A Woman’s App-Powered Rental Car Failed In The Woods, Company Told Her To Sleep In Car

Kari Paul was probably not expecting her Valentine’s trip to end up this way. She was testing out GigCarShare, an app-powered rental car company, and the car died on her…in the middle of the woods…on a mountain. Talk about a nightmare scenario. Gig is a company that rents a fleet of hybrid Toyota Priuses and electric Chevrolet Bolts in the Bay Area and Sacramento to 65,000 users.

In a viral Twitter thread, Kari explains how the car wouldn’t start because of some sort of software failure. When there wasn’t enough cell service to reboot the car, the company claimed it couldn’t do anything about it and suggested she spend the night sleeping in the car.

Paul explained that she and her partner stopped the car on their drive to hike down to a beach. When they got back to the car, she couldn’t use her phone to start it. Naturally, they called GigCarShare, and a customer service rep told them that “the car’s software could not be remotely reset as it was out of cellular service range. It needed to be towed.”

GigCarShare explained in an email after the fact that their cars are re-synced automatically every 24 hours for security purposes. But if, for example, there’s not enough cell service for this to happen or the car is more than 50 miles outside of the “HomeZone,” it won’t happen. And then the car doesn’t start.

A GigCarShare customer rep stated that this issue was common, especially on the stretch of road they were on. So you would assume they would have a backup plan for instances like this rather than telling customers to sleep in the car.

Paul says, “We pleaded with Gig employees to send us a second tow truck and then pleaded with them to reset the car after they told us we had already reset it the maximum number of times that day.”

After “five hours, two tow trucks, and more than 20 phone calls to Gig’s customer service line,” the car was finally running again. But the customer rep told them, “Can I give you one more piece of advice? Get the hell out of there — now,” like they were in a horror movie or something. And they aren’t the only people to experience this. Several others have taken to online platforms to share their experience.

A spokesperson for AAA, Gig’s parent company, apologized for the experience, and Gig posted a “Formal Response” on their website, where they wrote, “We want to make it right, and we have refunded the cost of this Member’s trip and all related expenses this Member incurred, and we provided this Member with future Gig Credits.”