Monday, 28 June 2010

The aptly named Hertz car rental

So here I am in Western Canada (which I've discovered should be pronounced to rhyme with armada), without a bike, and without any plans to go out on one. Ironic, given where we are has some of the world's best mountain biking, but sometimes I heed the advice of people who tell me to "give it a rest".

I'm not missing out on training entirely though - I have gym stuff with me, and I spent an hour of the flight lying on my back in the aisle doing the upsidedown pedalling in the air thing that we used to do in PE class when we were 8. The cabin attendants did look at me a bit strangely, but as I pointed out, what do you expect if all the films are in French? And it's not as if they didn't have another aisle to use.

We flew into Calgary, which is famous for stampeding cattle, terrible car hire and an old winter olympics. We managed to experience one of these within an hour of landing, and I wish it had been being trampled by 37 angry steers about to have their balls removed. Instead, we suffered the punishment of Calgary Hertz.

We'd booked a luxury car - something big enough to be comfortable, but not so big that we'd feel we were driving a combine harvester. The people in front of us were given a Cadilac for their similar booking, so imagine the joyous looks on our faces when we were told that they didn't have any luxury cars, they never had luxury cars, and actually, Hertz doesn't even do them. Hey, would you like a free upgrade to a combine harvester?

No, we would not. We would like the car we booked. The car we booked a month ago, just like the one we've seen drive out of the car lot with the happy, smiling couple in it.

Ah... well, we could get you one of those... tomorrow. We'll call you. We're really competant.

So we took the harvester, with the expectation of changing it the next day. On the plus side, it was excellent for mowing down pedestrians.

That evening, Hertz call. Your car is here. The one you booked. I know you're out drinking and eating and enjoying your holiday, but how about bringing the ol' international harvester back and getting the car? What? You'd rather wait until you were sober? And you'd like it delivered to your hotel?

The next day, we speak to Hertz again. They would deliver! The car was with them! A Caddy!

Half an hour later they call back. They don't deliver. They never deliver. Bring back the combine. We have your Caddy.

We go to the airport, burning more of our precious holiday. At the airport, we avoid the pedeststian residue cleaning charge by pointing out that by now, we realy don't give a shit, and go to the office to get the keys to the Caddy.

We don't rent Caddys from this office. We never have. We certainly haven't given yours away again. You'll have to take something else. But don't worry, it'll be an upgrade.


Wow, Hertz really came up with the goods.
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