Monday, April 30, 2007

The Squeaky Wheel

gets a refund from Enterprise. I didn't even have to be that squeaky - I just forwarded my blog entry to their customer service office.

Even better? The regional manager is planning a meeting with the local office to go over their lack of customer service.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Enterprise? Never Again...

Dear Enterprise Rent-A-Car,

I had been planning our family vacation to Nashville since September. Since we would be traveling with 2 teenagers, a rental car seemed to be the most comfortable option. In September, since you are the only rental car agency within a 20-mile radius, I reserved a full-sized car - in my name - through your website.

On April 9th - the day that I was to pick up the rental, my husband and I showed up at 5:00 in the afternoon. I presented my printed reservation - in my name - to the ever-so-smarmy gentleman at the front desk. He looked at my paperwork and said "Oh, we forgot to bring in a car for you." Huh. There was redemption, however, in his next statement..."but you can have that Dodge Grand Caravan for the same price."

His redemption was only temporary.

He proceeded to look over my paperwork (in my name!) again, and I gave him my driver's license. I asked if my husband could please be added as a driver, since we were going a long way and I might get tired. He proceeded to take my husband's driver's license, looked at my paperwork again (did I mention that everything was in *my* name?) and said...

"And sir, where are you employed?"

Yep, that's me - Mrs. Chopped Liver. When my husband said "I'm self-employed" the eyeroll from behind the desk was a little bit much, I think. I offered "I work at Such-and-Such High School, does that count for anything?" And Mr. Smarmy said...

"Not Really."

Hang on, boys and girls, it gets much, much worse...

At this point I wanted to get my car/van and go home to pack for our trip. I handed him my debit/credit card, and he said "We don't take those - you need a real credit card with $250 available on it." Then he proceeded to tell me that I *must* have a credit card, because I had to use one to reserve the car. I told him that no, that kind of information isn't required on their website, and every time I've ever rented a car, no information is required beyond a name, address and phone number. When he told me that I was wrong - I must be "remembering wrong," I held my temper. When I explained that no car agency requires a credit card, he then told me that I was completely mistaken, and to please produce the credit card that I used to reserve the car.

Grrr...I *love* being called a liar...

He then told me that yes, they can use a debit/credit card, but I have to produce a recent pay stub and 2 utility bills. I also had to have my card charged with a $250 deposit and the full cost of the rental - ahead of time. Okay, I guess I can see the logic in that, but the sigh that accompanied that statement was really unnecessary.

We went home, I got my most recent pay stub, and I grabbed my cable bill (paid at their office that morning) and my gas bill.

We returned to the office, and I gave him my paperwork. He looked at my pay stub - dated March 31st (remember, this is April 9th) and he said, "Don't you have anything more recent to prove that you still work there?"

Ummm.....I'm a teacher. I get paid every 2 weeks. I had to actually show him on a calendar that no, it hadn't been 2 weeks since my last paycheck.

He looked at my cable bill (paid that morning!! receipt attached and everything!!") and my gas bill (not the proof of payment, just the most recent bill) and he said

"These haven't been paid. Do you have anything that proves that you actually PAY your bills??"

At this point, Kevin told me - "forget this. We're going to go to Cleveland Hopkins Airport and rent a car," and he went outside.

Truthfully, I am very proud of my composure at this point.

I went over each bill, one at a time. See the gas bill? See where it says "Last month's bill, $214, balance at billing, $0?" See where it says "Due on April 13th, $209?" He said "yes, but the payment stub is still attached - it hasn't been paid yet." At this point, I tried to explain to him the concept of Online Bill Pay, and that I pay nearly all of my bills on the computer. No dice.

My cable bill had a receipt attached that said " $141.00 Paid on April 9th. New Balance for Current Billing: $141, due May 8th." He said "Well, you don't pay your cable bill - you have a balance."

At this point, I felt as if I was dealing with a complete Mental Midget. For one thing, it's none of his damned business if I pay my bills - the $400 charge went through on my card just fine. For another, utility bills are used as proof of residency, not as something for him to pore over to determine if I'm a delinquent.

He finally decided (after 35 minutes of this) that he would *allow* us to rent a car. He took me outside to look over the van and make notes of any dings or dents. He then made the ultimate dumb-ass comment...

"The tank is on empty. I hope that's okay."

What?? Since when does a rental car agency give you a car with anything but a full tank??? When I told him that no, that wasn't acceptable (how on earth do you return the vehicle at the same level of fuel when it starts out empty??), he sighed and made a big production out of going inside and telling the other people working there that he *had* to go get gas in the van - he'd be back in a few minutes.

He left, and brought the van back with....half a tank.

When we were leaving, the lady manning the phones said "have a nice vacation!!" and I said "Well, I hope it goes better than the way it started." When I explained that it doesn't exactly make me happy to be treated like a common criminal, Mr. Smarmy had the nerve to be offended. I also felt bad for the lady in the waiting room, who had just been told "we forgot to get you a car - they're sending one from Wooster. It should be in within an hour or so."

We left, had a very nice vacation, and returned the completely cleaned van (with a little bit *over* a half a tank of gas) on Sunday. When my card was "refunded" the deposit, they were nice enough to only give me $240.77 back instead of the $250. Why? I don't know and I really don't care - I can't bring myself to actually call these wonderful people and ask.

The funny thing is - your people called from the Enterprise main office about 3 days later and asked me to complete a phone survey about my satisfaction with their service. When I expressed my extreme displeasure, they promised that somebody would get back to me to discuss the problems that I had.

That was almost 2 weeks ago...

Customer Service, all around!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Our Vacation in a nutshell!!

I can't believe we've been back over a week already, and I haven't had time to blog about it!!! After a grueling, exasperating experience with Enterprise Rent-A-Car (which I'll save for another blog entry), we left Northeast Ohio (35-40 degrees and rainy) at 5:00 in the morning and drove straight to Cave City, Kentucky. We got there about noon (our time, 11:00 their time) and went right to the Mammoth Cave National Park (60-70 degrees and sunny).(please note the green things - they tell me that they're trees with actual leaves - and the lack of winter coats)

We took the 2 hour, 2 mile Historic Tour, and it was absolutely fascinating!!!

It's weird - I prefer to have doors open when I'm in a room, but I have no problems being 300 feet below the ground...

After a night in Cave City, we drove into Nashville and went right to the Parthenon
The boys - Kelson especially - were amazed. After the Parthenon, we went to the other side of town and toured the Hermitage. We took the wagon ride, which takes you to the back of the property... and the site of the field workers' cabins. And there were flowers...a foreign concept to a northerner in April! After spending the night on that side of town, we took the boys to the Opryland "look around. " We told them that it was waaaaay too expensive to stay, but anybody can look around and shop. Big surprise - my parents had bought us a night in the hotel....and my sister's family, too! We planned to surprise the boys at dinner when we "accidentally" ran into Michelle and the gang. Michelle and I were the ones surprised, though, when Mom and Dad showed up!!! That was absolutely incredible!!!!!

They bought our dinner, and they sprung yet another surprise on us....which I will tell you about very, very soon!!!! It's a biggie, though!!!
A panaramic view from the balcony of our room:

Friday morning, we packed up and started back for home. We went back to Mammoth Caves, with the hopes of taking the New Entrance tour, but a tour group had come in that morning and purchased every ticket for every tour of the day. So, instead, we went to Diamond Caverns, which was worth every penny:

After a drive through Lexington, Kentucky (note: avoid this entire part of the state on a Friday afternoon!!) we finally found a motel room in Maysville, Kentucky. (another note - only stop in Maysville if you're desperate for a bed and a meal. 'Nuf said). We got up and left in the morning, and made a stop at the Serpent Mound. Of course, by this time we were back in Ohio and it was 40 degrees and raining...

We got home Saturday afternoon, (after driving through a snowstorm on I-71) and I collapsed in a big heap. We had a really good time, though!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Contest for SP10

I'm supposed to tell you about my favorite/least favorite projects. For my favorite right this minute, please scroll down about 2 posts to see "Laura's Rose Garden."

For my least favorite? Hands down, I would say it has to be The Princess Sweater. Mix intarsia with a beastly sweater in the colors from hell (not one of Sally Melville's best efforts, in my opinion), and add an errata sheet that isn't discovered until you're several inches into the sweater. Now - knit it in less than 2 weeks, and put 40 buttons on it. Blech!!!

Vacation pictures coming up either tonight or tomorrow!! In the meantime, I have to get everything ready to go back to school tomorrow - yuck.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not Home!!

A really, really quick post: I'm email blogging because Blogger won't let me log in on the laptop. :-(

Yesterday we went to Mammoth Caves, and today we're in Nashville!!!

We'll be back on Saturday with detail and pictures

(oh - and I found bags of cracklins! Real ones, not the kind that are just glorified pork rinds. I bought lots, but they won't last long. I really wish they sold them in NE Ohio; I absolutely love the stupid things....)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

May I present...

Laura's Rose GardenIt was still pinned out on my parents' king-sized bed (my double bed wasn't big enough)
This will be raffled at the Ohio Soaper's Gathering on April 21st, with the proceeds going to LauraLee's family.

I'm still putting the pattern together -it's in 4 separate parts right now. It will be for sale soon, with the majority of the proceeds going to the James Cancer Center in Columbus.

Better pictures tomorrow, when I can take it outside in better light. :-)