There was a lot sturm und drang across the internets yesterday as it was announced that Avis plans to acquire Zipcar for approximately $500 million. My personal initial reaction was, yay, those are the two companies I go to when I need a car. I use Zipcar for when I need a car for a few hours locally, and Avis when I need a car for a few days and have to travel a greater distance. At times I think it would be good if they were combined somehow, booking, accounts, insurance, etc.
However, some of the initial reaction I saw was fear of a giant corporation (Avis) somehow destroying a friendly start-up (Zipcar). Personally, as a user, I actually interact at the counter with people at Avis and find them beyond friendly and accommodating, and my “preferred” member status gets me upgrades and such.
Zipcar on the other hand is completely faceless to me, I have more of a connection with the car I rent most often (Faber, who might have died!) than any people at Zipcar.
But what really matters is that I have a car when I need at a price I can afford, and that if I’m a loyal customer, I get some perceived perks out of it (I don’t care if everyone gets the same perks, just make me feel special damn it!).
So, not knowing the ins and outs of business well myself, what is the internet saying?