15 August 2008

It Hurts

We've been in the United States and rented an automobile from a well-known rental company (let the reader understand).

We rented the car at Cleveland Hopkins Airport which is about 40 miles from where my parents live in Hudson, Ohio. Most of the driving from the airport to Hudson is on the freeway (motorway).

On Tuesday morning, the front right tyre had a blow-out and we rang for roadside assistance. No problem. Someone showed up in about 45 minutes and put the spare tyre on the car. So far, so good.

But, of course we don't want to drive around with the spare tyre and we would want to have a standard tyre fitted. This is where the problems started.

Well, the company said, you can swap your car for another. Except none of the concessions - other than the one at the airport - have any extra cars. OK, no problem, the company says. Here's the name of a garage; you can go there and they will fit a new tyre. Good job we rang the garage. No, we won't fit the new tyre unless you pay for it because The Famous Car Rental Company don't pay their bills.

We are not happy bunnies. We have left the rental car in my parents' driveway and we're using their car for the duration of our visit. We'll still have to drive the 40 miles to the airport tomorrow on the motorway at 50 miles an hour. Going this slow on the motorway is a terrifying experience if you've never tried it.


Unknown said...

Welcome to the US, my dear. The only way around this is to hound the company, like the widow who hounded the judge till she received her justice.

Too bad you can't make it to Wisconsin for a visit, you are always welcome.

PamBG said...

I had no emotional energy to hound the company. I had to make a number of calls to get anyone from 'Hurts' to give us the name of a garage. That would have been OK in normal circumstances, but my mother is immobile in a nursing home and my father had an unexpected heart emergency and was in the hospital. We were on the way to the hospital when the tyre blew out.

I think there are some 'interesting' justice/theological issues here. It seems that this company may have a policy of not paying the garages that do work for them. They would not, for instance, allow us to pay for the tyre and then deduct it from our bill (and I'm not sure I'd want to take the risk.) This reminds me of a similar policy in the UK where large coporations drag out paying their bills to small companies. We had a number of farmers in our area who went bankrupt from cash-flow problems because the big supermarkets weren't paying their bills.

Olive Morgan said...

So sorry to hear that you had all that trouble when you were going to visit your parents. How is your father now? It must have been very difficult for him - and you - with your Mother in a nursing home.

PamBG said...

My father is OK, Olive. I don't want to give a lot of details on the blog. But I do appreciate you asking. Thanks. :-)