Perhaps you’ve been here? Business travel took us a two-hour plane ride from home. Comfortable in the knowledge that our reserved rental car would be ready for the two-hour drive to our first meeting, we stepped up to the Hertz service desk: “Good morning, we have a reservation.” The pleasant customer service person replied “I’m sorry, we don’t have any cars.” I looked at him in disbelief, “I’m sorry, what did you say?” “Unfortunately, we have no cars.” I looked around the waiting room, suddenly noticing there was someone sitting in every available chair in the building – obviously all waiting for rental cars. I began to feel I was in a Seinfeld episode without the laugh track.
“We have a meeting that’s a two-hour drive away, what are our options?” After explaining that there had been a race car event that weekend, a huge trade show beginning that day, as well as a big charitable event in the same locale, thus, the shortage of rental vehicles, the Hertz rep thought quietly for a moment. Meanwhile my travel companion, business partner, husband, brains-of-the-operation, expressed dismay that we could have flown all the way from Boston only to miss our first appointment of the week. Not a good start.
Kenneth, the nice Hertz rep picked up the phone, made a three-minute phone call to Renita at Dollar Rental, then nodded his head, “You have a car, let’s get you a lift to Dollar and you’ll be all set.” We didn’t have to push him, Kenneth wanted to help us take care of business, as did Renita at Dollar, who made sure our GPS was in good working order before sending us on our way.
It could have been a disappointing start to our travels, but I think most people given the opportunity would do whatever is in their power to help in this situation. It took a simple phone call to give these travelers a great start. By the way, I emailed Hertz expressing our appreciation of Kenneth and his solution to the challenge.
Here’s what happened to Jerry and that other Elaine: