SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- I often rent cars for pleasure but mostly for business. I reserved a car to rent for three days to have around town. The internet special was the pick of the company. I had rented before with Dollar and always had a nice car. But this week was different. When I rented online, the price for the “special” was listed near the economy and compact cars. At least the price was essentially the same.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would end up with a disco-mobile. I think they saved John Travolta's car from the movie Saturday Night Live. This car was old and not well maintained. The car, my “special”, was a powder blue Crown Victoria.
I had never heard of this car before the other night. I complained and said the car was too big and the only other option offered by the guy at the counter was a smaller car for $24 more per day. Since I was staying local for the three days, I did not want to pay more. I realize, the disclaimer when I rented online said "it could be any kind of car". But in my wildest dreams I would not have imagined this monstrosity.
The crown Victoria is a cop car I guess. Well, I have never seen a powder blue cop car, have you? Heck, I've never even seen this car on the lot! Bottom line... Buyer beware.... Never ever get a "special" from Dollar. I think they pull the dust off of an old car to get a quick buck.
DAYTONA BEACH FLORIDA, FLORIDA -- Public BEWARE! If you're thinking of renting a car you should know the facts. The rental companies especially Dollar Thrifty are in business to trick you into spending your money. This starts from the time you book your car reservation till you arrive to pick your rental up. The sole role of the person at the rental car counter is to attempt to up-sell you a different car, small to large, etc. You will be told that some smaller cars don't have certain equipment, this is not true.
Should you reserve or rent from the Dollar Thrifty at the Daytona Beach Airport you will be subjected to harsh and continuous sales tactics. You must understand that these Rental Sales Agents are motivated by the fact that they must meet certain sales quotas or face being written up and then fire. The management of Dollar Thrifty based in Orlando FL has a financial part in this factor. When you book online with this company you are sent a random survey asking you to respond with your rental experience.
Most people figure that if they turn in a bad review they will be sent coupons that will save them on their next rental. These survey reviews are sent to the Rental agents for their review and they see what the customers are saying about their rental experience. I'm sorry to say that most of these reviews are lies from the consumers. Just remember "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR" and "YOU MUST PAY TO PLAY". You will never get the deal you're looking for from this company due to the ruthless people running the company.
Also, a special note to all you local people renting in Daytona Beach and surrounding areas - smarten up and get your own car as you are getting ripped of by Dollar Thrifty every time your rent at the counter at the Daytona Airport. THIS COMPANY IS A RIP OFF for everyone.
CANCUN -- I was on a four day vacation with my wife for which I rented a car from the airport location. On the second day of my trip (Friday, August 16th), I had filled up the gas tank and on the way, I had a flat tire while driving from Cancun to Tulum, near Playa Del Carmen. I was waiting in the heavy rain for any passer-by to assist me in changing the tire as the airport location wasn't helpful at all in calling someone to help me out.
After an hour and a half of waiting, a cab driver finally agreed to change the tire for US $30. Then, I called the airport location again and was told to return the car at the Playa Del Carmen location in exchange for a new car. When I reached this location, I was told that there are NO new cars available and that they will need to fix this spare tire and so I need to wait.
From here on, our vacation plans went downhill. It took the staff at this location TWO hours to have an update for my car. After the long wait, I was told that the car couldn't be fixed and that they will NOW find me a new car. I thought this was ridiculous since they had firmly told me earlier that no new cars are available. So I was lied to and made to wait without any reason. This is UNACCEPTABLE and UNETHICAL. We were simply taken advantage of as tourists by this unprofessional, discourteous and useless staff.
As it was almost the end of the day approaching with your unplanned and unequipped staff trying to find us a car, we could not go to Tulum and had to turn back and drive to Cancun. The next day (Saturday), we decided to return the car to a nearby location to our hotel (Live Aqua). This location is next to Fiesta Americana and we were told about this location by the airport location staff when we were renting the car. We were told that we could return the car to this location in case we didn't need the car.
There comes our next shock, almost unbelievable for an established rental company such as Dollar. The one person sitting at this location heard our story and I told him that I want to return this car and should not be charged for the previous day as that was a waste just waiting on an unreliable staff to help me. This person simply told me he can do NOTHING. Not only could he do NOTHING, he said he doesn't have a way to reach his supervisor. He said his landline doesn't work and his cell phone doesn't have any balance.
Then as we were leaving, he tells us that he is talking to his supervisor via Yahoo messenger and the supervisor cannot do anything to help including waiving off a day's charge on the rental, or compensating us for the gas we filled or the $30 we gave to the cab driver to get the car fixed. So we wasting another couple hours with this lazy, half-asleep, so called Dollar-employee!
The next day as we went to the airport to fly back to USA, at the car rental office, I was given the same cold, unhelpful, useless attitude and was INSULTED by being asked by the staff manager “So if you don't want to pay one day's car rental, do you only want to pay a dollar?!” I was shocked at his guts talking to a customer in this tone. What an ill-mannered, uneducated staff!
He did not help out or understand our plight one bit. Instead of feeling bad for our ruined vacation, he talked to us in this airy and condescending tone. I have spent a good amount of money on my vacation and am not frugal in any way. I was asking for only what is fair and ethical, and what a company like Dollar is beholden to do for its customers. Instead, I had to deal with a bunch of morons who not only are pathetic at their jobs, but also lack basic common sense and ethics. I hope after reading this, you can better plan your car rentals and can actually enjoy your vacations.
WINDSOR LOCKS, CONNECTICUT -- San Diego, CA 11/5/2010. My review got kind of long so if you don't read anything else know this, car rental reservations are not set in stone so it is not too late to book with a better car rental agency and just cancel or no show for your dollar reservation. I wish someone would have told me!
Renting with Dollar was the worst experience of my life! The shuttle took forever to arrive. We saw several better shuttles pass by while we waited. Then the lady at the counter set a new low in rude service. She barks at people and isn't helpful in the least. I had a reservation for a Toyota Camry but they put me in a Kia Spectra. Our luggage didn't even fit in the trunk. I would have complained but I just didn't want to deal with the rude lady so I accepted it.
They charged us $15 a day for GPS rental (it would have been cheaper to buy one) and it didn't work. It was like 7 years old, the kind with a fat back and no touch screen. When the GPS crashed for the third time before we left the parking lot I took it back in and they quickly swapped it out for a slightly newer one. If they know it's a piece of junk why do they give it to people?
Upon returning the car we pulled to the door to unload our luggage in the pouring rain. The lady came out and instead of helping unload, she barked at us to move the car. We parked the car around back and my more patient wife went inside to deal with the rude agent while I unloaded our bags by myself in the rain.
After I unloaded the bags I went inside to find my wife losing her zen-like patience with the counter lady. We were returning the car with a full tank of gas but we didn't have a receipt so they still wanted to charge us a penalty. I was about to lose my temper so I went out and started loading my bags on the shuttle, it could have been hours until the next shuttle came.
When the shuttle driver came on board he reminded passengers to check for cell phones and chargers because they frequently find them and they have a whole box full of them in the back. One passenger joking asked if they had iPhone chargers and the driver said "let me look."The shuttle driver brought two boxes full of lost and found and let the passengers go through them and take what they liked!!
My wife asked for the manager's name to file a complaint and the lady said she did not know it. Before this experience I thought that all car rental companies were pretty much the same, but this experience taught me that is not true. Stay away from Dollar car rental like the plague. I plan on posting negative reviews as much as possible if only to warn fellow passengers to stay away!
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- When it comes to renting from Dollar Rent A Car, take a pass and rent from another rental company. What a truly awful experience. My recent interaction with them at PHX Sky Harbor was THE worst rental experience of all time - and I rent a lot (both for business and personal use). The agent I dealt with was incredibly high pressured, distracted and unfocused (by other agent's issues), and potentially the most disingenuous rental agent I've met.
I was told Dollar Rent A Car vehicles do not carry insurance of any kind. Since Arizona isn't a "No Fault" insurance state, I found this hard to believe. The agent told me that if I got pulled over (for any driving infraction), I could be charged with not having valid insurance. I declined all the high pressure extra insurance and was on my way.
The first thing I did was check the glove box for registration and insurance documents. Sure enough the vehicle had an insurance card issued by Rental Car Finance Corp (Policy # **). So, not only was the rental agent a high pressured jerk, but he was also blatantly lying when he said the car had no insurance, whatsoever.
I completely understand that if I damage the car, or I'm in an accident, I'm on the hook for the repairs for the car. But to tell me that I'd be in violation of the law without their supplementary insurance is not only disingenuous, it's an outright lie. I find it hard to believe that the agent was working under the direction of the corporation. But, after reading all the other similar reviews, I'm guessing this is company policy.
Just so you're aware, Dollar Rent A Car is part of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group. And, clearly Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group has a customer relations problem. I've contacted them with my experience and I never received a reply. So, I'm making my experience public (which obviously isn't unique) and making it as widely known as possible.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, BAJA, MEXICO -- Traveling with friends to Cabo San Lucas Mexico, we reserved 2 cars through Dollar Rent A Car at the airport in San Jose Del Cabo using United Airlines MileagePlus program. The rental price was estimated at $157.73 per week for each premium car. When we arrived, we discovered that we were not covered by our insurance in Mexico and the cost of each car with the recommended coverage was increased to the outrageous amount of $650! We should have walked (literally) away at this point but had planned to drive to La Paz as an important aspect of our trip.
We ended up with one Suburban to hold all eight of us at the slightly less outrageous cost of $796.84! We were then further raped by an inflated exchange rate used by the company resulting in the final insulting cost of $919.10 on my credit card statement when we arrived home. Our insurance had covered us on a previous trip to Mexico, so I had not checked with them before leaving on this vacation - my mistake.
Evidently many US insurance companies are no longer covering rentals in Mexico or insurance must be prearrangement including obtaining a specific VIN # for the rented vehicle. Dollar Rent A Car should provide NOTICEABLE warning to their customers that they may have to make special arrangements for insurance in other countries or pay outrageous prices.
I will certainly never rent a car in Mexico ever again but I will also never use Dollar Rent A Car as they clearly misrepresented the rental cost. I feel abused and it was a terrible beginning, paying almost 6 times what we had expected to rent a vehicle including 2 hours of miserable negotiations in the Dollar Rent A Car Office, at the beginning of an otherwise great vacation.
AIRPORT BLVD MOBILE, AL, ALABAMA -- My family rented a van to travel to Gatlinburg, TN then DC. Price quoted was $40/day for UNLIMITED miles. When we picked up the car, the customer service person pretended to have a friendly discussion and asked us where we were going. Told her were going to DC and she says that it will cost us an extra 60 bucks per day to rent the car because that DC (TN was neighboring state for us) was not a "neighboring state". Re-read the fine print and there was a small statement saying that the "unlimited miles" only applies to neighboring states.
So our price for renting went from 250 for the week to a little over 600. I wanted to turn the car down but my trip was the next morning and our hotels were already booked so couldn't do that. In hindsight, we should have selected return the car in TN and rented another car up there.
State of the car was not the best either; probably the worst rental that I had. Seems as though it has been in a previous accident and Dollar marked it indicating that they were aware, which was fine with me except for the fact that it was a bit embarrassing to drive around with a car with giant scratches/dents all over it. Plus it felt as though the balance or tire rotations was off as the steering wheel shakes a bit and moves to the right slightly when driving at speeds >65 mph; but we didn't catch this until we were on the interstate.
When we came home to return the car, the same lady was there but her face was very unfriendly and cold this time. Seems as though she was having a bad day or I was being an inconvenience to her. Needless to say, I will never rent a car from them again. Even if I have to pay a bit more from a diff. company, if the car condition was better or the customer service was better, it will all be worth it.
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA -- Consumer Warning to any travelers renting from Dollar Rental Car at the Indianapolis Airport. Questionable practices! First of all, our trip to Indianapolis was a wonderful experience as we moved our daughter from Casa Grande Arizona to Butler University, except for our rental car nightmare.
We rented on Friday when we flew in and drove straight to the hotel. However, the next morning was a nightmare. As we were all loaded up and ready for the exciting trip to Butler, the battery was dead. Of course our daughter was upset over the thought of missing her move-in time along with orientation meetings. We called Dollar Rental Car and asked for a new vehicle (as we knew we had not done anything to drain the battery).
Additionally, my husband, who is a mechanic, even noticed that the battery terminals had been recently cleaned indicating that this vehicle had probably had previous problems with the battery. We thought Dollar Rental Car would be happy to help us out. However, we were told that because we did not buy their roadside coverage they would not replace the vehicle nor send help to fix the problem (we had AAA and did not need their coverage). We were told we would have to contact our own roadside service.
I was amazed at their lack of customer service or willingness to help stranded customers because of a faulty vehicle. We called AAA and they were there to save the day in minutes. Interestingly, AAA attempted to test the battery, but the battery was completely bad. We were told it could not even be tested, let alone charged. We had to replace the battery in order to use the vehicle to get our daughter moved in and to orientation at Butler. AAA filled out a receipt indicating that the battery was bad and the replacement charge.
When we returned the vehicle on Monday and again explained what happened and that we had to purchase a battery. Dollar Rental Car made copies of all documents so we were encouraged that Dollar Rental Car would step up and take care of their customers. We were told that ** (manager) would call us back. However, when ** called us back, she was very defensive and told us that we should have called them about the battery and that they would have given us a new vehicle; therefore they were not going to pay for the battery.
We told her that Dollar Rental Car was the first place we called, but we're told we had to call our own road side service. She then became even more defensive and told us that they would only pay for half of the battery replacement charge because we should have had the battery change authorized first, and because we did not they would not pay for the entire charge. Really?! Again we reiterated we tried to get help from Dollar Rental Car as soon as we had the faulty battery problem, but were told we had to use our own roadside service.
We explained that we tried to get them to initially fix the problem, but they refused. We also explained that we did not and still do not see any mention of pre-authorization of replacing a faulty battery in our contract. We have spoken with numerous people from Dollar Rental Car including the owners of the Indianapolis Airport location. They were rude, and resistive to taking responsibility for renting a defective vehicle. They have even stopped returning our calls.
We are appalled at the way we were treated and want to warn other travelers to avoid using this company for their rental vehicle needs. I think we will stick with AVIS and Hertz as we have always used in the past with excellent service.
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- This past September I took a trip (Business / Personal) to Bradenton FL (just south of Tampa). I rented a car as I do most times from Dollar and was given a Ford Focus. To get from Tampa to Bradenton you get on I-275 at Tampa International and stay on it until you arrive in Bradenton, FL. 1 road with a bridge toll. To get back you take the same exact way.
So why is it a month after I was in Florida I received a notice from Dollar that my credit card was charged $4.00 for tolls that I "failed to pay for" and $100 for letting me know. $104.00 for running tolls that I DID NOT run. They stated that I ran tolls that were to the East Side of Tampa, which I had never been to, on a road that I had no business being on. Additionally I found after some investigation that the toll violations happened when I was in a business meeting in Ellington FL at a Starbucks with a co-worker. I have 3 receipts showing that I was at this Starbucks 1 hr away from the tolls that were supposedly violated.
So with this information I disputed the charge with AMEX. I let AMEX know that I make the charges for the Starbucks on my AMEX card as well so that they could check the times of the violations with the time of my purchases. And then I waited. I received a letter from AMEX a month later with A Lot of documents stating that they had found in favor of Dollar. WHAT!! I called to find out what was going on and the lady could not find a record of where I had told the AMEX person of the Starbucks charges, so she logged it this time.
Additionally I read every piece of paper that was sent from Dollar and found that the documents stated that the car that violated the tolls was a Dodge Magnum, NOT a Ford Focus. I did not have a Dodge Magnum and I have to say at this point I am a pretty frugal person when it comes to rental cars and will only rent the lowest priced car available (Ford Focus, Kia Rio, etc). I have never even had a Magnum.
So now I have proof that I was over 1 hour away and the car that violated the tolls was not even the car that I had possession of for my trip. I have at this point offered signed notarized affidavits from my co-worker and my friends that I was staying with stating that I had a Ford Focus.
I am not sure what more proof they need, but..... For sure I feel that I am being screwed and probably due to Dollar Rent A Car's computer system error or human error at Dollar Rent A Car! I have disputed the charge for a second time now and I have faxed the receipts from Starbucks to AMEX. I will wait and see if they find the truth this time.
DO NOT, DO NOT RENT FROM DOLLAR! DO NOT, DO NOT EVER LET THEM GET AWAY WITH CHARGING YOU FOR THINGS YOU DID NOT DO! After a different situation I have started to photograph all angles of the outside and inside of the cars I rent with Time Stamp before leaving the rental location. I email them to myself from my laptop so that again it can be traced back to the time and date the photos were taken. This way I will not get another $700 charge for a dent that I did not make.
I know that everyone is on hard times, and I feel that many companies are looking for ways to add extra charges to their customers. They are banking that we the people they are screwing do not have the energy to fight back. PLEASE DO FIGHT BACK WITH ALL YOU HAVE!
I just wanted to share my experience with Dollar Rental here in Raleigh. I had taken a rental for 5 days last week. I went to the Dollar rental at 8 am and asked for my car. Unfortunately the car given to me didn't have a few things which I wanted, so I asked them to change the car. At first the lady at the counter was not even interested in my request. After around half an hour they gave me a new car.
When I asked for a new contract (as my car was changed), the lady simply scribbled in my papers and told me that everything is all set and I need not worry about it. She will upload the new info later as the system was down. By the time I got out it was 9 am.
When I came back after 5 days, I reached the rental agency at around 8:50 am. They charged me for the extra day, since according to them I got my car at 8 am and I was 50 minutes late. I tried to reason with them that it took me almost an hour to get a new car and since the system was "down" (according to the lady at the desk) I could not get the new contract for 9 am. They told me that somebody from customer care will contact me and I will get my money back for the extra day.
Even after a week when nobody contacted me, I called up the customer care. They told me that original contract was for 8 am and they cannot do anything. Apparently I think that it was my mistake that I changed the car and not got a new papers. My fault in this whole episode is that I believed the lady at the desk. I am never going to rent from a Dollar rental ever again in my life.