Closest rental car offices to us are at the airport, so we headed up the road. First counter was Dollar / Thrifty, and we explained our situation. Car in shop, don't know how long, can we rent a car for a week and get a partial refund if we bring it back early?
Sure, says the agent, not a problem. But the weekly rental is 5-7 days, so we'd need to bring it back before Friday to get any money back.
Now it's Monday, and our car is fixed again (apparently the neutral safety switch took exception to all the work and decided to quit. It was fixed under the transmission warranty, go Transmission Corporation of America). Dale gets off work and hustles over there to pick up his keys, then goes home. I leave work and hustle over to the mall to renew my own car's registration (which, oops, expired on April 30), then go home. We take the rental to pick up Dale's car, and then I drive the rental and Dale follows me back to the airport to return it.
That's all background. Here's where the notably good service starts.
Walk up to the counter, hand over the keys and paperwork, and explain the situation. Rented on Saturday for a week, didn't need it the whole week, returning it early, can we get a partial refund please?
Agent does stuff in the computer and looks puzzled. Takes apart all of the paperwork and stares at it, and looks mildly peeved. Pokes at the computer some more. Finally picks up cell phone and paperwork, says, "I need to make a call and see what we can do here," and steps into the back room.
Oh, crap, I'm thinking. Somehow we've returned it at just the right time that three days' rental is going to cost us more than a week would have.
Agent comes back. "I had to get an authorization to do this. See, there's no daily rental cost listed on your agreement, just the weekly rate, and so the computer was going to charge you the full amount even though you brought the car back early. But that's stupid, so what I'm going to do is, we took the weekly rate and divided it by five to come up with a daily rate. It'll be three days, plus three days' worth of the various coverages you accepted, plus tax."
This worked out to just about half the weekly rate, so I am well satisfied.
(also posted in great_service)