OMAHA, NEBRASKA -- Beware - Alamo Car Rental runs a scam through Priceline. Here is what happens: First, Alamo accepts an extremely low bid via Priceline (planning on getting money out of you in other ways). Second, they hard-sell their comprehensive insurance. (I have no problem with this - all companies try to sell you this). If they get you to buy the insurance - then they've made their money. However - IF NOT - THEY WILL SEND YOU A DEMAND LETTER INFORMING YOU THAT THE CAR WAS DAMAGED.
The scam likely works well with most people. They do it intelligently. They will tell you the damage came to about $150.00 or so (below most people's deductibles) - that way you won't call your insurance company about it. After all, if you called the insurance company, they would ask if Alamo documented the damage to the car before and after you rented it. THEY DON'T. I even asked about it when I picked it up and dropped it off. They insisted there was no need. Obviously, they don't want it documented, so they can then scare you into believing there was damage done to the car.
In my instance, I knew good and well that there was no damage done to the car. I called Alamo, informed them I am a lawyer (which I am) and asked them how they planned to prove there was any damage to the car. They immediately backed down. However, absent being a lawyer and challenging them, they likely would not have backed down so easily.
I highly recommend never renting from them. This was obviously a calculated scam, which the company knows about and endorses. Horrible company. Never rent from them. Personally, I have never had any problems from either Dollar or Enterprise. Can't speak too much for other companies... but stay away from Alamo.
I rented a car from Alamo for my trip to Alabama. I usually choose Alamo for my road trips because they offer very attractive weekly rates, unlimited mileage and the driving area is the entire Continental United States and Canada. I book under my corporate contract in order to get all the insurance coverages and additional drivers at no cost. I use googled Alamo Coupon codes and prepay to save an additional 10 percent. (Alamo has a very fair cancellation policy) I also have a butt load of Alamo upgrade coupons courtesy of our corporate travel office. Overall I'm always satisfied with Alamo.
This last trip I got a mid-sized Saturn (free upgrade) for a base rate of $143.10 a week, minus a 20 dollar internet coupon, minus 10 percent prepay discount which comes to about 111 bucks a week plus 16 bucks in taxes. Since the Alamo in OKC is off airport I get to forgo those nasty Airport surcharges. Anyway, all in all sweet deal.
So time passes and I'm having such a blast in Alabama catching miniature catfish and enjoying the locals that I decide to delay my return. I see by the Alamo rental agreement that extra days will be billed at $89 dollars a day. I'm going to be three days late so with taxes that comes out to about $300. This does not please me in the least. Holy cow that's more than double my weekly rate. So I did what every good consumer should do and called the Alamo reservation line in order to find a more favorable and reasonable solution to my problem.
I asked the Alamo guy if I could get billed the weekly rate instead of the daily rate for the additional three days. He said 'No sir'. I asked him if the daily rate was negotiable. He said 'No sir'. I see on the rental agreement that I can extend the rental up to 28 days so I asked him if I could extend the rental by a week at the $143.10 base weekly rate. He said 'Yes Sir'. Cool. I asked him if I extended my rental by a week but turned the car in four days early would I still get the weekly rate. He said 'No sir, you have to keep the car at least five additional days to qualify for the weekly rate'. Okay, Gotcha. Extend by rental by a week at the weekly rate which he did.
Bottom line is by reading the rental agreement and asking the right questions I was able to save about 150 buck by merely keeping the car an additional two days. I don't understand the logic of the Alamo policy but hey whatever saves me money. I actually enjoyed the car so much that I kept it for the full seven day week. It was like pennies from heaven.
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- We rented a car from Alamo at the San Jose airport. We were offered the fuel service option with a guaranteed price of $3.81 per gallon. However, it was not explained that we would be charged for a full tank of gas and that we should bring it back empty, just that we were guaranteed that price. So when we dropped the vehicle off with a half a tank of gas, we assumed that we would be charged just to fill it at the price of $3.81. Our receipt showed a full tank, but I assumed they just were showing what a full tank would be and that they would adjust it accordingly. Wrong.
I called Alamo this morning to see what the final price was and they said it was the same. The customer service rep explained that we had agreed to purchase a full tank, but very quickly offered to refund half since we returned the car with half a tank of gas. I was fine with that. She then put me on hold and when she came back on, she said that she could only refund me $25 since she had to use the refueling option at $5.63 per gallon.
I told her that it was outrageous that they were charging that much per gallon more. The gas station outside the airport was $4.25 and we definitely would have filled the tank had we known that we would be paying $5.63. I then spoke with a manager who was of no help whatsoever and finally ended up accepting the $25 refund.
So be forewarned if you choose this option and make sure that you bring the car back absolutely empty. If they had just refunded the half that they initially offered, I would have been happy, but they have definitely lost this customer and I will be sure to tell everyone I know about this experience. They obviously don't care about losing customers.
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.
MCO, FLORIDA -- ALAMO HAS RIPPED ME OFF!!!!!! I landed in the USA, and headed to Alamo car hire (which I had pre-booked). As I got to the desk I handed over my rental voucher to the man behind the desk. He asked for my license, credit card and information on where I was staying. I supplied him with all three of these. ''How many people are travelling with you today sir?'' HE ASKED. I SAID ''5''.
He then leaned over the desk toward me and pointed at a range of images, showing the different sizes of vehicles. He pointed at the one we had booked and said ''this is the one you have at the minute but if you wish to upgrade, you could have this vehicle?'' (pointing to the next size up). I FIRMLY INSTRUCTED ''NO THANK YOU, I JUST WANT WHAT I HAVE PAID FOR!'' A full size SUV.
He then leaned back over the desk, away from me, and continued typing on his computer. Within a few minutes he had the document printed and said ''can you sign where the crosses are sir''. I had just been on a 9 hour flight to Orlando airport, then an addition three hours in Orlando airport. I WAS in exhausted and jet-lagged and in my haste I just signed where I was instructed. I would have assumed he would have done his job correctly and listened to what I had told him. Once I had signed I was off on my way.
However it wasn't until I got back home to the UK I checked my credit cards and I realized I had been charged FOR AN UPGRADE! (WHEN I CLEARLY INSTRUCTED) ''I WANT WHAT I HAVE PAID FOR''. THIS WASN'T JUST AN ADDITION $50-$100? BUT IT WAS OVER $1000! To be exact it was $1241.23 FOR AN UPGRADE I DIDN'T WANT. I CONTACTED Ebooker and they contacted Alamo on my behalf. Three emails later, they replied saying there is nothing they can do. Because I made the fatal mistake of NOT reading it before signing.
HOWEVER THIS WAS MIS-SOLD. I WAS RIPPED OFF BY A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY from a LARGE NATIONAL RENTAL COMPANY, THAT I HAVE USED FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS!!! With no previous issues. IMAGINE HOW MANY OTHER INDIVIDUALS MAKE THIS MISTAKE.
We shopped around for the car hirer for months, we like many others were looking for the best price. We found that Ebooker offered the best price which was £671.00. REALISTICALLY why would we pay more for the upgrade than we have for the WHOLE rental of the car!!! We could have hired two cars for the price we have been charged. Additionally if WE WERE going to accept the upgrade! (WHICH WE DID NOT) figures would have been discussed! AND THEY WEREN'T! NO ONE in their RIGHT MIND WOULD PAY FOR AN UPGRADE IF IT WAS more than the entire rental cost itself? I WANT ANSWERS ALAMO...
SANFORD, FLORIDA -- When I booked the car through our travel agent, we were informed that Platinum Insurance included more than one driver and, specifically, a full tank of fuel so we could return it empty. On returning to Sanford 16th July 2011, we were presented with a receipt and a charge of $90 plus for refueling charges. I went inside to query the matter and was told that there was nothing on the original receipt at the time I picked the car up that said that we had a tank of fuel covered. I said that we had taken out Platinum Insurance back home as we have always done with Dollar and that we have never been charged for refilling the tank on returning the car.
We have been to Florida quite regularly since 2002. The agent behind the desk was being dismissive in his attitude, he said "show me something that states what you're saying." I showed him our car voucher that stated Platinum Insurance, he stated that just by saying Platinum Insurance did not tell him anything in order for him to refund the credit card. I told him that we always had a full tank of fuel with Platinum Insurance, that was why we paid the extra back home above the usual all inclusive insurance.
Not sensing I was getting anywhere, I requested to see the manager. Again, he was dismissive stating "He will only tell you what I am telling you." But he went to see the manager all the same. When he came back he said "on this occasion" it would be refunded as if they were doing me a favor! What is going on with this company? Do they not know what Platinum Insurance is? What's more, they were charging almost $6 per gallon of gas. This in no way reflects the true cost where I to be in the wrong. I would avoid Alamo like the plague.
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA -- Here is the situation. You come in past midnight. The garage is poorly lit. You are tired and don't check your car out real well. The service person sits in the booth and does not check your car out or ask you if you did or remind you to make a check. Doesn't matter anyway if you are just making up false claims. You return the car and the return clerk says you damaged this car. I say "no I did not" and no more words are spoken. I am on the move to catch my flight then you get a letter from the damage recovery "specialists." They say they are "pursuing" damages and they want you to contact your insurance agency immediately to pay for it. Hold the phone people.
I give them my statement that they don't want to hear and they say the manager of the facility you rented from will get back to us on that one. Of course they call back and say "it's so obvious that you damaged the car. We wouldn't rent a car with damage like that." What damage? I never saw it before or after I turned in the car! This is a very insidious, illicit way to extract money from the customer. In the end, is it financially reasonable to hire a lawyer to fight it? I asked for all the info, which I expect will come from whoever they pay to come up with it, on the cost of repair.
I will now have to decide whether or not it's worth fighting or paying blackmail money. My suggestion to anyone is caveat emptor. Take time to check out the car in detail. Mark any little scratch, thread hanging from a seat, stain, put x's and circles everywhere you see something. It's the only way you have even a smidgen of a chance. At least they will see that you are active in observing the condition of the vehicle. That way they may be less likely to think you are just another chump they can take advantage of. Just my 3 cents.
I hate to say this but Alamo rental car company is not to respected company(at least the Hawaii Alamo). I have seen lots of complaint about Hawaii Alamo. I have one more to add. On our honey moon, we took a rental car from Alamo. We usually don't rent a rental car so in their word, we forgot to fill out damage report card. They didn't explain anything about that and just told us to pick a car in the lot and we can go. Seriously, my wife was skeptical and took a video feed in our video camera of car we are about to take. The car had front bumper damage. We were going to take other car but it also had damage on it so might as well just took the first car.
We had everything recorded (but it was new camera and the date on the camera was off by one day). When we returned the car, they said something about car being damaged. We showed out feed we took in the rental car lot. She said it was fine but when we got home we got served with repair fee. They are saying the date on the video is day off. I guess they are accusing us of going back to rental parking lot day after to take a video. This is faulty assumption. If they have surveillance camera at the lot, they know it's wrong. We took the video right when we pick up the car in the parking lot before we left.
I don't think there is a way to go back to parking lot and come out unnoticed because there is only one way out and the Alamo worker checks the paperwork. I am very upset and disputed but they offered to split the cost (are you joking me?). They know they are responsible but our video feed is day off so they are blaming this on us. I don't know how a service company can do this to customer. They are not honest company and I advise any of people who are going to Hawaii to NEVER USE ALAMO rental car. This is wrong but what are my option?
I am writing about our not very pleasant or helpful service when we recently rented a car with Alamo in the San Francisco airport office. First of all the initial customer service person was not very friendly or helpful, giving vague information, meaning we had to keep clarifying things with her.
We were looking for a 4WD SUV. She told us to go to the garage area and to find a member of staff to help us find a vehicle. She told us that they would be able to advise on finding a suitable 4WD SUV. When we arrived there, a girl told us to come over to her. She just told us to go and find a SUV “Over there” without any further advice.
After having found the SUVs, it was not immediately clear which were 4WDs. We then went back to the so-called ‘Help' area. We tried to speak to someone else since this girl had not been very helpful and gave the impression that everyone who spoke to her was just causing her an inconvenience.
She then pointed at us to come to her. We asked if she could help (apparently her job) and advise us on which SUVs were 4WDs. She replied in a very rude manner “Don't you know how to identify a 4WD?!” Practically implying we were stupid. We were stunned at the reaction, and replied that it is actually her job to know about all the vehicles rather than us. She then mumbled something but would not come over to help. She then went off somewhere so we went to ask another customer service agent.
After a while he came over and finally he was someone who was helpful. At first he was not sure which were 4WD, so even he had to check. In the end we got an answer. The whole process took over an hour – all of which was eating into our rental time. We will never be using Alamo again when you can find other car rental companies where the prices are much lower and customer service is actually polite and helpful.