PSA: Unethical Company Alert

Next time you find yourself in need of a car rental, under no circumstances should you rent from Green Motion. They may bill themselves as an eco conscious car rental company, but they have a long history of screwing over their customers.

I rented with them in early Oct of 2019, they were a mystery company assigned after I selected the rate on one of those travel comparison sites. My initial search of them didn’t prompt the slew of negative experiences I later found when I added more than their name to the search bar. The experience waiting for pickup, combined with the very unhelpful (bordering on rude) front desk person didn’t endear me to the company. I got a dented/scratched up 2018 Nissan Versa and eventually, after much longer than normal, was able to leave with my rental car and start my vacation.

Early into my vacation, while the car was parked in a police patrolled lot for less than an hour, apparently someone attempted to break into the vehicle (which was empty of all belongings and should not have been enticing to anyone) and slightly damaged only the exterior door handle of the drivers side door. (Side note: I had been told that the additional insurance one can get from the rental company only covered collision damage, not vandalism, by the front desk clerk) I flagged down an officer already dealing with another rental car break in nearby (oddly enough it only seemed to be rental cars that had been broken into, not any of the expensive non rentals parked in that lot) and filed a report on it. I contacted Green Motion (took a long time to get anyone on the phone) and they told me to bring the car back and switch it out for a new one.

As I waited for someone in the rental office to help I looked up repair costs for an exterior door handle replacement on a 2018 Versa. Found numerous vendors who could replace it, same day and would come to where you were, for all under $220 including parts and labor. Apparently this is a common thing down in Miami and they are prepared for such things. After having the Green Motion employee look over the car and compare it to the original status sheet, he confirmed the only new damage was to the exterior car door handle. I asked if I could just get it repaired and the employee told me even if I did they’d still charge me for damages and it was better for them to have it repaired in house. He said they would need to keep the $500 deposit and when I pointed out that the repairs were clearly cheaper than that he told me they would reimburse the remainder¬† of my deposit within 6 weeks. I made sure to file a claim with my insurance company about this, just to be safe, and then left with a different Nissan Versa in even worse shape than the first one. The whole process took most of the day and pretty much ruined part of my vacation.

More than 6 weeks later I never did see any reimbursement. Called my insurance company about the claim and they said they’d been having the hardest time getting in touch with anyone who could help them at Green Motion. I assumed I was never going to see my $500 deposit back and was annoyed about that.

Then 6 months later (late mid March) I notice another charge from Green Motion on the credit card I had originally booked with. It was for almost $800. No explanation from the company and no one answering the phone when I called. Contacted my insurance company to see if anything had ever happened with that claim. They informed me that Green Motion had submitted a $2100+ repair bill to them for reimbursement. My insurance company couldn’t find a legitimate reason for the cost and sent them a check for the highest amount it should have reasonably come to. Combined with the $500 of mine they had already kept, the company had over $1300 to repair something that cost usually $150, but definitely less than $220. I asked for a copy of the estimate and noticed the image they added looked different from my pictures of the damage and they had listed repairs for what could only be preexisting damage on the vehicle. They had also added extensive “out of service” fees and 16.8 hours of labor on a repair that should take no more than 1.5 hours to complete to the bill they sent. I was pretty annoyed that they felt such behavior was acceptable. I asked when they (my insurance) dealt with Green Motion and it was in January.

So now, now that the world is facing a pandemic and there’s economic uncertainty, they suddenly start in with the secret credit card charges. I went back online and started researching to see if anyone else had similar experiences. It was like a floodgate had opened on my search results. They have a reputation in the UK as being shady as fuck. There are countless horror stories from people all over Europe dealing with bogus charges, shit customer service, canceled reservations where GM kept the money despite being the party that canceled, and even investigative stories that found Green Motion employees are paid a bonus to make up fake damage on returned vehicles and Green Motion is known for billing customers for preexisting damage.

I am, of course, going to continue my endeavors to retrieve the money Green Motion has stolen from me. I just wanted to warn people that they should NEVER FUCKING RENT ANYTHING FROM THIS UNETHICAL COMPANY!

Shitshow: the current world status

You’d think that the current pandemic spread round the planet would be a uniting factor for humanity. A common “enemy” that forces us to put aside our petty differences in the interest of general perseverance. A forceful reminder that people are more important than profit. A highlight of who actually props up a functioning society when it comes right down to it. A painful lesson prompting changes to so many broken systems, unless of course you’re the current president of the US.

I am staying (and working from) home. I am washing my hands. I am sanitizing surfaces regularly. I have cancelled my vacation(s) for April. I have not purchased Covid-induced low priced airfare because I suspect traveling will be encumbered for an indeterminable amount of time and I am not going to pretend otherwise. I have not panic bought any supplies nor have I hoarded toilet paper or hand sanitizer. Yet, lots of people are going about daily routines, being selfish, believing obvious lies, endangering others, and spreading the damn virus all around like idiots.

The US federal government’s response to this pandemic is abysmal. Luckily there are plenty of state governors and officials, responsible businesses, and citizens willing to ignore the bullshittery coming from the president and his men. These people are working to help slow the spread, regardless of any negative impact to the stock market/economy. However, there’s only so much they can do, and if they are being contradicted by a soulless conman and his cronies, the devastating impact of this virus will continue to increase. How anyone can look at Trump and still claim he is doing a great job and has their best interest at heart is either extremely wealthy and determined to protect that wealth and status no matter the cost to others, or they are beyond delusional and clearly have a death wish.

The situation is going to get worse before it gets better. What is it going to take to make people wake up and realize that we have FUCKED SHIT UP by allowing special interests to dictate priorities and shape laws that do nothing to protect the planet or people on it? The whole “got mine now and fuck the future” mentality is corrosive and an offense to the potential of humanity. If this doesn’t incite real systemic change, I fear nothing will. Normally I would say if society can’t learn how to do better than they don’t deserve to continue, but there are so many wonderful people that contribute in such a positive way to the environments in which they reside that it’s just not fair a smaller percentage of shitty people get to ruin it for the rest of us. We might need to practice social distancing for now, but when the pandemic has passed we need to unite and stand against all the destructive systems in place that allowed this to occur and make sure that we don’t keep repeating our mistakes.