LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I have tried for two months to open an account. (Actually, the "account" was opened easily and Zipcar has helped themselves to various fees and membership costs.) Zipcar seems incapable of actually sending me the membership card. They claim that they have done it twice. They have the correct address, which is a business address, with all mail logged in. They have been provided with voluminous information concerning my driving record, etc. (I haven't received any tickets in decades.) Based on my experience and the complaints of others, while I believe this is a good concept, either the execution is absolutely incompetent or it's a fraud.
Probably a little of both. If you are dumb enough to take out a membership, do not tolerate any delays or "mistakes". Immediately cancel and write a complaint to your state's Attorney General. (I am an attorney and see many consumer ripoffs. Beware.)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- With regard to rollovers of credits if you have a $75 plan or higher, did you know that if your reservation goes beyond into the day the credit expires, Zipcar will not consider by default that your reservation was made the day prior to the day of credit expiration? So in my case, the credit was expiring on the 13th, my reservation went into the 13th, 1 AM. Hence, I was not able to use my credit even if the great bulk of my use was on the 12th. My complaint is:
(1) The lack of disclosure of the use of credits with regard to the expiration date. Zipcar only says, "If Beethoven had been a Zipcar member (yeah, we know that's not possible) and he chose a plan with rollover, he wouldn't have to worry about using up all his driving credits during the month."
(2) Customer Service strongly implied that it was my fault for not knowing this undisclosed provision of the use of credits. I asked to speak to someone who had better sense. Instead of passing me over to another person she said, "I confirmed that I was correct, but we are giving you credit for one more month for $75."
I commented that she is making me feel that it was still my fault to which she said that she did not say that. She simply said that she confirmed that she was correct in interpreting the use of credits - that the use should not go into the day the credit expires. The call could have been better handled. Zipcar appears to have neglected training their front office.
If there were a competitor of Zipcar in my area, I would open an account with the competitor. Zipcar's policies are undisclosed and unfair in application. One has to get angry and complain and have the good sense to appeal. There are comments on the internet on the need to complaint, e.g. the car was damaged after it was returned intact, but the person was charged $750 for unreported damages (NYTimes, January 2011, Steven **). This complaint process appears to be part of their business model given the accompanying lack of disclosure.
URBANA, ILLINOIS -- Although in general Zipcar represents a good service concept, they seem to prey on the membership fees. The only way to pay your annual membership fee is by automatic renewal from a registered credit card. Most importantly, there is no way to cancel the user account on-line.
In my case, the registered credit card has expired with time and I decided not to renew as I did not rent Zipcars by then. They initially sent an email asking for card update and explained that if not updated, the account would be closed. That was what I wanted, I thought, and did not update card info thinking the account would indeed be closed. Instead, Zipcar renewed my membership, posted a billing charge and harassed me via email that if I did not pay the outstanding membership balance they would transfer it to collection.
So, I had to call customer service and personally ask to close my account. They were asking for various forms of identifications, and surprisingly, my home address, phone and email were not enough. She needed specifically the user name, last 4 digits of the expired credit card, and a second address that was not a billing address. I am glad Zipcar does not ask your mother's maiden name.
So, those who wants to cancel, be prepared to gather unconventional info. Is not this strange in the era when one can shop and totally manage a bank account on-line, Zipcar does not allow closing a simple service account on-line? They also do not respond to emails. I tried two times using address posted on their Contact Us page.
160 N. WABASH -- BE CAREFUL... BE CAREFUL... BE CAREFUL!! I always write reviews to get a bad experience off my chest but this time, it is primarily as a warning to fellow readers and secondly for my own therapeutic needs. I have been a Zip Car member for several years. On May 4th I rented a car. There was a warning light that said the tire needed air now. I dropped a friend at the post office and went to a gas station immediately. I tried to fill with air but before I even got the hose near the air valve, it broke off. I called Zip Car, reported the damage and they acted like I didn't know how to put air in a tire.
I convinced them that this tire needed replacement and it would never fill with air. They asked me to change the tire but I didn't feel comfortable doing it. They sent for roadside assistance. I ran back to the post office (6.5 blocks) to give my friend cab fare or my bus card but he was gone. I went back to the gas station and waited for another hour and half before someone arrived to change the tire. The gas station I was at is in front of a housing project. Not the most dangerous of projects but not a place I want to spend time. I was approached by someone to change my tire and he was persistent but I was able to convince him help was on the way.
The help finally came and the tire was changed and I dropped the car back at its home. The next day I get an email from Zip Car telling me they are researching my case and that they would make a final determination. I was emailed back today and told I owe $726.35. Why I say 'be careful' is because Zip Car treats any incident that happens on your reservation as your fault or your responsibility. They cited that had I done their six step preliminary check of the car, I would have not taken the car and not be charged. My feeling is I still would have tried to fill the tire with air. I mean, how difficult is that?
I have read other reviews and the reviews stated that when damage was called in... Zip Car charged those that called in the damage. So why call it in? Why be honest? In my case, I was stranded but why should someone call in a broken latch... only to get a bill? Zip Car should charge a little more per hour as insurance to cover wear and tear on their vehicle which does happen in a fast paced urban environment. Zip Car is a great idea in theory, but not in practice.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Zipcar in NYC is disgusting. I've been a member for a year and from the very first rental the cars are filthy with dirt and animal hair all over and smell. They tell you to clean the car and fax the receipt so that is what I did. Then they closed my account and said that I was complaining too much and expecting too much wanting clean cars. Almost all of the rentals had mechanical problems and they do not care that I had my kids in the car. Either the office on 32nd St and Broadway in NYC told me if I was not happy that their cars aren't safe they would terminate my membership, which they did.
After they reopened my acct Joel ** said don't fax anymore receipts or we will close your acct again. The other manager I dealt with was Jessica ** from the NYC office, a real rude person. I also dealt with Joel ** who seemed more helpful but then just started avoiding me instead of helping their members. They penalize their members for cleaning the cars and wanted a safe car for their family. They never tried to accommodate me for all of the car breakdowns and dirty cars.
I tried to do the right thing like they say, to call in the problem, and they said I was complaining too much. They closed my acct again because I called customer service to reset my password when I couldn't log in. I contacted Jessica and she said "too bad". She also told me that if my son has asthma not to put him in the car. In NYC the gas cards are always missing. They want me to pay for gas but tell me I can't fax the receipts. I contacted Peter from the corporate office trying to resolve the issue and he said he is keeping the account closed. He is director of member services in Massachusetts.
His number is ** if you need to contact him. He made sure he backed Jessica up so now I am taking them to court for all of the harassment they have put me through, aside from closing my account and not saying a word until I tried to login and saw that my account was terminated. Zipcar doesn't want to deal with their customer complaints and fix the problems. Instead they rather get rid of them. Now they need to pay for treating a valuable customer like total crap. Just remember the names that I posted and how they are quick to penalize and not help.