Tipping rental car attendant (National)

Old Jul 18, 18, 8:42 pm
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Tipping rental car attendant (National)

Admin please delete thread. I was contacted by Enterprise holdings and would like this thread deleted.

Last edited by TravelTheWorld66; Aug 1, 18 at 1:47 pm
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Old Jul 19, 18, 12:50 am
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Please delete.

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Old Jul 19, 18, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by TravelTheWorld66 View Post
So here’s what happened. I got to the executive aisle in Boston and there was nothing! A few minivans and Santa Fe’s. Nothing I wanted to drive cross-country. They had plenty in the Premier section: Jaguar F-Pace, Lincoln MKX, Volvo X60, and some sedans. I snooped around the Enterprise and Alamo sections and they were pretty empty as well. I asked the manager on duty if there was anything nicer than a Santa Fe he’d be able to offer me. He pulled up a base model Ford Explorer with 41,000 miles. I politely declined.

I ultimately found an Audi Q5 with 7,000 miles. I basically asked if he could hook me up considering the amount of business I do with National, but he was still pushing the up-charge. I then asked, pointing to the Audi, “Is there any way we can pretend this was in the Executive Aisle?”, and I offered him the folded $100 bill. He was shocked and said if the cameras saw him accept money he’d be in big trouble. I was embarrassed.

He told me to hang on and he would see what he could do. A few minutes later he brought up the Q5 for me, at no additional charge. I apologized for making him uncomfortable by offering a tip, and surprisingly he said, “Well if you insist on giving it to me, you can”. What a change of position in just 5 minutes! So I offered him the $100 bill again and he tells me not to be so obvious. So I get out a business card and put the bill under it so the cameras can’t see, which is what I should have done from the start. I think he thought about it for a few minutes and regretted not taking it initially.

So technically I would have got the Q5 for free if I had just kept my mouth shut, but $100 for a 23-day upgrade isn’t a bad deal at all! And he appreciated it. Next time I’ll be more discreet.
Haha, he regretted it the moment he said no to it.

I had this happen with Avis once, I was going on a 2000 mile trip and I kept getting an Explorer Limited which was nice but I wanted something nicer. I found an X5 on the lot and offered $200 and he jumped saying he couldn't take it. I walked in shame back to the Explorer, when he came from behind with another contract and keys and told me to meet him by the bathrooms, where he said they had cameras and microphones near the desk and accepted my $200 and gave me an X5 with 900 miles lol.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:29 pm
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I have never done it nor do I see a need to.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 4:37 pm
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I don’t know, I’d say a $10 is a tip. A $100-bill with a “you sure that’s the best you can do” sounds more like a bribe. JMHO, of course.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 6:56 pm
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Dang interesting.

I hope no one from EHI corporate reads these forums....it'd be easy to find out who was on duty that night at BOS that rented out a Q5 for a 23 day reservation....

Honestly, this works well in Vegas for their hotels (where its basically an open secret) but I would not try this for rental car agents....it puts the agents in a tough position and I'm sure they are violating their employment contract by accepting these level of bribes essentially....usually I try to ask politely.

I would imagine it is very difficult to do an exchange in the middle of a one-way rental (I asssume?)...say if you stopped at another airport location and tried to do an exchange and see if their aisles had better vehicles?
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Old Jul 19, 18, 8:19 pm
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National like most places now garages/lots are heavily policed by cameras. So you can't blame the guy for wanting to cover his behind in case corporate or someone else sees him doing something he shouldn't.

Two, as am sure you are aware National's managers and or counter reps are do different than elsewhere; they are rated in part on their "selling" numbers. It comes up at annual reviews, rewards are given for those meeting and or exceeding numbers, etc...

National's people aren't as aggressive compared to Enterprise on the whole, but never the less there you are....

Have usually found patience, persistence and just being nice works wonders with National's managers and counter staff. Again since corporate policy from *upstairs* is a bit different find they are helpful on vehicle choice more often than not.

Finally will say it offering *ahem* tips requires some delicacy. There are those who view it as an insult. That is you are implying they are on the take and looking for a touch. There are eyes and ears everywhere, you never know who has your back or is ready to drop a quarter. If word got out that there was even the perception this manager was on the take, his career at National might come to a swift end.
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Old Jul 21, 18, 6:07 pm
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clearly i live in a different universe and in a different reality and from a different time...the chances of my tipping a rental car employee, under any circumstance, is zero [and that includes Vegas].
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Old Jul 22, 18, 2:23 am
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Originally Posted by randix View Post
clearly i live in a different universe and in a different reality and from a different time...the chances of my tipping a rental car employee, under any circumstance, is zero [and that includes Vegas].
You're not alone. Bribery isn't something I'd ever consider. And if it was, I certainly wouldn't openly admit to doing it on a public internet site. I think more shocked by that part of this than the actual bribe.
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Old Jul 22, 18, 5:44 am
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
You're not alone. Bribery isn't something I'd ever consider. And if it was, I certainly wouldn't openly admit to doing it on a public internet site. I think more shocked by that part of this than the actual bribe.
Exactly. As noted above, it would be very easy to find both the renter and employee in this situation and:
  1. Prevent the renter from using the agency for future business
  2. Discipline the employee
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Old Jul 24, 18, 5:41 am
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
You're not alone. Bribery isn't something I'd ever consider. And if it was, I certainly wouldn't openly admit to doing it on a public internet site. I think more shocked by that part of this than the actual bribe.
Oh I don't know.

No, wouldn't roll into some random or strange location and start greasing palms to get what I want.

OTOH there are a few local places have been renting from for years now. They know me, and over years have gone above and beyond (generous upgrades, returning well after grace period but not charged, those sort of things). So when heading down for a Christmas or Thanksgiving rental may bring some Starbucks gift cards, snacks, or something to say "thank you".
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Old Jul 27, 18, 1:04 pm
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Originally Posted by ginmqi View Post
Honestly, this works well in Vegas for their hotels (where its basically an open secret) but I would not try this for rental car agents....it puts the agents in a tough position and I'm sure they are violating their employment contract by accepting these level of bribes essentially....usually I try to ask politely.
I worked for a different company, but there wasn't anything in our contracts or ethical guidelines about tips. However, as sales professionals (some of us--though sadly, never me--even made well north of $100,000 a year in commissions), we considered ourselves professionals and would always decline tips in the rare instances they were offered. My non-commissioned car detailers, though, had no such objections.

Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Two, as am sure you are aware National's managers and or counter reps are do different than elsewhere; they are rated in part on their "selling" numbers. It comes up at annual reviews, rewards are given for those meeting and or exceeding numbers, etc...

Finally will say it offering *ahem* tips requires some delicacy. There are those who view it as an insult. That is you are implying they are on the take and looking for a touch. There are eyes and ears everywhere, you never know who has your back or is ready to drop a quarter. If word got out that there was even the perception this manager was on the take, his career at National might come to a swift end.
Yes and yes. I'd much rather have you buy a $10/day upgrade from me than drop a $10 in my lap. The more a counter agent sells, the higher a percentage of the sales revenue they earn (at my location, it was up to 18%).

And while I didn't receive a direct commission on sales as a manager, my compensation was based on how well my team did, and in any case, as a sales management professional, I always felt that accepting a tip would be somewhat demeaning, like if I were a doctor accepting a tip. Although I never was presented with the chance to accept a $100 tip, so I can't say for sure how I would have reacted.
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Old Jul 28, 18, 1:13 am
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Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
OTOH there are a few local places have been renting from for years now. They know me, and over years have gone above and beyond (generous upgrades, returning well after grace period but not charged, those sort of things). So when heading down for a Christmas or Thanksgiving rental may bring some Starbucks gift cards, snacks, or something to say "thank you".
That's not a bribe. (At least not to me.) When you have an existing relationship and you've already received something of value without asking, anything you provide on a future visit wouldn't be a bribe. That's especially true if you don't ask for anything outright like an upgrade.

Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Yes and yes. I'd much rather have you buy a $10/day upgrade from me than drop a $10 in my lap. The more a counter agent sells, the higher a percentage of the sales revenue they earn (at my location, it was up to 18%).
I worked for over a decade in hotels. In both hotels I worked, there were two things a Front Desk Representative could do that were grounds for immediate dismissal. One was physically assaulting anyone (with witnesses). The other was accepting a bribe.

Originally Posted by jackal View Post
And while I didn't receive a direct commission on sales as a manager, my compensation was based on how well my team did, and in any case, as a sales management professional, I always felt that accepting a tip would be somewhat demeaning, like if I were a doctor accepting a tip. Although I never was presented with the chance to accept a $100 tip, so I can't say for sure how I would have reacted.
That did happen to me when I was serving as Manager-on-Duty one day. The entire city and surrounding suburbs were completely sold out due to a huge convention. I got a call on the radio that the Front Desk was having a problem with a walk-in guest without a reservation.

After a long discussion with the guy about how we didn't have a room, the thanked me. He reached out to shake my hand. After I turned to leave, I realized he slipped me money. It was two $100 bills.

Never having been bribed before, I was flustered and insulted. I went into the back office and grabbed the first person I knew and trusted. I had him witness me put the money into an envelope and seal it. I then had him follow me back into the lobby so he could see me return the money. Then, I called our Security officer to watch as emptied all my pockets to prove I hadn't taken any money. (That was probably overkill, but I wasn't keen on getting fired and blacklisted from working at a different local hotel.)

TL;DR: I accidentally took a bribe. It was insulting and put me in a very awkward position.
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Old Jul 28, 18, 4:16 am
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Originally Posted by writerguyfl View Post
TL;DR: I accidentally took a bribe. It was insulting and put me in a very awkward position.
Did he actually stay at the hotel? If you told him no rooms available and he left then that wasn't a bribe...
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Old Jul 28, 18, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by m907 View Post
Did he actually stay at the hotel? If you told him no rooms available and he left then that wasn't a bribe...
No, he didn't stay at the hotel. So, I suppose I should have said I accidentally accepted but then returned a bribe. There was no mistaking the money for anything other than a bribe to get him a room. He certainly wasn't giving me $200 just because he was being generous.
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