Thursday, May 7, 2015

Recap of 1st Relay Rides Experience

As I mentioned in my original post about RelayRides, I recently decided to give RelayRides a try again, after a failed attempt a couple of years ago.  My first renter had the vehicle for a week.

So, how did it go?

Well, there were some not so minor problems.

  1. Renter indicated he wanted to extend the rental period for additional days, but never did despite repeated indications he would.
Trying to figure out the plan, since the car wasn't extended, was a nightmare.  Renter did not answer the phone, texts or emails.  I was sure I would be calling the police the next morning.  I finally gave up around 12:30AM.  I left a firm and straightforward (nearly nasty) voicemail on his phone and wrote him in RelayRides to ensure I had something verifiable in the company's records.

The renter finally emailed me at 2:30AM, asking to extend the rental.  I was up at 6:45AM and told him in no uncertain terms that that would not be possible.  Respect and courtesy are absolutely paramount to using RelayRides, and he had done neither of those things.

Funny thing about this was, when I finally spoke to him that morning, he seemed confused as to why I was upset.  I think he was just trying to smooth things over, but it was too little, too late.
 2.   Renter returned the car late. 

Late fees with RelayRides are No Joke.  At the beginning of the rental, I told the renter (and later reminded him!) that I had a flight to catch the morning of the it was important I get the car back on time.  He was late.

 3.  Renter returned the car with an empty tank of gas.

No, not low, just about empty - the car range said only 30 miles to empty!  He called and said he "didn't have a credit card" and "since my bank isn't open yet, I can't fill up the tank."  I caught him in the lie - obviously he has a credit card, otherwise he couldn't rent on RelayRides.  Then he changed the story to be that, of course he had a credit card, he was just waiting on a replacement.

    4.  Renter drove the car >500 miles over the mileage limit.

Mileage limits are set by the owner and can be pretty much whatever you choose.  It's clearly indicated what they are...

Something to keep in mind for anybody that wants to rent out their car or rent a car using RelayRides - Read the policies!!!  

You can access RelayRides owner guide here.  Here are the things I did and highly recommend you do on every trip (which the guide will indicate as well).

Recommendations for Owners
  • Always check the renter's information.
  • Get signed documentation at the beginning AND end of the rental indicating:
    • Condition of car - mark any damage
    • Fuel level
    • Mileage
    • You can find the RelayRides checklist here.
  •  If you don't get signed documentation, IMMEDIATELY take pictures of the aforementioned and add it to the "trip" on RelayRides.  
    • This is how you get reimbursement if the renter does not adhere to the rental agreement
  • Report any damage/late charges/overages to RelayRides within 24 hours of the rental end.
  • Talk to the renter about any additional charges before adding them to the trip.
  • Review the renter.
Once all of that was said and done, I said I would never rent on RelayRides again.  However, I've since had a change of heart.  RelayRides was quick and courteous in dealing with all of the issues I had, and I'll be getting reimbursed for all of the overages (because I had documentation!).  After reporting the issues to RelayRides, the renter has 72 hours to dispute.  The renter did dispute.  I was asked to provide documentation, which I did, so I'm good to go!

Another perk:  RelayRides provides direct deposit every week!  You can see before you even approve a trip how much you'll get paid, and in the case of shorter trips (a week or less) you get paid within a week of the trip end. 

Here's to hoping my next renter will better!

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