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182 reviews & complaints.
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Paid $681 For One Night Rental Car!!! Do Not Pre-pay!!
Posted by on
RENO, NEVADA -- Alamo really surprised us with very strange business ethics! To sum up my experience:

Alamo personnel give customers false information (about reimbursement and about car details). Alamo cannot handle special requests (we needed a special car and tried to solve this in advance). Alamo rather takes short term money instead of building a long term relationship with a satisfied customer.

The whole story:
We made a reservation from Germany and rented a car in Reno. As we planned a camping tour, we needed a stow & go car because we intended to sleep in the back. In order to make sure that we get this special car we phoned Alamo in Reno in advance which car to book and explained that we definitely need this car type and no other. They told us we need a Full Size SUV and promised us that this is no problem. Once being there it turned out that the Full Size SUV had no stow & go function. Unfortunately, we got into Reno with the last flight, so being back at the Alamo station we found this station already closed and everybody gone. So we had no other chance to take the “unusable” car and stay over night in a Hotel. The next morning we drove back to Alamo.

It finally turned out that only the Minivan has this function. So they changed our reservation into a Minivan. As the Minivan was not cleaned up yet, we waited for another 45 minutes to finally find out that this special Minivan had a back seat which was not removable at all!!! I really started to wonder if Alamo personnel ever listen to customers’ needs? We got back to the station again. Finally talked to the Station Manager. We were really wondering whether Alamo expected to just accept this and sleep outside the car during our camping tour? Unbelievable.

We even tried to solve the situation and asked the station manager to take out the back seats, so we could use the car. But she refused. Asking her how to solve the problem because we had no other place to sleep, she advised us to check with other rental car companies. Aha??? She even told us that the money will be reimbursed once we are back in Germany. Even though we were not reimbursed on our credit card we took the word of the Station Manager and changed the rental car company. Being back in Germany nothing was reimbursed.

After a long discussion and telling the story over and over again to different call centre personnel (who were unfriendly and even hang up sometimes) and spending a lot of time and money on these phone calls, we were finally informed that there will be no reimbursement. So we ended up paying 681 $ for one night rental car driving to a Hotel!!!

I am really surprised about how Alamo handles customers in theses cases. It seems that making short term money is more important than building a long term relationship with a satisfied customer. I really wonder who is responsible for such customers policies. We are renting a lot of cars in the US, but this has never happened to us. Compared to all other rental car companies this is the poorest and most unbelievable experience we have ever made. With Hertz this would have never happened.
I really wonder how you stay in business.

By the way this was the original answer:

Dear Customer:

We have tried to book a reservation on the same web site that you booked your car through, and the Full Size SUV does not list stow and go seating as an option. We do not allow customers to remove seats from our vehicles or they will be liable for any damage to the vehicle so the manager at the station was correct in this fact. We apologize if a misunderstanding was given by the manager concerning a refund but it should not have been promised to you. We regret that no compensation will be given in this situation since a vehicle was provided that you chose not to use.

International Customer Care
Alamo Rent A Car

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Anonymous on 09/24/2008:
I'm sorry, but I am inclined to agree with the manager. You rented a car, not a camper. They rent transportation, not accommodations. If I owned the vehicle, I wouldn't have people yanking the seats out either. Didn't you consider renting a camper for your camping trip?
BobJohn on 09/24/2008:
It seems you should have gotten some kind of refund since you only rented the vehicle for 1 day but it sounds like they charged you for the original rental period. I agree with KenPopcorn - if you wanted a camper you should have rented one - they come in all sizes and prices. Hope you get some positive action from Alamo.
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How Can You Exist In Today's Competitive Customer Service Industry Performing This Poorly?
Posted by on
ATLANTA HARTSFIELD-JACKSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, GEORGIA -- I really am not sure where to begin this rental nightmare. I'll take it from the top, we have been in our business since 1928, and I have just recently taken the leadership helm. Myself and my staff are diligent about professionalism and excellence in all things [but we failed to do our homework in this area... that won't happen again]. This was to be our maiden voyage business trip under our new staff's direction. All plans and reservations were completed weeks in advance, we called, confirmed, checked and then checked again everything was fabulous.

On the day of our departure all involved were briefed and prepared. We moved towards the airport. Arrival to the airport=excellent; long-term parking and transportation to the terminal=excellent; flight & departure=(you guessed it!) excellent; shuttle to the car rental location=excellent...and then at Alamo/National it all falls down.

We warned them over and again that we were a business party of five men traveling to an undisclosed location approximately 3 hours away. We had done our level best [along with another member of my staff] to emphasize the gravity of having the appropriate command vehicle. That vehicle would be in the form of a Tahoe, an Escalade or a Suburban, and I was assured that there would be MORE than enough of these vehicles available for us to choose from. Nevertheless, I still felt a little uneasy, so we made over six calls of confirmation that week (I know...I know..that should have been a clue..what can I tell you... that week I was an optimist, plus we had pre-paid to show our level of commitment]. Allow me to continue it gets better, I walk to the counter, I'm greeted nicely, I hand over the confirmation documentation, the credit card and drivers license gets processed..but I keep asking where is the vehicle that I reserved..yet they keep proceeding.

I must have looked like one of those dogs getting dragged on a leash until finally I halt the process and ask for a straight answer. What is my car selection..after all its three options, surely they woulde have at least one available... correct? wrong! He starts rattling off cars and mid-size suv's that would barely fit 4 girl scouts with no luggage..let alone five men with a decent amount of girth and luggage. Did I mention that for business reasons we all had to take the last flight out which means that now its 1:45am.. not exactly a rush on cars at that time.

He goes to the night manager 1:45am, 2:00am, [I'm still not furious, after all God wouldn't be pleased with that kind of disposition] 2:15am, 2:30am, 2:40am "sir you can't get what you wanted, can we accommodate you with something else?" I'm thinking sure...that prius looks roomy and will save gas I should have asked for that in the...."OF COURSE NOT THAT'S WHY I MADE A RESERVATION FOR THOSE PARTICULAR VEHICLES!". Anyway, its 3am we have to get"what are my options?" after reviewing the list we pick the Cadillac dts sitting right outside...errr no that car is reserved..."What?!" so was mine, only my reservation is not virtual, its in your hand!"...the manager does a bunch of scenarios to include two cars for the price of one..but I'm trying to minimize our liability with one car full of weary travelers instead of two. Beaten we agree upon the Jeep...[did I mention it took over 20 minutes to bring that Jeep from the other lot?...nevermind]..we begin to load up, we jump in the car won't start..the keys don't work. The staff goes through approximately 6 people including the individual who drove the car over before they realize "hey..the key doesn't work". We off load the truck and I return to the counter again...only this time my swagger is gone and I concede defeat..."please ma'am just give me anything so we can go". Finally, after an exhaustive search they come rolling over with a toyota..its moving forward so we'll take it. Right when we begin loading the car they call over to tell us that if we want to wait 20 minutes they can get another Jeep and the key should work. Yes we got a discount, yes we did get a car...but for the entire trip we were squeezed on top each other when prior planning should have been enough to facilitate that not happening. The truth be told Alamo/National ruined what otherwise would have been a perfect trip; and marred the confidence in our leadership that we were trying so hard to display competence that we were so anxious to try to forge in our can't put a price on that. Alamo/National's lack of professionalism and ignorance of customer service left me speechless. You can make a note that unless "strong" concessions are made on their behalf I nor any member of our organization will ever do business with that organization again. My recommendation to all of you. Read the reviews from this website as a baseline and make an informed decision about who you do business with...find a reputable car rental agency, and use them, because this agency OBVIOUSLY is not.
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dekydrose on 08/05/2008:
That was incredibly well written....thank you for the information provided.
Hugh_Jorgen on 08/06/2008:
I am not aware of any of the car rental companies that will absolutely guarantee a specific model of car.

Alamo makes it clear on their web site: "Remember, at Alamo, all cars are priced, booked and controlled by car category, not by car make or model. Vehicle features, seating and luggage capacities are not guaranteed and are subject to manufacturer make and model."

It seems like they went to great lengths to assist you - even offering you two cars for the price of one. These things happen when you travel for business - it's how you deal with them that determines if you let it ruin your trip or not.
dan gordon on 08/06/2008:
it was well written for a novel. Short answer is that car types are not guaranteed. Did you call the specific airport location and request the car or did you call the 800# and talk to a nameless operator who probably has no clue as to the vehicles available at that location? That would have made a big difference in the credibility of your novel.
Mr. on 08/06/2008:
Hugh and Jordan you are both correct, and I am aware that no car rental ageny will guarantee a car type which is why I was not particular about which one of the "3" options I long as it was in the car category that I requested. In addition, I personally called that specific location (twice) and both times I was assured that there was no need for concern. Trust me I tried to be as fair and objective as I could during the course of this business transaction. Thank you both for your comments and trying to bring gravity and clarity to this situation.
bargod on 08/06/2008:
"They have no problem taking the reservation, they just have trouble with the most important part and that's HOLDING the reservation"

Jerry Sienfeld.
Archie2 on 08/09/2008:
All night the counter rep was hoping you wouldn't show up or your plane was delayed or re-routed. They had constant reminders looking at their reservation that there was no way they could help you. If they didn't even make an attempt to call the number you gave on your reservation (regardless of what time it was) then that say's they just don't give a damn. Reservations for these people are just a numbers game. Until the credit card companies allow them to guarantee the reservations without charge-back recourse (like hotels), the booking process will continue to be a game of chance.
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Fuel Service Option
Posted by on
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.
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Anonymous on 05/15/2008:
Pretty standard practice. My wife almost got hooked by this. Then, she read the fine print next to the 'guaranteed fuel price' box on her Hertz rental agreement. While the price of the rental agency fuel seems outrageous, they are providing an optional service to renters. One can always buy fuel off the airport property.
FoggyOne on 05/15/2008:
This is standard for all rental companies I've dealt with. Gouge the consumer is the underlying motto.
Anonymous on 05/15/2008:
I fill the tank away from the airport then top it off at the airport station and provide the receipt showing it was topped off. I then ask the attendant to mark the car as returned with no damage and a full tank. Doing this I have never had charges show up later for some bogus scratch or them claiming the tank was not full.
Anonymous on 05/15/2008:
This has always been a sticking point with me. Why are you always charged for a full tank of gas, when it is physically impossible to return the car without giving them back at least some of the gas you bought. I'd have to stand out in the return lot with a jug and syphon the tank dry before I could be happy with this deal. (and that aint bloody likely!)
MSCANTBEWRONG on 05/15/2008:
I do the same thing superbowl does. Never had an issue. It pays to read the fine print because the rental companies are out to make as much money as possible.
tnchuck100 on 05/15/2008:
I wonder how much longer the corporate attitude of "we need MONEY more than CUSTOMERS" is going to last.
AngryAtAlamo on 08/26/2009:
Also beware, that if you pay for an Economy car with the Economy FSO, and find out in the garage that there are no Economy cars available... you still have to pay for an upgrade version of the FSO! $63 FOR A TANK OF GAS!
scam checker on 07/24/2010:
This also happened to me at Boston-Logan. I paid upfront by Hotwire, and they gave me the prepaid fuel option and charged me $69 for a full size car with a tank only two-thirds full. This is extortionist! They don't even tell you that you pay for a full tank of gas even though you use only a part. I called Alamo and they credited me $35 for the gas (gee, thanks...) and I told them I would report them to the local BBB. DO NOT USE ALAMO!
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Accusation of theft of GPS unit
Posted by on
TORONTO -- I am one of the owners of The Urban Dog located on Whyte Ave in Edmonton Alberta.

In February I went to Toronto for a business trip. We needed a rental car and found a deal on line to get a vehicle from Alamo/National.

What we thought was a good deal was not one at all.

Once we arrived at the airport, we signed a deal with them for a rental for 4 days, unlimited km, and a GPS unit. We decided that we should rent a GPS unit from them so it would be easier to navigate around the busy streets of Toronto. We rented a SUV and enjoyed the vehicle very much.

We were leaving Toronto on an early morning flight on Sunday and would have to drop off the vehicle and leave the keys in the mailbox at the Alamo rental store as the business was not open until 7:00 am. We didn't have time to fill up the gas tank, and we went on a toll highway, and knew that there would be an additional charge for those items. What we didn't expect was an EXTRA charge of $349.00 for the GPS unit on our bill.

Alamo said that we did not return the GPS unit (this same unit can be purchased for around $200.00 at Best Buy)with the car rental. When we returned the vehicle we put the GPS unit in the glove box so if anyone was walking by the vehicle they would not be tempted to steal it or break into the car, locked the doors and put the keys in the Alamo return box.

Alamo is accusing us of not returning the GPS unit. These are my theories on what happened. One of the workers that checked the vehicle forgot to check off that the GPS was returned, they did not check the glove box , an employee saw this was an opportunity to take it(theft from any business by employees is not uncommon) , or the GPS unit was still in the vehicle upon the next person renting the vehicle and the new customers took it.

Not only on the bill we were charged for the GPS unit they still had enough nerve to charge us for the rental of it for the 4 days we had the vehicle!

Alamo also included in their bill a letter stating that we would not be able to rent from them again in the future, which of course after this occurrence I would never rent from them and not recommend their company either.

We as lo checked with Visa to see if they could do anything about this bill and they said because we signed a contract the rental car company can basically charge whatever they want afterwards.

This bill is an expense that will be written off as a business trip anyway but it has left a bad taste in my mouth front renting from this company (we always rent from Enterprise and have had nothing but the best of service from that company)and for thinking that people in the big city of Toronto are dishonest. Living in the WEST is the BEST. This incident does not want me to go back and do business in that city again.

I have phone the Alamo rental at Pearson International, left messages and nobody is returning my cars.

Please make consumers aware that when renting a vehicle, NEVER drop a vehicle off as you do not know what kind of extra charges may appear on your credit card after you leave.


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Sparticus on 04/04/2008:
What a mess! Lesson here is to leave the GPS where ever they put it. If someone breaks into the car after you returned it, it is their responsibility.

That, or just take the damn thing next time. That way at least you get a GPS out of the deal... ;-)
bargod on 04/04/2008:
You can try small claim court,but it sounds like your word against theirs.
Anonymous on 04/04/2008:
The unit may well still be in the glove box. I don't remember ever checking in one when I rent a car.
bargod on 04/04/2008:
By the way what's an Urban Dog?
Anonymous on 04/04/2008:
bargod, check this for your answer:
bargod on 04/04/2008:
Cool, thanks Lid.
Anonymous on 04/04/2008:
Any time bar and congrats (late) on your star.
bargod on 04/04/2008:
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Failure To Accept Visa Debit After They Accepted Price
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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.
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alamocares on 04/22/2014:
Petergeorgiagaydos , we'd be happy to look into this for you. Please email with your contact information, reservation number and all the details so we can address your concern. Please attach reference # 140422-002912 to your email.- Christina
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Charging Damage Deductible From Credit Card WITHOUT Report or Consent
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
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 finishes 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.
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Weedwhacked on 02/01/2014:
You pretty much admitted guilt by paying them upfront. This is an "American" business, so of course they're going to fleece you for the full amount. That's what businesses in this country do.
Pete on 02/01/2014:
I think a lot of the 'damage' done to cars is in the $500 range to fix, know why? Because YOUR auto insurance picks up the first $500 on rentals. So the rental companies are betting you will just let your insurance pay for damage. Budget tried that on me but I yelled and hollered on the phone until they backed off. The damage that was there when I check ed the car in after 1 day was actually rusted. And this was in a dry climate state.

I think State legislators should pass a law saying if damage is not reported by the agency (rental company) when a customer rents a car and the customer finds the damage at that point the the entire rental should be free. I bet the damage claims would drop to about nothing.
Alamo Cares on 02/03/2014:
Customer service and satisfaction are very important to us at Alamo. I would like to follow- up with you. Please email me at with the complete details, exact renting location, and any rental agreement numbers. Please reference #140203-002225. I look forward to hearing from you soon, thank you. Chris, Social Media Monitor, Alamo Rent-A-Car
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Do Not Use These Guys
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
IPSWICH, ALASKA -- This is a warning, for the sake of your pocket please do not use this company. They will try and find ways to charge you, they will take advantage of your good nature or inexperience when renting a car and they do not care.

I retired my vehicle with no additional damage 6 week later received a bill for £600 yes that's right £600! Of course all of us have that spare in our back pockets. Well your thinking he must have damaged the car, maybe an accident? Maybe he dented or scratched it? No, a mark on the inside of the boot that was already there that would disappear with polish and another that frankly you can't even see. £600

My company organized the rental so maybe they think they are fleecing the company for this money however it has been passed on to me so I am passing this knowledge in to you. Tell your friends. Do not rent from Alamo.
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alamocares on 11/14/2013:
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As customer service is of the utmost importance, we would like the opportunity to look into this concern for you. Please contact us at with complete details, including the exact rental location, your contact information, rental agreement number and any further information regarding this incident.

When emailing, please list Reference Number 131114-002134 in the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you.

Social Media Coordinator
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Claim for Damage Two Weeks After Return of Car
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA -- My wife and I rented a Mustang convertible from Alamo in Pensacola for a short beach vacation. Nice car, and the Alamo folks at the airport were very pleasant both at pick-up and return. Trouble started two weeks later when we received a letter from Alamo's "Damage Recovery Unit" alleging $2100 in damage to the car, which had apparently been driven over a curb or similar obstacle. I called, got a person on the line, and said categorically we didn't damage the car, period. Rep said she would have Damage Recovery unit review, which it turns out just means they renew their claim. Our insurer, USAA, advised to just pay the deductible because "the consumer never wins these." Two bits of advice: first, don't ever, ever, ever rent from Alamo. Second, get a statement from any rental car company at turn-in, saying no damage. Otherwise, any negligent employee drives that car over a curb and doesn't want to own up to it, you pay. Seems to be Alamo policy.
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PassingBy on 08/02/2013:
Every time a vehicle is rented always take photographs of the entire vehicle inside and out.
When you pick it up make sure the agent pointing to any damage. That usually prevents them from making false claims.
CU on 08/02/2013:
Push back. If they don't note damage when you return the car, they cannot claim it afterwards. That car has been out of your possession fo rtwo weeks, and most anything could have happened to it. Make sure your credit card company is aware of a dispute.

And your insurance agency is wrong. This happened to me once, and it was actually AMEX that called them and told them they have no claim and that AMEX would not honor any charges from them.
Rory on 08/14/2013:
I had a similar experience - for £110 not for $2,000 - but I eventually got e refund after 4 weeks of complaints to both the US and UK customer service teams. Despite this it looks like this is a global problem for them and I would still never rent from Alamo again, their customer service is so unfriendly, at no point did they admit any fault. Absolutely terrible company.
alamocares on 08/14/2013:
We’ve taken note of your comments and would like to have the opportunity to look into this for you. Please send us a detailed email to including the exact rental location information, your contact information, your rental agreement or reservation number and any further information regarding your experience with us.

When emailing, please list Reference Number 130814-001421 in the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you.

Carol H.
Social Media
Alamo Rent A Car
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Charges for Options I Did Not Take, After I Got Home
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- I hired a car from Alamo at Phoenix airport on the 3rd of May this year, and was stitched up by Alamo.
Their agent attempted to sell us loads of options, when we said no to all of them he became very short close to being rude. He also tried to give us a lower level of car which I had to sort out at the pickup point (the lady here was very helpful).
However on return home to the UK and getting our credit card bill they had charged us for options we had not taken, such as a pre fuel charge of $43, not being aware of this we paid twice as we returned the car with a full tank
We were also charged $231 for an additional driver which I had originally requested through, but refused it when I got to the airport because they were running a promotion offering additional driver free! I of course said no to the agent when he asked, saying I will take the free offer to which he made no reply and continued preparing the paper work for us to sign.
In total I got charged $363.95 for extras I didn't request. Alamo's response to date has been hard luck you signed now go away. This is because of my final signature on the last page
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alamocares on 07/31/2013:
We’ve taken note of your concern and would like the opportunity to discuss this with you further. Please send a detailed email to including the rental office location, your contact information, your rental agreement or reservation number and any further information regarding your experience with us.

When emailing, please list Reference Number 130731-001991 in the subject line. We look forward to hearing from you.

Social Media
Alamo Rent-A-Car
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Abusive practices and poor customer service
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
LONDON -- I rented a car with Alamo in Nov 2012 and found some of the business practices very abusive along with a poor customer service. Following a ‘prohibited U-turn’ that happened in the city of SoutHampton on a deserted road a Sunday evening, I have been charged £1 for the contravention and £16 of admin fees by the SoutHampton council. On top of that, Alamo (Europcar) added their own fees consisting of £30 of admin fees and £6 VAT!

I find it excessive that Europcar charge me more than twice the cost of the actual contravention and makes the total of the fine more expensive than the car rental price itself when I could have paid directly to the local authorities of SoutHampton, avoiding all this!

I contacted Alamo's customer service via email to complain about this and three weeks later I receive a response that was basically repeating the T&C written on the invoice and explaining that no refund will be provided. I then asked for a gesture of good will but the only reply I got was the same last sentence from the previous email with no formal email starting or signature!

After all, I decided to post a complaint online and someone from Alamo Social Media, Carol H, commented that they will 'look into this for me' if I sent more details about my contract agreement etc. What I did, twice, but I never heard from her again...

Eventually I feel extremely disappointed by Alamo dishonest practices! Their customer service is an illusion, they don't properly deal with the complaints or couldn't care less about their clients feedback if you consider the number of complaints that are posted worldwide.
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