Once in awhile there is an issue that is so troubling that it just won't go away. This was known as "having a burr under your saddle" when I was growing up, due partly to the fact that I was raised in farm country. The burr that is causing trouble for me today is an issue of fairness, as people who require access to rental vehicles with wheelchair lifts or ramps when they are traveling struggle to find reasonably priced options without going to a lot of trouble. I wrote about this in a June blog
and outlined the approach I planned to take with the major car rental companies.
My reasonable approach includes a letter writing campaign directed toward the top corporate officers in the hope that reason will prevail and that they will see the need to include wheelchair vans in their expansive rental fleets. After all, in the competition between these companies to attract renters, they are even advertising that they plan to make exotic sports cars such as Ferrari and Lamborghini available to their customers. Vans modified with ramps that can accommodate mobility devices cost far less than such exotic vehicles, and can even carry more passengers.
I originally thought that I might need to write perhaps a dozen letters, due to the number of rental car brands that advertise on the Internet and in all other types of media. Surprisingly, a few hours of research has revealed that most of these supposedly independent rental car companies have morphed into huge conglomerates through a process of either acquisitions or mergers. Three major companies now control the majority of all rental car operations in the United States, and operate worldwide. A company that controls over one million vehicles and has multibillion dollar profits would seem like a good candidate to initiate a policy of making wheelchair vans a regular part of their fleet.
Besides, the Americans with Disabilities Act
would seem to require it. With the huge budgets and corporate deep pockets represented by these holding companies, the financial feasibility of making this change in their policies is not an issue.
While I am pleased that I will only need to use four of my stamps to send letters to the heads of these organizations, I also realize that those letters may not have much impact on their own. For that reason I am inviting you to use the addresses below, which I was able to find through a simple Google® search, to send your own letters detailing how you feel about the need for the inclusion of wheelchair vans in rental car fleets. If you don't know what to say, feel free to borrow a few phrases from the sample letter in my last blog
. Be sure to include your contact information should there be any questions about why you think this is an important issue, or just in case they want to let you know that they are in the process of purchasing those wheelchair vans.
Following are the addresses I have been able to locate thus far. Feel free to send letters to any other car rental companies that you might encounter during your research.
Ronald L. Nelson
Chairman and CEO
Avis Rent A Car System, LLC
6 Sylvan Way,
Parsippany, NJ 07054
(They operate as an affiliate of the Cendant Corporation at over 5,700 locations in 165 Countries. Budget Car Rental is also owned and operated by the Cendant corporation as: Avis Budget Car Rental, LLC, at the same address and with the same management team.)
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc.
5330 E. 31st Street
Tulsa, OK 74135
(Both Dollar and Thrifty Car Rentals are owned by Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. and operate 274 locations in the U.S. and Canada. Their worldwide total is 570 locations in 61 countries, but all of these companies are now a part of Hertz.)
Ms. Pamela M. Nicholson
President & CEO
600 Corporate Park Drive
St. Louis, MO 63105
(This is the parent company of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent a Car, PhillyCarShare, and WeCar. Together, they operate over 1.3 million vehicles.)
Mark P. Frissora
Chairman and CEO
225 Brae Boulevard
Park Ridge, NJ 07656-0713
(Thanks to mergers and acquisitions, Hertz now includes approximately 8,960 corporate and licensee locations in approximately 150 countries. They now operate Dollar and Thrifty Car Rentals and are in the process of moving their headquarters to Florida.)
If I receive any responses, positive or negative, I will be sure to let you know in the comments section below.
© 2013 Michael Collins