We all know that buying the insurance is usually unnecessary, but this anonymous agent, working at different L.A.-area locations, figures that almost 60 percent of the customers sign on nonetheless. Here's his account to edmunds.com:
We had week-long training sessions about how to sell these products and how to add value to them. Often, people wound up signing out of sheer fear. Was there any value to the insurance we sold? Only if you didn't have your own insurance. The most senseless product we offered was the personal accident insurance, which we bundled with the initial product, the damage waiver, for the vehicle. It was redundant -- other pieces of the policy already covered you in the event of an accident. As long as I worked there, no one who bought it ever filed a claim.
Car rental agents are pushed to offer as many upgrades and extra features as possible (sometimes they'll get a piece of the action).
If someone walks out with a killer deal, takes the cheapest car, takes no "protection," which is their term for insurance, takes none of the other products we offer -- it reflects poorly on me and ruins my likelihood of promotion. So you learn: If you want to get ahead, you'd better sell.