Renters Beware!


Every now and again I hear a story that really ticks me off. Such is the case this morning when I heard of ?Jane?s? horrible experience with a rental scooter on her cruise. Jane did everything right, yet she still got the shaft.

According to her account of things, Jane contracted with Scootaround to provide her a rental scooter on her cruise. But not just any rental scooter ? Jane was very specific in her requirements. Since she had booked a standard cabin (thereby freeing up an accessible cabin for someone else who needed it) she needed a scooter that was narrower than 25-inches (the width of the standard cabin doorway). She specifically chose the Pride Revo scooter because it?s only 21.5 inches wide. This model also disassembles easily, so Jane figured that even if the cruise line was off on their doorway measurements (always a possibility) she could still take it apart and bring it inside her cabin.

So far, so good, right? Jane did everything by the book. Scootaround even sent her a manual for the Pride Revo. She was convinced all the details were taken care of. The trouble started when Jane boarded the ship and found a full-size Pride Legend waiting for her; a scooter that couldn?t fit through the door of her standard cabin.

Of course she contacted Scootaround, but apparently they had a very callous attitude about it all. According to Jane, Scootaround only considers the scooter size and model a ?request? not something that they guarantee. Gee sounds like a hotel consolidator to me ? the kind that will only let you ?request? an accessible room, yet takes your money as soon as you hit the ?book now? button.

In any case, Jane?s cruise was ruined, and Scootaround would not budge on any type of a refund. She?s disputing the charge now with her credit card company.

I find this whole incident particularly reprehensible because this is a company that deals exclusively with disabled travelers and they ought to know how important size and other specifications are to folks who need to use a scooter on a cruise. In this case it was the difference between fitting in the doorway or being stuck in the hall.

So, renters beware when you sign that scooter rental contract. If you need a specific model, make sure that it?s guaranteed in the contract. And for obvious reasons it?s best to avoid the company Jane did business with ? after all anyone can rent a scooter, but Jane was paying a premium price for customer service. Something she obviously didn?t receive.