The Running Commentary

Budget Car Hire back-end failure

Sit with me and let's debate

Sit with me and let's debate

I had reason to hire a car from Budget Car Hire while in Johannesburg, last week.  The vehicle in question a Hyundai Atos Prime with only 895km on the clock, so pretty new. 

I went of on my rounds and in the afternoon noticed that the vehicle was begining to overheat while I was in traffic. I am not a mechanic, but do know a thing or two so checked the coolant, all present and accounted for.  I managed to get to my appointment with relatively little issue as while driving on the open road it appeared to be fine.

The end of the day saw me return to my hotel.  I only just managed to crawl into the parking lot given that the car had by now started to over-heat, even in open traffic. So I called into the “call-centre”, who put me through to the nearest branch.

“Hello, how may I help you?”a friendly voice says.”My car is overheating and will not run”, I reply. “Please bring it to us”….”UMMM it’s not running?” I reply…..”Oh!” is the response.  About a 30 second pause…..”Can you really not bring it to us –  we have no cars here”…….”It won’t run and what do you mean you have no cars, if I bring it to you how will I get around?”.

The next thing that happens is that the guys checks the registration number, “hey the car only has about 900km on the clock”…I say “I know” he then says “You are not even supposed to have that car, it is an upgrade! – I will have to bring you a citi golf instead”  I say “I was given this car, but just bring me a car that works”….He says”I will get back to you” and the call ends.  He never calls me back.

I go off the next morning, knowing that I am going to have to nurse the car to get to the appointment. Well needless to say I make the first appointment only to be left with a broken car on the side of the highway, possibly not making appointments for the rest of the day.  To add to the stress all of the colleagues that I talk to say” Hey you must not hang on the side of the road too long!”

So I have a sense of humour failure on the phone to the “call-centre” again. They put me through to another branch. They send out someone within 20 minutes and give me another vehicle.

What I cannot understand is why the back-end needed me to lose my temper in order to get some action. It is no good having a great front end, if the back-end processes cannot support it?

BudgetCar hirecustomer service

Mike • October 12, 2009

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