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So in making my car reservations for Orlando, I decided to try National's Emerald Club. The idea being that you walk to the cars in the row you want (or an upgrade row if they're in there) and get in, they check your license at the gate and you leave. Done. If you want a more expensive car, just get in it and they'll fix it at the gate. In concept, I like the idea.
I have Gold service with Hertz and "wizard" service with Avis. Both offer bypass services, but not with that kind of flexibility. I'm not a huge fan of GM cars this decade, but for a rental who really cares? Hertz in Orlando is off-site and its a real pain in the butt due to traffic so there is no way I'm doing that.
So, thinking it would be a good opportunity to try it out, I signed up for the National Car Rental Emerald Club. Turns out, I can't bypass the counter yet. I can't do this stuff until I sign their agreement. I can't sign their agreement until they send it to me. That takes 4-6 weeks. Once I get it, I can fax it back. They can't fax it to me now though. Why? The office that handles the Emerald Club customer service doesn't have them. I can't go to the counter here in Portland and sign one. Why? They can't do that. I don't really understand why not. I guess I'm not smart enough.
The only option other than waiting 4-6 weeks, is that they'll forward some kind of paperwork to the counter in Orlando where I can sign it when I get there. Anyone see the potential for a problem with that? I'll be landing in a busy airport, trying to get to a major convention, and I'll have the thrill of being a "Special Case" at the car rental counter. Sorry, I'm not that stupid.
Hey, National Car Rental Emerald Club -- Anyone over there doing a Company Name use watch on the web? If you read this, you can fix it if you hurry. Until then, or of it, you get classified as "Epic Fail".
I'll give it until tomorrow evening for some brilliant alternative to emerge, but if it hasn't I'm cancelling my National reservation and going to Avis.
* UPDATE - 1/9/2009 -- National had someone call me, and send the contract over so I can fax it back. At least someone in that organization is paying attention to customer service.
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