TORONTO -- Do NOT ever rent a car from Autowise, an affiliate of Advantage Car Rental in Canada. I was quoted a price of $274 and ended up paying close to $500. Autowise slaps a mandatory $8.95 mandatory insurance liability charge for every day of your rental. This is not explained when you rent the car even though you sign a waiver saying you do not want insurance and they assure you that you do not have insurance. On returning the car, they say that you had waived collision insurance but not the mandatory liability insurance that the company requires. It's a scam and all the customers who came in to return their cars were shocked and upset at having to pay this hidden cost.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Road trip turned bad! We had a van that luckily we noticed the tires, yes tires, that were through the belt. We called the customer service and that went over like a lead balloon. I talked to ** and he said "We will drive a replacement vehicle to you or you drive it into Salt Lake City". We were 200 miles from Salt Lake City and the tires were through the belt. He insisted these were the only two options we had. I said "we have 5 kids under the age of 12 and two diabetics, we cannot stay here for 3 hours on the side of the road, and I refuse to risk our lives and drive it with these tires."
** said "We have to be the ones to do the repairs so we can't have the tires fixed on the road, sorry. Either wait for a vehicle or risk your life." After demanding to speak to management for over an hour on the side of the road, I was able to speak with the GM In MS and he had to pay for the tires to be replaced with his own credit card! In the morning when we drop off the car, this delivery will not be a friendly one!
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA -- I would not recommend that anyone rent from this company. Three things went wrong with our rental car while we had it and all they did was note our file about it. The thing that topped the cake was our tire pressure light went off and I called in and they said it could be a number of things like the cold weather. The last day we had the car we got a flat tire 160 miles from the rental company.
The company was rude to us about it and did not care. They wanted us to use our own AAA to fix. Told us there was a spare tire in the trunk and it wasn't. We were 1 hour late returning the car because we had to fix it ourselves with fix a flat and ride slow on the freeway to get back and they still charged us an extra day.
Advantage was listed substantially lower in price than all other car rental companies when I did a search on Travelocity and a few other sites. I was skeptical since the price was around 40% cheaper and thought there must be a catch. I took a chance and went with Advantage, thinking that I would probably get an older vehicle, poor service, or hidden charges.
Surprisingly, there were no surprises. The shuttle came quickly. When we reached the pick-up location, the lines were quite long, but understandable with the low prices. When I got the car, I was pleasantly surprised to get a relatively new (less than 4500 miles), well-equipped Chevy Malibu with XM satellite radio. When I returned the vehicle, I was charged exactly what I was quoted (I had declined all options). No surprises, pleasant service, a nice new vehicle. Will definitely rent from them again.
The worst in customer service and a real bait and switch. They are also Hertz so you will get no solution to the problem. Every number to solve the problem leads you back to the office you rented from. Hertz and Advantage don't care about you and your well-being. The office I rented from was the Advantage in the Hilton airport hotel in West Palm beach. You get there and you are stuck to rent from them. So they have no office space at the airport so you wait for someone to pick you up. Don't deal with Cheapo.com either.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Do not -- DO NOT ever rent a car from Advantage in Miami... Important.. this is dangerous! Here's why: Unlike all the other rental car companies in Miami, Advantage does not have signs leading you back to the Advantage return location even if you have a GPS, Advantage does not include their address on their paperwork.
The area around their location is a BAD area of Miami, and you WILL get lost, like the dozens of other Miami renters I have talked to. They do NOT answer their phone, so essentially you are lost in the worst part of Miami with no reasonable way to find their location. I was on the shuttle with 6-8 renters who were all missing their flights (some international) because of this issue.
And here's the best part: when you complain, they tell you: "sorry, you should have arrived two hours earlier!" (P.S. they rented me a car with a flat tire). Whatever it costs to rent from Hertz or Avis, do so because in the long run it will be cheaper after you pay for a new flight because you missed your original flight.
SALT LAKE CITY AIRPORT -- I rented a car through Advantage Car Rental at Salt Lake City airport from October 14-16, 2009. I had already pre-paid using Hotwire, and made it very clear to the salesperson that I did not want any additional insurance or options since my insurance covers me for all of North America. Not only did the salesperson ignore my request, she went on to tell me that I needed an SUV, snow tires because there is snow on the highway for the drive into Idaho. Not only was this untrue, when my wife mentioned she had checked the weather the salesperson justified it by saying there's always a chance.
Thinking that she had honoured our request, we gladly took our car rental and were on our way. When we came to return the car we were surprised by the attendant wanting us to pay more for the additional insurance. The same salesperson happened to be at the counter. When we asked her why she charged us for something we didn't want, she denied my declining the additional insurance, and furthermore went on to lie to her manager about trying to up-sell winter gear.
She went to laugh at us, mock us about not knowing what we were talking about, and claim that we lied about the rental. Not only was this the most unprofessional experience I have had with a car rental salesperson, but it was humiliating. The sales manager had to ask the employee to stop laughing and leave the counter. The manager stated he was sorry and was only authorized to give us 50% of the erroneous charge back. I have emailed the company and am waiting to hear back.
On December 26, 2008, I landed on Maui Island, holding a print out of my car reservation with Advantage, which I had booked on Hawaiian Airline website a few weeks before. But Advantage booth was closed and there is only a Customer Support phone number written on the window. No one answered my call and the next door Car Rental company, Enterprise, offered $250 a day.
As it was the only one still having cars available, I had no choice but swallow the rip-off. I thought this kind of things only happen in countries like China. WHAT A IRRESPONSIBLE COMPANY ADVANTAGE IS! WHAT A RIP-OFF ENTERPRISE-MAUI IS! I want to go after this ordeal. Any suggestions?
After posting the review below, I did hear back from Advantage. They credited me for the extra day and for the gas charges! So I feel much better about them, hopefully, they will do a little extra customer service training for their employees. BTW, I spent over 10 years on the road, renting 1-2 cars a week. I never had a charge of 4 times the daily rate for having the car for 61 minutes longer. It wasn't a matter of not reading - it was a matter of it not being written clearly.
I rented a car from advantage at DFW for 4 days. Their estimate was for $24 a day, with the notification of "Extra hour $15, extra day $99.99". I returned it 3 hours late - to my surprise they charged me $99.99! I called and they said anything over 59 minutes is an extra day. I asked why they even mention the hourly rate - she said because it sometimes applies but couldn't say when. I sent in a complaint on their website and got no response.
Other problems - they told me at the counter at fill-up charge was $2.39 which was "way cheaper" than at gas stations. Gas at the stations was $2.29 - $2,49! The map they gave me only showed the locations of Advantage rental offices - useless for navigating. I will NEVER use them again!
DENVER, COLORADO -- Never rent from this company. They use deceptive marketing and selling practices, and will charge you for everything extra that they can, even when you have explicitly said you don't want the various little add-ons they attempt to push on you to increase the fee. Their cars are cheap and poorly maintained as well. So, while they might seem to have cheaper prices, in the end you'll end up paying more, get horrible customer service, and be stuck with a well-used car. Better to go with Hertz and Avis and pay a bit more for something reliable, and a company that does not cheat you.