No, not the Mellencamp song. I’m talking Hertz, the car rental giant. I used to be a #1 Gold Club Member or whatever they called their frequent driver program, but we’ve gravitated away from the Big Boys. This month we figured we’d give them another try, and they were pleasant enough about upgrading us at no charge to a Mustang convertible for the month when the Sebring we reserved wasn’t available. They handed us the keys, which happened to be two keys bound together on a strong mesh-coated wire ring.
Now here’s the thing. Back at the condo, we went to cut the ring so that we could each have our own set of keys. It would make sense that if there are two keys you’d use one as back-up in case the driver forgets his keys or, heaven forbid, if you lose one. But we couldn’t break the ring for the life of us. Needing to be at the airport one day anyway, we went back to the Hertz counter and asked them to separate the keys for us. Here’s the conversation:
Clerk: We can’t separate the keys. They come together like that, and they follow the car like that, so there’s always a second key with the car.
Me: But if you lose a key or forget a key, what good does it do to have a spare? If they’re inseparable, that means I’ve forgotten or lost two keys and I have no back-up.
Clerk: Well we don’t really give you two keys so you have a spare. It’s just because that’s the way they come with the car. Together like that so you can’t separate them.
Me: But it’s a great idea to have a spare key.
Clerk: But we had too many problems with people not returning or losing a key.
Me: Never mind. Somehow Alamo and Budget can figure it out; perhaps they can explain it to you guys.