Zipcar - Need to Manage Their Growthgreenspun.com : LUSENET : zipcar : One Thread
I'm disappointed with Zipcar's inability to manage their growth in NYC effectively. I've been a member for almost 2 years, and now I can never get a car when I need one. I really think if ZC wants to hold onto it's customers, it has to put more cars in their parking lots. Because right now, there's a lot of us disappointed that we've helped ZC get this far, but we can never use the service because demand is exceeding supply.
-- Anonymous, March 02, 2005
I have also been a member for about 2 years, and I am constantly frusterated by the lack of availability. I had these grand intentions when I joined of being able to get up on a Sunday morning and go for a drive. Now I would have to plan my spontaneous Sunday drive more than two months out. I haven't been able to rent for a long long time, and I know there is no easy solution, but something needs to be done for those of us that still think we should really be able to get wheels when we actually want them.
-- Anonymous, March 13, 2005
Growth is always problematic, especially in expensive and eccentric areas like NYC. That said, Zipcar is now large enough to average out more variabilities than when they were small, and so should have more cars everywhere relative to actual demand. There will always be the problem that cars are neglected during the week and hard to come by on weekends. The only solution to this is to do tentative reservations, and /or to check back often. We all employ the same tactics, so if you can set an alarm on your computer or your datalink watch to remind you, you can safely make a tentative reservation a month ahead of time and still be sure to cancel if needed, over 24 hours before that 8+ hour rental or at least 3 hours before that shorter rental. This makes it harder for others to reserve ahead, but it is the game we all play, so you may as well join in. Conversely, you may find that cars free up in that 3 hour time frame, in which case you can scoop the fruits of the cancellation of anothers. This of course would be even more likely if Zipcar employs some sort of early return incentive so that people who's errands took less time than anticipated would feel motivated to bring the car back early instead of decorating their parking space with it until the reservation runs out.
-- Anonymous, March 15, 2005
I think if Zipcar wants to make sure customers regularly get wheels when we want them, they need to accept some level of redundancy in the inventory - Aka more cars that is needed.
I know it's hard to plan a business in this way, but surely it should be "the cost of doing business". Thanks for your reply Jon, but truthfully, I run my own business, and besides my own family and life commitments, I don't have the time to play the "reservations" game.
If there's nothing available generally, I have to go back to the big, bad old car rental companies. Don't have time to keep checking back in! Not meaning to be negative, but just trying to suggest a solution which really has to be many more cars - either that or only some cars for short rentals, and some cars for weekend-long rentals - a nightmare to manage I would say!
-- Anonymous, March 15, 2005