I’ve done enough grumbling about rental car agencies that it’s a relief to have something nice to say for a change. A couple days after I got home from a trip to Florida, I realized my credit card was missing. I remembered throwing it on the seat of my rental car after getting gas on the way to return the car, and that’s the last time I’d seen it.
I called Alamo Rent A Car at Tampa International Airport, where I’d turned in my car two days earlier, to see if the card had been returned. I assumed absolutely nothing would come of the call, until, that is, I spoke with Wini McKee, a customer service rep who organizes the lost-and-found department. Wini said no one had turned in the card, as I expected, but then she went above and beyond to track the car using my reservation number, call the people who were then renting it (!), and ask if they had found the card. They had! They were turning the car in the next day and said they would turn in the card. Wini mailed my credit card back to me immediately.
A little aside. When my card was turned in, Wini had initially forgotten I was the one she had talked to about it. So she called me to say my card had been found. Which is to say, even I hadn’t known it was lost, Wini would have tracked me down to say it had been found.
Some of this is about Alamo’s policy, not just Wini’s. But it takes conscientious employees to follow a company’s policy. Wini has worked at the company for 15 years, and in Tampa for about five, around when Alamo decided to have a bona-fide lost-and-found. Before, “it was a complete disaster,” said Wini, who ably whipped things into shape. Some of the items she’s reunited with their owners: wallets filled with cash, digital cameras, glasses, retainers, and hearing aids. “I find that most customers are honest and will report things found in the cars.”
Thanks to Wini, Alamo, and their honest customers for inspiring me to write a positive car-rental story for once.