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!
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.
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- Whatever you do, AVOID this Alamo branch, if not, all of the Alamos in the DC area. I have rented for years without ANY problems with companies such as Enterprise (which Alamo happens to now be under, ironically) and Avis, to name a couple. I have never had any problems with my rentals and their post-inspections.... until I used this company at this location. I purchased a deal off of Hotwire, thinking "what a great deal Alamo has." I was even "upgraded" from a Dodge minivan to a Chrysler. I thought, "Wow, this company is great."
That afternoon, I took some friends out to MD in this van, had a great evening, and returned the van back to DCA via the late night drop-off (a little past midnight). No damages done to the van whatsoever and I have witnesses. I dropped the keys AND rental agreement in their mailbox-looking thing, double-checked the van for anything out of the ordinary, and off I went.
Then, I get a voice mail in the morning claiming they found scratches to the vehicle. Of course, I am surprised, upset, and VERY suspicious. I have never gotten into an accident in my life and my driving record is clean. I denied the damages, of course, and yet they insisted they needed to write up a claim. I go on my honeymoon. When I get back, I receive an invoice of $1000 and an estimate with non-time stamped pictures of the alleged van with scratches. $1000 for scratches!! On top of that, the YEARS of the vehicle didn't match.
Let's just say that 1/2 a year later, I'm still fighting their bogus claim. I've contacted the Office of Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau. Alamo has been uncooperative, unreliable, and, quite frankly, untrustworthy. I've done extensive research on bogus car claims, and, well, what do you know... Alamo shows up. Google it. Learn from my mistake and the mistake of many others. This company will take advantage of you if you're not careful.
Avoid this company at all cost. But if you're one of the unfortunate to HAVE to rent from them, force them to do a walk-around (they insist it's "up to the customer"... other places I've rented did that automatically), sign documents to confirm the condition of the vehicle, take PICTURES and VIDEO inside and out, and when you return the vehicle, take pictures and video AGAIN and make sure you do one last inspection with a representative and confirm the condition. It's a hassle. But, you never know if you'll need the evidence one day, as I've read stories about companies who write up claims even AFTER an inspection.
VALPARAISO, FLORIDA -- We reserved a full size Chevy Impala in February for an August Florida vacation that was advertise to seat 5 individuals. We only needed the vehicle for to and from the airport and an occasional trip to the store during our stay.
When we arrived in Florida to pick up the car - the attendant advised that there were no Chevy Impalas available and that they had a comparable full size car (the Ford Fusion) at the same price that would meet our needs. I replied "fine as long as it gets all six of us to and from the Hotel." The attendant then began to tell me how uncomfortable the Fusion would be for six of us and that they had a Volkswagen CC that was a larger car and would be much more comfortable for an additional 70 dollars a week. I know nothing about car sizes and trusted that a car rental company knew what they were talking about. Worst mistake I made all year!
We only rented the car based on Alamo's recommendations - After I started researching the VW CC - it actually is a smaller car than both the Impala or Fusion (front & rear leg room, head room, hip room - smallest Trunk room ever and smallest passenger volume of 94 cu ft).
What it boiled down to is that the size of all three of the cars were comparable - however the VW was classified as a premium with GPS and Heated Seats - two of which we didn't want or need..... GPS was worthless and I brought my own / who needs heated seats in Florida for Aug. So there was no size upgrade only worthless unnecessary features. I feel that Alamo misrepresented what we were paying for and were overcharged the 70 dollar upgrade fee. I will not use Alamo again.
COMALAPA, LA PAZ -- Was a loyal customer for six years traveling 3-4 times a year to El Salvador. Have not always had any real good condition cars, but finally had the worse experience with Alamo this past weekend.
When I received the vehicle I noticed missing vehicle safety feature that protect the car logos from being stolen. As a third world country, stealing car logos and reselling them helps impoverished individuals make money. Anyway, not even 24 hours after someone had stolen the logos. I immediately contact Alamo to explain the situation and was told that I have to pay for the logos even though I paid full coverage for the car. Apparently, there is no protection coverage of missing logos as I was held responsible for them.
The day of returning the vehicle I discussed the matter with the fleet manager and escalated to a bigger matter because he refused to waive the fee for the missing logos even after acknowledging that it may not have been my fault but still pushed the matter that I would be charged. I made him aware and was going to refuse the charge after returning to the US. His response was that if I refused to accept the charge he was also going to refuse to provide me with transportation to the airport because of this. This was very unprofessional of him, if you ask me!
In the end I had to figure out how to get to the airport on time with all my luggage since the airport was two miles away. After my return back home, I was surprised to see that they successfully applied the charge and disregarded my complaint and dissatisfaction.
After this EXTREMELY bad experience I will NEVER use Alamo and suggest anyone in using them if touring in El Salvador NOT to use them and save yourself from any hassles and bad unnecessary headaches. Alamo in El Salvador has proven to be nothing more than the type of expert rip off company they can be.
Dear Mr. Angel, we understand our country is not the safest place, but we would like to assist you further with your complaint. Please contact us at this email.
EL SALVADOR, SOUTH CAROLINA -- The cars are old and not maintained. Besides, the prices are high. Once you get down there they want to add some insurances besides the require one for very high prices. Besides, in my case the phone they rented me never work causing frustration and by not knowing the country, it was very difficult to contact anybody or go buy a new one which I end up doing the next day. However, after reporting it the credit was never issue even after calling weeks later and leaving messages two month later and no credit back. It's ridiculous in the way this company just steals the money from us. Bad one.
DULLES, VIRGINIA -- I am totally frustrated and will never use Priceline or Alamo again. AFTER Alamo accepted our price on Priceline - when my husband went to pick up the vehicle - they refused to accept our Visa - Check Card. Refused to release the car without a Major Credit Card. Guess that was so they could just gouge what they wanted.
Immediately, contacted Priceline that Alamo refused to release the car. Advised that AFTER the drop off date - which was 5 days away - it would take another 10 business days for them to investigate and issue a refund because they could not contact the retailer as it was AFTER our pick up time but long before they closed, which made NO sense to me. I will never use either again. Here we are nearly 1 week later still no refund so they are making money on the interest of our money for a service they refused to provide.
TAMPA, CALIFORNIA -- The story is, my girl friend and me rent a car at Tampa airport for only one day on Jan 2014. The airport garage was dark, and the representative didn't offer to check the vehicle condition before driving away. We were hungry for food so forgot to do so. I admit, my bad.
On the second day when we returned the car at a different location, the staff found a ~4-inch long scratch on the body, and claimed it's my responsibility. Certainly I didn't damage the car, but it left unclear whether someone else did during my possession, or it's simply existed before my possession, although there was no record of the damage in their system (who knows how well they update such info). Again, I admit it's my bad, didn't buy insurance for the 24-hour period.
Because we were in a hurry for a cruise, we left credit card number, a deposit for $500 for the repair. The representative promised there will be detailed report of damage estimate and cost estimate for us. And he said he will call after we finished the cruise trip, which sounded nice. However, after 3 weeks, no calls at all, and the transaction of $500 was processed.
I don't think it's fair for them to charge the money before contacting me to reach an agreement on the numbers. He tricked us saying it would be more or less than $500, and the actual number depends on the report by adjuster. And in this way, they got the money already, leaving me with no chance to dispute the claim. I should have the right to accept or dispute the final charges. And I don' think charging without any written report is valid in my case.