We got back last week from our first (mini)tour of the West Coast in 8 years. Denver, San Diego, and Pomona did not let us down. I’d like to extend a special thanks to all the fans and friends that came out and supported us. They certainly knew how to make us feel welcome. It was a relatively uneventful tour, with the exception of a brief hiccup while flying out of Denver. My innocent absent-mindedness led me into one of the worst customer service experiences of my life.
We rented a car for our 36 hour adventure in the mile high city. I booked the rental online with a company called EZ Car Rental because they were the cheapest. We picked up the car and were extremely pleased to find a new and very clean Volkswagon Jetta. The key fob was a little too large to simply keep in my pocket so I attached it to the carabiner on which I keep my personal keys. Since I always keep my keys hooked on my belt loop, I figured this way the rental key wouldn’t get lost.
On our way out of Denver, Scottie and I were scheduled to leave for San Diego about two hours before Kyle and Face. Our plan was that Scott and I would drop off the rental car on the way to the airport and the other two would simply take the shuttle from the hotel. Around 9am, Scottie and I left the hotel and drove to the rental facility to drop off the car. A massive snowstorm had blown through Denver the night before and everything was covered in six inches of snow. The roads were mostly clear though, and we were able to make it to the rental place without any problems.
The rental car parking lot had not been plowed and the path to the drop off site wasn’t clear. I inched my way through the lot of parked cars towards what looked like the main building. As I got closer, I came upon what appeared to be a parking area marked by a stop sign and outlined with parking cones. It seemed like a reasonable place for a rental drop-off so I parked and left the car idling. We waited in the car for a minute, not exactly sure what to do next. A minute later a woman drove up beside us in an SUV, rolled her window down and asked me for the last name on the rental. I gave her the name and watched as she made some notes on a clipboard. She told us to leave the car where it was, so Scottie and I gathered our gear and dragged it over to the waiting shuttle bus. We hopped on and took off for the airport.
About five minutes into the shuttle ride to the airport, I realized with a gut wrenching agony that I left my personal keys attached to the rental. I grumbled a few obscenities and mentally chastised myself before I got on the phone and called Kyle to see if he could hail a cab and swing by the rental place to get my keys before his flight. He assured me it was no problem so I made a call to the rental company to let them know what happened. I spoke with the same woman who had earlier checked us out and explained to her my situation. I told her my friend was going to come by to pick up the keys and her exact words to me were, “Ok, we’ll worry about it when he gets here.”
I thought that was a bit of a strange response considering my dilemma, but I assumed since so little time had passed since I dropped off the car that everything would be fine.
I was waiting at the gate with about 10 minutes to board my flight to San Diego when Kyle called from the car rental facility. “They don’t have your keys,” he said. “What do you mean they don’t have my keys?” I replied. “I don’t know man, she’s telling me they don’t have your keys.” I was thoroughly confused. “Put the woman on the phone,” I told Kyle. He handed the phone over to her. The conversation went something like this…
“Hello sir? I’m sorry we don’t have your keys,” she told me.
“What do you mean you don’t have my keys? I just dropped off the car.”
“I’m very sorry sir but we just don’t have them.”
“Do you have the keys to the rental car?” I asked.
“Yes, we have the rental car keys.”
“Well then you have my keys because they were attached to the rental key.”
“I’m sorry sir we don’t have your keys.”
“So you’re telling me that you have the rental car key but you don’t have my personal keys that were physically attached to the rental key?”
“That’s right sir.”
“How can that possibly be? What happened to my keys?”
“I don’t know sir. People leave keys behind all the time and we can’t be responsible for all of them.”
“My keys were ATTACHED to the rental key and I called you five minutes after I dropped off the car to let you know. Where the hell are my keys?!”
I was pissed. This lady was doing absolutely nothing to help. After a few more words I was able to get her to concede that the valet had driven the car around to the back bay to get washed and vacuumed.
“Can you call back to the valet and ask if he has my keys please?” I asked her.
“He doesn’t have them sir. Keys that get left behind are thrown into a giant bin full of 600 other keys. We can’t search the whole bin looking for one key,” she smirked.
“You don’t have to search the whole bin because mine WILL BE THE ONES RIGHT ON TOP!!!” I yelled at her. The whole situation was completely ridiculous. I talked to this same lady five minutes after I had originally dropped off the car and now she was being a complete bitch.
As her and I were having words on the phone, I could hear Kyle in the background now talking to a man, presumably another customer service agent who had just stepped to the desk. Kyle explained the situation to him and the guy knew exactly what he was talking about. Within thirty seconds, the guy produced my keys and I was verifying the description of them to him over the phone. I was stoked that they were able to get my keys but I was also completely dumbfounded to know that there is actually a customer service agent out there who went out of her way to NOT help me. A customer service rep’s entire job revolves around helping people out of situations like mine. Truly ridiculous.