Third Time is the Least Charmless

We are taking an extended long weekend in Southern California. We are staying in the Desert. I am writing outside in the morning warmth. I am relaxed. However, the start of the vacation was somewhat less calming. We arrived at Long Beach airport after a perfectly eventless flight from Sacramento. We had a car booked and the rental counts experience was also without incident.

It was when we went out to the rental lot that things became annoying. We found our car, loaded the luggage into the boot. It was when we opened the door, that we caught the reek of smoke and my wife noticed what looked like a burn mark on the passenger seat. We retrieved the luggage and went back to the counter to request a fresh car. They provided a second set of keys. Once more the luggage was placed in the boot. We got in and started the engine only to see the fuel gauge show that there was not a full tank of petrol. We took the luggage out and once more we exchanged the keys, signed the paperwork, and found the car. This one stank of pine, but the gauge showed full, and the odor was not that of smoke. We drove off in search of food.

My phone rang as I parked the car by a restaurant a couple of miles from the airport. An alert reader may have noted the cause of the call. Flustered by the repeated attempts to get a car, I had missed one step for the third and final car; the luggage was left in the lot. We drove straight back, only to find that none of the rental staff knew what had been done with the luggage. They referred me to airport security. I went in search of security. Meanwhile, my wife saw the case sat in the parking lot and retrieved it.

The lack of quality in the cars and the absence of apology from the rental staff leaves us with one less company to whom we shall give future business. Poor service Hurts the company.

When we did get to dinner, it was at Islands and we ordered the Sandpiper; our favourite at that place. Maybe it was our hunger and frustration, but the chicken, cheese, mushrooms, bacon, and wheat roll have never tasted better.

Published in: on 27 May, 2012 at 10:00  Comments (1)  

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  1. Last time I rented it was with National, and entirely painless. Instead of a painful line at the counter, followed by irritating attempts at upsale once at the counter, I showed license and credit card, was provided the requisite tag with directions, and walked out to choose my car from amongst those in the class for which I had paid. Quite a time saver and despite the seeming lack of attention due to the self-service approach, I’d recommend (actually, I AM recommending) the company to others.

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