You could do it. But we won’t help.

I sometimes fancy that I can do things around the house. You know, manly stuff. Hang a storm door. Repair the fence. Oil the bike wheel. Fix the flapper dapper thingy in the toilet. Operate the corkscrew.

Living in an auto-free household as I do, but as part of a vehicle-dependent society, I do rent a vehicle several times a year. One of the convenient things about Home Depot at College Square was that I could hop out there right some fast on the #95, buy stuff, and then take it home using their rental van. The van rental is $20 plus gas. If I was lucky, I could get my load, take it home, take back the van (stopping for gas en route) and still get back home on the same transfer. Did I mention that I am cheap?

So I popped out to HD yesterday to pick up a storm door I ordered. Go to rent van. And promptly ran into a new policy that they only rent you the van if you already own a car. Not having the magic pink slip that shows my car is insured … they won’t rent me the van.

Back to service desk. We can fix that, cheerful lady at the service desk sez, we will deliver it for you! Sign here, only $60. Well, the credit card machine says $60 when I entered my pin code, but on the printed slip it bumped up to $67 (oops, harmonic vibrations fill the air here).

The new policy at Home Depot certainly changes the economics of shopping there. The cheap van was a real convenience, so I could do it. Now it seems much more like “we won’t help”.

11 thoughts on “You could do it. But we won’t help.

  1. REALLY!? I have done the exact same thing on many occasions (minus returning on the same transfer – I do have a bus pass, but can’t imagine doing all that so fast!). What about paying with a credit card that provides insurance for rental cars? I hope that this isn’t also the case for the IKEA rental vans. I will be seeking out a loophole or an alternate store without this policy – there aren’t many hardware stores on the transitway though.

    The other option is vrtucar – they do have an ‘Element’ available that is pretty big . . . but then you have to plan in advance . . .

  2. Underthegoat: Yes, I have a Visa card that includes auto insurance. They rejected it; they want proof I own and insure a car. I also thought of IKEA and wondered if shopping there will become more difficult. UHAUL is not really a cheap way to rent a van either, because they want $20 insurance on top of the $19.95/day rental, plus various “taxes” and “fees”.
    Heather: I buy locally when possible, and am very aware of transportation and time costs. Alas, PH does not sell storm doors, nor lumber for projects.

  3. Oh, how ridiculous is that? Did they ever think that, if you owned a car, you may not need to rent their van? (UHaul has abysmal safety records, as well, so not the best choice for rentals.)

  4. Very interesting. We have only rented the HD van once and that was a while ago. When we rent from Enterprise (which is fairly often), they of course accept the insurance on our VISA. I guess HD is just being careful and I bet they’ve had some negative experiences to make them do this. I sure wouldn’t want to be in the rental business for anything – people tend to be abusive to rentals of all sorts. Not all people, but enough of them.

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