• Report: #908436

Complaint Review: Zipcar

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  • Submitted: Sun, July 08, 2012
  • Updated: Mon, October 01, 2012

  • Reported By: BuyerBeware — Chicago Illinois United States of America
Zipcar
Chicago,IL Chicago, Illinois United States of America

Zipcar Zipcar's Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde business model. Chicago Illinois

*Consumer Comment: Opinion?

*Author of original report: Response to Consumer Response

*Consumer Comment: Really?

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I've been using Zipcar for about three or four years now and over the last 12 months, I've probably spent about $3,000.00 in hourly rentals.

For the most part on the front-end, my experiences with the front-line workers has been favorable. Over the years there have been a couple of instances where I wasn't happy about there policies. One case was fender-bender damage that I felt did not accrue to the $500 deductible amount they debited my credit card. The other situation was where they called me about 30 minutes before a reservation to tell me my reserved car would not be available and that I would have to travel a greater distance to aquire an available car. The implication for that, for me, was cab fare to and back from the car -- and -- more cost for the car in so far as the necessary rental time need to rent the car to get it deeper in to the city from where my original pick-up location was. Net, net it all cost me about $35 dollars more out-of-pocket then would have been the case with the original rental location. They said they'd give me a $15 credit on my next rental which they did but I was still out $20 which pretty much sucked cause I need to be where I needed to be an 30 min prior notice left me no alternatives.

Now just recently, I have learned of a real, ugly, under belly of Zipcar management. From my most experience, it has become evident to me the people at the main Boston office are arrogant bullies.

In May, I rented a car for 5 hrs. Thereafter, I lost my credit card and so I cancelled it. I forgot about the card being on file at Zipcard and the rental didn't even occur to me. Zipcar notified me by email of the declined charges to my card but frankly, I have grown desesitized to Zipcar emails because of all the promotional crap they email to me. I hadn't lost my card right after the rental and I find it odd they don't debit your card some deposit right before or right after your rental. Anyway, my bad for not reading the emails after the rental. When I next went to reserve a Zipcar the last week of June, I find my account was suspended and that's when I learn Zipcars billing for fifty-something bucks was declined by my (cancelled) credit card. So, I go online and read what it says and it says memership will be restored when payment is made. I put in the new credit card number and within minitues, bada-bing the fifty something open balance is paid (why couldn't that happened the day of or after returning the car??), but my account is still suspended. I call Zipcar and the customer service rep tells me something different then what was on the web page. The CSR tell's me my account must be reviewed by the local office and the office in Boston and that will take 7-10 business days. Did that happen?? Of course not. What did happen was a week later I get a letter from a collection agency dated the day that Zipcar got paid stating I owe Zipcar fifty-something bucks. So now, I got to write the collection agency a letter and while I'm doing that I'll write Zipcar a letter cancelling my account and I'll send a copy urging them to not allow Zipcar to aquire any more competitors.

A couple of final observations. First, I travel a lot and something similar happened with Hertz where the card they had on file expired and so the online reservation I made did not go thru. They didn't "Suspend" me for 7, 10, 14 or god nows how many days it is now Zipcar is dorking around. They took the new credit card and rented me a car.

Second, in a previous situation, Zipcar calls me to tell me a car is unavailable but they can't call me to tell me a payment was declined?? No, within 45 days, they'd rather turn it over to a collection after they were practically instantaneously paid once I was made aware of it and gave them the new credit card number.

Evidently, this company is run by morons and that's why its stock value is dropping.

Sooo, I go back to I-go.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/08/2012 11:47 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Zipcar/Chicago-Illinois-/Zipcar-Zipcars-Dr-Jekyl-Mr-Hyde-business-model-Chicago-Illinois-908436. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Opinion?

AUTHOR: Adam - (United States of America)

"You're entitled to your opinion, even if it's wrong."

Not a great way to start off with a "meeting of minds." My opinion is wrong because you don't agree?

"You chose to ignore the plethora of Zipcar advertisement emails that got me to that point of being desensitized to there emails, if I no longer have a rental pending."

And you chose to allow the advertisement emails. In the past year, I've received less than 5 emails from Zipcar that were not strictly about my reservations.


"You are entitled to feel that one instance of an inconviencing Zipcar cancellation thru no fault of the renter in a 4 or 5 year period is no big deal, but it's a big deal to me due to the fact it was a serious inconvience and costs me out-of-pocket."

Zipcar costs you out-of-pocket as well. At that moment in time, you could've chosen to stop using their service. You've never had a taxi break down, or a bus break down? Do you know why you weren't able to get the car? They cannot control members -- if a member stole the car, or it was in a car accident, or there was a serious problem requiring immediate maintenance, etc. They are not responsible for telling you that, although they could've given you a larger credit. However, if you chose to take a taxi instead of walk 5 minutes, that money wasn't a necessary expenditure.

Furthermore -- you -- are entitled to feel the matter being turned over to a collection agency before -- 30 -- days even expires is no big deal because it isn't worth it to them to do what? Treat regular customers like they are appreciated? A call would have realized more of a return for them. The collection agency doesn't work for free.

Many collection agencies do, in fact, work "for free." Rather, they take over cases, and take their fees out of whatever payments they can secure from the debtor. Are you positive it was actually a collection agency and not a Zipcar collections department? Even so, I had Comcast send a $10 final bill to collections, because they never notified me in any way. You had an e-mail long before those 30 days, and even without the e-mail should've known the charge didn't go through. A phone call requires an actual employee to call you -- the collections referral is probably automated.

Lastly, you ignore the fact that as soon as my new card number was provided, my account was debited and Zipcar was made whole immediately, yet it took weeks to have the account re-established. 

Obviously, Zipcar isn't a struggling business. They have the 'luxury' of being firm with customers. Failure for a card to authorize can mean multiple things, and I believe if you check their ToS it means they can suspend your account indefinitely. Whenever an account is suspended, they require a review. God forbid you have to follow protocol, and aren't the most important person in the world.

Don't take my disagreeing with you personal. Don't bother responding. Something tells me were never going to have a meeting of the minds, but as I said, you are entitled to your opinion....

I don't take logical dissent personal. And I certainly don't give comments stating that my opinion is wrong much weight.

The point is -- Zipcar did nothing wrong. You made a few small mistakes, and are bitching because you weren't treated like a god. You are one customer -- and I somehow doubt you were very polite when speaking with them, if you even called them. I would much rather, even as a small business owner, remove you from my client list than deal with an entitled prick.


Again, final point. The only thing that matters:
You were not ripped off. Zipcar did not do anything shady. You weren't charged $1,000 over what you should've been. You weren't charged for a rental that you never received. Could their automated procedures be put into place differently? Absolutely. Do you deserve to have every exception in the book made for you? Certainly not. Do you realize that, like most companies, they use an "answering" service? You didn't speak to a real Zipcar employee. You spoke to someone who was trained a specific way. They aren't given the power to treat you the way you feel entitled to be treated, because of the inherent abuse that comes along with it.

Acknowledge that 90% of your "beef" with Zipcar is opinion based on not being catered to, and I'll accept it as completely valid. You don't like their procedures, and that is perfectly fine. However, there are plenty of other people who have never had an issue, so clearly they are running the business properly.
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#2 Author of original report

Response to Consumer Response

AUTHOR: BuyerBeware - (United States of America)

You're entitled to your opinion, even if it's wrong.

I stated it was my bad in so far as I did not read the Zipcar email.

I respond to point out the important facts in lieu of your criticisms:

You chose to ignore the plethora of Zipcar advertisement emails that got me to that point of being desensitized to there emails, if I no longer have a rental pending.

You are entitled to feel that one instance of an inconviencing Zipcar cancellation thru no fault of the renter in a 4 or 5 year period is no big deal, but it's a big deal to me due to the fact it was a serious inconvience and costs me out-of-pocket.

Furthermore -- you -- are entitled to feel the matter being turned over to a collection agency before -- 30 -- days even expires is no big deal because it isn't worth it to them to do what? Treat regular customers like they are appreciated? A call would have realized more of a return for them. The collection agency doesn't work for free.

Lastly, you ignore the fact that as soon as my new card number was provided, my account was debited and Zipcar was made whole immediately, yet it took weeks to have the account re-established. That's not a real good, good customer-centric policy. Yeah, I made a mistake getting unsensitized to the emails because all the promotional emails. Unlike you, I'm not perfect. 'Neither is Zipcar? No, they are not. But as someone who is self-employed, if I caused my customers to be out-of-pocket thru no fault of there own and while doing so significantly inconvienced them & turned them over to a collection agency in under thirty days without the courtesy of a call, I'd be out of businees. Because you see, in the non-cash/Credit Card world...the ETF or Check business world, payment in 60-90 days is not uncommon (FYI, Credit card payments are not generally doable in wholesale commerce). In a customer-centric world, there's an addage: "The customer is right even when they're wrong". Of course that doesn't mean the customer has the right to abuse. As I pointed out there are other choices for me and I use them. Your critique ignores that, as well.

Don't take my disagreeing with you personal. Don't bother responding. Something tells me were never going to have a meeting of the minds, but as I said, you are entitled to your opinion....
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#3 Consumer Comment

Really?

AUTHOR: Adam - (United States of America)

The first situation is certainly annoying. Although, that certainly isn't a rip-off or anything unusual, as many companies have similar issues. I would assume they called you because there was a last minute issue. No company is perfect, and one issue in 3-4 years is barely something to complain about.

And seriously? You are angry at Zipcar for your lack of responsibility?

YOU had your card on file, and cancelled said car. It is your responsibility to make sure that anything that would've been charged was swapped to a new card.

Many accounts who use Zipcar regularly are NOT charged immediately. As a courtesy to these members, they are charged near the end of the month for prior use. This shouldn't come as a surprise, as I KNOW that many of the pages on your account details show this if applicable.

And, they sent you an email warning you of the failed charge. Once again, YOU failed to pay attention to the notice. Had you read the email and immediately hopped online to fix the problem, your account wouldn't have been suspended. Almost every company that requires a membership would suspend the account for failure to pay, and would perform a review. Most companies also send unpaid balances to collection agencies within 30 days, because it isn't worth the hassle for them to deal with it.

And, really? The stock is barely dropping, and have you noticed the profits have been continuously increasing? Clearly, they are doing something right. I've used them reliably for almost 5 years, and have NEVER had a single issue, because I take responsibility for my own inaction.
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