As a business, I feel as though you should try to please loyal customers. I’m not talking about giving away free stuff or treating them like royalty, but simply keeping them happy. These return customers obviously have money and want to spend that hard-earned money with your company. Why would you want to displease them?
I ask this question because of a situation that happened a couple of weeks ago with Enterprise Rent-A-Car. I went online and booked a rental car for my boyfriend to pick up in Michigan. I received a confirmation email telling me the car would be ready the next morning for him to pick up. Easy enough, right?
He shows up the next morning to pick up his rental car in Lansing, MI and is told that he could not rent the vehicle without a major credit card since he has an out-of-state license. He told the representative that he doesn’t use credit cards but he would pay for it with a debit card, to which he was told that wasn’t allowed. Wait one second, Enterprise doesn’t allow you to use your debit card with an out-of-state driver’s licence? That’s funny, because when we were in Hawaii in October, that’s exactly what I did! I don’t have a credit card because I don’t want to rack up debt. I used my debit card and out-of-state license two months prior to this, so what’s the problem?
Trying to find a solution, Ryan’s mom offered to put the rental car on her credit card since she had an in-state license, but the representative wouldn’t allow that. He was done with them and unwilling to work out a solution. Which comes back to my question, why would you want to displease your loyal customers? We have rented from Enterprise multiple times this year. When I received the confirmation email for the rental car, it didn’t say ANYWHERE that you had to use a credit card with an out-of-state license. When was this rule put into effect?
Naturally, I took my frustrations to Twitter. The company’s handle happens to be, laughably, @enterprisecares. Enterprise responded to my tweet with a DM saying, “Hi Rachel, pls send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org w/exact branch location, reservation # if you have one, & contact details. (Amelia).”
I gave the information to Ryan and he wrote his email to Enterprise explaining the situation. Meanwhile, on Twitter, my timeline was exploding with comments from my fellow tweeps about their terrible experiences with Enterprise. For example, “I used to rent from them all the time, then they said I couldn’t rent unless I had a utility bill. Terrible,” and “I’ve had the worst experiences with Enterprise and refuse to ever use them again.” With so many different options for rental cars, why would Enterprise give such bad customer service?
The email did little to no good. Ryan expressed his concern with having his holiday plans with his family foiled due to not having a rental car. All hopes of the situation being remedied had gone down the drain, and it wasn’t until hours later that evening that a manager from the branch called him to ask what the customer service problem was. Ryan explained the situation, and the manager said he was under the impression that the problem had to do with customer service, not the credit card policy that could not be changed. He couldn’t do anything to help him, so see ya later!
Through this experience, I have vowed to never use this terrible company ever again. Everyone we dealt with that day was rude, from the representative at the counter to the manager who called later that night. The Twitter account didn’t help at all either; what good is it to send in an email when you need a rental car RIGHT NOW? If you’re going to use social media for your business, at least make it count. And shame on you, Enterprise, for all of a sudden having a “policy” that isn’t stated anywhere saying you can’t use debit cards.
Apparently, quality customer service is a dying notion.