Thursday, September 01, 2005

okay, that's enough of that

That's all the positive stuff I have time for right now. Back to things I'd like to whine about...

At the Sacramento International Airport, there is one onsite gas station. Who do you think they gave the franchise to? I'll tell you: to AM/PM, the one station in the entire country that DOESN'T TAKE CREDIT CARDS. Am I the only person who thinks this is the most ridiculous decision ever? Q: Who's filling up at that station? A: People returning rental cars. Q: What are 99% of car rentals done on? A: On a company credit card. If there was ever in the history of man a prediction you could make about your target market, it would be that the people returning their cars WILL WANT TO USE THEIR BLANKING CREDIT CARDS TO PAY FOR THEIR GAS. Okay, so that's that, then.

As for Alamo (the car rental company, not the fort), here's a sneaky thing they do: if you upgrade your rental from, say, a midsize to a fullsize, they charge an extra $9 per day. The sneaky thing is they itemize the "car class change" as a separate item, chargeable once per 24-hr day. So if you return your car two days and two hours after you rent it (like I did), you pay for two days at the old rate, plus two hours at the hourly rate, plus THREE days of "car class change".
And it's not the nine bucks -- it's not even my money, the client pays it -- but to me it represents an attitude toward your customer (ie, hold still while I gouge you) that I dont' like. I think it's representative of a company that just doesn't get it.
And speaking of not getting it, I very friendlily explained to the mgr at the desk that in case she cared, that policy would be causing me to rent somewhere else next time. She looked at my contract and informed me that "No, we charged you what you agreed to." Which was not my point, of course -- I had started off by explaining that I wasn't suggesting anyone had cheated me, or that the bill was wrong -- I just wanted her to know that a former customer (a tiny piece of the market share they spend millions of $ every year fighting for) was leaving. Here was an actual customer they had already earned, who was taking the time to explain what he wanted in a car rental company, and whom they could keep if they wanted to -- all it would cost them would be a little under nine bucks. She suggested I call the customer service number to voice my complaint. Which is something I might do IF I WAS STILL A CUSTOMER, but since I'm NOT STILL A CUSTOMER, why would I take the time? Okay.

And another thing: I've mentioned this before, but what is it with people who have to stake out a spot at the baggage carousel right where the bags come out? Are they afraid someone else is going to jump in and take their bag if they don't grab it right away? Do they think there's a prize for getting your bag first? My new policy is this: when I see my bag come down the chute onto the carousel, I elbow my way through the people standing glued to the prime spots and pick up my bag. Then I wait for someone to say something so I can say "Well, since your bag ISN'T here, and my bag IS, I thought maybe I would pick it up." It helps to be 200 lbs and 6'3" in cowboy boots.

Finally: we need a program to make old people not have their mouths open so much while they're driving or looking at things. It's starting to bug me.

13 Comments:

At Sat Sep 03, 10:02:00 PM PDT, Blogger Lisa said...

You know, I've filled up there once or twice, and I SWEAR I used a card - do they take Debit Cards? - cause I know I used a card......

And I like Hertz!

 
At Sun Sep 04, 08:42:00 PM PDT, Blogger Always Smiling said...

Ok..I know the "stake out a spot" people at the airport..so I was chuckling reading that...

..but the mouth open while looking at things observation is what put me over the edge..too funny! and too true!

 
At Mon Sep 05, 06:46:00 PM PDT, Blogger unca said...

Yeah, why not paint a simple circle around the carousel about two feet from the perimeter and have a sign that states: "please do not cross this line except to confirm ownership or luggage or to retrieve luggage. There would still be a line but you wouldn't have to knock people over at the carousel itself.

 
At Mon Sep 05, 11:13:00 PM PDT, Blogger Erik said...

ditto the luggage carousel morons.

lisa, they take debit cards at the sacramento arco. they were going to start taking credit cards too, but i told them not to worry about it, because it's best how it is.

p.s. ditto the mouth open old people. my theory is that they're constantly in awe of the fact that they're still alive. i'm like, "yeah, you're still here! close your mouth!"

 
At Wed Sep 07, 01:58:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!
At the Austin-Bergstrom Int'l Airport (Austin, TX), they've made the floor a different color so that there's a black band about 2-3 feet wide all the way around the carousel. Yesterday I noticed that at least 3/4 of the people waiting for their luggage stood outside the dark area. Kudos to the Austin-ites!

 
At Wed Sep 07, 02:01:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

And speaking of black bands, it would've been neat if the Howard University Marching Band were at the carousel, too, but they weren't.

 
At Wed Sep 07, 02:13:00 PM PDT, Blogger unca said...

So, like they stole my idea? First the personal computer thing and now this!

 
At Thu Sep 08, 10:32:00 AM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

This reminds me of another travel annoyance. When your plane has landed and you are taxing to the gate there is a nanosecond between the ding that signifies that you have come to a complete stop and the clinking of seatbelts being ripped of the laps of your fellow passengers. Then they immediately stand up and race to pull their luggage from the overhead bins. All of this just so they can stand there for 15 minutes. Talk about hurry up and wait!.
Oh and one more thing everyone has to get on their cell phones to tell whom ever that they have just landed. I over hear things like “Hey I just landed I will call you when I get to Alamo rent a car" (That was for you Bryan) or “I just landed so I am running on schedule” or “I just landed babe see you soon” Etc, Etc. Are all these people that important that they need to let their co-workers know they landed 5 seconds ago.

 
At Fri Sep 09, 06:40:00 AM PDT, Blogger unca said...

If you want to really see cell phones in action you need to be on a college campus when classes let out. Thousands (literally) of cell phones go into action with the exciting message (I guess), "I just got out of class."

 
At Fri Sep 09, 11:14:00 AM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

I guess we should start a separate blog since we are now talking about cell phones but I will just continue on this one. Hope that’s OK with you Bryan

The airlines are debating whether or not to allow cell phones after take off. I beg all CEOs of all Airline carriers and the FAA to please pleas vote no on this idea. I can just imagine what it would be like to have someone sitting next to you chatting on his or her cell phone:

“Well I’m in the air. Hey there are a lot of clouds out there. How is the weather there? Well, I hope it clears up before I get there. I was going to go to the bathroom but there was long a line so I decided to give you a call instead. There are only two bathrooms on this plane and they won’t let me go to the first class bathroom. I guess they are afraid I might stink it up. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. What did you say? Hold on I think I am losing the signal. Can you hear me now? How about now? I can hear you can you hear me? I said can you hear me? Ok that’s better we must have passed through a cloud. HA HA HA HA HA Ha Ha Ha Ha. I know what can I say I have always been a jokester you should know that by now. Well we took off around 15 minutes hello? hello? hello? Oh I thought I lost you again anyway we took off 15 minutes late but the captain said they will try and make up the time in the air. Hey by the way the Captain is a woman. I think this is my first flight with a woman pilot. I hope she doesn’t try putting on her makeup while she’s flying the plane. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Oh man that was a good one. Hello can you hear me? I said that was a good one. Hello yea I was telling you that was a good one about the woman pilot. Yea the captain is a woman. Yea a chic. Hello are you there? Yea and all the flight attendants are guys. What is this world coming to? HA hA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Can you hear me? Hey can you believe they only give you one lousy bag peanuts for a 3-hour flight. I think I will ask for another bag. I’m starved. I didn’t have any breakfast just a small cup a coffee. I couldn’t find a Starbucks at the airport but there was a Coffee Bean. I was really surprised it was just as good as Starbucks I might try them again. Hello? Hello? . I said Coffee Bean is just as good as Starbucks; Hey there is only one guy in line for the bathroom so I will call you back later.
Can you hear me? I said I will call you back as soon as I get back from using the bathroom. I’m going to make sure no one from 1st class uses the 2nd class toilets HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA Hello are you there??? Damn I lost the signal again. Hello are you there??? Hello????

 
At Fri Sep 09, 09:41:00 PM PDT, Blogger anya ransuns aka Roxy said...

HILARIOUS, blogball. If this happens on my next plane ride, I will be like the guy in Airplane listening to the guy talk about Vietnam...

 
At Sat Sep 10, 08:35:00 PM PDT, Blogger unca said...

Ditto on the hillarity level, Blogball. It's funny but way too true. I can just hear exactly this conversation taking place.

 
At Thu Sep 15, 07:00:00 AM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

News update: I found out yesterday that the AM/PM (Arco) station at the airport DOES take credit cards -- so it looks like you're right, Lisa -- but they're the only Arco station that does, according to the attendant. Unfortunately, they only Mastercard and VISA, not the most popular business travel card in the world, American Express.
I wanted the attendant to tell me there's not much call for Amex, so I could say indignantly, and with an English accent "Not much call for it? It's the single most popular cheese in the world!"
But that didn't happen.

 

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