SAVANNAH, GEORGIA -- Had a nightmare experience with Alamo. Wrote below letter to CEO Apr 14, 2016. Never heard back. Contacted "customer escalation" on May 5, 2016. They submitted an "open inquiry" to the DNR department. Said DNR would contact me in 2-3 days. It has been one week. Still no response. Stop playing games, Alamo. I want my $300 reimbursement!!!
April 14, 2016. Dear Ms. **: This requests a $300 reimbursement from Alamo/Enterprise Holdings for a rental situation last week that caused me much expense and emotional distress due to Alamo's gross negligence.
BACKGROUND: I rented an Alamo car through CarRentals.com for pickup in Savannah, GA on Tues, Apr 6, 2016. The total fees for one week were $127.24. To get a good price, I shopped and shopped and booked two months in advance of the trip – on Feb 19.
When I arrived at the Alamo counter on Apr 6, I was told that I was on the “Do Not Rent” list. I was shocked! I am an infrequent renter and had never heard of such a list. And I certainly did not know I was on it. I was never notified of it. I phoned Alamo for an explanation and they said their research into it would take up to two weeks!!! It was late afternoon and would be getting dark soon. I was in a new city. It was three days into the Augusta Masters Tournament. Attendees flew into Savannah to drive on to Augusta so demand for cars was high, cars limited, and fees costly. I had no choice but to rent from another car rental company. The total cost was $426.91 through Thrifty.
I was devastated. This was +$300, or +335%, over what I had budgeted for the Alamo car. This extra cost was more than the combined cost of my round trip flight, the original Alamo rental, and two nights at an Airbnb. The incident cast a pall on my stay in Savannah and caused me much distress. I am a senior and on a fixed income. This new cost was not in my budget.
SUMMARY / CONCLUSION: Had Alamo notified me that I was on a “Do Not Rent” list, I certainly would not have rented from Alamo. And why didn't CarRentals.com know of this so that they could steer me away from Alamo? I should not have to pay the price for Alamo being grossly negligent about notifying me and/or third party vendors. This is very wrong. I expect full and immediate reimbursement of the $300 – by May 1, 2016. Thank you.
DOWNTOWN DISNEY ANAHIEM, CALIFORNIA -- There were only two good things about my experience with renting this car from this Alamo location at Downtown Disney Anaheim... The staff was friendly and the rate was the least expensive that I could find. The car, a Chrysler 200c, was ok but I wouldn't want that same car again. However, the logistics involved in using that location are ridiculous. The Alamo office, buried deep in Downtown Disney, is difficult to even find. Inconspicuously placed at the corner of a large bldg complex only accessible on foot. You can't park or even get dropped off anywhere near it.
The Alamo sign is placed high near the roof line above the entrance and its orientation is so that you can't see it from either of the directions you can walk in from. So, after being dropped off and walking across a couple of streets and a huge parking lot, I then walked right by it the first time. After renting the car and receiving the key, I was instructed by the Alamo staff to walk "about 100 yards" to another parking lot where the car was parked. Exactly where in that parking lot they didn't know and couldn't tell me. I was told to simply wander around the parking lot and then push the panic button on the key and see which car lit up.
So I headed out as they instructed, but I traveled a lot farther than 100 yards and finally had to ask the valet attendant at another parking lot where the Alamo lot was. They instructed me to go back another block and a half or so where I found a parking lot with a group of cars on the far side of the lot and I started pushing the panic button, and eventually found the car. The lot was completely unmarked. No sign saying Alamo, or anything else.
Then when I returned the car it was the whole process and reverse. These logistics wasted an incredible amount of my time and energy. Very inconvenient. I will not use this location again and this experience will make me think twice about using Alamo car rental again.
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BOZEMAN, ALASKA -- Count on Alamo to leave you stranded, broken down and helpless. On our short honeymoon, we rented an Alamo car from Bozeman, Montana Alamo to tour Yellowstone Park. On our way back to Bozeman, we were driving up a highway incline in the middle of nowhere, when the car slowly came to a stop. We were able to pull off the road just in the nick of time. I quickly reached for my phone because the Alamo brochure boasts about its new 24 hour emergency roadside assistance. Of course, because of our remote location there was no cell service.
After troubleshooting, we decide to start walking to try to get within cell range. After walking a mile and finding one particular spot, we could just manage to get the phone to dial Alamo in Bozeman. After explaining to the customer service agent our situation, our location, and the danger of our situation, I quickly explained how I might lose my cell signal at any moment and that they needed to get a tow truck on its way.
Instead of having concern for us and the situation we were in, the agent began to question if we had run out of gas or if we had used diesel and so on, implying that we got ourselves into this situation and never once saying they will help and get a tow truck on the way. After repeatedly stressing I could lose my cell connection at any moment, the agent put me on hold for 5 minutes and then again for 10 minutes, which is when I lost my connection. After again finding a cell hot spot, I tried calling the Alamo number for the next 20 minutes, only to get a busy signal.
Since the lackadaisical Alamo agent was unconcerned about our situation and safety, our only hope was for a good Samaritan to pick us up before night set in. Luckily for us, a good Samaritan reluctantly stopped and agreed to give us a lift the 2.5 hours back into Bozeman. I called the agent once we were in cell range, to find out he had never sent a tow truck or anyone else to help us for that matter and he never once apologized for the situation, but instead said that once we dropped the keys off at the office they would send a tow truck to pick up the vehicle.
And then to add insult to injury, he proceeded to threaten us with the $600 towing charge if it was found that it was our fault that the car stopped working. Unbelievable! Alamo customer service saying should be, "We have no concern for customer safety and the customer will always be assumed to be at fault, even if they end up stranded on the side of a remote highway.” This took up a day and half of our honeymoon.
The next day we spoke with the manager who was useless and uncaring, the equivalent of the company robot. After calling everyday for over a week, leaving messages for the manager and waiting to hear when we would be, at the very least, refunded our rental fee, we finally heard from Alamo that it was a mechanical issue (no fault of ours) and we would be refunded. There was never an apology or gesture by the company for the poor customer service that put us in an unsafe and dangerous situation. Shameful!
BOZEMAN, MONTANTA -- We called after returning the rental car, because we had forgotten an item. They told us they would call back if they found it, however they didn't. I called back the next day, and sure thing, the item was found. Now I live in the same city as this place, so I was told I could stop by anytime during the day to pick it up. 2 hours later I get this call, that they need to ship the item to me right away at a cost of 20+ dollars. Their reason: because they are "not a storage facility and cannot hold the item for more than 12 hours." Note I only knew they had found the item 2 hours earlier.
I then asked to speak to the manager, and this person (Mark **) then goes on and says 12 hours is incorrect, and that they ship things as soon as found. I've never dealt with such incompetent people. Not once, but twice do they mislead me, in a single day (never mind in the same call). This manager was so rude. I literally wish I was in front of him to punch him in the face. I will take the high road, and simply NEVER USE THIS CAR RENTAL SERVICE AGAIN. I advise you to do the same, simply because, should you have a problem, you can be sure you will be treated like a dog, because that's what these people think of you.
I went to Los Angeles on vacation/business back in April of 2009. I got a vacation package with Southwest Airlines that included stays at the Holiday Inn and a rental car from Alamo. Southwest was a great flight (they were actually early!) and I have high marks for the Costa Mesa Holiday Inn we stayed out. Alamo on the other hand is a different story. When I confirmed the reservation I asked for a subcompact. When we got to the airport and went to the Alamo terminal, there was quite a long line.
When we FINALLY got to the terminal the representative was OK. She kept trying to get us to upgrade to a larger car. We had to refuse several times until she took the hint. She then pushed the CDW waiver on us big time. I also said no to that because I have rental car coverage on my insurance. We finally got away from here to go pick our car up. When we went to the compact area, there was not a SINGLE car out of many spots. We found a porter and asked what to do, and he said take a midsize. So we went to the midsize area.
There were NO midsize car's either. I found another porter and she said that we had no choice but to take a large car. So after all that haggling with the front service desk rep, they didn't even have the car we reserved!! So they ended up giving us the Large car at the compact price. And they knew that they had no compacts but were still trying to charge us for a larger car.
So from the get go, this company is a shady business. We went about our vacation and had a great time. When I got back I checked the car in at the airport. I did the run around with the gate agent and he told me it “looked fine” and I specifically asked him if “we were in the clear” and he said yes. We flew home and everything was fine.
Then 3 months later I get a letter from Alamo saying that I owed them “$700” because the car was all scratched up. I tried calling the guy on the letter “**” numerous times to discuss but he never picked up nor called me back. They just sent me “after” pictures of the car with all of the scratches. You couldn't even see the scratches in the pictures! So I disputed this charge and they have sent me to collections. The collection agents have been harassing me. I have sent them certified letters disputing the charges, but they are still persisting.
I will be getting a lawyer soon and I plan to sue Alamo and the collection agency. I have also found a class action lawsuit being started. I plan to be a part of that as well. And just to note, I had used Alamo 3 times in the past and Enterprise 4 times… I was a loyal customer that was always happy with my service. Now I will NEVER use any of the ERAC companies again (Enterprise, Alamo, National). I have traveled 3 times since then and I have been using Hertz and Avis. When I told the gate agents my experience with Alamo they couldn't believe that a company would be so terrible to a loyal customer.
I think it's a case of “You get what you paid for”. Pay a little bit more for an UPSTANDING rental car company and you won't have to go with what I am going through. So yeah, Alamo your pettiness in trying to get a measly $700 is going to cost you a customer for life. Plus I have been telling all my friends, family, posting in forums about how you treat your customers.
KAILUA/KONA, HAWAII -- Although I don't expect much can be done about this fraud, I do think attention needs to be paid to the exorbitant methods Alamo uses. On May 8, 2010 I picked up a rental car from Alamo at the Kailua/Kona airport in Hawaii which I had reserved through Priceline.com some weeks earlier. The Priceline rate was quite good for an intermediate car. Our flight was delayed for three hours so when we arrived at 11:30 pm everyone rushed to the rental car lots.
The Alamo people were quite insistent, even though the lines were long that I should pay an addition $19.00 per day for insurance. I said my American Express Gold card covered any damage and declined the coverage, as American Express has recommended I do. Even though people were waiting the agent persisted at some length that I was taking a serious financial risk in not buying their coverage. I again politely declined the coverage.
There were no intermediate cars available so they provided me with a full size Chevrolet Malibu at the same rate. The agent who gave me the keys insisted that I inspect the car carefully for any damage before I drove out of the lot. Apparently that was my major mistake. The lot was very poorly lit at that midnight hour and I walked around the car twice examining fenders and front and back for any scratches or dings. I found none that I could see. I was then required to sign that the car was free of any damage or blemish before I could drive out of the lot.
I used the car on only one of the five days I was in Hawaii. The rest of the time I spent in the pool or with my brother-in-law who had rented his own car. I know no damage was caused to the car during the time it was parked in the condominium lot because the lot was nearly empty. When I returned the car on May 13, the Alamo agent again examined the car carefully.
She found what appeared to be a small one inch by three quarters of an inch blemish on the top of the bumper immediately underneath the trunk key hole. It could have been caused by a liquid spill which discolored the paint, or perhaps a suitcase which was being removed from the trunk scraped the paint. The agent claimed it was a dent or crack in the bumper. That was an exaggeration. However that was only the first such overstatement.
The manager of the Alamo lot at Kailua/Kona claimed that since I had not purchased their insurance I would be responsible for paying for the repairs and that Alamo would contact me at home about what I owed. Within five days of my return I received a letter from Alamo indicating I would be receiving a bill. I then contacted American Express and started a rental car damage claim with them. In a phone call I asked the Alamo agent to forward the bill to American Express and gave them American Express claim # which I received when I called American Express about this matter.
I should state that American Express was extraordinarily helpful in resolving this matter and I have no complaint about their practice. I am concerned about Alamo's fraud however. Three weeks after this conversation with Alamo I received a bill with an estimate of repair costs from an auto body shop in Kailua. The total bill was $719.77! This included $569.37 for "collision repair" and 144.37 for "administrative fees and loss of use." The auto body estimate is clearly outlandish.
An auto detailer could have removed the blemish for less than $100. Within two weeks American Express informed me that they had paid the $569.37. I told the American Express agent that I thought this was fraud on Alamo's part and that there was no damage which would require the payment they had made. The agent thanked me and said they were following their own procedures for resolving a claim.
On July 9 I received another call from Alamo stating that although American Express had paid part of the claim, they still required payment of the remaining $144,83 for "administrative fees and loss of use." When I called American Express about this they indicated that Alamo had not provided the documentation required for such a payment. They needed some justification that the "administrative fee" required some documentation which demonstrated that it was additional work beyond their normal business activity.
American Express also indicated that "loss of use" would need to be demonstrated by a rental log which indicated that demand for the car was such that it required reimbursement for this loss. Alamo would not provide this documentation to American Express.
I emailed the Alamo claims department and said that if they expected my payment for these charges I would like similar documentation. The Alamo agent called me and said "we are not obligated by law to provide you such proof." The agent further stated that if I didn't immediately send payment - within ten days - they would send this bill to collection. However the agent did say, if I was agreeable and sent them one - half of the amount they would consider the matter settled.
I was extremely upset at the time but finally realized that nothing was to be gained by continuing this conflict. I sent them a credit card reimbursement for $75.20 which (with the taxes they had included) was half of the cost of the administrative fee and loss of use charge. I don't expect to get this money back but I am outraged that Alamo can get away with this fraud. Clearly they are insisting on exorbitant rates for their own damage insurance.
When renters decline this coverage they engage in fraudulent exaggeration of damages and fraudulent auto repair estimates. Unfortunately American Express seems to be enabling this fraud by agreeing to pay for these damages. I do think government officials need to investigate this matter because it is an instance of consumer fraud. Although American Express acted in a most helpful way in settling my claim, they should inform their Gold Card customers that some portions of a rental car company's repair charges may not be paid if required documentation is not supplied.
Thank you for anything you can do to alert the public to this consumer fraud. I will never patronize Alamo again and will inform everyone I know of their fraudulent practices.
LOS CABOS, MISSOURI -- Alamo defrauded us of money during our trip to Mexico. For the last 2 months, I have attempted to resolve this matter and Alamo's customer service has been worse than deplorable. The Cabo franchisee lied and defrauded us, and the US operation has refused to issue us a refund and continues to rely on the lies of the Cabo franchisee.
This company should step up and refund our $. Over less than $500, Alamo is willing to be sued. Alamo's CEO has ignored several emails and calls, and nobody will call me. Avoid Alamo and its sister companies at all costs. Alamo - step up, adhere to your customer service mantra and give me back the $ you stole from us!
Daniel - I am not sure you are aware of the history of this matter, and if not, I request that you look into Alamo's notes and the extensive correspondence on this topic. Yesterday, American Express Executive contacted me, and then conferenced in Alamo, in an attempt to expedite a resolution. Yet, as expected, I am transferred to yet another customer service representative. The long and short of it is that:
(a) The Cabo Alamo employee lied to us about the insurance and overcharged us for the rental after poaching us 2 feet out of customers at the Cabo airport,
(b) the Cabo Alamo location charged us over $150 for non-existent damage to the first car,
(c) the Cabo Alamo location refused to show us the alleged damage on the day the car with the flat was picked up or on 12/1, when the second car was returned,
(d) the Cabo Alamo employee who swapped out the cars said nothing about damage to the first car, which he presumably drove back to the Cabo Alamo location without incident; and
(e) Cabo Alamo, after over a month, produces a generic picture of a wheel of a VW to somehow substantiate its assertion that we caused damage to the first car. The level of misconduct by your company and franchisee continues to rise.
My patience has worn thin with your company. Your company has been non-responsive, including communications to your executive management. I offered a fair compromise, to which your company has yet to respond. At this point, I request that someone with decision-making power contact me directly or process the refund. I very much do not want to file suit over a relatively small amount of money, but you are leaving me with little choice. As I am sure you are aware, due to Alamo's (and its parent company's) world-wide presence, suit may be filed in Dallas, County, Texas.
As I am also sure you are aware, Dallas County courts will send this case to mediation. Economically, this case makes no sense to either side. However, if Enterprise Holdings wishes to use its corporate muscle over less than $500, then I have the time and energy to bring suit to recover the money owed to us, as well as my attorney's fees. I do not believe a Court will be sympathetic to the shenanigans that have occurred on the US customer service level with both Enterprise Holdings and Alamo, not to mention the underlying fraud committed by your Cabo franchisee (all of which is documented).
I also am shocked that your company would subject itself to the negatively publicity over a small amount of money and when your company and its franchisee are clearly in the wrong. Again, do the right thing and live up to your company's customer service mantra. I await a prompt resolution.
COZUMEL, MEXICO -- I am wanting to warn all consumers about Alamo car rental in Cozumel Mexico as we had several issues, which the last one happened today. My family and I had a great cruise vacation which one of our ports was Cozumel Mexico. When we got off the boat and headed down the pier we were approached by an employee at Alamo, letting us know that they had great rates on Jeeps, and that we could rent it until 6pm that day for only a grand total of $40. We decided to take the deal so we could see the whole area.
The manager of the location filled out the contract and the total was $125 not the $40 as promised. He then stated that the guy who approached us on the pier did not include tax and insurance and other customary charges. I then told him never mind, but of course had an upset wife and kids who were looking forward to going out and exploring the area. We finally came to an agreement of $85 including tax and full coverage insurance. This was in my opinion a sucker them in move with a lowball offer and we will negotiate from there.
After signing all the paperwork, contracts, and credit card receipts we were then told the vehicle was on the way and would be there in 10 minutes. This became another huge debacle. We waited and waited and waited and were continuing to be told it was only 5 to 10 minutes away. Now mind you we have limited time before the boat boards and we leave at 5pm. A total of 1 hour has passed and no vehicle. Of course my wife and I are very upset. The manager then comes and says that he was mistaken and that they have no Jeeps available. He then says they can have a higher class vehicle there in of course 10 minutes.
The problem for us is we waited all this time and have no other plans and it's too late to book anything else, so he has us. Of course 10 minutes come and go and after 20 minutes the vehicle shows up. To my surprise it's a decent vehicle with lower miles. The manager apologizes for wasting one and half hours of our vacation time but to my surprise never offers to discount the vehicle and when I suggest it even gets defensive about giving us a higher class and more expensive rental. Either way I was not going to waste anymore time. From there on everything goes as planned. No issues until we get home.
I get my American Express bill and was charged as promised. On the whole vacation and in fact over the past 9 months this is the ONLY place my wife has used her American Express card. Now fast forward a couple months and today I get a call from American Express security wanting to know if my wife, myself or someone we knew were in Cozumel Mexico and used my wife's card to charge $540 worth of electronics.
The security agent said that the charge was done in person and since my wife's card is still in her wallet that they must have made a duplicate copy of it from the Alamo receipt or it was scanned by one of those scanners to make a copy at a later date. When she charged the Jeep at Alamo the guy swiped it several times before running it through one of those older types of machines with paper where you put the card on top of paper and run the device over top of it to make an imprint.
Sorry, so long. But I just wanted to warn anyone going to Cozumel to please be careful with your credit card and NEVER USE A DEBIT CARD TIED TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. Alamo in Cozumel either has someone copying the cards to commit credit card fraud, or at the least is careless with the paperwork that has the credit card information on it. Either way that is very poor business and will have this loyal Alamo customer looking at other car rental companies. Thanks for your time to read this.
MOBILE, ALABAMA -- My husband and I sought a rental car for a weekend trip and ended up going with Alamo at the airport in Mobile, AL. While the rates were better than the other airport rental companies, the lack of customer service and cavalier attitude displayed by the regional manager, along with the logic behind what gets placed in "Lost and Found" and what gets "tossed" was not worth the few dollars of savings. We were hurried to get the car back before 9pm and in the rush of getting the baby out of the car in the back, we did not check the floorboard of the front seat where I had placed my leather bound work padfolio.
When I discovered my error the next morning, I immediately called and got the regional manager's voicemail when I followed the lost-and-found prompt. I then contacted someone at the counter who assured me a call back that day. I was never called back so my husband stopped by in person. He was told that there was no such padfolio in the Lost and Found and that it was probably thrown away! What, then, is the purpose of Lost and Found? I was very puzzled and anxious by the notion so I attempted to contact the regional manager, again, the next day.
This time I did get a return call from the voicemail that I left. Essentially, the regional manager was very cavalier, told me that he didn't know what a padfolio was, until I explained/described it, and was then told that it would be a "common" item to be thrown away. He also informed me that the car we rented was rented back out within the hour and they are not responsible for lost items in the vehicle. I told him that I certainly understood that they were not responsible but I could not understand why a sturdy, leather bound, padfolio that clearly contained work items would be classified as trash.
I then asked what types of items did make their way to Lost and Found. He responded that he currently had a $20,000 infrared camera and a projector in the Lost and Found. My next question was that the value of the items, then, determined what was placed in Lost and Found. He responded "no" but that "common items" like notepads would be thrown away. I tried to explain that the padfolio was not simply a notepad but a sturdy, leather bound notebook that was very substantial and would be hard to confuse with a fast food cup or a newspaper (items that he also mentioned as being common to get tossed).
I then asked their policy for receiving policy or process improvement suggestions as I think they should definitely review their policies on this. Of course, he responded that I could email him or send a letter to corporate that would get pushed back down to him. Well, I will see how far that is going to go but I will be submitting that letter to corporate, nonetheless. So, PLEASE CHECK FOR REMAINING ITEMS before you return the vehicle.
Alamo's Lost and Found policy certainly doesn't give me much faith in their concern for the customer and I will not be renting with them again, if for nothing else than general principle. As a final note, I can't help but wonder if one of the local Alamo staff is now outfitted with a beautiful leather bound portfolio, courtesy of me.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I recently had to travel for emergency business for NASA near Melbourne FL. I work in software design and was called down to troubleshoot the latest Atlas rocket that was to be launched on Friday Nov. 13th 2009. I drive a corporate car for business, insured by my company, and rent from Enterprise at least 4 times a month. I have NEVER had an issue with Enterprise but had to rent from Alamo since they were the only ones open when I would be arriving.
The reservations were made, including all pertinent information (License number, etc.). I arrived at the rental counter at 11:30 pm, and was finally greeted by an gruff, obviously not happy to be there, annoying clerk. After giving him my reservation number, he disappeared for 10 minutes. No explanation as to why, or when he would return. After handing him my reservation papers and my drivers license, he inform me that Alamo had me on the "DO NOT RENT" list. No explanation, no nothing. I have never had this happen before. I would have been stranded at Orlando airport and had to take a cab the 45 miles to my hotel.
Luckily my fiance accompanied me on this trip and she was able to rent a car, after much hassle from the clerk. I was not able to even put on the car as a second driver. When I finally got a car, there were none available. We had to wait 30 minutes for a car to be brought from another terminal!!! When it finally arrived, the girl handing out cars actually threw the keys at us. No looking over the car for damage, no nothing.
The car had a defective lighter which made our Garmin impossible to use. My fiance, instead of having a relaxing week in FL, had to shuttle me to NASA every morning, and pick me up every night. She had no idea where to go during the day, since our Garmin didn't work, and I had to hike from the main gate to the operations center daily. She could not drop me off at the op center since she did not have proper credentials. When the car was returned it was filled with gas, yet the gauge did not register completely full. The attendant asked us to present the gas receipt to the Alamo rental desk, which he signed off on. When we got to the rental desk, again, no one was there.... What a lousy way to do business.
When I finally got an answer from Alamo regarding my "DO NOT RENT" status they said it was because I had rented form another company within the last 2 weeks, and I had had an auto accident in the past. Mind you, that was over 2 years ago!!! Then they sent me a bill for the additional gas (2 gallons) and since I didn't sign up for their fill up program they charged me 56.00 for 2 freaking gallons.
Their customer service sucks, they are rude, (including their customer service dept) and their cars don't always work. I am disgusted with them and will never rent from them again. When I returned to NY, I told this story to my fellow co-workers and they have had the same "DO NOT RENT" experience.
P.S. The Atlas mission had to be scrubbed, but it wasn't my fault!!!