In Wake of Sandy, How Are You Affected?

Photo courtesy of AllCar Rent A Car.
Photo courtesy of AllCar Rent A Car.

In what many businesses and residents in the area are calling historic wait-times in searching for gas, how are car rental operators servicing customers who become stranded as they search for service stations, among the many other problems facing operators in the area?

Gil Cygler, AllCar Rent A Car president and CEO, says that his rental car business, which operates in New York, has been sending cars with extra gas jugs out to neighboring cities in Connecticut and New Jersey less affected by Hurricane Sandy in search for gas. So how have other operators been affected?

With an influx in roadside assistance calls due to customers running out of gas, Cygler reports that some customers have stranded the out-of-gas cars, and in one case left an out-of-gas AllCar rental at a competitor’s lot in an attempt to rent another car simply for what was in the tank.

So here are some questions for car rental operators faring through these unique problems. Please share your thoughts on possible solutions and what you’ve been doing to accommodate customers and your fleet. Comments are welcome from operators not directly affected by the storm.

  1. If a customer runs out of gas, how are dealing with it overall?
  2. If a customer is stranded with no gas, are you charging them until they get the car back?
  3. What about when a customer abandons the car with no gas, but does call roadside services to let you know?
  4. If customer was unable to return the vehicle on time due to the storm, how are you charging or crediting the customer for the extra days?
  5. How long is too long in terms of returning it after the storm? An operator wants to be sensitive to its customer’s needs, but are people taking advantage in keeping the vehicle longer?
  6. What are other problems car rental operators are facing?

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