LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Thieves! The worst experience ever! I made a reservation almost a month in advance. I immediately realized that I had selected the wrong airport location and called 'customer service' to change and was charged a $50 cancellation fee. Needless to say, I did not change the reservation with them, but used a more reputable agency. Unable to give 0 stars. :p
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 an 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.
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 **. We were given a 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 complained 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 ** 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!
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 Nissan 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 Afghanistan. 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 livelihood which they earned during their lives. To threaten to take away a veteran's livelihood is just plain not fair. They have given life and limbs to keep us free not to gouge us as Advantage does.
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I decided I would like to return my car rented in San Diego to LAX instead. To even ask if that was possible, involved multiple phone calls, being on hold for more than 30 minutes, and finally a manager took my name and number and said she'd call me back. She never did, so I called her. She said it would be $150 flat fee. It said I needed to think about it. I decided to do it and called back the next morning. When I called, I was hung up on 8 times in a row. I finally got through and a manager said he was busy but would take my name and number and get back to me. 9 hours later, he had still not called, so I called back.
When I called back, was told he was unavailable and they'd take my name and number and get back to me. While I was arguing with them to ensure I would get a phone call returned, the manager miraculously became available. He told me that my record showed I was dropping off in LAX for $150. I thought I was through with the customer device nightmare, but when I dropped it off in LAX, they had no record of me coming there and were going to charge me over $1,000 for what was supposed to be $400 total. Trying to get this resolved took 4 phone calls to San Diego and there was never a manager to help.
After over 90 minutes, I couldn't risk missing my flight, so paid another wrongly calculated fee which was $250 more than expected. San Diego personnel ensured me that she'd leave detailed notes and someone would take care of me in the morning. So now am on day 4 of the saga... no return phone call and it is late in the afternoon. So, I called them... No manager is available and they took my number and will call me back.
I doubt I will ever get a manager or a return phone call - will have to contest my charges through my credit card company I guess. This company should not be allowed to do business. They are unethical, changed the rate of my signed contract, and have zero customer service skills.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- We arrived at the Orlando airport at 4:00. We went down to the area where we wait for them to pick us up. We waited for about 20 minutes. Then we called them. It took forever for someone to answer the phone. When they finally did, they said they would be right there. We waited for another 15 or 20 minutes. When I was speaking to the guy at the rental booth, he asked if I wanted insurance. I said, "No, I have full-coverage already." He looked at my card and said I didn't.
I know I have full coverage because the car I own is so new. Then he proceeded to tell me that I really should buy the lost damage waiver, which means that if I wreck the car, I will have to pay for any lost time and lost revenue to them while the car is out. I said, "Hold on a sec. And I called my insurance company." She basically said, if they were to take me to court if I damaged the car, they would have to prove that my car was the only car on the lot at the time and they couldn't rent it out.
So, I declined the waiver, but it really upset me that the guy kept pressuring me about it. I've never had anyone treat me that way. He also tried to upsell me to a more expensive car. I turned that down. When we got back to the car rental on the day we were leaving, the guy taking us to the airport asked us what airline we were going on. We told him and he took us to the exact same area where they picked us up a couple of days earlier!! We had to go upstairs and all the way to the end of all the counters to check in with our airline.
I have no idea why he even asked us what airline we were on if he had no intentions of taking us to the doors for departures. I will never, never, never us this company again!! I implore anyone who's even thinking about it to choose someone else. We got a great deal on our rental, but I don't care. I would rather go with someone who actually will not try to rip me off.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- In May I rented a car at Advantage Rent A Car in Salt Lake City with drop-off in Albuquerque. The rental car was damaged before I drove it out of the lot, but I was not aware of the damage. I didn't find out about the damage until I returned the car to Advantage in Albuquerque, where the attendant pointed out the damage to me.
In the Advantage parking area in Salt Lake City the attendant had handed me a piece of paper that stated the vehicle was not damaged, and she asked me to initial it. I told her that I couldn't initial because I hadn't even seen the vehicle. She replied that the car had just been inspected and had no damage, that I should go to the car and inspect it myself, and if I found no major damage I should go ahead and drive the vehicle. I inspected the car and noted that the license plate was bent. I noticed no further damage, but snapped a picture of the front of the car "just in case." The damage is visible in the photo.
My flight had been 2 hours late arriving in SLC, I was already tired, and I had a 4-hour drive ahead of me that night, so I wanted to get going as soon as possible. The parking area was poorly lit, the car was a dark color, the bumper was a dark color, and I didn't see the damage to the bumper. In Albuquerque I disputed the charge that I had damaged the car. I tried numerous times to call an Advantage representative whose name and phone number were given to me, but I could never reach her, and she never returned my calls.
I finally dropped the matter, thinking my explanation had been accepted, but I was wrong. Now Advantage is claiming I owe them $962 for damage that they say I am responsible for. I am certain that Advantage was aware that the damage was there before I rented the vehicle. I learned some lessons the hard way.
I received a letter from Advantage Director of Loss Prevention stating "I have had an opportunity to review the file in its entirety, and have requested that our third party administrator, Subrogation Management Team close their file down." No apology. Attached was a supposed-email from the Advantage Albuquerque office, which I had never received. The supposed-email stated that my phone number "seems to be disconnected." My phone was not disconnected. The letter thanks me for my "corporation." (Are Advantage employees ignorant, dumb, thieves? Or all of the above?) I later received a letter from Subrogation Management Team Ltd. stating "Please accept this letter as confirmation that the claim brought against you for damage resulting from an accident...was done so in error. This claim has been closed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced." That apology from Subrogation Management Team was nice, but the problem wasn't their fault. The problem was entirely the fault of Advantage Rent A Car. If I had not vigorously fought the Advantage claim, the company would still be pushing me to pay $962. My insurance company was a great help in this matter, demanding among other things, 6 months of prior vehicle history and copies of the rental inspection/condition reports from previous renters.
DENVER, COLORADO -- Beware of any ‘special' offers from Advantage! I found a great internet special and ending paying 3x what I was quoted and put up with the worst customer service imaginable. I was flying into Denver, Colorado on a three day trip and needed to rent a car to travel to Breckenridge. I found an internet special from Advantage offering a Spring Break special which would waive the young driver's fee. It was valid in 13 states including Colorado. I booked the car through the link on the website and had no issues. I received the confirmation the day before with a charge showing $0 for the young driver's fee.
When I arrived at the Denver airport I was charged 3X what I was quoted because the Young Driver's fee was not waived. The manager accused me of making up the deal arguing that it was illegal to waive young driver's fees. The following day I called customer service to get the charge refunded. Again, I was greeted by a rude, combative agent that didn't believe the special existed. She almost hung up on me, but I forced her to type in the website. She read the special back to me and then abruptly put me on hold when she read the young driver's fee was waived.
Twenty minutes later she came back the phone to tell me that Denver did not participate in the special. Isn't Denver in Colorado??? Stated specifically in the special? Apparently not… I was told it was my responsibility to verify the specials they offered were actually honored before I traveled. Not giving up, I called once more a few days later hoping to get a better customer service agent. This time, Denver was included in the special, but they couldn't change my charges because the account was closed!!! Moral of the story is… avoid Advantage at all costs!
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I rented a car from Advantage at the Houston Hobby Airport location through Orbitz. It was a two-day rental for a total of $62. I waited for nearly 45 minutes to be picked up and taken to the local office. I watched other car companies come by as many as five times during the wait. Things eventually went from bad service to a nightmare.
At the office, the employees were rude and less than truthful.
I was told that I had a special that was limited to two days and if I wanted to extend for additional days, any additional days would be $50 per day. I specifically questioned them to make sure that they were not trying to say that if I did extend an additional day, the price for my original two days would also change to the higher rate. They said that was correct, the higher price would only apply to the additional days. I did extend one additional day. I had a very early flight the third day and had to turn the car in before they opened. I called and ask for instructions on how I would do that. I followed the instruction very specifically.
A month later when my credit card bill showed up, I found an additional $188 in charges above what was supposed to have been charged. I called the office to get an explanation. I was treated rudely and received some vague information, including a claim I had not left the keys, which was absolutely false. They would not work with me at all and I could not get a complete explanation of all the charges. I worked with my credit card company to have the fraudulent charges removed. I then received a bill from the Advantage Collections office, but the details of all the charges were still not clear.
I called Advantage to try to work with them and after much tribulation, finally found they had nearly doubled the price they were charging me for the original two days. They charged me for an additional day because they said they had to have a key made that day, and they were charging me for the supposed missing key.
I furnished information to the collections office that would verify the charges were not legitimate. I was told that they did not care if the charges were not legitimate, they intended to collect the money. If I sent information to them, or requested information from them, they responded with threatening letters to pay them in full, right now.
Two calls to customer service provided no help whatsoever. When I tried to talk with someone at a higher level, they would not provide me with any names or numbers. I was just told to call the collections office again. Save yourself some nightmares and avoid Advantage. It is one of the smaller companies and it should continue to get smaller if it is going to depend on fraud to increase revenue.