Monday, January 14, 2008

"The Beetle is Back" IV - Day Two - Enterprise Surprise

Sunday night was actually OK, if not just a bit surreal. We had spent the last 5 hours getting from the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere and now we are in a comfortable room - relaxing. It turned out to be a decent evening.

I realized that I couldn't get anymore done on the Sunday evening after Thanksgiving, so I relented and waited until Monday morning...

I got up fairly early and got started. My plan was to arrange for a way to get us home so that my youngest could be back at school the next day and that my oldest could be back to work. It occurred to me that I might get some good advice from the travel agent that works out of our office. I have talked to her a lot over the last few years traveling for my company and she is awesome - she'll have some ideas.

I was right - within about 15 minutes she had a car reserved for me just a few blocks away from the dealership at Enterprise - for a good price too. We had breakfast, showered and dressed and relaxed some more. I wanted to see what the dealership could tell me by noon. If they could fix it before say 3PM, then we'd just stay and drive the car back home. If not, they we're outta there.

By about 11AM it was obvious we would not be driving the car back home that day since they had not even looked at it! So, the boys and I pack up and have the hotel van drive us to the Enterprise car place to get the car so we can go home. Sounds simple, huh?

It's cold and rainy and we get to Enterprise and I have the boys wait in the hotel van with our stuff while I go get the car. There's a line... I wait about 20 minutes and I finally get to talk to someone. I give him my reservation number and everything looks good, I go to pay and he asks me the question that still haunts me.

"Is the a debit card?"

I say, "no, it's a Visa card". He wants to know if I have another card, I tell him that I don't and I ask what the problem is. You see, he hasn't even swiped the card yet! Well, "we don't take debit cards" - I say, "this is not a debit card, it's a Visa card". "Yes, but it's tied to your checking account right?", I say that it's none of his business how my bank and I have arranged to fund this card, you will process it through Visa just like any other Visa card. "But it says 'Check Card' on the front." - yes, it does but what does that have to do with anything. When you authorize the amount you need to rent me this car it will be accepted - and if not then you can tell me that it's not.

He went on to tell me that he couldn't take the card and that if he did he could lose his job. He also tells me that he can't take a card over the phone either or cash. Wow - what a place. I now understand why my company uses Hertz (by the way, THEY use my card all the time).

So, now I have a reservation that I can't pay for even though I have plenty of money for it. I hotel van waiting outside in the rain with my two boys and all of our stuff and I have to get home today. My wife is furious, I'm rattled...

The story continues...

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18