July 05, 2006

A Satisfied Customer of Enterprise Rent-a-Car

The only thing I've been disappointed about lately with my frequent rentals of Enterprise Rent-a-Car automobiles is that I discovered the company is privately owned. Otherwise I would've seriously considered investing in it.


Because they try harder than pretty much everyone else. Even Avis. Especially Hertz.

For instance. They have the tiniest, farthest counterspace at San Jose Airport. They're way, way, way over at the far end of the building. But they have the BEST service of anything I've experienced at that airport (or in La Jolla, for that matter).

Recently, a colleague was telling me a story he had about Enterprise at SJC. He was returning the rental car to the SJC facility, and when he pulled in he told the two other folks in the car, "Ok, you are about experience a fine customer service moment." They were like, yeah, right. But then they pull up in the return car lane, and three Enterprise employees scramble and descend upon the car to greet their customers with smiles and delights -- and an offer to stay in the car, skip the blue SJC Rental Car bus, and one of the Enterprise staff would drive the three right over to their terminal right now -- let's go! The colleagues couldn't believe it. They were converts.

On another more recent trip to SJC involving an Enterprise rental, me and a colleague show up, wondering what kind of customer service surprise was in store this time, and sure enough, they have a cooler full of ice cold bottled water, free for the taking. It was a super-hot day, and the water was a welcome treat. We hop in our rental car, and the Enterprise lady, who was bouncing around with genuine enthusiasm, made sure we understood everything about the vehicle, wanted to make sure we knew our way out of the airport, and oh by the way! she pointed out at the last minute that the gas cap for our vehicle was on the left side of the car.

"Gas cap on left side of the car? Who cares," you might ask. But it's little things like that that make me enjoy renting from Enterprise. Many, many a time i've pulled into a gas station -- when I really had no time, racing back to the airport before heading home but remembering at the last miinute that I needed to fill up the tank again as per the rental agreement -- and I'd rush into the station, hop out of the car, only to realize this weird Chevy or whatever it was had the gas cap somewhere I didn't expect. When the rental agency points out where the cap is (who remembers to check before you take off with the car upon renting it?) it can be a nice handy timesaver when every second counts and you're in a hurry to get back to the airport.

Sure enough, upon returning the car during that trip (just last week), the Enterprise folks gladly offered to drive us right over to Terminal A, in the same car we just returned. It might not seem like much but the blue rental buses (which I'm a longtime regular of) can be really slow sometimes and that slowness can count if you care about your slot in the "A" line at a Southwest Airlines gate.

Another nicety of Enterprise -- they're generous in giving out free upgrades. And I've rented from them for so long from La Jolla that they know my name when I walk in to their storefront, and I get great service. In fact they always ask at the return of the vehicle whether their service was 5-star or not, and if it wasn't, they become genuinely concerned and try to correct any problems.

This all may sound like a paid testimonial but it isn't. Enterprise just works for me. They may not be the cheapest (they're way way cheaper than Hertz!) but they offer the best service, and the surprises are only good ones -- and that's the only kind of surprise you want to have when you're renting a car. :)

Posted by brian at July 5, 2006 09:14 PM


Every rental car I've ever driven has a little arrow on the gas gauge showing which side of the car the gas cap is on. You just need to look for it as you pull into the gas station.

Posted by: anon at September 3, 2006 08:36 AM

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