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Zipcar, Inc. (ZIP) Message Board

  • markdumasjr markdumasjr Dec 31, 2012 3:59 PM Flag

    Simply a bad business model

    The thing is, in my opinion, the service/product/model is lousy. I'm a member living in Chicago. There is a car right under my building in Streeterville, and I've used it. In the last three months I've spent $200 on zip. I was using it as a novelty and it is, in my opinion, a waste of money. The thing is; I can't think of a single reason why I ever actually need to zip anywhere, especially given the cost for the product/service provided. You might ask, "Well how did you spend that money on the product?" Most of the usage involved the car sitting parked outside of a friends house who was asking me why I drove over to see him when I could have taken one of three different buses that pass .1 miles from his house or the metro that passes withen .5 (If you lived in Chicago you'd understand his argument; I can take the 145 or 146 express bus that runs up and down Lake Shore Drive and Michagan Ave from my place to his place, a 4.5 mile trip, in less than 13 minutes while walking less than two blocks). I have never loaded any goods in a zip car nor taken anybody anywhere with the one exception below. I can't rent the car for 30 mins. I CAN'T PARK IT ELSEWHERE AND BE FINISHED WITH MY TRIP, I HAVE TO BRING IT BACK WHERE I STARTED (CAN'T TELL YOU HOW POINTLESS, IN MY OPINION, IT MAKES THE SERVICE). I have no less than 4 buses heading in nearly every direction within .1 miles leaving every 5-10 minutes (every young professional public transit rider like myself has transit tracks, a smartphone app which GPSes all the city's buses and metros as they move so their is no guessing about when the bus comes). The red line metro is .25 miles away. The grocery store is behind my building. Bed Bath and Beyond is .25 miles up the block. I won't use a zip car ever again. In my opinion, It's a pointless waste of money. If I want a car ride out to eat and back, I'll take a cab. Not only is it cheaper but I don't have to worry about driving over the limit. The one time it might have been useful, to pick my mother up from the airport, I spent 3.5 hours in traffic to O'hare and back when I could have made the trip door to door on the blue line metro in less than 2 hours. In my opinion, people don't move to cities and get rid of their cars just to drive a zip. People move to cities to get rid of cars, zip included. Public transit in the Loop and up the lake to North Chicago is way to easy and cheap not to use. I give zip two thumbs down. Won't renew. In, my opinion, I don't see a market for zip outside of college campuses in areas where there is poor public transit. In my opinion there is little room for zip to grow, OR FOR THAT MATTER, PROVIDE A USEFUL SERVICE, in cities like Chicago, New York, San Franciso, Boston, Philadelphia, DC, Toronto and Vancouver, where there are excellent public transportation systems. Of course the problem for ZIP is that the cities listed above is where most of their cars reside.

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    • I wrote the post above a few months ago. My membership has since come up for renewal and I elected not to renew because as I said, the service is worthless. Also there is no longer a car under my 500+ unit condo in downtown Chicago. On a side note Enterprise (located two blocks away from where I live in downtown Chicago... 1 of the 44 locations in town) rents a compact car for the whole day for $20.12, + tax, cheaper than a zip car for 2 hours (and a person who rents through enterprise doesn't have to pay a large annual membership fee). At somewhere between .15 and .30 thus stock might (with emphasis on might) be a buy. But honestly, unless you desire bankruptcy, stay far far away from this lousy stock/company. On a second side note you can take my word for it which is consistant with how the market views the stock (negatively, it has fallen from a high of above 30 to IRS current price in just over a year) or you can trust the idiots over at Motley fool who have been, in my opinion, criminally, recommending this stock as a great buy since the stock was trading over 25.


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