The “Forget the Alamo” post about my Alamo rental car debacle earned Enterprise corporate’s attention — and they contacted me late last week. (Enterprise’s parent company also owns Alamo and National.)
A company representative called me on Friday afternoon. He profusely apologized for the situation. Worth noting: he was emphatic the Sioux Falls location wasn’t oversold by 85 cards during the night in question. (85 cars was the figure an associate quoted me when I tried to check in.)
He said that unless there was a “massive glitch,” there’s no way that Alamo would overbook by so many vehicles. (So now I’m curious: who was throwing who under the bus — or rental car, as it were? 🙂 )
He told me there were, in fact, dozens of cars en route to Sioux Falls because of the Sanford Invitational, a PGA golf event.
I told him the employees with whom I interacted were as helpful as possible — and very kind. This after they probably suffered the wraths of many people that day.
He kindly offered to reimburse the $40 purchase I made through through Hotwire. At no point did he ask me to remove my initial post — or even drop hints.
The reimbursement was fine with me — and I accepted. After all, I did get a car the next day — but only after losing time and sleep. But what else am I going to ask for? Yeah, if you give me a brand new car to keep, I think we’re square. Nah.
An Enterprise spokesperson provided this statement:
Enterprise Holdings, like the rest of the industry, is seeing increased demand for vehicles for travel across all areas of the US. We anticipate strong demand will continue throughout the next several months. In addition to increased overall demand, other trends we are seeing are increases in the length of rentals and demand for specialty vehicles such as vans, pick-up trucks, convertibles, and large SUVs. We also anticipate business rental travel to begin picking up as well going into the fall.
If you’re planning travel, we encourage you to reserve a vehicle as early as possible. Providing flexible travel dates and branch pick up locations in your search may also help increase your options. In fact, enterprise.com has added a feature that helps to redirect customers to other nearby options – if available – during the online reservation process when they are booking if their selected option is showing no vehicle availability.
A key challenge right now is rising global supply chain challenges, most notable is the chip shortage which is impacting new car availability. Our relationships with our manufacturing partners remain strong and our Fleet Acquisition team is working hard to secure additional vehicles to meet the increasing leisure travel demand and support customers’ broader transportation needs
Will I Rent from Enterprise Companies Again?
I wrote that Hertz is my preferred rental car agency — and that stands. But I rarely rent cars, so it’s not that big of a deal. My wallet generally does the talking when car size isn’t a factor.
I usually receive nice upgrades through Hertz. That’s important when traveling with my family or a larger group. But when it’s just me or maybe one other person? Meh.
The post’s Comments section was full of interesting takes.
Reader Derrick Tennant is a professional comedian and travels all the time. He swears by Enterprise — but stays away from the company’s other two holdings: Alamo and National.
JP noted, “I’ve had the same experience with Alamo. I have nothing but nice things to say about National though.”
And, FWIW, Dave said good things about renting through Costco Travel.
So maybe I’ll avoid Alamo. But I’m up for trying Enterprise again (I’ve rented from there before). And maybe National.
I appreciate Enterprise contacting me and offering me a reimbursement. They accepted responsibility and apologized. That goes a long way. Whatever the overbooking (or personnel) problems were, I hope they get resolved.
Not everyone has a blog, though.
So remember that a good ole fashioned phone call to a corporate or regional office can go a long way — if your problem isn’t solved at a point of purchase. Or go through social media to try and get some help.
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