Archive for the ‘General Interest’ Category

Seen Flexicar on the train lately?

February 17, 2012

Flexicar have been trying out a few new things…including some in-train advertising. We’ve got some panels in THREE metro trains, which will be up Jan-Mar. We played on the names of our Flexicars and their various car model characteristics. One of the core values we hold dear is to be “Fun & Friendly” which we think these ads captured too.

Flexicar Train Advertisement 2012Flexicar train advert 2

Advertisements

We’re a little slow on blogging – did you know we’re on Facebook & Twitter?

February 13, 2012

Ok, true confessions time. We’ve been rather lack-lustre in our blogging lately, as you may have noticed. Too few people with too much going on.

We have managed to be much more active on FACEBOOK and TWITTER. Something about 140 character limit being far less daunting than a full blog post!

So if you want to be the MOST up to date on Flexicar news, specials and general goss, we recommend you LIKE us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Flexicar of FOLLOW us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/flexicar .

Flexicar member book recommendations

September 1, 2011

Flexicar car sharing is again happy to be supporting the Melbourne Writers Festival.

We ran a competition to give away some tickets and asked members to nominate their most loved book and give us a brief book review.

Flexicar members – Best Book Ever
Address Unknown – Kathrine Kressman Taylor
A short novel about friendship, betrayal and …revenge. All this in the background of rising nazism in Germany. A little jewel.

Crime & Punishment
Dialogue between 2 characters-such politeness. Dog ears gently marked by readers before me, what made them stop on Page 68 sleepy, a phone call, a tram reaching its stop?

Undaunted Courage: Merriweather Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West

Undaunted Courage tells the tale of the first exploration of the American West.  It is so wonderfully written that it makes you wonder, is this really a history book?

The Road by Cormack McCarthy
McCarthy relentlessly describes his bleak, post-apocolyptic landscape with such exquisitely diverse language it’s extraordinary. I’ve never read a book like it: a single image repeatedly described and each time breathtaking.

Dirt Music
Tim Winton’s descriptions of the WA coastline and its people are so evocative of their true essence that it makes West Australians like myself want to go home.

Underground
gave me insight into the world of computer hackers; a sphere I have little understanding.

Falling for Grace
a local victorian teen fiction with realistic voices from youths. it enthrals you to the end working out the suspect and if Grace survives.

Cat’s Cradle
By Kurt Vonnegut Jr, it is an absurdist look at modern life in the vein of the satirist Mark Twain.  A must read for any thinking person.

The Red Tent
A group of women, set in Biblical times, and their day-to-day lives. Seemingly little in common with my life, but I was totally entralled. Reading it for the third time.

The Cather in the Rye
When I grew up, I thought I was Holden Caufield! I loved his use of “phoney”….

To Kill A Mockingbird
It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I take it off the shelf to read, it stays wonderful. It’s like an old friend. Harper Lee’s a genius.

Frankly Feminine
What’s not to love about a 1960’s guide to homemaking and making your husband happy.

A scanner darkly
One of the most empathic stories of human vulnerability set in our modern world (or almost) ever told.  Philip K Dick truly was the most amazing author on any planet.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
It is an epic tale of personal growth, exotic culture, intrigue, crime, love and passion set in India and also crossing Pakistan and Afghanistan prior to the current war.

Every Sweet THing
It was fabulous to read a book about growing up in the Territory, as I did myself. The writer has a great sense of humour,  together with risks.

Fight Club
The main character is a perfect narrator.
The Outsider by Colin Wilson
It is a book written by a 25 year old about the problem of madness and suicide for four great artists. It contextualizes and celebrates the artistic spirit.

Cloudstreet – Tim Winton
Amazing book, an intriguing story about the place i grew up and now a mini-series on foxtel. Great.

One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick
“… combat command is the loneliest job in the world.” This book enlightened me about the Recon Marines, and how their job do not determine their persons. Outstanding memoir.

My Brother Jack
A great portrayal of Australian life in the suburbs, and growing up between WW1 and WW2. Great characters with identifiable traits and overall a heart-wrenching story

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

August 12, 2011

We’ve been a little tardy posting to the Flexi-Blog. It has been a loooooooong and busy time for the Flexicar team since we’ve moved into our new Hertz home last December. Lots of work to get here, then lots more work when we got here to learn how things work, then even  more work training some new customer service peeps here and in Dublin, then extra work at the moment as our wee team of six is down to four whilst two team members are overseas.

So….are we there yet, you may well join us in asking?

Getting there 🙂

The Aussie customer service team are doing a great job at helping out members during the day – so a big shout out to Louise, Teresa, David and Johnny who are taking Flexicar calls in between their Hertz calls. They report that you Flexicar lot are rather lovely!

The international team is proving a bit trickier alas. Not that many calls come in overnight and there’s a bit less consistency in who is answering the phone, so the level of knowledge (and thus related support) isn’t always up to our best standard. Please know that we’re aware and are working on it.

The indispensable Greg is due back from his well-earned month off in a couple of weeks, and we hope to have smoother waters on his return. Monique is off on her Churchill Fellowship and has been meeting up with fabulous car sharing and sustainable transport people all around the globe, so we look forward to sharing some of her experiences when she’s back in September.

We’ve also just added a new helper to the Ops team (Hello to Mitch), which means our tech guru Shane (who had been helping out full time in Ops for a few months) will have some more time to work on some of our technical issues.

In between all this, we’re still welcoming lots of new members every month and we’ve added around 15 new parks in the past 6-7 months…so it really is all systems go, despite the changes behind the scenes. We’re still supporting lots of local events, including the just closed State of Design festival and the upcoming Melbourne Writers Festival and Fringe Festivals.

So, we’re not quite there yet. But we’re getting closer every day!

Meet the Flexicar Dubliners

April 8, 2011

After five long years of sleepless on-call nights for the Flexicar Team, we have moved our after hours phone support to Connect by Hertz‘ call centre in Dublin (say ‘Dooblin’, in Irish).

If you’re of the nocturnal type, book in the middle of the night (and why shouldn’t you?! There’s a flat rate of 1 hour between 11pm and 7am) and need a hand, give us a call and you’ll be transferred to our new Dubs. They’ll be delighted to chat all things Flexicar – in English, German, French, Italian or Spanish.

Like to meet them?

Five minutes with…

Ivan

My most treasured possession is my ticket to the beautiful Cook Islands!

My guiltiest pleasure is food, specially Spanish and Japanese food.

My home town is Barcelona, Spain

My last meal would be Spanish omelet with artichokes, I love them!!

My worst job was… none. I’ve been very lucky.

I try to cut my environmental impact by walking to work.

My favorite Flexicar is Pacific.

Edwin

My most treasured possession is life!

My guiltiest pleasure is sex!

My home town is Planet Earth.

My last meal would be Sirloin Steak (medium) with a glass of great Cabernet Sauvignon!

My worst job was… Flexicar after hour phone support (LOL!)

I try to cut my environmental impact by walking.

My favorite Flexicar is Elvis.

Graham

My most treasured possession is My Phone

My guiltiest pleasure is WWE

My home town is Balbriggan Co Dublin Ireland

My last meal would be…. Steak with Pepper sauce.

My worst job was at the local Supermarket

I try to cut my environmental impact by… Using public transport as much as possible

My favorite Flexicar is… BAM BAM (just like the name)

Rosario

My most treasured possession is…. Time, to be spent with my family and friends

My guiltiest pleasure is… Handbags

My home town is… A Coruña (Spain)

My last meal would be…. Any fish stew

My worst job was…. Lets forget about it, haha!

I try to cut my environmental impact by… Using public transport

My favorite Flexicar is… Lulu

And let’s not forget the others: Aurelia, Carmel, Cristina, Estrella and Morgane.

Slainte!

Greg, Dooblin Convert

Farewell to a Flexicar founding member

October 27, 2010

Everyone knows Biggles, our faithful red Smart ForTwo. Well, it is with great sadness that we announce his departure, after five years of good and loyal services.

Don’t be fooled by the size, we could easily write a couple of books on Biggles’ adventures…

Biggles joined the Flexicar tribe in 2005 when Flexicar was still Flo. Him and his twin sister Fruity were pretty much the fleet then, and Biggles quickly imposed himself as the favourite and a must-book Flexicar. He finally claimed the Carlisle street pod in St Kilda as his, and lived there for a couple of years.

For the anecdote, there was the time where Biggles delivered… a newborn to the Hospital. There’s also that Flexicar member who was always calling him “Mr Big”. Aah we’ll miss you Biggles.

But dry your eyes, it’s not the end of the road yet for Biggles. He is destined to an even brighter future as part of a unique project to become… the first electric Smart Car in Australia!

So Keep your eyes peeled for Biggles, you’ll surely see him again on the streets.

If you have any Biggles-related adventures we want to hear them! Post them as a comment below, we’ll notify Biggles.

Greg, ForTwo Nostalgic

The Team with Biggles, just before he left

Biggles in Carlton

Did you say “sexy-car”?

September 9, 2010

Karla is a Flexicar member and she told me a story that is too good to not be shared.

Karla’s friends would repeatedly mishear her when she tells them ‘I booked a Flexicar’. They kept thinking she says ‘I booked a sexy-car‘, which ended up in much laughter.

I can actually relate to this story so much. As a native French speaker I have a thick accent and people often misunderstand me when I say “Flexicar”, most especially over the phone – believe me, I’ve heard about everything… “Sexy car” definitely came a few times, but I also had “Flexi-Cow”, “Flexi-Call” or “Flexi-Tarp” to name a few.

I’m often amazed at how something that I thought I’ve articulated correctly turns into something as bent as “Flexi-Tarp”. Of course this is an endless source of entertainment and joy for my colleagues and I must say, I’m glad to hear it doesn’t only happen to me!

This story is just one in thousands of unbelievable members’ anecdote, we could easily write a couple of books about it…

So we’d love to hear your Flexicar anecdotes, if you have one please leave it as a comment below – The first 10 stories will get a $20 driving credit (if you’re a member).

Greg@Sexy-Car

A Flexicar...

... to not be mistaken with a Sexy-Car

Flexicar.com.au will be OFFLINE Wednesday 11 August, 2010

August 10, 2010

We’ve been advised by the company that hosts the Flexicar website that the Flexicar website will be down tomorrow (Wed 11 Aug) from 4am to 4pm. A rather scary 12 hour window!

Unfortunately, this affects the entire Flexicar service.

Members won’t be able to:

– Make bookings

– Swipe in to or out of cars

– Email us

– Check their accounts

– Get on to our website

Basically we’re in a big technology black hole!

We will still be in the office so you can CALL us on 1 300 36 37 80. And members who have cars on hire can still use the cars using the keys.

We have now called every person with a booking tomorrow and to make arrangements so that they can still use their booked car, usually by extending the booking free of charge.

Some people we’ve spoken to and we’ll be meeting them at their booked car to let them in with the key. (Nothing like a bit of personal service delivery).

So we hope none of you will be inconvenienced any more than is needed.

Please do call us on 1 300 36 37 80 tomorrow if you need any assistance and we’ll do our best to help you.

Otherwise, it will be business as usual after 4pm tomorrow.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Ah, how did we all survive without the Internet?!?!

Smart meter replacement – or how Fruity saved the business

July 3, 2010

Has your electricity meter been replaced yet? As ours was recently replaced by a Smart meter, only a Smart Car could have helped us.

Fruity the Smart for Two – freshly retired at Flex’ Retirement Home (read: Depot) – was brought out of retirement where she was enjoying a well deserved permanent holiday after years of service.

As you may know all electricity meters throughout Victoria are to be replaced by Smart meters – and if you don’t know you will soon as your electricity meter WILL be replaced. Anyway… as our meter was replaced last Tuesday, we had no electricity for half an hour.

No electricity means no phone system and no phone system means our members wouldn’t have been able to get hold of us. And that’s when Fruity comes into place. Shane – our ingenious head of tech department –  had the brilliant idea to plug the phone system on Fruity’s battery, and the business was saved. Amazing what a Smart car can do.

Thanks Fruity, in our heart forever you will live on.

If you’ve had your meter replaced and it created some crazy adventures for you please share with us!

Greg @ Flexicar

The Flexicar Team plunged into darkness

Powered by Fruity

Shane, the mastermind behind the Smart operation

2010 trends – your thoughts on sustainable cities?

January 30, 2010

Doing some reading on trends to watch for 2010, Trendwatching predicted “urbany” as one of their top ten – super-wired, city based consumers. In 2007, for the first time in our history, the UN says we hit 50% of people living in cities. By 2050 it’s predicated to be as high as 70% globally. This obviously has some huge impacts for the environment.

But interestingly, there have been some arguments that sustainable cities could be the answer to climate change issues. An article in the UK’s Guardian quoted this:

The carbon footprint of urban dwellers is relatively light, says a report by David Dodman in the April issue of Environment and Urbanisation. Dodman, a researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development, examined emissions reports from cities in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

He found that New Yorkers emit a third less greenhouse gases than the average American and that Barcelonans and Londoners emit about half of their national averages. And urban Brazilians are truly green: the residents of Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro are responsible for only one-third the national emissions average. Dodman’s paper complements an earlier study by IIED senior fellow David Satterthwaite, who argued that cities emit about 40% of all greenhouse gases, as opposed to the oft-cited 80%.

Interesting. The article went on to discuss some of the ideas that have been put forward about sustainable transport options and I found myself at the rather futuristic – but very creative – site of Terreform where people have proposed stackable cars and jetpack packing.

So what do you think? Can we make cities and city transport more sustainable – and fast enough to make a difference? Or will it be back to another of the 2010 Trendwatching trends: “Eco-easy”. They say:

While the current good intentions of corporations and consumers are helpful, serious eco-results will depend on making products and processes more sustainable without consumers even noticing it, and, if necessary, not leaving much room for consumers and companies to opt for less sustainable alternatives to begin with.

Which will often mean forceful, if not painful, government intervention, or some serious corporate guts, or brilliantly smart design and thinking, if not all of those combined.