National Rents You Car At Non-Existent Turkish Office

NYT’s Frugal Traveler has a funny story about how he reserved a car from the National car rental company for while traveling through Turkey. When he showed up at the rental office, there was no office and the address was non-existent.

Locals had warned Frugal Traveler Seth Kugel not to rent from local Turkish companies…

…So I decided to spend the extra cash and do it right. I reserved a car online with National Car Rental at its “Gaziantep – Downtown” office, and called customer service in the United States to confirm that I had the right address. I did, said the customer service agent, who added, cheerily: “We’ll see you tomorrow!” Not quite. There was no such office and no such address. I ended up renting a car from the nearest Turkish company I could find – by that time I was in a hurry – and signed a contract that I’m guessing included no insurance and held me liable for every possible turn of bad fortune. (I’m guessing because it was entirely in Turkish.)

National later said they were sorry and gave him a free two-day rental to make up for the gaffe.

Be wary of renting cars from local companies in Turkey, but also beware of dealing with US-based customer service for reservations whose database might be out of date!

Some Lesser Mediterranean Lights [frugaltraveler.blogs.nytimes]