspended, but the message said that it would be restored once I was paid up. Well, they permanently suspended my account after I paid.
Thinking this was misunderstanding, I called their 1-800 number several times and was told to call the local office, who then told me to contact the 1-800 number, and so on. Several agents, different days, emails, voicemails, I only got two actual responses. As in, I was completely ignored. The first said my account was suspended because of my payment history. I missed ONE payment over three years of using their service and referring customers to them. The second response from a customer service agent told me that it was permanently suspended by the home office and they had the final word and there was nothing they could do. I suggested that a late fee would be more appropriate in this situation. No response. Just a robotic: "There is nothing we can do."
I'm not one to write complaints, but I am completely baffled by this response. It's a totally bizarre business model to cut off clients for these kind of minor "infractions". Anyway, normally it wouldn't be that big a deal. It's a completely optional service. I don't have to use it. However, I've come to depend on this service as I've used it regularly over the past three years and had made plans to use it in April to get to a standardized testing site which is an hour and 1/2 away. Extremely inconvenient.
Just check out how many complaints there are about this company. It has an F (on a scale of A+ to F) rating from the Better Business Bureau in Massachusetts and if you just google Zipcar complaints or Zipcar customer service, the amount of hits is amazing. One complaint was from a customer whose Zipcar broke down and Zipcar refused to help him and left him on the side of road! Wow.