So, sadly I had to return my rental car yesterday. Well, by yesterday, but given I was out most of Sunday, I didn’t get the chance. So I went and did that Monday morning. I also had to go to the post office – to send back my old Powerbook battery, which I was able to finally get swapped now that I’m here in the U.S. – and to the bank to deposit these old fashioned methods of denoting currency, known as “cheques” (well, “checks” here, actually, because we spake good Englash 😛 ). Those on their own were problematic – the bank didn’t open ’till 9am, I found at at 8am when I got there. I’d looked up post offices on Google Maps prior to leaving, and found one relatively close by on Bollinger. So I went there. Turns out it’s not a post office, it’s just a collection of post boxes. #%@!
And just for some stupid comic effect, they actually do have a postal worker there, but the sign blocking most of the window states that he doesn’t do anything. (I paraphrase, but that’s pretty accurate; you can’t post packages or anything like that, for a start… what the?!)
So, I had to go to the Stevens Creek post office, way down past De Anza, which takes twenty minutes each way from my current place due to traffic.
I then went back home, dropped off all the crap from the car I’d forgotten to remove earlier, and then went up Stevens Creek about a whole block or so to the Hertz place there. I figured I might be able to return it there, probably for some ridiculous fee, but if it saved me the five hour trip to the airport & back, it’d probably be worth it. So, who wants to hazard a guess as to how much extra it costs to return your rental car there, some 50km or so from the airport where I was technically supposed to return it to?
Go on, guess… in any case, you’re wrong, because you couldn’t possibly guess high enough. US$1200 dollars. That’s right, twelve hundred dollars extra, just to return 50km from the pre-allocated destination. Who do they get to drive their cars back, Michael Schumacher?!
Now, to be specific that majority of that fee arose from the policy that you have to pay mileage for such a drop off, that’s not the specified destination. But still, no matter how it’s spun, that’s just retarded.
So, I got to drive to the airport… what fun.
Driving to the airport isn’t that bad – the traffic on 101 is a bit spastic at times, coming randomly to complete stops for absolutely no reason, but then you get that a lot here I’ve noticed, and I’m yet to figure out why; anyway, it’s the return that kills you. Half an hour to wait for the BART (from memory, every single time I’ve caught the BART from the airport, I’ve arrived at the station right as the first train leaves, making me wait another half an hour), twenty minutes waiting for the Caltrain at Millbrae – again, for reasons unknown, I always get stuck there for ages – then a good hour on the train, then another hour to walk to work from Sunnyvale.
Great entertainment, fun for the whole family. *sigh*
I had my iPod, so it wasn’t completely unbearable, and I did appreciate the exercise if nothing else, but I wasn’t thrilled about having missed a full half day of work, just to drop my car back to the rental company which has an office one block from my house.