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  #1  
Old 05-09-2008, 11:51 AM
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Another thread about call centers.....

I unsuccessfully did a search to try to revive a rant thread I know I remember about overseas call centers. Yesterday, I was surprised to learn that when you call a local rental car company at a local airport branch # (this was Alamo), you get automatically kicked to India. My question could only be answered by someone at the actual airport auto rental desk. The polite Indian fellows assuredly transferred me back to the the local desk.............8 times in a row. Whereupon I got transferred back to India, because the airport desk business hours were from 7 am to 7 pm (I was calling during lunch--jackasses). To get to the local airport desk, I had to ultimately request a supervisor, who dialed some super-secret number and got me to the business administrator of this particular Alamo branch. This woman was in a building outside of the terminal and didn't know the answer to my question, so she promised me I would receive a return call in response to my question about returning a vehicle two hours late. I told her it was important in my decision on when to bring the car back and in planning my departure. Exasperated, and playing with a new digital voice note-to-self machine, I recorded that call. I never rec'd the return call. When I showed up two hours late, they tried to ping me with an additional $28/hour outside contract term late fee and a $19 surcharge/tax fee. I said hell no and told them how many times I had tried to contact them, could not, and would have brought the car back if I had known the late charge was so stiff in comparison to the dinner I was being bought during those two hours. They told me to get bent and were going to put it on my cc. I ask for the administrator who was now gone, and they were smiling. I played the recording, and they relented.

But geez, I never thought the rental car companies would find it cost effective to outsource these types of calls--the damn fleet at this airport probably isn't over 50 cars, so the four slack jawed employees couldn't be over whelmed.


PS: I know that I was contractually bound by the terms I agreed to when my wife booked the rental, but the customer service thing hacked me, so I declared them in breach

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Old 05-09-2008, 12:00 PM
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I remember those threads... here are a couple:

India Call Center stress.

Foreign Customer Service ~Not any more~ I can't take it!

I have gone round and round with Sprint PCS's customer service, and they are still US-based. Call centers are never fun to deal with...
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  #3  
Old 05-09-2008, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Doe View Post
PS: I know that I was contractually bound by the terms I agreed to when my wife booked the rental, but the customer service thing hacked me, so I declared them in breach
The general state of customer service is non-existent. The only desire is for the company to get their money out of you...........and if they can extract more, they do it.

I recently stayed in a Hilton down in Atlanta..........via Hotwire. Paid $60. per night for the room. But, Hilton isn't satisfied with that........it's chump change for that hotel. So, they decide to ding me for $9. per day for the parking. I didn't use their parking.........parked in the lot for the insurance company next door. I called the desk one time.........told them I have no car.........and they promised to remove the charge. We'll see.

I recently had an SDL shipped by DAS from LA to NY. DAS damaged the trunk lid. But, do they have anybody who wants to even begin the claim process? No, they do not. They have your money and you can go pound sand. Well, I'm going to let the credit card company pound them..........to the tune of $150.........which is the limit of their liability. We'll see how they like a chargeback.

That's my new policy. One phone call. Then use the credit card company for a chargeback. It's far less painless and quite satisfying.........never lost a case yet. Furthermore, it causes grief to the merchant because their costs go up if they get sufficient chargebacks.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:17 PM
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The challenge is avoiding the money up front, try to rectify any problems later scenario. Unfortunately, the vendors often have the upper hand and dictate terms to us poor shmos in the real world tha need something like a rent car or a room for the night.

But, there's no surprise here, Alamo = crappy service, bait-n-switch tactics, you name it. After an encounter I once had with Alamo in Jacksonville, I wouldn't rent a pedal car from that outfit. Thrifty is cut from the same bolt 'o cloth IMHO.

I'm in a battle now for a doubled room charge at a Best Western in College Station. The hotel claims that they've issued the credit, bank has no record of it. Right.
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Old 05-09-2008, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leo View Post
But, there's no surprise here, Alamo = crappy service, bait-n-switch tactics, you name it. After an encounter I once had with Alamo in Jacksonville, I wouldn't rent a pedal car from that outfit. Thrifty is cut from the same bolt 'o cloth IMHO.
You'd think that Alamo would be the worst.........but, you'd be mistaken.

30 minutes waiting in line for Avis to get the contract..........then off to the bus. Plenty of buses, right? It's Avis.........you see tons of them. But, do they leave every five minutes? Nope. Have to completely fill up the bus...........the large bus...........another 12 minutes.

Off to the Avis location...........another 10 minutes.

Need to dropoff each individual person and hand them their contract and direct them to their individual vehicle..........another 10 minutes.

Get vehicle and have to wait in line at gate to get out of facility. Hand contract to agent..........."driver's license please". WTF. "Is this the government.......where you need to check my license three times before I can rent a car.........why in the hell do you need my GD driver's license?".

"Well, I could tell you sir, but, I'm not.........because you're just rude".

Yep, I'm rude..........another 10 minutes............


Renting from Avis reminds me of their slogan........."We don't try at all".
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:08 PM
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My favorite car rental was last year in Atlanta. "Coincidentally", it was Enterprise.

My colleague & I got into the car after the car cleaner brought it up. Nice looking young rastafarian male. Polite and friendly without clinging.

Got in the car, cranked-up the A/C and got a big snoot full of ganja, effectively transferring the aroma to our clothes.

Interesting meeting in NE Atlanta ensued.

B
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:19 PM
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Thats why I will never get rid of my Sikorsky Visa card, if I have a problem I call Stratford CT not some GD moron who can't speak english in India.

If I need to do a charge back I call this very nice lady in Stratford who went to HS with my mom.

Sikorsky and Milford bank, oh how I love them!


Customer service is hard to find these days but its out their. Companies don't give a damn they just want your money, they don't care about repeat business.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:40 PM
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I used to do a lot of travelling and dealing with rental car companies can be painful.

Alamo- I have a free upgrade coupon from "medium" to "full size". They tell me forget it, there are no medium cars on the lot. Without the physical presence of "medium" car an upgrade is impossible. After 30 min talking it over with the manager I got the "full size" car.

Hertz- I'm returning the rental, no customer but me present, an attendent jumps in the car and immedialtely takes around back of the office. As he is driving away I realize I left a small bag in the car. The counter person goes to get the bag and comes back empty. I demand to speak to the attendant but I am denied. Hertz tries to convince me there is no bag. Three weeks of phone calls and escalation to the regional manager to finally get a check for my loss.
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  #9  
Old 05-09-2008, 04:40 PM
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I work for a major credit card company and they are moving our ENTIRE I.T. department to India as well as all call centers. It's cheaper!

It's not what the cardholders want, it's what the STOCKHOLDERS want!!

Remember that...

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