Frequent Car Rental Program Overviews

Discussion in 'AutoSlash' started by AutoSlash, Feb 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. AutoSlash

    AutoSlash Z Representative

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    Jackal has been hard at work on an analysis of the frequent renter programs all the major rental companies. So far we've got Dollar Express, Thrifty Blue Chip, and Enterprise Plus posted to the site. National Emerald and Hertz #1 Club will be coming very shortly.

    Check them all out and see what you think. We don't have the ability for people to comment on our site yet, so we'd love to get feedback here, especially from those of you who have lots of experience with the various programs.

    AutoSlash.com
    We automatically slash your rental rates!
     
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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Will do thanks!
     
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  3. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    he's an ok guy:D;)
     
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  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Please let us know when additional writeups are posted!
     
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  5. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    Looks nice, but how do you make money? It is going to take a lot of volume and expensive servers and custom software to make this work. I would not mind paying a low booking fee just to have your tracking service watch for lower rates.

    You spend hours to find the best rate, great a fun game. But then you rarely look back and rates are almost as irrational as airfares.

    Good luck.
     
  6. AutoSlash

    AutoSlash Z Representative

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    We actually make a small commission on each booking made through our site. Our volumes are quite good now thanks to the positive press and superb word of mouth we get from our customers who are saving a ton. We have toyed with the idea of a booking fee, and while we won't rule it out completely forever, we're committed to a free model for the time being.

    The great thing about the cloud computing revolution is that you don't need physical servers anymore. The entire company runs on a combination of virtual servers hosted by Amazon (EC2) and on hardware provided by our booking partner which costs us nothing. I can tell you that our monthly hosting bill is in the hundreds--not thousands of dollars, and we've never shelled out even a dime for hardware.

    Analyzing each rental for savings and tracking the rate multiple times a day is done by proprietary systems that we've developed over time and we pretty much have it down to a science now. It took a lot of hard work to get to the point we're at now, but there are definitely economies of scale once you get it right.

    Agree completely that rates can be somewhat irrational. That's actually what makes a service like AutoSlash so compelling. Let's say you book at $350 today for a rental next month. Two weeks go by and the rate basically remains unchanged. Then all of a sudden, the rate drops to $225 for two days and then jumps up to $400 after that. Believe it or not, the scenario I just outlined happens all the time. Someone who is booked with another site is probably going to be paying $350 unless they're diligent enough to check rates every day. Someone booked with AutoSlash is going to be paying $225 since they were re-booked at the lower rate the minute we found it.
     
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  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    (Emphasis mine.)

    Someone asked me a question the other day that I didn't know the answer to.

    When we get an email asking us to confirm whether we'd like you to make a change, e.g. a cheaper rate with another provider, do you actually make a reservation for us to lock in that rate before we say yes? (And then only cancel existing one once we confirm.) Or do you wait to book it until you hear from us? In the latter case I could imagine a rate you found being gone by the time we got your email and replied. So guessed y'all had to make a reservation immiedately on the chance we'd want it. But could be wrong, didn't know, and was curious. :)

    Thanks for all you do!
     
  8. AutoSlash

    AutoSlash Z Representative

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    Good question gleff. If we offer a better rate with a different company, we don't re-book until we receive confirmation from the customer. In better than 95% of the cases, rates have not moved by the time the customer responds, but there are a small percentage of cases where rates have gone up, and we have to explain to the customer that rates fluctuate often and are not guaranteed until booked.

    At some point we may put a disclaimer in the offer email, but so far, people have been understanding when this happens, and often if there is still some time before their pickup date, we can catch another drop down the road.

    We're happy to be of service!
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Hmmm, this discussion has gone quite off-topic ... and yet it's been useful :)

    I thought of AutoSlash as a way to find a cheaper rental, but whenever I tried it, I never found a rate that was better than what Hertz (my standard go-to) and Travelocity/Orbitz/Expedia were offering, ie, I never came across "secret" discounts. Not sure if that was my bad luck or not. But what I learned here in this thread -- that AutoSlash continues to monitor and then rebooks -- is actually something that I have been doing manually so far. So I guess it's Yapta-for-cars with rebooking feature. Nice!
     
  10. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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    I agree with nice. Problem as you point out is that it isn't always cheaper.

    Suggestion: Since you are not always cheaper, let me book elsewhere and register price with you giving companies acceptable to me and a minimum rate at which you could rebook me. I'd be responsible to cancel original reservation and if there is a cancellation deadline would limit your shopping period.

    Then people like me who do there on shopping, but not monitoring, would have you there for them.
     
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  11. AutoSlash

    AutoSlash Z Representative

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    Yes, we have gotten a bit off topic. I think this thread may help clarify things for you. Here's a quick snippet from that thread:

     
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  12. AutoSlash

    AutoSlash Z Representative

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    We basically offer this now. See our homepage and look for the tab labeled "Track a rental you'd booked elsewhere". In all honesty we're still working the kinks out of this service, and our main priority for obvious reasons is to service the reservations booked directly with us, but we we will track non-AutoSlash reservations and companies that can't even currently be booked with us.
     
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  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Thanks. I think you just got yourself at least one more user :)
     
    AutoSlash and travelingmore like this.
  14. KyRoamer
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    KyRoamer Gold Member

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  15. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    When will you add Alamo? I have some Alamo certificates that I would love to use without having to to do all my own searching on Alamo.
     
  16. AutoSlash

    AutoSlash Z Representative

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    We'd love to add Alamo, but unfortunately Alamo feels differently. They don't feel it should be easy for consumers to be able to get a good deal on their rental, so they have chosen not to do business with us. We hope they will change their mind at some point. :)
     
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  17. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    Thanks for the explanation. That was what I suspected.
     
  18. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Is Hertz already part of Autoslash...?
     
  19. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    No longer, they recently pulled out.
     
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  20. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    why....?
     
  21. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    Gaucho likes this.
  22. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    Thanks !
     
  23. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    I've been receiving e mails all week lowering the cost of my rental car at SFO. Since last week, my rate is down 25%. :cool:
     
  24. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    My final rate for a Thursday Noon - Sunday morning rental was $63 ai for a midsize car. The original rate started at close to $125. :cool:
     
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  25. Paolo Scuri

    Paolo Scuri Silver Member

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    Thank you! We'll sure do.
     

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