Did you say “sexy-car”?

September 9, 2010 by

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

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

August 10, 2010 by

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 by

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 by

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.

Happy New Year from Flexicar

January 23, 2010 by

Yes, we know it’s almost the end of January, we’ve been so busy in here it’s taken us this long to acknowledge the big 2010!

The team were spread far and wide for NYE. Greg was in Indonesia, Pete was in Sydney, Ruth was in the US, Kimberly was in St Kilda before heading off to New Zealand the next day….and Monique our CEO was in Melbourne and “on call” for members. Only a couple ended up needing her help, so she tells us it wasn’t too busy, just lacking in the requisite champagne intake! She’s on leave this week, though, so hopefully making up for it.

If you’re having a long weekend this weekend  – enjoy!

Could this be the worst rationalisation of the year?

November 27, 2009 by

Flexicar welcomed the Victorian Auditor-General’s recent report challening the justification for the 8,800 cars driven by government officials. The report pointed out that the government had failed to set targets to reduce the number of fuel-guzzling, greenhouse-gas-emitting cars in its fleet.

Now of course if any Councils or government departments would like to start using Flexicars, we’d love to have you. (City of Yarra, you already get a big green star for being members of Flexicar!)

But it seems like one MP wouldn’t be willing to use Flexicar.

And why? Apparently, riding in any of our Flexicars might give him a back injury?!

From a Sydney Morning Herald article:

Opposition water spokesman Peter Walsh, who has a six-speed Falcon, says it is important for MPs who spend many hours in the car for work to be comfortable. “You could cram yourself into a little car and you’ll end up with issues like back injury,” he said.

Who knew that driving a small car, like Flexicar’s star car the Honda Jazz, could damage your back? It’s a wonder that our 2,200 members haven’t all had to spend every week at the osteopath, isn’t it?!

Yes, I am being a bit cheeky, but I think Mr Walsh gets my “worst rationalisation of the year” award.

And big ticks to all the Flexicar members and other Victorians who are opting to drive less, and in less powerful cars. You all know that it’s possible to try to be green AND still stay comfortable!

Kimberly the Flexicar marketing chick

The Team does the Melbourne (half) Marathon

November 5, 2009 by

 

Do you want to run the Melbourne Marathon?

That’s what Pete, our Ops Manager, asked the team in early August. At the time it sounded like a brilliant idea. And in retrospect that was still pretty awesome – but boy was that hardcore!

During the marathon my race feeling gradually went from enjoyable to tiring to painful to dying – I’m not sure what kind of terminal-action junkie runs a full marathon but after doing half of one, I say: respect!

In the last kilometres, I had a couple of stitches, some sweat in my ears, and my vision was screwed up to the point where I was seeing round out of one eye and square out of the other.

I must say though, the arrival at the MCG is just magic. For one minute I was Hussain Bolt breaking a new world record, sprinting under the ovation of a crowd in trance.

And I had a free massage. And a free banana.

OK to the Team results now:

1st Our local Zimbabwe runner, my man Justin. He finished 1437th in about 1 hour 40 minutes. Man he’s fit. We don’t like him anymore at Flexicar. See a video and pictures of Justin at the marathon here

2nd Myself in 1 hour 53, 2919th. By the way, I’d like to insist on the fact that my net time was equivalent to the arrival time. Which is impossible as we started the race 3 minutes behind – if you read me St Georges Marathon people, please rectify! So my time is 1 hour 50 minutes. Also note that my dreadlocks are a bit of a handicap, I’d probably have bought a couple of minutes without it. Anyway. See a video and pictures of me at the marathon here

3rd Pete did it in 2 hours and is 4465th. See a video and pictures of Pete at the marathon here

4th Mister Shane, our local nerd and Operations guy, did it in 2 hours and 4 minutes and is 6014th. See a video and pictures of Shane at the marathon here

Ruth did the 10 kms walk – oops sorry Ruth, I meant 10 kms run – not sure of the time though. I couldn’t retrieve her results as she ordered half a dozen race packs and ended running under somebody else’s name.

Now there’s some talks in the office about doing the full marathon next year… Saying that we’ll do it for sure would be presumptuous but stay tuned.

And so much for the marathon.

Greg, half-marathon runner

Welcome to new Flexicar staffer Krystyn

October 21, 2009 by

Krystyn_500We’re pleased to introduce you to a new Flexicar staff member, Krystyn. If you call us from Sunday-Tuesday, chances are it’s her you’ll be speaking to on the phone!

Krystyn has only been in Melbourne a couple of years, hailing from “middle of nowhere” Western Australia (that’s a direct quote, in case any other WA people want to yell at me!)

On the days she’s not at Flexicar, Krystyn is a sound engineer in her own business Air Particle Ensemble with her partner. She primarily records live sets for Melbourne bands. She’s obviously into her music and is currently listening to Melbourne artists Sia and Society of Beggars.

So next time you call and get Krystyn, make her feel welcome as part of the Flexi-tribe!

Kimberly the marketing chick

Flexicar at Ride to Work day Docklands event

October 14, 2009 by

Flexicar was out there on the (wet & cold) Ride to Work Day “Sustainable Transport” event at the Docklands today, organised by Access Melbourne. Luckily some brave souls didn’t let a bit of inclement weather get between them and a lunchtime outing! They’d actually organised a great little event at Victoria Harbour, including a bike wear fashion show, warm soup, prizes, bike engraving by police, updates from Myki and of course, Flexicar!

Here’s a few pictures from the event …

r2w3

r2w2

r2w_day1

r2w4

The Birthday it was

September 12, 2009 by

As you may know Flexicar turned four on the 19th of August, and I just wanted to say how awesome it was to have so many calls and birthday wishes – some members even sang “Happy Birthday” on the phone!

Okay we know that you also called to get your half-price birthday booking, you little devils, but hey! That was still much appreciated.

In clear retrospect we might need to appoint a call centre for Flex’ fifth Birthday since we had, by my own count, close to 3,256 calls that morning.

At this occasion I’d also like to thank you, dear Flexicar member, for being…a Flexicar member. Because if we’re still here providing the wonderful service that Flexicar is four years and 70 cars later, it’s thanks to you, beautiful Flexicar members.

So thanks to you all, I leave you with these pictures of the official Flexicar launch four years ago, when Flexicar was named Flo and still a toddler.

Happy Pete, our operations manager (when he was young and fit) with Kermitt and Fruity

Happy Pete, our operations manager (when he was young and fit) with Kermit and Fruity

Former Lord Mayor John So and then Environment Minister John Thwaites on the green route with Monique

Former Lord Mayor John So and then Environment Minister John Thwaites on the green route with Monique

Oddly enough Flexicar was then named Flo

Oddly enough Flexicar was then named Flo

John So and John Thwaites test-driving Kermit

John So and John Thwaites test-driving Kermit

Monique's launch speech

Monique's launch speech