In my view a reservation that is not guaranteed defines an oxymoron.  If I reserve something, doesnt that mean I should expect it to be available when I arrive to pick it up?  A few days ago I arrived at Payless Car Rental.  The night before I arrived at Payless, I  reserved a car for two days via their website.  I live near an airport and it is about a 20 minute walk for me to the rental car place.  Payless is located off the airport.

I arrived at the counter and gave the attendant my name.  He said, HMMM, sorry, we dont have any more vehicles left.  I told him I reserved a car online.  He looked up the reservation and said, Sorry, our reservations are not guaranteed.  It reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where this exact situation happened.  He then told me there were four other reservations made after mine, and he had no cars available for them either.

In disgust I walked out of the rental car place.  I then stopped and went back in.  I asked for the regional managers name and number and the representatives direct managers number.   He then said, wait a moment, I will see what I can do.  He began to call the other rental car companies that were at the airport.   The first two companies he called did not have any vehicles either.  Finally, he found a vehicle for me, which was double the price of the vehicle I reserved through Payless.  I told him that was unacceptable and I still wanted to talk with the regional manager.

He then said, I will pay for half the car rental fee.  He gave me cash and also offered me a ride to the airport to pick up the car, considering I walked to this facility.  It was an excellent customer service gesture in response to a bad situation.  I commend the employee for what he did.  However, if you ever rent a car, it probably behooves you to call them to make sure your reservation actually means something!