LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- This was the first time that I rented from Advantage, and it was a pretty good experience compared to what I have read here. We arrived at LAX, got our bags and went to the curbside pickup to wait for the shuttle. We only had to wait about 10 minutes for the shuttle and while I did see numerous shuttles for the other rental car companies drive by, 10 minutes was an acceptable time to wait to be picked up. The shuttle was clean, the driver was friendly and the air conditioning worked well.
With traffic at LAX, it took about 15-20 minutes to get to the Advantage facility. Granted it is not the cleanest or newest rental facility that I have gone into, but it was still a 6 out of 10. When we got there at around 6:00pm, there was no line and we were able to walk right up and get an agent. The agent was friendly and did not have an attitude like I have read other reviewers have experienced. The only problem that I had was at first they tried to just assign us a car and not give us a choice.
When I asked if there were options available, the agent provided me with a few to choose from. All-in-all, they had 5 or 6 different full-size cars to choose from and we ended up with a loaded 2013 Toyota Camry with only 15k miles on it. The car was clean inside and out and had just a few minor scratches on the bumper. After choosing the car we wanted, checkout was a breeze.
The agent offered the additional insurance and gas options, but once I denied them, he didn't try to persuade me to buy it again. He was patient and didn't get an attitude when we took about 15 or 20 minutes to look at the different cars that were available and choose one that was a different one than what was originally selected for us, so that was pretty impressive. The guard at the exit was friendly and asked me how my day was and seemed interested in my response. He looked over the indications on my slip as to the minor scratches and signed off on it and we were on our way.
Returning the car was even easier than getting it. We pulled right up and an agent came right out and did a quick spot check on the vehicle, joked around with us a little bit about getting a black car and returning a white car (because she said we went Tokyo drifting with it) and gave us our receipt. Before she was done checking the car back in, the shuttle driver had come over to use with a bag cart, loaded up our suitcases for us and walked us to the shuttle to get us started on our way back to the airport.
We got on the shuttle and within 20 minutes of pulling into the lot to return the car, we arrived at our airlines entrance at the airport with plenty of time ahead of our flight. Additionally, the $200 that was put on hold on my credit card was returned to me within 2 days of returning the car, which again was more than I expected. Four stars instead of five due to the limited amount of car selections, but otherwise the service was really good. I will definitely use Advantage if/when I return to LAX.
DENVER, COLORADO -- DO NOT RENT A CAR FROM ADVANTAGE!!!! I wish there was a negative rating because this company doesn't even deserve one star. First, they never tell you when you make the reservation that you need an extra $200 deposit. I originally made the reservation online which was $32. After arriving at Advantage in Denver, the clerk told me that an additional $200 deposit would need to be taken off this card. Well, because they hadn't given me any warning, I didn't have an extra $200 on that card. After asking if they could put it on a different card, the clerk and supervisor told me they are unable to split charges after you prepay on an online reservation. Umm WHAT?!?!?!?!
Since it was 8:00 pm on a Saturday, and I was 800 miles from home, I had no way to put more money in that account. After sitting in the waiting room for 30 minutes trying to figure something out I went back and asked to be given the number of the public transportation. The clerk told me that I could cancel the reservation and make a new one so that all charges would be on one card. I unfortunately made this decision and got my car.
After returning it and calling the 1-800 number the clerk gave me for the reservation, the agent, who was most likely from India, told me that they couldn't refund my original reservation because I had canceled within the 24 hour period of when the reservation was. WHAT? I ONLY CANCELED BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T CHARGE MY OTHER CARD!!!!! This blew my mind because not only did the clerk tell me this was a foul-proof way, but the agent actually told me I should have read the Terms and Conditions when making the reservation because it was all explained there.
I was livid at this point and demanded to talk with a supervisor who apologized and said that he would forward the issue to corporate and they would call me within 4 business days to discuss the refund. It is now 15 days later and after calling back twice I still have not received any type of refund!!! This is by far the worst car rental company and I would not recommend it to my worst enemy! How can you have such a faulty system that does not allow customers to split the charges and then have employees scam me out of a refund? Not to mention how much the taxes are and everything else they throw on last minute.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- FT. LAUDERDALE AIRPORT, FLORIDA -- We made a reservation online to rent a car at Ft. Lauderdale airport last 2nd week of August. We only needed the car to get us to a Hotel in Palm Beach Shores. We where there at 6:45Am in the morning. While we where in front desk, they told us that they needed a $200 deposit. Aside from that they said we needed to pay for a full tank gasoline worth $32. Because we don't have choice and already paid the online reservation, we did avail the full tank and give the $200 deposit.
After the whole day, we decided to return the car at Advantage in Miami Airport at 7pm and get a new rental car from other company. When we are about to return the car they said that the car has a small damaged in front, a small gap between the bumper and the hood, which is barely unnoticeable. We know that we didn't get into any accident and didn't even use the car that much. That means we didn't even consume half of the gasoline we paid.
They make a note and let my wife sign about the small gap in front the bumper. They said it's just a note that said we've seen their comments. After a few days we received a claim from our insurance stating that we have to pay for the damage. Our insurance said we can't do anything about it since it is already filed. That leaves us no option but to pay of for it.
I've read reviews about Advantage. There are lots of customer complaints against them. They are worst in customer service. The staff are rude. And their claim are hoax and you can't do anything about it because they have direct access to your own insurance once you've used them. Hope this serves us a warning to other people planning to rent a car while traveling or on vacation.
FT. LAUDERDALE AIRPORT, FLORIDA -- We made a reservation to rent a car at Ft. Lauderdale airport last week. We only needed the car to get us to my brother's house and back to the airport. There were 2 cars at the house waiting for us, so we didn't need much. I had reserved a mid-size. When we got to the counter we had to wait for the agent to finish with someone ahead of us. When we got to the counter, he told us he had logged out and the person taking over ran to the restroom. It was late at night and we waited a good 5 minutes for him to return. When he returned, he suggested we upgrade for $10 to an Impala. We said we would upgrade but did not want an Impala.
My dad drove an Impala and had passed away 2 years before that very week, I just didn't want an Impala. At which point, the agent said he did not have a car for us. He said I should have prepaid if I wanted a specific car. I told him I tried to pre-pay but was told it wasn't an option. He called Payless and told us to go upstairs and rent from them. We went upstairs and did rent from Payless and the first car they gave us had a tire problem, so we had to go back to the counter for another car. We had our 2 kids with us and it was late and it took 1 1/2 hours to get a car. The Payless car was fine and we did use it during our stay.
I called Advantage to complain and to be honest they could not have cared less. They said we should have been given an apology coupon and they would have someone contact me and I never heard from them. It is great to have the internet to warn others to avoid Advantage, so they are not at a disadvantage too.
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- We booked a weekly rental in Tampa, Florida. We thought we were getting a decent weekly rate and knew estimated taxes and additional drivers would be extra which didn't bother us. We were surprised to learn upon arrival a $200 deposit that was not included in our booking terms. Having to leave our luggage outside because of stairs and having no one offer to assist us to bring it in, only one of us could pick up the reservation while other watched our things. I made an effort to run in quickly and make sure we were not taking the insurance or fuel options.
All of this discussion clearly heard by the agent. We eventually got the car and went on our way. Later in the trip and seeing a $600 charge for what was supposed to be no more than $200 caught my attention. When calling the car rental place 2 times I got voice mail. Waited to return car to question any charges and was told we had the insurance at $20 a day. I asked to have this reversed and same agent said "too late".
When calling the manager a few days after returning, he explained nothing they could do even though his employee made the mistake. Very disappointing customer service and I would never recommend doing business with them for their deceitful marketing practices and dishonest employees.
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- I thought I had fixed my problem with my booking, BOY WAS I WRONG! I had given them the benefit of the doubt, boy was that a wrong thing to do. Now even though they have admitted it was their mistake they refuse to cancel the booking unless I PAY A $50 FEE... "just read the contract"..... "that is why you should never pay with us in advance"... "the people in Sacramento will fix it. If not, pick up the car and call us again".... "Don't worry about this, we have noted it in your account. We will try to reimburse you OR credit you on your next rental".... These are all the excuses I have gotten from customer service and customer relation.
What they did not know until after the conversation started was I am recording. Going from the East coast to the West coast, looked for best car rate, ADVANTAGE won by over $90 everywhere! They also offer corporate discounts and VETERANS. Only problem I had is the code that they gave me for vets did not work. Customer service tried and tried, but not able to help. Referred me to location for discount. Called Sacramento Air Port customer that answered, offered me a vehicle for OVER $100 more than the website. Went back to website and booked a car for 6 days at $184 plus tax ($225).
The following day I received an E-mail for corporate (evidently customer service went the extra mile to notify them!) and was supplied with another code, an apology stating that they are in the middle of a computer code change over. I went back and entered the new code. Car price dropped to $162 TOTAL including insurance.
Now all that sound good but be aware that if you, like I, use the prepay system, there is "supposed" to be a $50 refund charge. But because of the growing pains they waved the charge, refunded my credit card and the recharged at the new price. That is service as it should be. I will follow up with a post on my final experience when I pick up the vehicle on July 16, 2013, but so far outstanding!!
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- On 01/13/12 we rented a car from Advantage in Charlotte, NC. Had reserved online but when we arrived they tried to charge more than the reservation quote. I insisted that we would pay the reserved costs and was given an upgrade and the correct price. We returned the car on 01/15/012 with 33 miles put on. We had our inspection done and was given the receipt. About 6 wks later we received a call stating that there was damaged done all along the right side and the entire right panels had to be replaced.
When we said we had been checked at the time of return and there was no damage, the person thanked us and hung up. In May of 2012 we received a packet in the mail with colored picture, reports and paperwork stating there was a claim for damage of $807 that needed paying immediately. Also in the packet was an incident report that had hand written on the bottom "did not want to sign damage report". THIS WAS A BLATANT LIE. No such thing happened.
After reading the paperwork and looking at the pictures of the odometer, I noticed that the odometer had 35 more miles than when we returned the car. After pointing this out to the person in the claims dept, I was told that they must have needed the car so rented it out before having the repairs made. Lo and behold, after I produced my Advantage check-out slip (car returned-no damage) the claimed was closed! I just wonder how many more people does this happen to??? Needless to say, we will never use Advantage again.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- I made a reservation online for car rental for the best price of $181 for 10 days for an economy car. I copied what I thought was the most pertinent information and printed it out, when I should have printed out exactly what Advantage gave me online and in email. When I printed out my own truncated version, I did not realize that I did not put the name, logo or phone number. I realize how dumb that was of me later.
When we got to our destination at McCarran airport in Las Vegas, we took the free shuttle to the rent a cars place. Lo and behold there were several rent a car places, and when I looked at my printout, I didn't have on there which one I was supposed to go to. So I decided to go to Dollar rent a car.
When I arrived at Dollar counter, I asked if my reservation was with them. They said no, but they can accommodate me with an economy car. They said it would be $350 for 10 days. I said "What? The quote I have from this company is $181!" The Dollar representative said "Well $350 is a good price. I can give you a free upgrade if you like." What do I need a free upgrade for? To pay more gas? So I declined. Then I decided to just check my email and found out it was Advantage who sent me my itinerary.
So I went to the Advantage line, and they had quite a lot of customers in line compared to the other places. I waited in line, and was helped by a very professional and helpful lady. She explained everything to me, asked me if I wanted to pay additional $20 up front so that I don't have to refill the tank when I turn it in. I said OK (Plus, paying the $20 extra is cheaper than having to pay for a full tank of gas at the end, and I don't have to have the hassle of worrying about filling the tank).
The Toyota economy car they gave me was beautiful! We had an awesome vacation, beautiful ride, and turning it back in was easy. So the total charge (including the full tank of gas) was about $200 for 10 days rental. I had such a great experience with Advantage from the ease of making reservation, helpfulness and friendliness of employees from checking out to checking in, and the great price! I definitely plan to use Advantage again when I need to rent a car, and I will recommend them to everybody!
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Amazingly disappointing experience - Have been a long time renter and this was the first time to see such an absurd scam to rip off the poor customers - BEWARE OF ADVANTAGE CAR RENTAL (Specially if you're smart enough to shop around and use search engines for best rates).
As always, we used CarRentals.com for best rates for a 3-day trip to Dallas, and Advantage came out with a $90 rate to pick up at 10 am on Nov 15 and drop by 5 pm on Nov 17. Our flight was departing around 3 pm, but we always rent for a few extra hours to avoid any possible late fees due to delay, etc. Anyway, we dropped the car with full tank and everything around 1 pm and were shocked to see that they are charging us for more than $120!!!
The reason: "YOU RETURNED THE CAR EARLY!" (like 4 hours early!!) and they charged us based on a totally different rate schedule (2 days plus 1 hour extra at an outrageously high rate) and came up with the $120 figure. When we complained to the so-called "manager" (which of course was very rude and even tried to grab and destroy our initial receipt showing the estimated $90 cost with our pick-up and drop-off times), he said that basically that's what they do and there is no thing we could do.
I asked him that the receipt says the car should be dropped "by 5" not "at 5" and hence, we were being charged extra. He said that it should be "At 5", and when I asked him to define how soon is considered "early" for them to use it as a pretext to rip off the customers, he refused to explain. I guess even if we were to return the car at "4:59", they were going to consider it "early" since it wasn't 5 sharp!!
Very disappointed. Surely the last time I do business with them and will advise everyone against doing business with them too. Just beware of the prices they claim to lure the customers to their business and away from other car rentals. Then, when you have made the grave mistake of getting into their trap, they will charge you way more than what they initially claimed as bait and much more than others. Just beware!!
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- Picked up car in Albuquerque, NM. Clerk stated that no inspection was necessary as car was brand new. Noticed a big ding on driver's door and called it to attendant's attention. When we returned car we were told there was scraping under the right front bumper, not easily visible unless it was pointed out. We stated there was no way it happened while we were in possession. Attendant just looked at us blankly and said "then fill out this form". I requested a phone call from manager. Never happened.
Letter arrives two weeks later in mail with bill for $427.00 in damages. I appealed, wrote letters and spoke with PURCO representative who stated it was our responsibility, even though the car had 1100 miles on it and had been towed up from Florida! I will never rent from them again! If YOU do, inspect the car with a fine tooth comb and camera! I have since read this is a common scam!