Zipcar Saved my Running Shoes.
When I moved to the city I sold my car and bought a bus pass thinking "It can't be that bad!!" Well, as you know muni is not everyones best friend! Especially when you are running towards it with hands full of groceries. You know the drill: the bus waits, you run, once your within arms reach it shuts the door in your face and takes off.
Then i discovered the wonderful invention called Zipcar. I got in on a deal and only paid $25 to start up and I usually just get the cheapest car they have. What a deal. All the cars I have been in are well kept and usually have a place to doc my iPod. Now my grocery trips are a breeze! I also rented a mini cooper for a full day on my birthday and drove up to napa. I had so much fun! and it was great to not have to worry about gas, insurance, etc.
Not So Much....
This service is touted as an excellent alternative to having a car, but if you think that spending hours on the phone with jerks every time you have a problem (which is every time) can get tiring, then this is not the service for you.
1) Customer service is terrible--if you call the zipcar line while using a vehicle, then they will tell you there is nothing they can do to help you, that you have to call the main office. If you call the main office, they will tell you that they have to "investigate" the problem and that they will get back to you and never do.
2) They overcharge. If your have a reservation that costs, say..$30.00--you'll think, great, but then other mysterious charges will later show up on your credit card. Multiple ones.
3) Cars often smell like cigarette smoke, and sometimes have dog hair all over them.
4) I've had experiences where I've gotten to my reservation on time but my vehicle was not there--and after all the hassle of them trying to put me in another car, I lost about 20 minutes of my reservation (and was late to my appointment) but was never reimbursed for that, nor did they extend the time of my reservation to allow for that.
5) However, if you are one minute late returning your car (no joke, one minute--this is from experience), they will charge you $50.00.
Having a car of your own may cost a little more, but having experienced zipcar, it is well worth it. Don't give up your car and use this service--it is too expensive and a poorly run business.
Corporate OCD. An interesting study in 21st century corporate nonsense. While Zipcar presents a faux-friendly face - in reality if you step outside the many many rules for even a second you are treated to a scolding screed that is almost comical. Avoid!
Parked all over the city ready to be picked up, these self-service rental cars include all gas and insurance and cost less than ten bucks an hour.. Ubiquitous in San Francisco, Zipcars are self-service rental cars (you reserve them yourself online) parked in lots all over the city--usually a block or two from where you are--making them perfect for people who need a car every once in a while, but get around by bike, MUNI or cab on their daily grind. They've got cars for every job or trip--hybrids, Minis, pickups, Beamers and sturdy sedans--and gas and insurance are included (a deductible applies if you have an accident), and cost less than ten bucks an hour, or even less if you pay by the day. Why even own a car to make payments on, pay for repairs on, shell out for insurance on and especially get parking tickets on...or put more succinctly, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free (or for a few bucks an hour)?
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