Discount and VIA Rail raise the bar for customer convenience in travel

Launch of interactive video kiosks delivers an industry first with instant live support to customers 24 hours a day

MONTRÉAL, June 1, 2015 /CNW/ - Discount Car and Truck Rentals (Discount) and VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) are taking vehicle rentals to an unprecedented level of service and convenience with the launch of touch-screen video kiosks pilot project that will connect Discount customers to a live customer service agent in an instant - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Discount has launched its first branded video kiosk at the VIA Rail Ottawa Train Station (Tremblay Rd) as a pilot and will continue to roll out the state-of-the-art video terminals at high-traffic Discount locations across Canada in the coming weeks and months.

Presently, customers travelling to Ottawa by train have to take a taxi to go to their ultimate destination. This represent a service improvement to VIA Rail customers who when arriving at the station will be able to make their car rental reservation, pick-up the car from VIA Rail's parking lot and drive-off to their final destination.

"Vehicle rental has truly become a 24-hour-a-day business and Discount is proud to introduce a breakthrough that meets the needs of the marketplace and delivers the outstanding service people have come to expect from us, 24 hours a day," said Al Nanji, Senior Vice President of Discount Car and Truck Rentals. "We are using convenient video links, GPS technology and an amazing new mobile capability that locates your rental vehicle and starts it via email messaging. And unlike traditional car-sharing services, there are no membership fees to pay or programs to join. Vehicle rental has never been easier or faster. Discount is moving our industry ahead to meet customer needs, whether they have late-breaking family travel plans, delayed travel connections, unexpected emergencies to deal with – you name it."

"VIA Rail is excited to be the first partner location for Discount's car rental kiosk and to offer our customers the comfort of train travel combined with the convenience of a hassle-free car rental experience at our Ottawa Train Station," said Martin R. Landry, Chief Commercial Officer for VIA Rail Canada. "With this partnership we are addressing the "last mile" in mobility in order to deliver a more comprehensive door-to-door experience.

Each video kiosk will be equipped with a credit card and driver's license scanner. Once customers initiate the vehicle rental process, they are quickly connected to a live Discount agent who is trained to guide them through a fast and easy rental process. The live interactive video link lets customer and agent confirm the rental agreement and coverage, mobilize the vehicle and print out a receipt to get on the road without delay. Once the rental is processed, customers quickly receive a text message with instructions of how to access the rental vehicle they've chosen only.

Discount's new system also allows customers to check the rental vehicle back in at the kiosk any time they choose - 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

About Discount Car and Truck Rentals
Founded in 1980 and headquartered in Toronto, Discount Car and Truck Rentals is a nationally recognized brand operating off-airport and neighbourhood rental locations in Canada. With over 300 neighbourhood branch offices located within 15 minutes from 90 percent of the Canadian population, Discount is proud to be the largest vehicle rental company in Canada owned by Canadians. Discount is known for renting cars and trucks of all makes and models, from economy cars to luxury brands; and cargo vans to 5-ton trucks. Its commitment to quality and superior customer service is unmatched in the Canadian rental industry. Discount is proud to have originated picking up and dropping off its clients at no extra cost.  In 2010, Discount was named one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures TM; was a Platinum award winner for 2011 and 2012, and was named one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ again in 2013. Discount has also won the Consumer's Choice Award for Business Excellence for 14 consecutive years.  For more information about Discount, visit www.discountcar.com

About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail Canada (viarail.ca) and its 2,500 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years, and was the recipient of the 2012 Agent's Choice Award voted by Canadian travel agents and presented by Baxter Travel Media. Since 2007, the Government of Canada has invested almost a billion dollars in VIA Rail.

SOURCE Discount Car and Truck Rentals

Image with caption: "Discount Car and Truck Rentals (CNW Group/Discount Car and Truck Rentals)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150601_C6549_PHOTO_EN_17285.jpg

Image with caption: "VIA Rail (CNW Group/Discount Car and Truck Rentals)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150601_C6549_PHOTO_EN_17289.jpg

For further information: Barry Singer, Senior Vice President, Discount Car & Truck Rentals Ltd, 416 744-0123, bsinger@discountcar.com; Maxime Dupont-Demers, Senior Advisor, Media Relations, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6137, 1 877 393-8787, Maxime_Dupont-Demers@viarail.ca, media@viarail.ca

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www.discountcar.com

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