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My first Zipcar experience

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I’m in San Francisco this week for a board meeting and am also spending time meeting with various VCs and startups.  Rather than renting a car and dealing with gas, parking, etc I decided to use my Zipcar subscription and try the service for the first time.  Frankly, I have been very unimpressed with my experience in using the service over the past two days.

Day 1: I am notified via SMS and email that the car I reserved won’t be available. However, there is a BMW available in the same garage that is free during my reservation time (good), and they assign it to me.  I arrive at the garage and find that the BMW is not there (bad).  I call Zipcar’s hotline and after about 10 minutes am directed to a garage that’s about a 15 minute walk where there would be yet another car that I could take.  The Zipcar person could not guarantee that the car in this garage was there but told me this was my best bet.  Thankfully, the car was there, although at that point it had been about 40 minutes after I was supposed to be in the car I had originally reserved.  

Day 2: I rent another Zipcar, this time at a different lot.  I get in the car and find that the gas card is missing and the gas tank is virtually empty.  There were also a couple of cigarette burns and what looked like animal scratches on the interior but I was more concerned with the lack of gas :)  I called into the Zipcar hotline and was quickly put into another car in the same lot.  And off I went…albeit about 20 minutes after my initial reservation time.

I think I am (maybe against my better judgement) going to use Zipcar tomorrow as well.  What else can go wrong? :)

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Written by John Gannon

December 11, 2008 at 11:56 pm

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  1. […] refreshing to see a company take ownership of my recent customer service issues the way Zipcar just […]


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