It’s just too cold here in L.A.
Which is why I just got back from vacation in Hawaii.
The weather was nice (though wet), and ironically, I drove more in a week in Hawaii than I do in an average month here in L.A.
And, every rental car place we used always had three “options” for paying for gas.
#1. Pre pay for a tank. Pay only $2.19 / gallon and bring it back empty!
#2. You fill it up. Bring your tank back full (Average gas price on the island: $2.89).
#3. Pay us to fill it up. When you return, pay $5.09 / gallon for any used gas.
There were three things that struck me about this.
Firstly, #2 and #3 are the same frickin thing! All they really need to say is “Bring it back full or pay us $5.09 / gallon, fool.”
Secondly, do ALL rental car companies really need to bend their customers over so bad? It’d be nice if they all just had one option: “Bring it back full or pay us $2.89 / gallon.”
Finally, and this is the big one, you only save money with option one if you bring the tank back less than 1/4 full.
Because otherwise you’ve paid more than $2.89 / gallon for the 75% of the tank you used. And considering that they put the value of themselves filling a tank up about $2.20/gallon (they charge $5.09 for it), they must make a profit of about $2.20/gallon for every tank they have to fill up under option one. Which implies the average person who chooses option one comes back with a tank only 43% empty… and are effectively paying $5.09 per gallon anyway! SUCKERS!
Of course, if YOU know you’ll definitely come back with less than a quarter tank (or you don’t like the hassle of filling up your tank before returning to the airport) option one is fine for you.
DreamHost likes option one!
You see, upstream providers are a lot like rental car companies. (Don’t get the insurance!)
Right now, we’ve got an offer on the table to pay $26/mbps a month for an unmetered gigabit line (i.e. “pre-filling the tank”) or $37/mbps a month for actual usage.
For the $26,000/month option to make sense, we’ve obviously got to be able to average over 700mbps on the gigabit line. Which wouldn’t be too hard.. except for the fact things start to get grungey if you start pushing above 850mbps.
Lucky us, right now we’ve got almost exactly 1.7 gbps in over-commit (that is, we’re doing 1.7gbps more than the minimum amount we pay for no matter what) with our current providers. So the plan is to take 2 full gig lines from the new provider, and immediately put 850mbps on each of them!
Option one it is!
But when it comes to Avis, I’m an option two guy till I die!