Tuesday, August 07, 2007

How Not To Negotiate...

Mrs. TBF and I will be going to Chicago in just over a week, and while we're there, we'll be driving up to Sudbury for my cousin's wedding. Naturally, we'll be needing a car to drive while we're there, so I just booked a rental car through Enterprise.

A brief aside: I always book through Enterprise, and I always pick up the car (close to my sister's house) at their office in Barrington, Illinois. Why? Simply because the guys who work there are the most eager to please, energetic, service-oriented guys I've ever encountered. They always offer to make me a fresh pot of coffee, and I'm pretty much always upgraded at no extra charge to a bigger car just because I'm "a big guy". But, the best thing is when I drop off the car and they ask me: "Was there any part of 'your rental experience' that could have been better, or is there some aspect of our service that we could improve upon." Once, when returning my car, I told them that the inside of the front windshield had been a little dirty, but it was no big deal - I had just cleaned it myself. The guy not only apologized profusely, and told me that it would never happen again, but he also REMEMBERED the incident A FEW MONTHS LATER on a return trip to Chicago and told me that he would PERSONALLY make sure that the inside windshield was thoroughly wiped down. Amazing!

So...back to renting our car for our upcoming trip to Chicago/Sudbury.

First, I tried reserving the car online using Mrs. TBF's company's corporate ID number. I got a rate of something like $310 for the week, including 1050 free miles and then 25 cents per mile for each mile after that. Dollar signs began to flash before my eyes, seeing that the trip to Sudbury and back alone is about 1300 miles. So, I decided to see what happened if I tried reserving the car without the corporate ID number.

You guessed it...

It was cheaper. In fact, quite a bit cheaper - $255 for the week for a "Premium Car" (Mrs. TBF didn't want the "Luxury Car" because it would be a Cadillac or a Lincoln Town Car), and UNLIMITED mileage.

Hey, all you folks in purchasing at Mrs. TBF's company...

Way to go negotiating those corporate contracts!!!


Dixie said...

There are very, very few things more satisfying than receiving great customer service. People love it. It makes them return for more.

And so it makes you wonder why it's so often is such short supply.

Glad you got your great rate!

Michelle said...

I am convinced the big companies get some kind of corporate kick back on these contracts. I can't tell you how often I book overpriced flights, per the company requirement that I use their travel site. They're in cahoots I tell ya.