Friday, October 3, 2008

Upgrade, Downgrade....

Why is it that car rental places call it an 'upgrade' when they offer a bigger vehicle?
Quite often on my trips out West, I am offered to drive SUV-s even though I specifically reserve a compact vehicle.

The following conversation ensued tonight:

Rep: Oh, we don't have a small car. I'm going to upgrade you to an SUV at no extra cost. Cool?

I: No, no, thank you. I try to be as green as I can, you see, and well, I can't cover long distances with one of those things.
Rep: It's not that bad, really.
I: What's the MPG?
Rep: It's not bad on the freeway.
I: What is it?
Rep: It's 24.
I: Yeah, no. You see, I'll be going South and then I'll be coming back up. And then I'll go North and so forth.
Rep: That's all we have, sorry.

The next Rep on the lot

Same content as above....

Rep: Let's see if I have something on the lot.
I: I really don't want to drive the big car.
Other rep [jokingly]: What about a Hummer?
I: I'd have a good answer for you but since I've been traveling all day, my cerebral abilities have taken a bit of a hit. Smaller vehicle, please?
Rep: Oh, I found you one. You can have that small one. We'll take care of it. Have a good time here.



Anonymous said...

I'm sure a few "uhhm, right"-s were produced there. I'm just jealous I wasn't there to witness it.
Not an upgrade, yup, agreed!

Sra said...

Strange behavior on their part. What is the incentive to have their customers drive a larger vehicle, especially if they aren't charging more? Maybe they've made a deal with all the car lots out there that are flooded with SUVs they can't sell. Maybe the thinking is that if more people rent SUVs, more will buy them.

That Hummer comment was so insolent, I might have walked off the lot right there and then and taken my business elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I've had that happen, too. It's more common out West. As a matter of fact, it has never happened to me in the Midwest or back East.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and the Hummer comment does not shock me horribly, actually.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and the Hummer comment does not shock me horribly, actually.

Liam said...

Anonymous said...

The Hummer comment would have driven me bonkers.
Nevertheless, a funny bit. I realize it might not have been funny at 2 am.

B.R. said...

Taking the business elsewhere was not much of an option as it was past midnight locally and 2AM my time.
I have to say that their lot is one of the very few I've seen across the nation that's so rich in bigger vehicles.

Anonymous said...

WOW. The Hummer comment took the cake for me!