Car2Go takes an interesting spin on car sharing. It’s similar to ZipCar, for those of you who may have used that service before, but more on demand and a bit less restricting. For those of you unfamiliar with Car2Go, here’s how it works. You sign up and download the mobile app, from the mobile app you are able to see where all Car2Go cars are parked, and at anytime you can walk up to one, press rent on your phone, and the car is yours. Car2Go charges by the minute with discounts on hourly and daily rentals. Car2Go purchases parking spots for all of their cars from the city so you can park the car in any legal parking spot when you’re finished with it. Sounds pretty convenient, right? That’s what I thought too.
Car2Go Strike One
My first experience with Car2Go was in San Diego. After dinner my friend and I were feeling a little tired, so we decided to use Car2Go instead of walk back to our hotel. We located a car less than a block from the restaurant, drove back to the hotel, and then spent about 10 minutes driving around trying to find a parking spot. We ended up finding one about as far away from the hotel as we were when we left the restaurant. Fail. I contacted Car2Go following that ride and explained what happened. Their response was along the lines of ‘well people from the area would know that parking is bad downtown on weekends.’ To their credit, they did end up issuing me a $5 credit to cover the cost of the ride, but it was only valid in San Diego and I was leaving the following day.
Car2Go Strike Two
At this point it had been almost a year since strike one, but I hadn’t found myself in a city where I had another opportunity to use Car2Go. With perfect timing, Car2Go sent me a promotion for 60 minutes of free drive time in a city of my choice. I chose the Twin Cities since I was visiting there that weekend. My friend and I were going outside of the downtown area for an activity, and while there was bus service the timing was entirely inconvenient and taking taxis both ways would have been a little pricy. Even though the destination was outside of the Car2Go zone (meaning we would be paying for time we weren’t driving), it was our best option considering the 60 minutes of free time we had to use. We expected to be using the car for two – 2.5 hours, which meant we would be paying for one – 1.5 hours after the credit. I was expecting a bill of no more than $30. Image my surprise when I logged back into the app after the rental a saw that I was charged nearly $55!
What had happened was that my 60 minutes of free driving credit had not been applied. I immediately sent an email to customer support and because everything seems to happen faster on Twitter, I also sent out a tweet. It was Twitter that got the refund train rolling, and Car2Go did have everything resolved in about 36 hours, so their customer service gets an A.
Car2Go Take Three?
After two not so great experiences with Car2Go, I’m not really looking forward to trying again, but knowing me I will end up giving them another chance sometime it makes sense. In theory, it is a really great service, and I would like it to be useful. So far Car2Go has just proved to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Do you have experience with Car2Go, good or bad? If so, please share in the comments!