Let me say that I always try to do the right thing, most of the time it is easy, other times it relates to what is the right thing to do. This relates to a recent rental of my MDX to B.F. Some of these issues relate to me having robot cars. I also now have five cars on the system and it relates to having different descriptions, different purchase times, and Turo updating their site with changes.
Note I have now updated the descriptions on all the cars (I think) so this doesn’t happen again.
My rental request comes in and as my protocol I say yes immediately. The rental was for midnight and BF wanted curbside dropoff. I’m a night owl, or I should say that I used to be. Stand up comedy, poker player, and horticulture expert can involve some weird working hours. Being a stay at home dad has kind of shifted my hours and definitely my priorities. Being a Turo owner and a professional renter on the systems. The airport pickup and drop offs proved to be challenging. Thus the invention of the Robot cars. The biggest screw-up is the airlines. Planes land late all the time, am I just supposed to sit out there and wait. What is my time worth? Do or can I even charge the renter for being late arrival? My robot cars solve this problem of planes being late as well as some time renters return the car several hours early and sometimes late.
I directed BF to read the description, but most importantly I directed him to my blog post which goes into great deal of pickup and dropoff procedures rental cars at Denver International Airport. Now you can’t send a hyperlink through the Turo system. Feature request for Turo can you please allow us to send hyperlinks through the communication and add hyperlinks to the description. I also told him to read the description again. In all fairness to BF it wasn’t in the description spelled out explicitly. I blame Internet gremlins and think the site reverted to an earlier description. I haven’t had this issue in a long time. Mostly because I wrote the description. Turo used to be called Relay Rides, that’s how long I’ve been around.
I’m not 100% sure this is visible to the renters or if they even see it. It used to be a lot more prominent, now I’m not even sure it’s available. Also it appears that some things are different on the PC versus a mobile app. Does the renter see this or not? I’m not 100% sure. Full disclosure I made it much more prominent in my description and I’m not trying to pull a fast one.
BF made a point that he only expected to pay $2 an hour. He was out of the the parking lot by 1:25 a.m. BF feels like he is willing to pay $4. Yes that is what the rental charge was during that time. However the car was sitting there much longer. What I tell people is that anything that is over $24 I will reimburse. The car rarely sits there for that long, but I want renters to have comfort that there is a cap of what they will pay. The robot cars also allow me to have them picked up or returned 24 hours a day. The price for that level of service and guarantee that 100% your car will be waiting there is you need to pay for the parking, up to $24.
Did I communicate enough? Am I covered?
Well fast forward to the end of the trip. I actually meet the renter (a screw-up of sorts in my business model.) My wife and I went to DIA to drop off another car and we were going to wait for the MDX to show up at 2:00 p.m. and drive down to Colorado Springs to pick up our baby from Grandparents. I have ADD or ADHD never verified by doctor, and I’m waiting with wife. We sit down around 12:15 and by 12:18 I’ve asked her are they here yet and I can tell the waiting is going to drive me insane.
I’m checking in with the robot car periodically to have it tell me where it is. There is no hope of it getting here early, I hope it shows up on time. It’s pretty cool for the renter to get the curbside dropoff and not have to park, take shuttle, pictures etc. The waiting area is pretty crowded with traffic but they are showing up close to on time. The car is due back at 2:00. The car is actually returned at 2:03. I know this because as I’m waiting outside at the terminal my phone goes off asking me to review BF’s trip. That happens at 2:00 when the rental is due to be returned. I flag them down and they show up at 2:03. Here is one of the potential dirty tricks of Turo, but it has to be this way I believe, there is a late charge of $50 per half hour of being late. Up to $200 not to exceed four times the daily rental. It has to be this way because of the insurance. The insurance is during the rental period. Rental period ends at 2:00 what happens if there is a wreck at 2:02. This is my nightmare.
What’s funny is that I feel the renter (BF) is innocent and I don’t hold his feet to the fire. I could and say sure here is your full $24 parking credit, however you were three minutes late so you owe me $26 more. How about them apples! (an awesome line from and awesome movie). The renters were all pretty cool. Younger guys mid 20’s early 30’s, I’m not really sure, I’m not sizing them up for a poker game or a business deal. Car looks fine. I notice the car is playing Katy Perry. I ask them if that’s there Katy and they say no it’s yours. I leave MP3’s in the vehicle because my wife and I drive these cars as well. I thought it was pretty funny, and it was CD 4 which is a damn good mix tape. That was the music for the end of the world Mayan calendar party.
BF asked me about the parking fee and I said I’d check the description to see. I wanted to tell him to piss off and read it. When I saw it wasn’t in there but the smaller one that you see in the image, damnit! Well I’m working it out with BF and we will. BF ask for 20 bucks or less and it’s yours
Here is the next part that irritates me though. BF will have and has had an experience with Turo and Mike Henderson’s robot cars. What is kind of funny is that he won’t bad mouth me (although he might), bad mouthing Turo though really affects them. If people google or complain about their experiences it hurts Turo and the community of owners way more than it effects an individual owner. I don’t have any pre-ipo stock options in Turo, but I want them to succeed. A brilliant person said, a rising tide lifts all boats.
This likely ends up with some type of credit to BF. Turo takes 25% of the revenue, this is for their marketing, customer support, overhead, and most important to me insurance for my vehicle. What I hate is suppose the number is $20. I’ll send in an email and say BF should get a $20 rental credit. They’ll come back with sure you want to reduce your owner earnings $20. No that is not what I want. If this is a partnership between Turo and me, I’m willing to eat $16 of it and Turo can pay the rest. It’s just a frustrating attitude. Pretty sure I’m going to generate over $1,000 for Turo this month, can you step up Turo.
Believe me I will fight and argue for everything I’m not interested in giving money away. In this case we’ll see what BF wants and thinks is fair.