Started out a little rocky, but only because I had unrealistic expectations. My pick-you up was running a little late and I thought I would be peeved with them when they arrived. But, after speaking with my driver I found out the kind of crazy day they were having and the delay made perfect sense. I know I have crazy days too, so we enjoyed a conversation about people expecting miracles out of madness. Upon arriving at the rental agency, I patiently waited my turn and was rewarded with a very kind employee who showed me my options, got me out of the parking lot with a washed, clean and fast dream car and a smile to boot. The car was fantastic, it could not have been better!These same two employees were there when I checked back in four days later and recalled my trip details and asked about the adventures. Being kind and treating people with respect gets you a long way in life and this experience reminded me of that. Sometimes there may be a delay or something does not go to plan, but with the right attitude and some stellar employees the day can be saved!
We were finishing our stay in Portland and wanting to drive to the picturesque Columbia River Gorge and then on to Seattle. Nationals airport pickup rates were significantly better then the the other rental companies with downtown pickup location. It was cheaper and really easy to take a shuttle bus to the airport to get the car. Since we are Emerald Aisle members we picked the car we wanted. There were not a lot of choices on the Aisle but enough to feel I picked the car I wanted. It drove great.Drop off at the National location in downtown Seattle was a little difficult because the address listed is the Main Street yet the entrance was actually on a side street. A positive is that they are one of the only car rental companies that had a procedure for late drop-off (after 5 pm). Hertz had many more locations but none could you drop off a car after 5 pm. Really poor on Hertz, Really good customer service marks for National!
We were strongly encouraged to purchase an upgrade because of the road conditions in Oregon. We did not upgrade and the ride was fine. We were strongly encouraged to purchase the roadside assistance since there was no spare tire provided. We find it beyond crazy not to provide a spare. We did not make the purchase and thankfully had no issues. When we returned the car to the Alamo site to be transported to the airport, we were met by an attendant that told us that the transport person did not show up for work so we would have to drive the car to the airport and turn it in to another rental company there. We were not happy as it was very early morning (still dark) and we were not familiar with the roads. Although the rates were lower than some car rental companies, we will question whether or not to rent from Alamo again. We have never had issues like this with other rental companies.
The service and attitude of the staff was wonderful. The car was clean and problem free.2 issues that were really not big deals:1. There was a small dent on 1 side of the car. It was raining pretty hard when we picked the car up so none of us spent much time walking around it looking for damage. But it was nice out when we returned it and the return agent spotted it and commented. Fortunately, he understood the circumstances around when we picked the car up and accepted our explanation. 2. When we picked the car up in SE Portland we asked if we could return the car to the airport instead of this location. We were told there was a $35 upcharge. We only paid $17 for uber to bring us to the location (airport is 15 minutes away) so we declined. When we returned the car they said the upcharge was $25. Still more than uber so we still declined but the inconsistency was annoying.
I am a National Emerald Executive member, and typically receive 5 star service every time I rent a car. My most recent experience is around the need for service; where the car battery went dead. My initial call requesting service from National resulted in two transfers where total length of call was 37 minutes (per my phone). While on hold, after the first 15 minutes, where a rep was "researching what to do", I was reverted back to the main telephone menu and had to start over. this was frustrating. It took less time for AAA to arrive and resolve the problem than getting through the IVR phone system. Driving back to the airport to exchange the car was dicey, as this particular car has a feature where it turns itself off while idling (note, don't rent a Chevrolet). Exchanging the car for another one was Easy Peasy and everything else went very smoothly.
The first car had not been cleaned! The second was fine. The person serving us was "demanding" of two (2) phone numbers. We said we were moving and the one we had was going to be eliminated two days later. Then he went into a dog and pony show about our giving him the hotel where we would be staying!Overall the car worked well. The best part of the experience was turning the car in at the Portland airport. The staff there was friendly and helpful. I continue to use Enterprise and have just turned in a car here in Portland, Maine where the score would be 5 on all bases. If you do need two phone numbers there are different ways of asking for that. The person in your office needs some lessons in that regard as well as reviewing cars before people pick up the cars. A dirty car out of gas is not quite what makes a good impression.
I am Emerald Executive Elite. I rent quite a bit at this location(PDX). The staff will pretty much find me a vehicle that I want to drive. This last experience was wonderful. The agent working in the garage knows what kind of vehicle I like to drive, so she went and found me a Q50 3.0t all wheel drive. This is a great car. I really miss the BMW 640i (M sport edition) this location had a year and half ago. If national is really reading this reviews, please purchase some the following vehicles for this location. First and forefost the BMW 640/650i M sport edition, the Ford Mustange GT. The Nissan 370Z(premium package). The Dodge Charger R/T. I love National. They will anything they can to put a customer in a vehicle that the customer needs.
I have not had a problem with Alamo both times that I rented from them. Once was in Fairbanks, Alaska where they provided a block heater plug for the freezing temperatures. The second time was in Oregon. It's a great rental place for the price that you pay. The cars are nice, and the staff is friendly, plus you can use the kiosk to check yourself in, print a confirmation and grab a vehicle (as the keys are in the vehicles). I’ve also travelled with other people who were using Alamo in Seattle. We still had no problems with them.Only one of the two counter employees were very persistent in trying to upsale items such as, insurance, gas refill, radio, gps, etc.
It was an "ok" experience. I was hoping to get in and get out.. if you're in a hurry this may not be the service you need. I was very happy with my reservation, but the woman at the counter painted this frightening picture of the WEATHER!!!! She said the luxury vehicle I got was "only a sedan", and "not the car to drive to the coast". The weather was not crazy in the least bit. If you want to push for an upgrade please don't use fear. And stop telling me I "won't find that deal anywhere else".
The team at PDX was so kind and accommodating, both when I drove away and when I returned. For the first time ever I used the Alamo system that let me just get off the plane, walk to the "midsize" row, pick a car, and drive to the exit gate. So smooth. Plus, the car was clean and well-maintained. And when I returned it, the staff asked for feedback. I mentioned the TPMS system showed one of the tires needed a bit more air, and they took it seriously. I admire that.