Zipcar: A Lesson in Confusing Customers


Can I Rent a Zipcar at JFK?

TL;DR: No.(As of October 20, 2017)

Full Exploration

On a recent trip back, I was thinking it would be really handy if I could rent a Zipcar from JFK, do some errands in the outer boroughs, and then drop the car off at the airport and head back into the city via LIRR. So, I went to Zipcar’s site to see if there were cars near JFK.

Zipcar ad saying they have JFK zipcars

Well, that certainly seems promising. I went to check out the JFK listing:

Zipcar ad saying they have JFK zipcars

Well, that certainly seems promising…

Zipcar listing no zipcars at JFK

OK, now I have the impression that they DO have Zipcars at JFK but they DON’T have Zipcars at JFK as well. Clearly this is an error in the site’s maintenance.

Aside: As a developer I have to note that adding “0 cars of n are available here” would go pretty far to help me resolve “Do they have cars?” or “Are they all out?”

Shifting Burden Back to the Customer

So Zipcar has immediately thrown a roadblock at their customer to resolve. I now look at the mobile app. So I do, and the closest available Zipcar site is somewhere in the middle of Queens, nowhere on-premises to the airport.

I then contacted their help line and the individual confirmed what the app told me. The only option is somewhere off premises.

As such, I’m boggled as to why the page I’ve screen-shotted, above, exists.

I’m documenting this here to help other searchers and to maybe get some help