Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic Fail

By Andrew Pollack on 01/08/2009 at 04:24 PM EST

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.


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic FailBy Turtle on 01/08/2009 at 04:45 PM EST
Alamo does this at Orlando, I did it last year. Go out, pick your car, drive
away. No special plan needed.
re: National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic FailBy Turtle on 01/08/2009 at 04:50 PM EST
And I just sent their CS email a link to this post. They are nonexistent on
Twitter. Hope they pay attention.
re: National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic FailBy Danny Lawrence on 01/09/2009 at 01:14 PM EST
You don't need to do the Emerald club thing (at least not at MCO), if you make
a reservation, you then do something else, I think it is called "Fast Break"
this will allow you to go to the lot, grab an appropriately sized car, show the
confirm and your driver's license on the way out and off you go.

PS Do you know that the Dolphin is a NCR pickup/dropoff point? I used to rent a
car at MCO on Saturday, and drop it at the Dolphin on sunday before the 'sphere
started (thus getting around that pesky "no non-guest cars at in the Dolphin
lot" problem.
re: National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic FailBy Aleks on 01/23/2009 at 09:46 AM EST
Have you ever tried an Avis Preferred service?
If you have a wizard card you could easily upgrade your status to Preferred.
Wouldn't be great if you could bypass a rental desk and find your keys in
fresh, brand new and fully tanked vehicle? and all the paperwork (to enroll,
sign etc) is so simple.
just try it out.
regards/Aleksander
re: National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic FailBy Nick Stamatoff on 01/24/2009 at 09:05 AM EST
Customers prefer good service and reliable cars. Price and insurance are also
of great importance.
Nick
re: National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic FailBy Rose on 01/23/2010 at 09:44 AM EST
BEWARE - DO NOT RENT A CAR FROM NATIONAL in NYC
7 a.m. this morning I arrived at a National Car rental office on W 40 St. in
Manhattan (NYC) to pick up a reserved car. All correct official ID was
established. An American Express Rewards coupon for $75 was presented. The
National Car Rental supervisor, Michael, refused to honor the coupon saying
that I should have read the fine print because AMEX Rewards coupons are not
accepted at NYC locations !!

That rebuttal was not what I wanted to hear after rising at 5 a.m preparing to
drive several hours to a funeral!

When the original reservation was made with National over the phone I stated an
AMEX coupon would be presented at the Manhattan car pick up address. I asked
many question when reserving from National and getting the $75 coupon from AMEX
to be sure all would run smoothly on the day of the funeral. The AMEX coupon
was downloaded from the web following phone instructions from AMEX.

I gave the details of my reservation and coupon all substantiating the careful
way in which I made the reservation and got the coupon but the supervisor
continued to deny and rebut. He then suggested I take a cab to JFK airport and
catch a National Car Rental from there where the coupon would be accepted!
Absurd hardship! 45 minutes cab ride in the wrong direction (1.5 hours round
trip) to give National my business! No thanks!

Thumbs down to National for bad, discourteous and insensitive customer service
and double thumbs down for their original misinformation. Thumbs down as well
for American Express for misinformation and misrepresentation.
re: National Car Rental - Emerald Club Signup - Epic FailBy jo'lee on 02/04/2010 at 12:47 PM EST
you should not have been sent out in the cold like that.... ask for a manager
next time and they could have made an adjustment...


Other Recent Stories...

  1. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects. In twenty five years, I don't think I've ever written an entry like this, but if you need the kind of work I do now would be a great time to get in touch. Both of the big projects I had lined up for late summer and early fall have been placed on hold and will be that way for a while. With the kids now all off at college and careers, I'm open to more travel than such than I have been in decades, but unless something else comes along, I'll be here working on updates to Second Signal and other things that ...... 
  2. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino?We need to address some biases here. IBM has made a deal under which the Notes & Domino software and intellectual property is now being developed and maintained by HCL America. HCL America is part of the very large "HCL Technologies" company that has grown from its roots in India to become an 8 Billion Dollar company with a global presence in the IT Industry. You could be excused for initially believing, as many people do when they hear this, that "they've outsourced the code to India where they'll milk it ...... 
  3. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back.BOOM. This will be as important for the platform as Traveler. If your company has ditched Notes and Domino, I feel sorry for you. For companies that do use Notes/Domino this is a game changer and Apple should be paying attention. Here's why: There are hundreds of little Notes client applications you'd never spend the time and money to build and deploy for your internal user base on IOS that we use Notes for all the time (those of us still using it). Now, those are suddenly ALL available on the iPad. ...... 
  4. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
  5. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? 
  6. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertising 
  7. 12/30/2015Fantastic new series on Syfy called “The Expanse” – for people who love traditional science fiction 
  8. 10/20/2015My suggestion is to stay away from PayAnywhere(dot)com  
  9. 08/07/2015Here is one for you VMWARE gurus - particularly if you run ESXi without fancy drive arrays 
  10. 08/06/2015The Killer of Orphans (Orphan Documents) 
Click here for more articles.....


pen icon Comment Entry
Subject
Your Name
Homepage
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
 
Your thoughts....
 
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.