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Old May 2, 10, 3:46 pm   #1
 
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More crazy pricing logic

I know that rental car pricing goes by some crazy logic sometimes, but I can't figure this one out:

If I reserve a compact with my corporate BCD at a particular airport location from May 16 @11pm to May 21 @11pm the base rate is $127. However, if I reserve the same dates but returning any earlier than 11pm the base rate goes up to $212.

That's an $85 penalty if I need to return it just an hour earlier! And of course if I were to return it late they would also charge me more for being late. So apparently I have to make sure to get there at exactly 11pm on the 21st
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Old May 2, 10, 4:31 pm   #2
 
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Crazy, isn't it?!
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Old May 2, 10, 5:18 pm   #3
 
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And not only that :)

IMHO, car rental companies have blinders on, they focus on DEMAND and FORMULA'S which maximize the value of their fleet; sensitivity to their customer is there, but is secondary and takes a back seat to their focus on demand and their fomula's to generate profitability. I've had arguments over the years with those who try to defend the car rental business model. Clearly their business model has worked without having to go to any extraordinary effort to be consumer friendly in their pricing and service. Creating a fastbreak or similar "club", putting up a board with the customer's name on it, creating a "guarantee" that you won't have to stand in line, etc., are pretty weak attempts to address "customer service". As long as their is plenty of DEMAND for their product, don't expect anything more than rudimentary customer service, with no motivation for any semblance of rational pricing. Few days ago the Enterprise CEO was on CNBC, bragging that unlike other car rental agencies in Omaha who jacked up their prices 300% to service the demand for Buffett's shareholder meeting, Enterprise brought in more cars and only slightly increased their pricing. I'm no fan of Enterprise, but the behavior of the other car rental agencies in Omaha don't surprise me. They will do whatever they like with their pricing and formula modeling as long as they have plenty of demand, obviously they don't care about the appearance from the consumer's perspective.

Course there are many (including here on Flyertalk) that are NOT price sensitive, they wouldn't be caught driving a "compact" car, they are not renting for leisure, more power to them. And since the car rental companies rely on business travel to a large degree, that attitude certainly works in their favor to develop pricing based on demand and their formula's...

But yea, the price difference you point out is illogical, it makes a game out of car renting, and I'm not surprised the efforts many (of us) go to, to identify promo codes that will get us the "best" rate... after all, if the car rental business is not a ME vs. THEM, I don't know what other business would qualify...
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Old May 3, 10, 1:15 pm   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srodr View Post
I know that rental car pricing goes by some crazy logic sometimes, but I can't figure this one out:

If I reserve a compact with my corporate BCD at a particular airport location from May 16 @11pm to May 21 @11pm the base rate is $127. However, if I reserve the same dates but returning any earlier than 11pm the base rate goes up to $212.

That's an $85 penalty if I need to return it just an hour earlier! And of course if I were to return it late they would also charge me more for being late. So apparently I have to make sure to get there at exactly 11pm on the 21st
Just book the cheaper rate. When you return you may have to pay a visit to customer service where they can fix this. I just had similar one few weeks ago where I returned the car six hours early and my rate tripled.
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Old May 3, 10, 11:59 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srodr View Post
And of course if I were to return it late they would also charge me more for being late...
I'm not sure that that part's true.
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Old May 8, 10, 10:06 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firewind View Post
I'm not sure that that part's true.
What do you mean? Have you found a rental agency that doesn't charge more for cars returned late?
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Old May 12, 10, 7:19 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srodr View Post
I know that rental car pricing goes by some crazy logic sometimes, but I can't figure this one out:

If I reserve a compact with my corporate BCD at a particular airport location from May 16 @11pm to May 21 @11pm the base rate is $127. However, if I reserve the same dates but returning any earlier than 11pm the base rate goes up to $212.

That's an $85 penalty if I need to return it just an hour earlier! And of course if I were to return it late they would also charge me more for being late. So apparently I have to make sure to get there at exactly 11pm on the 21st
I'd bet my lunch that returning prior to 11pm results in the weekly rate you were quoted getting kicked back into a higher daily rate based on the length of keep not qualifying for a weekly rate. You won't be charged more if you keep it past 11pm, provided you return by 11pm on the 23rd (the end of the 7th day).
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