Craigslist is the best thing ever… Hertz is NOT!

On the long list of things to do for our move is to sell my car. It’s something I’ve been dreading because the last time I tried to sell a car (my camry) it sat outside my garage for months. I was anxious about what happens if we’re suddenly in the middle of December and I still haven’t sold my car. You see, we still owed money on it so it didn’t make sense to keep making payments on a car that we can’t drive for 2 years. So I made the decision to put the minivan up for sale in the middle of October in the hopes that in 3 months I could sell the car. Just one more piece of stress to add to the ever growing pile.

So the weekend before Columbus Day I decided what the heck, today is the day. It’s beautiful out and the bright blue sky will make a nice backdrop to the car. I hadn’t had it detailed or anything at this point figuring that I’ll just do a quick car wash and then vacuum out the inside so it doesn’t look filthy (2 kids, 2 dogs and a husband – the car is rarely close to clean). I figured I’d just throw a few pics up on Craigslist to see what happens. I’ve only posted to craigslist once before and didn’t have any luck with it but I figured a car had a bit more value than some old toys.
Well, wouldn’t you know it – it only took 2 days to sell the car!! Absolutely crazy! Of course we then had to rush to pay it off. And you know that wasn’t going to be easy either. We sold the car on Saturday and then called Toyota on Mon to see how we proceeded with the payoff. They told me the best way to get the title quickly was to send a cashiers check because electronic payments get held for up to 10 business days. Ok, so where do I send it? A PO Box? Do you have a physical address I can send it to Ms Toyota Service Person?? What do you mean they will just then forward it to the PO Box? Are you serious? Ok, so Josh goes to the bank the next day (it was closed that day for Columbus Day) and gets a cashiers check and mails it off to an obscure PO Box in Illinois. We wait and wait. Friday – call and the check hasn’t cleared yet. I call again on Mon. You have my check? Yes!!!! Ok, so when can I get my title? The woman says, “we’ve sent you out a form to authorize us to send the title to DCU (our bank)”. Ok, why would you send it to DCU? “Because that’s who paid off the vehicle” she replies. Um…no. We paid it off with the cashiers check you told us to send. Seriously are you that dumb?? So I ask her if she can overnight the title. Sure!! Just give us your fedex number. Thankfully I have one. So the next day I call to get tracking. “What do you mean you haven’t sent it out?” Ugh… these poor people have now been waiting over a week for this car that they can’t take possession of until we have the title. So one more day goes by and we finally have it. Now off to get my rental car!
Not so surprisingly, the rental car process wasn’t so easy either. Ok, it was easy to begin with. I went to AAA to see if they had any good discounts since I needed the car for over a month til I get Josh’s car when he leaves in Dec. They ended up booking me with Hertz saving me a few hundred dollars over Enterprise. Don’t forget, you get what you pay for… just remember that as we go along here. My friend Bill takes me to get my oh so cute Toyota Matrix (which they somehow define as a midsize car – not really sure how they got that definition – it’s as small as Josh’s A3 hatchback). Great car for a family of 4 … not. Anyways, I get the car and all goes smoothly until he asks about insurance. I tell him that I have insurance. He says, “well didn’t you sell your car”. Well, yes, but I haven’t cancelled my policy. Turns out when you turn in the plates (which I hadn’t yet) you also cancel your policy. He wanted to charge me an additional $600-1200 just for insurance on the car. Being oh so smart, I tell him… I’ll forgo the insurance for now and just take the car. Surprisingly, he lets me off the lot insurance free…
That night I call my insurance company and yup, the guy is right, they won’t cover me. I call again the next morning because maybe that first guy misunderstood me and though I meant would they pay for the rental not would they cover me in an accident. Nope, they understood and no they won’t cover me. Will you cover me under Josh’s policy? “Is his car in the driveway disabled?” No… “then no we won’t”. Thankfully this guy was helpful and suggested that I try one of my credit cards. Apparently some card will actually give you rental car insurance – who knew????
So I call my credit card that I used to hold the car. Nope, only for gold and platinum members (Josh we need to become gold or platinum members – apparently they have all the fun!). So I call my business card’s number and yes, they will cover me for no extra charge as long as the car is paid for with that card. So I’m in the car at this point with Liam driving without insurance, heading to Norwood to pick up my computer that was being repaired. So I call Hertz and sit on hold for a good half hour before I get someone – all I want to do is change my credit card number. “Sorry we can’t do that on the phone – you have to go to a location for that.” Well there is a 1/2 hr of my life I won’t get back. Ok, well, I’ve got my trusty GPS and need to go from Norwood to Braintree to drop off my license plates. So let’s see if there is a Hertz on the way. Oh and Liam is already in meltdown mode at this point. He’s a grump and is making it clear to me that he’s not a happy child. We go about 15 mins out of our way to get to the Hertz and he is in full meltdown mode at this point screaming and throwing himself all over the place. I tell the guy that I would like to change over my credit card number for my rental. Again, thinking this should be a simple process. He looks at my one page contract very seriously and tells me he will need to go out back (there is a phone in front of him) to make a call to see if he can do it. Liam is screaming bloody murder at this point and after my 1/2 hr on the phone, I’m starting to lose my patience.
He comes back all apologetic a few minutes later. “Sorry, we can’t do that – we could get in trouble because it would then become our reservation and North Attleboro would lose it”. In sales speak that is “we can’t steal their commission”. Honestly I don’t give a rats ass if you steal their commission, do you not see my screaming child??? Ok, I didn’t say that but I was thinking it. But I did ask him if he was serious that I now need to go to N.A. to change a stupid f**ing credit card number. “Yes, you do. Oh and by the way, the $200 AAA discount you got – you may want to check with your credit card company because some cc companies won’t cover you in an accident if you don’t pay the full amount billed”. Ok, are you serious???? Now I’m getting punished for being a saavy shopper?? I’m just about in meltdown with Liam. I grab him up like a football under my arm and just walk out the door, him screaming and all.
Thankfully the DMV took my plates and I was in and out of there in under 5 mins with a little mini meltdown from Little Kid. It was not one of his best days. I finally work my way back to North Attleboro. I’ve been on the road for about 2 1/2 hrs at this point so I can kind of understand Liam’s crankiness. I’m cranky too. I get to Hertz where I got the car and guess what? They are expecting me. And yet, it still takes 20 mins to change over the order to a new credit card. Moral of the story. DON’T USE HERTZ!!!! EVER!!!!!
However, I don’t like to end a story on an angry note. My new car is bright bright blue and very zippy. The kids like it and it will suffice until I take on Josh’s zippy car in a month. At least the minivan is sold and I can check one more thing off on my ever growing list.
Julie

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