Times used to be, you needed a car and you didn’t have one? Renting one from a rental car company was the only option, and it was often quite an expensive option. Bt Zipcar has made quite a name for itself with its easy hourly rentals and convenient pick-up spots. Now Avis wants to hitch its wagon to rising Zipcar’s star, and has agreed to buy the company for $500 million in cold, hard cash. [More]
Looks like some thieves took Zipcar’s slogan, “Wheels when you want them,” too literally.
Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of fighting a car rental company on an insurance claim — especially over a ding or scratch that you know was there before you drove off the lot — knows that it’s often a losing battle. But travel journalist Christopher Elliott has some tips for putting up a good fight.
Reader Kate is upset that she left a portable crib in the trunk of her Zipcar and nobody reported it to the lost and found. She realizes its her fault for leaving it there, but she’s upset anyway.
We have an update to this story, with a happy ending for everyone except for the ill-fated Mini Cooper.
Is John asking too much from Zipcar? He writes that he and his wife rented a Mini Cooper for a weekend trip. On their way home, their car first overheated, then burst into flames just minutes after they pulled over. The couple survived uninjured, but didn’t have time to get all of their belongings out of the car. Zipcar sent roadside assistance, reimbursed John and his wife for their car ride home, and gave them a credit good for another daylong car rental. However, the company will not cover any of their personal items destroyed in the fire.
The San Fran/NY-servicing Zipcar car sharing service has finally launched their iPhone app. Besides the expected seamless reservation system, it has a pretty sweet extra feature: It turns your iPhone into a keyfob capable of locking and unlocking your car, and honking its horn. Not owning a car just got awesomer.
Jen, who was left stranded in another city recently when her Zipcar lost its zip, managed to get through to the New York area general manager for Zipcar this morning:
Well, isn’t this a coincidence? Yesterday, we posted a story about the experience that Jen and her friend had with their Zipcar rental car with a faulty electrical system, which broke down three times and nearly left them stranded on the mean streets of Hartford, Conn. (Really. They’re pretty mean.) A few hours later, we heard from Matt, who apparently had a similar experience four days later. With the same exact car.
We’ve always heard good things about Zipcar—the biggest complaint from friends here in NYC is that reserving one in the summer requires a lot of patience. Jen and her friend, however, just had an experience that was so bad that Jen finally had to dispute the charges on her card, and now she says she’ll never do business with them again. Based on her encounter with them, we think she has a good reason to feel that way.
Zipcar’s merger with Flexcar isn’t going very well in Seattle where the company’s brilliant first step has been to piss off most of their new customers by unexpectedly denying them access to cars during the long weekend. [The Stranger] (Thanks, denali!)
I use and love Zipcar, a New York area car-share rental service, but our last bill had an unexpected $50 late return fee. Whiskey tango foxtrot, I wondered aloud, I know for sure I returned that car on time. After calling, Dawn told me it turned out I hadn’t swiped out (to get into the cars you use a RFID enabled card) after dropping off the car. She said: