Recently I sold my car, and before deciding which one to get next I decided to rent one for a month.
I went to a local branch of a Brazilian rent-a-car brand. The model and pricing were fine, so I said I wanted to go ahead and rent it. After agreeing to rent it and having my credit card ready to swipe I spent another 40 minutes or so dealing with the attendant. The exchange went like this:
ATTENDANT: Name, surname, address, telephone number…
ME: Daniel, Scocco, Rua Samba, etc.
ATTENDANT: Give me one reference and his phone number.
ME: My friend John Doe. His mobile is 9345239394
ATTENDANT: Sorry, could you give me a landline number for him?
ME: Nope, I just have his mobile.
ATTENDANT: We prefer a landline number sir.
ME: I don’t have one.
ATTENDANT: Do you have another reference with a landline number?
ME: No. In fact, if this is going to take much longer I would like to cancel everything.
ATTENDANT: It shouldn’t take much longer sir. Can I have the address, phone number and another reference from your workplace?
ME: The name of my company is Online Profits, and the number is 919939192.
ATTENDANT: Thank you sir. Now I will call there to confirm all the information.
ATTENDANT: It’s our policy to call the reference or the workplace to confirm the information given.
ME: You are kidding me?
ATTENDANT: No. It’s the company policy.
She called and confirmed everything, but at this point I was pissed off already.
ATTENDANT: Everything checks sir.
ME: Good. I would like to cancel though.
I understand that I was going to rent a car for a month, and they need to take precautions, but there must be a way to do that in less than 40 minutes and without annoying the heck out of the client.
In fact after the episode I went to another rent-a-car company, one I liked in the past, an the whole process took 15 minutes or so. They didn’t ask for any reference or workplace details, and didn’t call anyone. My personal details, upfront payment and guarantee lock on credit card was enough for them (same stuff I would provide to the other company). Heck, they even gave me a free upgrade!
Solves my problem + no annoyances = great company