WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- I made a reservation and paid for a "Jeep or other similar vehicle". I called to confirm and called when my flight was delayed and I was concerned I would not get there before they close. (Yes, even though they are at the airport they do close.) When I went to pick up the car I was told they did not have any of the class of vehicle I returned. They only had a more expensive car.
How can you reserve and pay for one car and when you go to pick it up they tell you they don't have a car for you and you have to pay double what you booked? I had no choice as I had my son, his wife and baby. I needed a bigger car (not a Prius which was an option they offered!). They were rude, unprofessional and a total rip off. I would give them zero stars if I could.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- I reserved a rental car in my name but was charged $12 per day for 7 days due to my wife being the second driver. We asked the desk clerk to change but due to the reservations being in my name she said she could not do that. Also very cheap Camry, no GPS and we had to find directions. Never rent from Advantage!!!
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.
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 were 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.
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!!
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.
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!
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I would never recommend Advantage Rental Cars. My experience with their staff in Atlanta was awful. When booking my last trip, I saw that their pricing was significantly lower than several other companies I have rented from before in Atlanta. The desk agent was very quick to get me to sign for upgrades and insurances and then when I questioned her, many of them were unnecessary and overpriced. When we picked up the van, we ended up going thru 3 to get one where the GPS functioned and the van had been cleaned at all.
Even the last one was marginal at best. When we returned the van, the price was over $100 more because they didn't keep the original reservation and said I was late returning the vehicle. I think it was a ploy. When I spoke to the manager to complain, he was rude and acted as if he couldn't care. I had already explained my situation to the desk agent and he walks out like I'm interrupting his time. I think they have the worst customer service out there and hope to help someone else being taken "advantage" of! What started out as a $233 rental ballooned into $597. Stay away!!
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- First off, I made the reservation online. When I got there, he said he could not find it. I showed my email confirmation and he said he did not see it, but what he can do is give me a car at different rates which would be $40.00 more. I said no. I took his business card and said I was going to call their office and he quickly checked the computer and said, "Yes, here is your reservation. Sometimes it takes while to get our system." Also, I have known car rental companies putting a hold on your credit card but these guys actually charge you everything upfront and you will have to wait until they refund you the money, which I was told it can take up to 21 days.