Zipcar needs some work

Now that we are city dwellers, we've ditched car ownership, in favor of mass transit and zip car.

So far, we haven't had any problems with Zipcar.

But on June 26 we rented a Zipcar for five days to vacation in the Poconos.  At departure time on June 30, we couldn't start the engine.

We called the number on the Zip Card, and they determined remotely that the battery was dead. They offered to send out someone to jump it, but we knew it would be faster to get a jump from staff at our retreat center.

We got the battery jumped, and the car started, but we had to extend our use of the car by an hour. We did that right away so that our extra hour didn't affect someone else who was waiting for the car.

Once home that same day, we called the zip number again, reminded them of our earlier call about the dead battery, and asked that we be credited for that extra hour. They said would credit us.

But we got charged the $15.77 for the extra hour and were never credited back, after waiting patiently for a few days to see.

So we called them again, and they said they had no record of the phone call in which they had agreed to credit us. They apologized and said they would issue the credit.

Then we waited a few more days. But still no credit.

So we called yet again, and they were apologetic again. Curiously, this third rep said something different than the first two. This rep said, "we don't normally do credits of charges already applied in that situation," but that he will go ahead and give us a $25 credit in our account for our next ZipCar reservation.

A day later, we saw that they applied the credit to our account, but that it expires in two months. So we're still out the refund if we don't use the car within two months.

It's noteworthy that this was a great deal of work and time on our part. The  company needs to do better than this by their customers. Zipcar needs to take a hard look at their policies and their phone center procedures.