Cristian Livadaru's blog

... think again ...

Things Do Work, Also in Ukraine It Just Takes More Time

Well since we have to stay a bit longer in Kiev we have to move to an apartment which is cheaper and more convenient (kitchen, washing machine, a big fridge for Ukrainian beer…) and I will also rent a car to move around.
It looks like I am used to much to the digital world and doing everything online, which isn’t always simple as it seems.
Lets start with the car. I checked out the big companies (Europcar, Avis, Sixt). The first frustrations where with Avis, their site sucks big time! After filling in all the data it complains that you can’t rent online for a longer period then 31 days. Ok I changed the date and submitted again. This time it complained about not being able to rent a car so soon if you order online. So once again I changed the date. I think there was one ore error which I don’t remember. Nevertheless the result was that they don’t have a car for that period. This wasted about 30 in of my precious time. Next one was sixt. Everything worked as expected, the first query gave me a result, 750 Euro. Doesn’t sound that bad but I wanted to compare to Europcar .. well, I don’t know what Europcar is renting but they offered me something for 2800 Euro. Yeah right …
This seems to have worked quite fine online, but I wanted to be sure, got the number from Sixt and gave them a call. The guy on the phone made me an offer for 2900 Euro. wtf? I was quite pissed of already because of the problem with the apartment, which brings me to the next story. I got a link from a friend where I could look for apartments. The problem with that site is that you can not enter a period and see only the apartments that are available, you always see ALL apartments. If you book one that you like you will receive a reply if it’s available or not and only then you will receive some offer for different apartments that are available.
This task takes some time.
I tried a different way, I let someone that speaks Russian call the agency and ask what apartments are available. They promised a call in 5 min. Some hours later there was still no call. We called again. Still no result. Then I booked one apartment online and got an automatic reply that someone will contact me within 12-24 hours.
Some hours later, after calling them again, they told us that the apartment isn’t available for the complete period I requested and that they will send me an offer with some other apartments.
Very frustrating. In modern times where you can look up everything on a computer this is a task of some minutes and not days.
Well, back to the rent a car. After sixt pissed me of with that stupid offer, we found (with a helping hand since I was busy finishing some work) an offer at budget, for the same price. I called them and the price was confirmed.
Meanwhile, my helping hand, found a new agency to look for an apartment.
I sent them an email and received quite a quick answer with two apartments, checked them out, decided which one to take had some more mail conversation with that guy and everything seems to be OK now with the apartment.
But I will only be sure of that after we are in the apartment (which should be tomorrow to see the apartment and sign the papers).
So what happened to the car? I had someone call them again, this time someone who speaks Russian, and got the same offer as I received with budget, a bit more expensive then online but still much better then 2700 Euro!
Tomorrow I will pick up the car and hope everything is OK, they should have everything they need and just should check my ID and drivers license and I am ready to go …. in a VW Polo or a Skoda Fabia :)
Technorati Tags: Kiev, travel