I just would like to share my experience with Zipcar and tips for using their service. In addition, let people be careful of some policies and consequences of car sharing. (e.g. account suspension/account termination/account cancellation)
I love the way Zipcar works compared to a conventional car rental service. Their hub network has high density, you can conveniently rent and return cars anytime and they also have workday night discounts.
In spite of my love of the Zipcar, I recently ran into a small accident with my rental car while pulling my car out from a public parking lot. Though I’ve drove the same car for 100+miles already, I still felt that the steering wheel was a bit harder to operate than the car’s which I usually drive. (But that’s not a valid excuse, that was fully my fault). I left an obvious long dent mark on the bumper. Luckily, no one was hurt and there was no property damage either other than the car itself. (thumbs up for the solid pole builder!)
I called Zipcar immediately to apologize and see what I need to do. They asked me to describe the situation and fill out a form for insurance. After confirming with me that the car was still safe to drive, they told me that I could still operate it until the end of the rental. They would inspect it later once I returned the car. My account was suspended after I returned the car which made sense during the investigation of their insurance company.
Fortunately, since I have been paying for their damage fee waiver insurance monthly, I was not charged a penny. During the 3-week investigation, they had been quiet and at the end I got two consecutive emails one said that my damage fee waiver was cancelled due to the accident which I would expect as a common sense. And the second one said that my account was closed and it was non- negotiable.
They were friendly in the email and told me that I could email them or contact the claim company for any concerns. I asked them for the factors that led to the cancellation of my account and was told:
“Zipcar may also, upon notice to the Member or any Associate Member, terminate this Contract if the Member or any Associate Member is involved in an incident with a Zipcar vehicle that, in Zipcar‘s reasonable sole discretion, renders the Member or any Associate Member ineligible or inappropriate for continued membership.”
And I was welcome to return in one year and with an account review. I ended up with “tears” and regret for not being more careful before the car kissing the pole. (:’p)
What do I think? I still believe that car share concept is great. Customers, however, may need to be aware of the one-strike rule of car share companies like Zipcar. One at-fault accident = termination of the membership. This might not be absolute depending on the specific case. Poor accident makers like me who also did not pour much profit to Zipcar could expect this rule. The accident could be as small as clipping a side mirror according to a reddit folks.) Or this thing was based on a decision making neural network? Any survivors? Who knows?
Anything more? I would say that be cautious of the plan you choose especially for annual plans. As in this case, my account was closed before the membership term ends and there was no refund for the rest of the term. My damage waiver was paid month by month and was only good for one cover so I didn’t have much to lose on that. Though the termination of account due to minor damage might sound a bit oppressive/tyrannical, a company is obligatory for preventing potential loss after all. It is great for new users/drivers, who are not 100% confident on their car adaptability and driving skill, to try a monthly plan out at first (or stay on it) before putting much commitment for a shiny deal on the table.
R.I.P., GGWP, my poor Zipcard 🙁
14 Replies to “My experience about Zipcar Account Suspended / Closed / Terminated after an accident with damage”
My zipcar account got terminated for non payment. It said that rectification of the overdue funds is left up to me to rectify. I tried calling the help center for the information and they know nothing about that or who to direct me to. Does anyone here know who I contact, so I can pay the money? I’m about to switch to another rental service. I just like zipcar because it was so easy to use
I got into a minor ding with one while driving. There was ZERO damage to my ZipCar, nothing at all, and only a light scratch on their other persons car. I was paying the full waiver and was cooperative and they still banned me anyway. Awful and unresponsive customer service and their insurance company are total and mean jerks that were not helpful at all. What’s the point of paying a waiver and being super careful if they still kick you off it forever anyway for one little thing?
There are other and a little better alternatives now with better, cleaner cars, prices, and customer service such as Turo.com, Sixt.com, silvercar.com, etc, so I’m not too devastated.
I had an email from zipcar saying that I damaged the car and my account suspended, which I haven’t. I rented for an hour and half. I also had a friend next to me. Honda CRV , smooth drive, came back to parking lot, nicely parked. Not even a small dent. I usually record a video before the ride, and take pics, just to be safe. Deleted the video and pics completely after 10 days. I have rented the car on may 3rd, and received an email on May 23 saying that there were damages and my account suspended and claim number, etc. ( after 21 days) I have called and spoke to 5 people. Non of them was able to explain the damages. Email them 3 times, still no feedback. They kept saying supervisor working on this and he or she will contact me in 3 days… 10 days already, no one called or emailed. I have paid full damage fee. one is you pay 9 bucks and another one you pay 2 something dollar every time you rent. But , still my issue is not the money, I hate being blamed on some kind of accident that I haven’t done.
Thank your for sharing your experience. I am sorry to hear that. Yeah, I know it sucks when one is blamed for something that is not his/her fault. I wish these replies could make some small dents on how zipcar serves their loyal clients.
No if you attempt to open another account with the same dl it will say that you can’t open an account with a dl already in use
Thank you for your input. Maybe one need to contact their support team to reopen a suspended account.
Can I re-open another zip car account with the same drivers license after being suspended from zip car
Yeah. I believe that it is possible to reopen the account after one year from the date of service cancellation/suspension. They did mention this in their email. Unfortunately, I blacklisted them too and have never got a chance to try.
Does anyone know what happens to your credit and/or driving records once Zipcar suspends the membership? Has anyone every experienced this?
Unless you did not pay out your balance, it will not affect your credit. There will be an insurance claim record. Please let me know if you have a different story.
It has been 3 months now, still my account is suspended. I had a fatal car crush while driving the zipcar. Luckily none was hurt. I was not paying monthly insurance fee, So I paid $1000 since the car was completely crushed. They should improve on their terms and conditions because the levels of incidents are different, so the rules should be. But still the best way to rent a car under 25 in the US😆
I am sorry to hear about your accident and am glad that you are okay. Yeah, depending on the severity of the accident, the time for their investigation might be different. You brought up a very good point. ZipCar does not “DISCRIMINATE” people under 25 (i.e. no extra charges) and that was one of the reasons I chose it. Whatever you hear back from them, always drive safely buddy ;).
Haha, I am in the same predicament (scratched car while in the tight parking space they put the car in); I am expecting the same result… was this in USA? How many reservations/miles did you have?
Hi Steve, I am sorry to hear that. This did not happen in the USA. I had around 10ish reservations and could not remember the miles. Do not lose hope. I am sure that they have been improving their business models. And all of their cars have scratches. This is much better than clipping a side mirror or having dents on the bumper. I wish that you can keep driving their cars. Please do let us know when you hear a final decision from them.