HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I booked through Hotwire and purchased the full coverage insurance. When I arrived, the agent working informed me that I was required to have full coverage insurance. I told him I purchased through Hotwire and he told me they didn't accept that. I was told I have to personally have full coverage which I only have liability through my insurance company. It didn't state this when I booked online. I know because I took screen shots of everything. He pointed to a sign and said he would not honor the reservation even though everything was already paid for.
Luckily when I called Hotwire they refunded my money and informed me that Advantage has their own policies which are not stated online. I told the Hotwire agent that I would normally call the rental agency ahead of time but since I chose the red hot deal through Hotwire I didn't find out the rental agency until after my purchase which was technically non-refundable. Thank you Hotwire for resolving the issue and assisting me in booking another rental agency. Buyer Beware - Do not book Advantage unless you personally have full coverage insurance on your vehicle and don't purchase additional insurance through a booking agency unless you like throwing money away.
DENVER, COLORADO -- Rented a car in Denver. Upon return, I found that the credit card system at the airport gas station was down, so I had to return the car with a half tank of gas. I thought, how bad could it be? The car rental was $31 for the day. The gas charge was $70! Not just an inconvenience fee for putting a half tank of gas in, a complete robbery! I will never use Advantage or related companies again.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I rented a car from the San Diego airport location around July 4th of this year. The day before our return the check engine light came on so we filled the car with gas and exchanged it for another car. Because we had an early flight the next day, we filled the tank of the new car with gas (a whole 2.6 gallons) the night before and then drove 6 miles to the rental car return in the morning. When I looked at my credit card bill the next day, I had been charged the $138 for the original rental and then also 2 additional charges, one for $11.38 and one for $200.
I waited a week to have the charges removed as I knew I had returned the car (thinking the $200 charge was for the deposit they told me I would be charged when I rented the car and that it would be credited back once the car was returned). A week later, the charges were still there so I called customer service and they said the charges were both for refilling charges on the second car. It had only been driven about 6 miles after filling it so even at their ridiculous refilling fee of $9.99/gallon, it could not have come to $211.38.
I find it interesting that the $200 deposit they said they would charge my card, never showed on my card and that one of the fuel charges is exactly $200. I called customer service and the first person I spoke with said she could not help me and that she would have the location contact me. I asked how they would contact me and when I could expect to hear from them. She said they would email me and that I would hear within 24 hours.
A week went by with no email, phone call or removal of the charges from my credit card so I called again. Again I was told she could not help me unless I had a receipt which I said I did. She said I would have to call the San Diego office. I explained they were supposed to have already contacted me and I wanted to speak with a supervisor. She said there was not one there and then went on to say they rarely have a supervisor there when I asked when one would be there. Incredible! No wonder they have such poor customer service if they don't have anyone managing the call center staff.
I had to ask her 3 times to take my phone number and name so a supervisor could call me back before she finally asked me for my phone number. I have strong doubts she actually wrote it down considering her reluctance to even take it or agree to have anyone call me. I hung up with her and tried to call the San Diego office directly but that number is not on the rental agreement (only the 800 customer service number is) and when I Googled it and called, it says that number has been disconnected or is no longer in service.
I have rented many cars in my lifetime and this is by far the most frustrating and horrible car rental experience I have ever had. I will never again rent from them and I strongly recommend anyone considering them to run to the nearest competitor. I have rented from Thrifty, Budget, Avis, Hertz and Enterprise and have never experienced such incompetence or poor customer experience.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I have had the worst experience here. I'm talking to my attorney and I'm in the process of filing a suit against them for threatening me at their location. I reserved my car online from May 5th to May 8th. When I went to pick up the car, there is no signboard to show the entrance to their parking space. They are renting some space in a parking garage, and do not have any directions.
When I was lost trying to find the place, I called the people. I had gone past their "address" and reached the lot of a different rental agency. I told them where I was, and I was told "I do not know where the Budget/Avis lot is. Just follow the address on the maps. I cannot guide you here". She didn't even care to tell me that I should look for the parking garage's signboard. When I went to the counter, I was forced to take an upgrade, due to "shortage of resources". Why did they overbook if they didn't have the resources? Ended up paying much more than I had reserved the car for.
When I returned the car at night, I had mistakenly left my apartment key with the car key. I called the office 10 minutes after I left from there. Told them to check the car and the keychain to see if they can find my keys. The response I got was - "Sir, the car key didn't have anything else, otherwise I would've noticed it when I took the key from you. The car will be cleaned in the morning, & we will search for your key at that time”. I said that I need the key to enter my house. Requested him to check the keychain just once. Very confidently, he said that he doesn't have to check anything. I had to stay at a friend's place that night.
I called next morning to ask for the key, & they found that my key was attached to the car key. I told them to hold the key & that I would come and pick it up in the evening over next 2 days. I went there next evening at 7pm. The lady on the desk told me that the "lost & found" dept. leaves at 3pm & she can't help me. I requested her to just check around once, but she said that she doesn't have access to lost and found items. I requested her to call someone from that dept. or her manager. She said "We respect the privacy of our employees. I will not call anyone who is not at duty right now. You will have to come back before 3pm to collect your key”.
There were a couple more employees on duty. I told her to ask them if any of them had seen it. She said that none of them had worked for the last one week. THAT WAS A LIE. I had seen one of those girls when I picked up my car. I stepped out of the office & saw the girl. I asked her whether she was there a couple nights ago, & she said "I work here all the time”. Before I could finish talking to her, the lady stormed out of the office, started yelling at me & said "I will not let you talk to any of my employees. Leave our premises or I will call the cops and get you arrested”.
I was never threatened like this before. I come from a respectable family. I'm in the process of filing a suit against them for threatening me at their location. Next morning, I called their customer care & told them about my experience. They promised to get the key shipped to me immediately. The store manager called me & spoke to me irritably. She agreed to send the key same day. It has been over a month now & I still don't have my key!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I rented a car from Advantage at the Atlanta airport and was charged for insurance that I clearly said I did not want. Unfortunately I signed the contract without reviewing it thinking that the agent would honor my request, so now Advantage customer service refuses to give a refund - a $400 mistake on my part and a $400 swindle from Advantage.
The person in front of me at the return counter had the same problem so one could assume that there may be some funny business going on at this Advantage branch. Dealing with the customer service department was the worst I have experienced at a major company. I feel that I have been cheated and would encourage everyone to not use Advantage Rent a Car.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- Don't rent from these people – not worth the savings! If there were zero stars I'd give that rating. There were 2 major problems with my service:
1) Unexpected Charges: I asked specifically if there was a charge for an additional driver before reserving the car and again when I picked up the car in Atlanta. I was told – no additional charge for my spouse, yes for others. When I dropped the car off I was charged $60 plus taxes for 1 week for an additional driver. I spoke to at least 3 people on site, including a manager, and was told no one had the authority to remove the charge.
2) Customer Service: On-site staff said no one there had authority to remove the charge no matter whether it was misrepresented or not – I was told I had to talk to national customer service. Customer service was closed at 4:30 on a Saturday afternoon and could not help while the contract was open. Calling customer service the next day I was told there was no manager to whom I could transfer my call. I was also told the issue could have only been resolved at the site when the contract was open.
You can't trust what you are told about the charges. You can't expect customer service to take responsibility about how the charges were represented. I would have actually paid less with another rental company – most do not charge for additional drivers (particularly if you are in their frequent rental program). Not to mention, save yourself the hassle of dealing with these people if anything goes wrong with your rental!
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- I am giving 1 star only because I don't have the option to give a zero. I was picked up from the airport by their shuttle, and when I got to the office, there was a line out the door, and only 2 agents working. It took an average of 10-15 minutes for an agent to complete a single transaction. At one point, one of the agents just left. The other agent was just as surprised as the customers were. I stood in line for 2.5 hours with many angry customers, who all said that they would never deal with this company again. True, they may be cheaper than some of the other well-known companies, but believe me it is not worth it.
When you finally reach the agents, they are like pushy used car salesmen pressuring you to purchase their insurance, even though you have your own insurance. I have never seen anything like this ever. Save yourself the aggravation, and go someplace else. I know I will. STAY AWAY!!
DES MOINES, IOWA -- So we rented a car through Advantage rent a car, on Travelocity. My flight info was entered. It said that this company meets delayed flights. As our plane left the gate they saw a low oil light on and had to pull back into the gate. We never got off the plane. We arrived at 12:18 am, instead of 11:45 pm. I went to the car rental counters. There was no one there. A girl at the Hertz counter was closing up after renting out a car. I asked her if they were on break or something. She said No, they left at midnight. I started to have a panic attack. What was I going to do? The airport was abandoned. I needed to drive to Iowa City.
My sister reserved the car for me because she was at home with her 11 month old and three year old. Her husband has been deployed. She probably wouldn't even hear the phone. I opened up my printed reservation and called Travelocity. The man at customer service called the local Advantage, he of course got no answer. He called their customer service line. He talked to them first, then would come back to me. Which is good because I was hysterical and probably wouldn't have said anything that made any sense. He said that the counter was closed for the night. He suggested taking a taxi to a hotel and coming back in the morning.
I had no cash. I only had my debit card on me. Plus that was an expense I hadn't planned for. I knew I couldn't afford that. I asked him if the car company was going to pay for that, my response was they couldn't guarantee it. I asked if they could call someone in to get my car. They said they couldn't. The Travelocity customer service eventually transferred me to their customer service. I spoke with that woman for a while. Asking the same questions, and not hearing an answer I liked. I finally called my mother, who travels a lot. She told me to go to those one call kiosks and find a hotel that had a 24hr shuttle.
The Des Moines Holiday Inn gave me a ride and a room. The drivers were nice even though I couldn't tip them. The front desk clerk said the rental car companies do this all the time. They gave me their best rate of 119 for the night. I went to sleep at 2 am and was up at 7 to go back to the airport. The girl there said they usually wait, and she had left a note telling them to wait. I was so tired and had taken medication to calm myself down, so I wasn't irate. I told her I was really upset that this happened. She apologized. She showed me the rental agreement. I asked her if there was anything she could do for me.
She got the manager and told him what happened. He was very calm about it and said he would address it. He said he would give me a day free. Which because this was an economy car was like 17 dollars. When we finally got to the car I was a little disappointed that it had manual locks and windows. But I knew it was cheap, so we went on our way. I was ten minutes on the highway when I was searching for cruise control and couldn't find it. I couldn't believe it, I asked them for directions to I 80 they asked where I was going. They knew I had a two hour drive. They didn't even think about the fact that cruise control would be necessary?
When I got to my sister's I searched my receipt for a local branch #. There wasn't one. I went online and emailed every Advantage email I could get a hold of. I told them what happened. No one EVER responded. NO ONE! When I finished my trip and returned the rental car, I had to wait at the counter for 5 minutes before an agent came. She was outside. I told her that I had been abandoned, she said "Oh yeah, I heard about that," I told her I would like the mgr to call me because 17 dollars was nothing on the 140 I had to spend on the hotel for five hours. She said OK. I never heard from the manager.
My calf had a cramp the rest of that day, no cruise control. When I got home I "liked" them on Facebook so that I could post on their wall about what happened. They responded saying to go the Advantage site and send them an email. Which I had already done. I still have not heard anything from them, and think I should go to the Better Business Bureau. Thank you for listening to my story. If there was a way to rate their car company they would get zero!