Thank You ZipCar For Removing The Cars From All Over Los Angeles.


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I only just recently joined Flexcar and had pretty good experiences with them, but ZipCar took them over and just set up shop here in Santa Monica. I got my ZipCar card the other day in the mail and they told me to activate it and pick a plan, which I did, effectively canceling my Flexcar membership. Sounds fine, right? Not really – ZipCar is now removing all the cars in my area, leaving me with no way to get around when I need to leave my city. This email supposedly went out to ZipCar members in LA today, but I never got it, I found it on the internet:

Car sharing is an evolving category of transportation, and we are working hard to pioneer the industry. We are constantly learning more about the best way to operate our service, and sometimes what we learn results in a tough decision.

In Southern California, we have decided to remove our vehicles from areas outside of the universities we serve (cars will remain at UCLA, USC, Pomona, UCSB, UCSD and UCI). This was a difficult decision for us, and we understand it may present significant inconvenience for you. We apologize for that.

Reservations for all affected locations have been canceled and fully credited. Further, we have refunded annual membership fees for all members who paid an annual fee within the past nine months. Your refund will appear in your account automatically. If you have questions about your refund, please contact us at

We realize that you recently activated your Zipcard. We’d like to encourage you to use it by placing a *new* $25 driving credit into your account. Hopefully, you’ll reserve a vehicle at one of our university locations in Southern California or in any other city where we provide service. If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact us at

UM, this does not help me at all. So I paid my Flexcar fees and who knows how much with this transition to ZipCar only to find out that they removed all the cars for all of us to use. I guess only college kids matter now, not anyone else in Los Angeles trying to do the right thing by not owning a car. Yet another example of a corporate takeover – Flexcar worked fine, ZipCar doesn’t. Thanks for nothing, guys. And if my membership fee to Flexcar that I just recently paid does not get reimbursed, I am going to the BBB with this complaint. They say the money has been refunded, but mine has not…I did not even get this email that they say they sent out to everyone.

There are a lot more unhappy people over at Curbed LA, and if you are one of them who are just finding out that your transportation has been taken away in this merger, you might want to email them at info@zipcar.comand let them know what you think. Make sure you ask for your money back from any fees you have paid recently to FlexCar, as no one bothered to tell us that all the cars were being removed from everywhere other than a few college campuses.

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  1. Thanks for reporting this — I’m really sorry to hear it, partly because Portland is making the Flexcar-ZipCar switch this month, and I’ve been somewhat worried about what it will mean. I guess I should expect the worst. So sad, and makes me wonder what the circumstances of this merger were.

  2. Brett – make sure you start calling and writing to them to let them know, and tell everyone else you know as well in case any of them were thinking of joining.

  3. From: Lyle & Evelyn Davidson
    Sent: Monday, January 28, 2008 10:48 AM

    The Union-Tribune printed only a cursory story about the fact that hourly-rental Flexcar has disappeared from Southern California when ZipCar, spouting glowing predictions of future plans and green promises, removed all cars except for a few on college campuses. ZipCar described this as “transitioning” the Flexcar fleet into the ZipCar inventory. How about a follow-up on the impact for businesses and government agencies that had depended on Flexcar to supplement or replace their car-pools? How about the impact on people who moved downtown and even sold their cars on the promise that a fleet of environment-friendly vehicles would be available?

    But we have acquired a new euphemism that should start showing up in news stories. How about: “The convicted serial killer’s final appeal was rejected and he was transitioned by lethal injection at midnight” Or maybe, “The grizzly bear continued to menace tourists at the mountain resort so park officers had no choice but to transition him.”

  4. The larger picture is that the CEO of Zipcar (not its founder, btw, they kicked HER out) is an elitist who thinks that the rest of us who are not affiliated with an institution of higher learning should not be using their cars. They did the same thing in San Diego – only the UCSD location remained.
    So let’s do the math – they’re charging more than the regular car rental companies do ($66-$72 per day for up to 180 miles per day, to $25-$35 per day, if we take Budget as an example; add insurance and gas, and it’s still less; and you get true unlimited mileage ). And Budget has two locations in a 2-miles radius from me. All ZipCar did was screw Flexcar and its users over, and offered nothing in return. My membership was cancelled. I hope someone else starts a new venture and give them some competition. They suck.

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