The Quantum Pontiff

Fill ‘Er Almost Up?

I recently rented a car and got dinged with a 13 dollar fee because I didn’t drive 75 miles (and, did not see the tiny sign indicating the new rule that if I drove so little I would be rewarded by not having to fill up the fuel tank for a mere 13 dollars. Having a receipt could have gotten this fee waved.) My first thought on seeing this fee was wondering if they actually took their average mile per gallon for seventy five miles and set the fee so that at current fuel prices they would always make money on this? A sort of rental car arbitrage?

My second thought was, I wonder if they actually fill my fuel tank up? I mean sure when I get in the dial points to full, but we all know that doesn’t mean the tank is actually really full. And, well, given their new desire to milk some dollars from me because apparently they don’t trust me to fill up the fuel tank, I’m not exactly in a trusting mood when it comes to rental car companies. So next time I rent a car, I suppose I should immediately drive to a gas station and see if I can put fuel into the car. Anyone else care to test this experiment? If they don’t you should charge then a 13 dollar fee for not filling up your tank, don’t you think? And if they are filling up the tank: well why don’t we design a method for allowing them to not fill up completely and sell it them?

Comments

  1. #1 Chris Granade
    July 14, 2008

    I don’t know these days whether that’s too paranoid or not paranoid enough. That said, I’m glad someone is asking this kind of question.

  2. #2 Dave Bacon
    July 14, 2008

    I went to Berkeley so it’s certain that it is too paranoid. Now how did Nixon fake his death…..

  3. #3 Chris Granade
    July 14, 2008

    All joking aside, it’s thinking like that that is so needed in today’s society, I think. A low level of paranoia can be a good thing, I think. I won’t deny that’s one of the reasons I use Linux as opposed to Windows or OSX, but I don’t want to start a holy war here, too. SB seems to be a bit full of them the last few days…

    PS: I know, I know. Linux could be compromised, too, since I run precompiled software and haven’t used my own hand-checked compiler to prevent Trusting Trust style attacks. I only said a low level…

  4. #4 Dave Bacon
    July 15, 2008

    Real paranoids verify their transistors :)

  5. #5 JohnQPublic
    July 15, 2008

    Now how did Nixon fake his death…..

    It was orchestrated on a secret sound stage at NASA where an unknown second gunman on the grassy knolls shot him to which only Peter Lawford witnessed and was the only one who knew that the heavily graffitied grave in Paris was part of the ruse as Nixon lives today in South America protected by bodyguards.

  6. #6 Ian Durham
    July 15, 2008

    It was orchestrated on a secret sound stage at NASA where an unknown second gunman on the grassy knolls shot him to which only Peter Lawford witnessed and was the only one who knew that the heavily graffitied grave in Paris was part of the ruse as Nixon lives today in South America protected by bodyguards.
    I saw that sound stage once when I was working at NASA. Now I carry a gun.

  7. #7 Ross McPherson
    July 15, 2008

    Three years ago, I went to Greece on holidays expecting to hire a car at the airport. (Un)fortunately I forgot my credit card and I was unable to hire a car without it, even though I had already paid for one through my travel agent. Leaving my credit card at home was the best mistake I ever made! The taxi drive from the airport to my hotel was an education in road rules Greek-style (they don’t have any) and I later learned that Greece has the highest number of road fatalities per capita in Europe after Portugal. I spent my entire Greek holiday in Athens walking about town, which was often quite dangerous as Greek drivers don’t distinguish between footpaths and roads, but it was still a whole lot safer than driving! Anyhow I got a refund from my travel agent when I got back home. Not hiring a car not only saved my life, it also saved me a lot of money, and it didn’t really spoil my holidays as I got to see quite a lot of Greece in Athens. The moral of the story is this – you should have walked or taken a cab. I personally will never hire a car in future unless the rental company first provides me with a credit card.

  8. #8 Chris Granade
    July 15, 2008

    If you’re visiting somewhere with good public transportation, that can be really awesome. No need to drive in hectic traffic. I’m in Boston now, and I can’t get enough of buying a single $60 pass for all buses and subways for the month. I wish Fairbanks had something that sweet… our buses suck.