Advantage Rent A Car

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Lousy Service
Posted by on
P.O. BOX 22091, D-5 TEMPE, ARIZONA -- On June 7th I rented a car from Advantage in Tampa. First we had to wait, then when we got the vehicle it was filthy. Trash was under the seats and dog hair was everywhere. I did like driving the Nisson Versa. We were told we were to pick up the rental at the Tampa Airport where most rental vehicles are rented from. My husband stayed with me until the shuttle came. The guy was helpful and my husband followed me to location in Tampa. Well they tried to push their insurance on us and hadn't mentioned it when we called. We didn't take it. I was going up to Connecticut for a funeral of my best friend of 56 years and wanted to go as cheaply as possible but safely. When we were returning home, we stopped in NYC and parked in a No Standing zone because there were no handicapped spaces available. I sent the ticket back to NYC where it is pending right now and told them about the problem of parking. They haven't made a decision yet but the ticket has been paid. I told ATS-Advantage the situation and told them not to pay the ticket as the hearing is pending. I sent them copies of their letter to me, the ticket front and back and the pending notice I copied from my computer TWICE. Why didn't they wait before they paid the ticket and charged me and extra $40.00 for processing. I wouldn't recommend Advantage or use it myself again. We are on a limited income-Disability-both my husband and myself. I have an excellent driving record and have been driving since 1960. Most states don't ticket handicapped persons if there aren't any handicapped spaces. Why should I pay for the new bldgs. going up on Ground Zero? I'm not a terrorist! Make them pay with the oil in Iraq or whatever they have of value in Afganistan. We are already paying with our taxes for the wars there. If they don't stop all of this there will be a war here between the President, Congress and all the people they are trying to take away their only livihood which they earned during their lives. To threaten to take away a veterans livlihood is just plain not fair. They have given life and limbs to keep us free not to gauge us as Advantage does.
     
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Anonymous on 08/04/2011:
well written review, parking in nyc is a nightmare.
Venice09 on 08/04/2011:
A handicapped tag does not give you the right to park wherever you want. Of course you got a ticket.

I, too, do not understand what illegal parking has to do with Iraq or Ground Zero.
jktshff1 on 08/04/2011:
I have handicapped tags, however, that does not give me the right to park in a illegal manner. Very simple.
Churro on 08/04/2011:
It's a state by state issue but generally a handicap parking permit gives privileges and parking access beyond designated handicapped parking spaces. Where I am at right now there's about a dozen non-handicap restrictive parking designations and a handicap placard gives legal right to then all.

As far as Advantage goes I've had a lot of bad experiences. In fact at one time there were so many complaints that Advantage got dropped from our corporate contract. I dropped them from my personal contract as well.

I wish you well on your ticket.

Good Review!
Venice09 on 08/04/2011:
Are the restrictive parking designations marked for handicapped use, too? I would never assume that a permit for handicapped parking would allow me to park in restricted areas. When you say "where I am at right now", are you referring to a parking lot, street parking, etc.? Which states allow this?
MRM on 08/04/2011:
A long time ago, my family drove a rental truck to NYC to help my uncle move out of the apartment. The street were small to park a rental truck. Then here comes the fire truck blaring its sirens and horns, trying to squeeze through the small street.
jktshff1 on 08/04/2011:
In my state (TN) the handicapped placards or tags, to my knowledge are good in hc spaces only, however, there is no payment when parking at a meter or gubment parking. Same rules apply to the hc tags as everyone else ie no parking, loading zone, etc.
Anonymous on 08/04/2011:
This should help: http://www.newyorkparkingticket.com/Blog/bid/27301/How-people-with-disabilities-can-avoid-a-NYC-parking-ticket

Looks like the ticket is valid.
jktshff1 on 08/04/2011:
Good Research jc..thanks
Venice09 on 08/04/2011:
That's a great find, just. I briefly looked but couldn't find anything. Thanks.
redmx3racer on 08/04/2011:
Parking tickets are assigned to the vehicle by the registration, not the driver of the vehicle. Advanatage owns the vehicle. Thus, they pay the ticket and bill you. Sorry about your situation, but I don't think Advantage did anything wrong.
Churro on 08/04/2011:
Nice find JC. So if I read correctly in NYC if you got a handicap permit you can park legally:

1. In any "No Parking" zone, including those marked "except authorized vehicles"

2. At parking meters without using an authorized payment method

3. In "No Standing Except Trucks Loading and Unloading" zones

Even though they're not necessarily marked as handicapped. Every jurisdiction is different and quite frankly if you're not from the area it's tough to know the local law. The courts around here generally dismiss most parking tickets issued to handicap permitted driver unless it's a severe safety issue.

You're always educating me, JC. Thanks!
Venice09 on 08/04/2011:
No, Churro, that's incorrect.

You must have a valid New York City Special Parking identification permit. And even then, you are prohibited from parking in a no standing zone.
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Terrible experience with the billing
Posted by on
DENVER, COLORADO -- My husband and I had an awful experience with Advantage Rent A Car in Denver during the 2010 Thanksgiving week. I reserved a car on-line through CheapTickets.com and received a quote of $93 plus change for a 4 day rental. When we arrived to pick up the car we were hard-sold into an upgrade, lied to about the predicted weather, and cost of off-site gas. (OK, our fault for accepting and we can deal with that.) The charge was now estimated to over $193. Bite. When we returned the car, the attendant did all the usual things, took the key bobs and credited us back a few dollars because we were returning with 2/3 a tank of gas. Great, to the credit of Advantage, the rate on our receipt was reduced down to $146 plus change. Upon returning home after a few more days of traveling, we had a phone message from someone at Advantage Denver stating that we had just turned the car in 40 minutes prior without returning the keys and there would be a added charge on our bill if we did not turn the keys back in 24 hours. Apparently the message was put on our answering machine 40 minutes after we left the rental area - we were still in the airport waiting for our flight. There was never a call to the cell phone number that we carried in traveling and had given the attendant when we rented upfront. We both distinctly remember turning the keys over to the attendant, so we assumed Advantage would find the keys and not charge us. After listening to the phone message (now days after it was recorded), my husband called Advantage Denver and has been given a huge run-around. They told him the key was found and the charge would be reversed. The total amount Advantage charged my credit card - for their mistake, was $396.46. They have yet to return our calls or reverse the additional charge for the lost key (which someone in their house misplaced!)
So, what I thought was going to be a great car rental deal of $93 for four days, turned into over $300 more. This issue is still not resolved and I do not appreciate the extra $300 on my credit card - particularly during the Christmas season!! I will never use this company again, nor will anyone I know.
     
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trp2hevn on 12/04/2010:
I would suggest to file a dispute with the credit card company for the charge of the missing keys.
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Left Stranded
Posted by on
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 sadi 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!
     
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Skye on 09/26/2010:
What a mess. I think using 3rd parties for anything like flights, hotels, car rentals is just a waste, as you found out.

It's always a good idea, no matter what, to keep some cash on you.
trp2hevn on 09/26/2010:
They could have had someone wait there until you got the car. Since your flight info was entered, they would have known that the plane was delayed. As far as the manual locks/windows that is common on an economy car. I don't know of any econony classed car that has cruise control either. If that was such an important feature, you should go with a higher (although more expensive) car class. This time I don't think it would have been any different if they wouldn't have gone through the 3rd party website. Although had they gone directly to the car rental website it might have had the operating hours listed.
Anonymous on 09/26/2010:
I worked at a small airport for a time. 3 airlines and it had 3 rental cars. Long ago (well before 9/11) when our last inbound of the night was late, sometimes the agents from the rental agencies would come down to ask if their res holders were actually on the flights. We really weren't supposed to give them that info but common sense was that they weren't interested in anything except waiting for them if they were on the flight or going home on time if they weren't.

Post 9/11, this info probably isn't given anymore. Doesn't really pertain to your story, sorry, but my feeling is that if you had a res, they should be waiting.
Nohandle on 09/26/2010:
I'll tell you what. I'd be beside myself as well if my flight was delayed and I found myself in a terminal virtually shutdown for the night and no car available. No matter if I had booked through a third party or direct. I really wonder if the outcome would have been different if leftstanded had booked direct? I seriously doubt it.
Ben There on 09/26/2010:
I wonder how long car rental companies will normally wait for a delayed flight before going home... 30 minutes, an hour, 2 hours, forever? The airline employees obviously have to wait for the plane to arrive, but to what extent will rental car companies and hotels make their employees stay? Overtime must be an issue, not to mention childcare for employees, other obligations, etc...

Advantage is often the cheapest of the cheap, so they are probably least likely to want to pay overtime. Avis and Hertz will probably wait longer since they tend to collect more per car.
Venice09 on 09/26/2010:
A little off topic, but please don't use cruise control if you are tired or have taken medication to calm you down. It can be very dangerous especially at high speeds. It is better to be in control of your car at all times.
Nohandle on 09/26/2010:
I think Judge probably hit it correctly about how times have changed from the time he worked at a small airport. Even here, and I fly from a regional airport, I recall hearing of here and other regional airports when some of the car rental agency employees would hand the paperwork and keys over to another agency or airport employee when a flight was delayed and they would leave for the night. Not an accepted practice, I'm sure, but at least the traveler on a delayed flight had a car waiting.

With all we've heard recently with many of the rental agencies blaming prior vehicle damages on a current renter, I don't guess that one would work out anymore.
jktshff1 on 09/26/2010:
To add to V09 do not use cruise control in rain.
Anonymous on 09/26/2010:
Judge and nohandle, times have definitely changed. The car rental people only had to wait an additional 20 minutes until this person arrived. I, too, would have been very upset to be stranded. Anyone would be.
jktshff1 on 09/26/2010:
wonder if the outcome would have been different if the op had dealt direct with the rental agency vs travelustity.
Anonymous on 09/26/2010:
Makes you wonder, jkt, but I have a feeling it may have been the same. They probably just don't wait for delayed flights after midnight.
jktshff1 on 09/26/2010:
Helpful, +100 good points. Why your comment went to "other" is beyond me.
Ytropious on 09/26/2010:
Cruise control? I drive an hour to and from work and I never use it. I drove 1200 miles over 2 days without cruise control. Unless you specifically requested a car with it, I see no issue with a car not having it. I don't think you should blame the company for not looking at your point A and point B and thinking "oh gee we should go out of our way to make sure she has cruise control even though she never mentioned needing it". If it's something you need, YOU need to ask for it.
Venice09 on 09/26/2010:
Other than the part about not getting a car with cruise control, I think this is a legitimate complaint. The flight info said the company met delayed flights. Since the flight was only delayed approximately thirty minutes, I don't think it was unreasonable for the OP to expect to get the car and not to be left stranded. The OP never said they expected the counter to be open 24 hours. They simply expected their delayed flight to be met since the agency had the flight information.

I don't think it's a good idea to travel with no cash, but not everyone has enough money to cover all the unexpected things that might happen while traveling. Does that mean they should never travel and just stay home?
jktshff1 on 09/27/2010:
This complaint should be directed at Travelu$tity, Advantages' web site seems to show that the Des Moines Int'l location closes at Midnight. I believe the problem stems from Travelu$tity wanting their bucks and not caring for the customer. A 15 minute window is not enough in any airport. VH Review, show another reason to deal direct.
momsey on 09/27/2010:
I don't know why Helpful's response is hidden in "other comments", because it's exactly what I was thinking.

Cruise control is not necessary at all. I sometimes use it during the day in nice weather, but as others pointed out, it's not a good thing to use in certain weather conditions, or when you're tired or on any medication.

jkt gets best answer since I agree that this complaint should be directed at Travelocity. Since you didn't book direct with Advantage, it's not clear to me that they had your flight information and therefore they didn't know you were delayed. It is a terrible situation, though.
Anonymous on 09/27/2010:
This should not be a Travelocity complaint. Why do you believe that the car agency didn't have the flight info? Do you believe they just a notification from Travelocity that someone wants a car on a particular day? No name, no time, no car type, etc?? Advantage was well aware they had a res off that flight and chose to go home. They are 100% at fault. Travelocity, as much as I hate online agencies, was not at fault in any way, shape or form.
Ben There on 09/27/2010:
Travelocity only shows prices for car rentals if the location is open and accepting reservations. If Advantage could easily control late bookings by not offering a price for rentals after say 1130pm.
getoverit on 09/27/2010:
I agree with those who say this is not the fault of Travelocity. And I can't really lay a lot of blame at the feet of Advantage because, if other people are like me, a lot of car rental reservations are no-shows.
That doesn't lessen the fact that this was a really unfortunate experience.

I'm glad I read this post because, if I'm ever in a similar situation, I will call the car rental location and make sure they know I'm coming. To be honest, I'm not sure I would have thought of it before this, but have done that kind of things with hotel late arrivals, etc. It's better not to take things for granted.

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Pay the extra and stick with Alamo, Budget, or National.
Posted by on
ORLANDO - OFF AIRPORT (MCO), FLORIDA -- Ten people in line and 1-1/2 later we were given keys to what was supposed to be the upgraded mid size car we reserved. The counter guy was a pig who was beyond rude to the point I wanted to deck him. The manager was just as much or more of an ass hole. We were given an 08 Marquis that was filthy, dented up, and it stunk like a combination of puke, piss, crap, and smoke. Oh yes, the tank was 1/4 full. We complianed and they said they had nothing else. We asked, "so what will all the other people in line get"? "Oh, those cars are reserved". "What about the mid sized car we reserved?" "We upgraded you". Bull crap. The lot was dark and we asked for a flash light to count the hundreds of dents. He said "we don't loan flash lights". We finally got another agent and he said the same thing. We pressed the issue and he got us into a Saturn SUV. Again, dirty, and the carpets were greasy and filthy. At this point we just wanted to get the heck out of there. We counted about 20 substantial dents and scratches. And oh yes we had a bonus of french fries and used napkins from the previous renter. On return the lazy guy sitting outside seemed it was almost too much to get up out of his chair to check us out. Not a thank you, come again, kiss my ass or anything. The ride back to the terminal was also "fun" listening to the driver talk to his girlfriend in Spanish the whole trip. He was still talking when we got off...again not even a kiss my....
Don't waste your precious time and energy with this company. Stick with one of the bigger ones and just pay the difference even if it is double. It is worth it not to have that kind of frustration. My personal favorite is Alamo and that is what I am sticking within the future. If you choose Advantage you will be sorry, that I guarantee!
     
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JR in Orlando on 09/18/2009:
I am sorry that you had this experience in Orlando. I hope the rest of your trip went well. There is a whole string of low-cost car rental places along Highway 436 just north of the airport. My experience was the same when I rented from one for local use. Since then I have stuck to the major companies, Alamo is my favorite.

I hope if you return, your trip is better. Just realize in the area around the attractions, there are a lot of tourist traps and rip offs. Last weekend, I went to one of the big hotels to see a friend, and it was $10.00 for me to simply park in the hotel lot - no free parking. Orlando and north of there are not like that.
MSCANTBEWRONG on 09/18/2009:
That sounds like a terrible experience. I use Avis as it my company's preferred agency. They've always been great to work with.
Anonymous on 09/18/2009:
I went on vacation this year to Orlando and used Payless Car Rental. We reserved a minivan and was upgraded to a stretch minivan for free since they didn't have the regular sized one. We did have a while to wait in line but WTH we're on vacation. Everything worked out well, try them next time.
trp2hevn on 09/18/2009:
jtf, just wondering what was the make and model of the stretch minivan vs. the regular sized one?
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Horrible Experience
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
KAHULUI, HAWAII -- Traveled to Maui with my wife and a child. Booked a car online for $180 for 6 days. Got to the airport and waited 5 min to get the shuttle, once I got to the office I waited 15 min. The salesman, because that's what he was, started pushing for an upgrade, after we said no, he started with the " loss of use" insurance, then an extra day charge for returning the car 4 hs later ( same day) but instead of returning the car at 1:00 pm, return it at 5:00 pm. Long story short the whole bill ended up being $370.

Nice way to start the vacation. I wasn't going to get back in the shuttle, go back to the Airport and start looking for a car with other companies. So I signed and got the car. I think they take advantage ( wait, that's the name of the company) of the situation.

Be aware of all the extra hidden charges. I would never ever rent a car with this company again and I'll make sure to spread the word so other people don't get scammed like I did.

If you read the reviews online (thing that I didn't do) you will see that there are many unhappy customers.
     
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Advantage Over Charges
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- I just got done renting an "advantage" car for a week in salt lake city, ut. It took forever for advantage to get us through the paperwork and to the vehnicle. Once we were driving, we noticed that the maintenance oil warning was glaring in the instrument column - guess advantage is a bit behind on scheduled maintenance. But, the worst thing is they doubled the price I was quoted! They quoted me approximately $250 - but they charged me $500!!!!!!!![snip].

I called and talked with the manager there and all he had to say was, "well, that was the price for the car; the rest is all additional charges that have to do with the airport". He refused to talk about it further, gave me the number to their corporate offices and hung up the phone.

Don't go with advantage unless you like being taken advantage of!!! The Better Business Bureau is my next stop in my battle to get the frivolous charges removed.
     
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
They made my wife cry.
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Why nobody should use Advantage Rental Cars (especially in San Jose)
When you hand someone a credit card and tell them it has a $500 limit, you don't run it for $700, tell the person your card is declined and your reservation has been canceled. Don't bother changing the reservation with Advantage by phone because they won't run the card again for 24 hours. Don't let Phillip & Graham make your wife cry when she is turned away again just because. Don't bother wasting 45 minutes being passed from one reservation supervisor to the next because they flat out cannot do anything.
Just say no to the company that made my wife cry!!!!!!
     
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Sam on 09/07/2012:
It is quite common for rental car agencies to put a 'hold' for more than the rental amount. This is in case you wreck or damage the car.
BigAl on 09/08/2012:
The problem here is that to rent a car you must have a credit card with sufficient credit available in order to be honored by the rental agency. Your $500 credit card did not meet their requirments. When cash is used to rent a car a credit card must still be used as a backup as explained by SAM in the previous comment.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Taken Advantage of
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- Advantage lives up to its name because I was totally taken advantage of. I can't argue with the price, quoted at $20.00/day. But what wasn't made clear was the $200.00 hold they put on my checking account, along with the $20.00/day charge. The car was returned yesterday but the $200.00 was not returned to my checking account as of yet. Also, during the explanation of the gas options, I merely shook my head to say I understood I had the option of getting gas myself or having them fill it when I bring it back. I had all intentions of filling it myself, but then saw on my receipt (tucked away in the little brochure they give you so you can't notice pages 2 and 3) they billed me $38.00 for gas for a little Versa! This is a company that is owned by Hertz, by the way. I am disappointed Hertz would run such a shabby business. Will not be taken Advantage of again!
     
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clutzycook on 02/14/2012:
All car rental companies gouge you to refill your tank.
FoDaddy19 on 02/16/2012:
Putting an X amount of money on hold when renting car or booking a hotel room is commonplace. I'm a little surprised they let you use a debit card/check quite honestly. Most places ask that you use a credit card. It can take a day or three for the hold to be released back into your checking account. This also happens when you used a debit card to pay at the pump for gas.

As for them charging you to refuel the car. Rental places charge exorbitant fess for this service. If you didn't understand the policy, you should've simply asked them to clarify it for you or simply said "no".

You were not taken advantage of as far as I can tell. As both the $200 hold/security deposit and the excessive refueling fees are both widely known industry standards.
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Lousy Service!
Posted by on
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- First of all everyone should know that Advantage is not located in the rental car facility at the oakland airport that the other major companies are located so you need to take a shuttle to the main facility then call for an Advantage shuttle that backtracks the opposite direction for what feels like several miles. This happens both picking up and returning the cars. With our experience the agent told us the shuttle would be by to pick us up in about 5 minutes. After 11 minutes I called again and was told the shuttle did come by but we were not there. That was total BS because we were standing exactly where we ended up being picked up. Also the reservation was for a full size car but a full size was not available so instead of being offered an upgrade I was given a "downgrade" to a smaller car. Also neither shuttle bus driver (coming and going) offered to help my wife with her luggage.
     
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Alain on 12/23/2011:
You may want to file an official complaint about this at http://www.dca.ca.gov/consumer/index.shtml
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Advantage will rip you off!!
Posted by on
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I rented a car from advantage in Orlando. Because of my work schedule, I had to change the reservation twice. The first time I added a day and confirmed that the price was still 25.95 per day. The second time I was taking the extra day off. The service person on the phone did not tell me that the price went up almost 50% because of that change!! It was still the weekend for the weekend rate!! I trusted them to honor the quoted price so I did not review all the charges with a fine tooth comb and signed the estimate - I WILL NEVER BE TRUSTING AGAIN!! I did notice when we dropped off the car and mentioned it to the man checking it in but I didn't have my original quote readily available and he was in a hurry and we had to make a flight so I thought I could deal with it later with customer service. WRONG - they were no help at all even though they did not give me the quoted price. DO NOT TRUST ADVANTAGE!!
     
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trp2hevn on 07/29/2011:
trp2hevn on 07/29/2011:
Sounds like when you changed it the 1st time that the rates had not changed. However, by the time you changed it the 2nd time the rates had changed. When changing reservations I think it is like making a whole new reservation all over at the current rate. Rental car rates can change quickly like airline rates.
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