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.
I agreed to a contract to rent a car from Dollar based on a weekly rate. I agreed to pick up the car on a Friday at 1pm and drop it off at Tuesday at 4pm. I was quoted $158 based on these times. I arrived at the counter at 12:58 pm (2 minutes prior to the agreed time) and was told that the rental would be $188. The reason given by Dollar was that they operate on a 24 hour clock that begins at time of pickup and that I would be assessed 3 additional hours in addition to the four days.
I told them that I was quoted $158 based on these exact times and that they should honor their own quote. Besides, it was a weekly rate and I was only using the car for 4 days and three hours. After much discussion another clerk simply changed the drop-off time to 5pm and this "fixed" the problem since now I was now renting the car for 4 days and 4 hours which is the same as 5 days to them and the rate would return to the $158 rate as quoted. Are you confused?
That seemed simple enough until I realized that when I returned the car a 4pm that the problem would return. I was right. I called the 800 number and explained the situation and got the same "24 hour clock" speech. After a 15 minute wait to speak to a supervisor I got the same speech again. ** (a female) actually tried to go as far as to say that part of the problem was that I picked up the car two minutes early (as if I had control over their waiting line)!! After much more discussion and personal berating of her company's ethics, she agreed to call the local manager in Philadelphia to honor the original price when I returned the car at 4pm.
Upon return all went well and they were well-mannered. **, the check-in person was very helpful. But not all is well. There was a small dent in the roof rail above the rear door window that I did not notice when I checked out. When I arrived at our destination I noticed it, but of course it was too late. Upon my return I had to fill out a form along with my insurance policy number but they assured me that I would not be charged, only that I did not initially notice it. We'll see.
So why do I mention this? I think that it is possible that they gave me this car (because I was a "problem") with the hope that I did not notice the dent so that they can bill me for it, or at least put me through some additional aggravation. I hope I am wrong. Bottom line: Dollar is either going to extract more money from your wallet, or waste a lot of your time trying to hold them to their agreement. Also you may get a "problem car" for your efforts. Never again. I hope that you can learn from my experience.
On January 28th, at approximately 2 pm, myself and my alternate driver were driving at about 60 mph eastbound in I70 down the mountain about 15 miles from Denver (in and around Evergreen). I noticed that our ability to accelerate ceased. Simultaneously an indicator light with a lightening bolt symbol lit up on the dashboard. There are no words associated with the indicator light so we were not clear on its meaning.
As I tried to maintain speed (turned on hazard lights) and identify a safe location to stop the car, my associate looked for a manual (in order to identify the symbol) in the glove compartment and found none. She called Roadside Services as per the instructions in the agreement.
A woman who self-identified as "**" answered the call. She advised us at that time to "jiggle" or "move in and out" the shift from gear. We explained that we were decelerating rapidly on I70 and that we could not risk experimenting with the car and that someone should be dispatched to assist us. Our representative insisted that we try this and despite clear risks, we tried to comply because we had the sense that without following those instructions no assistance would be dispatched. Toggling the gear did not recover acceleration at that point and so we took the opportunity to pull over.
We asked ** to arrange to send roadside assistance but she insisted that we continue to try to toggle the gear. We tried to explain that we were not in a position to experiment with the car on a major highway with high speed traffic, that that was, in fact, a dangerous proposal. Her response was, I can either send help that will get there in 2-3 hours or I can get you to try to do this approach that will get you started in 5 minutes. We asked if ground transport (e.g. taxi or limo service) could be subcontracted to collect us and to transport us to the airport since we had to catch a plane.
The response was that, no, Roadside Assistance would send a tow with a second car, which they would exchange with our broken car. And that we would then be expected to drive the second car to Dollar to complete the rental agreement. That assistance would now be predicted to arrive in 1.5-2 hours. We explained that that time frame was not acceptable. We were not in a place where it was safe to remain for that amount of time (approaching sunset).
Since there was daylight, we were confident someone could easily find us. As the sun set, it would be more difficult for us to be found and the risk of our being hit by traffic would increase. The response to that was "Did you hear what I said?". We were then told we could arrange a taxi for ourselves at our own expense, but that if we did not inform them of that choice in adequate advance notice, and if the tow with the second car was sent out, we would be charged extra for that tow.
We determined that Roadside Assistance did not have our best interests in terms of safety in mind. We were fortunate to find a taxi service that would be available to collect us within 30 minutes. We called and spoke with the Colorado State Patrol who put us through to Trooper ** who documented the situation with the location of the car, that we would be leaving it and that Roadside Assistance would be sending a tow.
When our taxi driver did arrive we called Roadside Assistance, spoke with two different people. The first was a woman (name unknown) who confirmed that we could leave the keys to the car in the car (underneath the driver's mat) and we were to leave the passenger side open. Dollar confirmed this and confirmed that the tow with the second car had been canceled and that order was now just to recover the original broken car.
Our opinion is that Roadside Assistance failed in consideration of the safety of the cars and customers for whom it is to provide assistance. ** was rude, unsympathetic, and provided dangerous recommendations to experiment with a clearly broken vehicle on a major highway. Further, Roadside Assistance failed to recognize that our only option was to park the car in a precarious location that endangered the safety of the passengers. This situation could have been tempered by offering to assist with arranging rapid ground transport as was available in the area.
PUERTO VALLARTA, ALASKA -- I recently made a reservation for a compact car through Dollar in Puerto Vallarta for $84.06. The advertised price stated that the car would be rented in the airport. However, when we arrived in Puerto Vallarta, we were taken on a shuttle down a random Mexican backstreet to Dollar's rental center, well away from both the airport and any reasonable competition. There, after a long day of travel, with a tired baby and a sick mother, we were told that we needed to pay $42 per day for basic insurance. I explained to them that I had already made my reservation and agreed on a price, but they did not seem to care about our original agreement.
Since neither ** or ** could tolerate any more traveling in the heat, and the neighborhood did not feel safe enough to try to hail a cab, we were forced to pay the exorbitant rates - nine times the original price we were quoted. We were also told we would be given a free upgrade to a larger car, which we were instead later charged for. I have spent months traveling in Latin American countries, and have never been robbed so severely - to my surprise by a supposedly reputable American company.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- I ordered a car through Orbitz and purchased insurance. When I arrived at Dollar Rental Car, I had to wait 1/2 hour to be served. Then the representative charged me triple the price! I asked why, he said Orbitz was only charging to hold a spot. He also charged me for unnecessary insurance, even after I explained that I purchased insurance. After being there for 1 hour, I had to take the car to get to my appointments. My vacation consisted of me arguing on the phone with Dollar Rental Car every day and getting the run around! Don't deal with Dollar Rental Car or Orbitz!!!
SAN DIEGO, OREGON -- I have rented cars from Hertz, Enterprise and Dollar for local needs lasting a day or two and trips lasting 7 days or more. In each instance, hands down, Dollar outshines them all. Flying into a strange airport, not knowing where to go next... no problem. The driver was right there to help with luggage. Fast, friendly! And those long lines...? Hah, with Dollar, make sure you sign up for their express service. I was waved right on through past all those people, contract ready, car ready... it was amazing. Car rental heaven.
They just pointed to the area where the size of car I had reserved and said pick one out. Unfortunately I had back issues with that car, so I had to arrange for an exchange. And that experience was terrific as well. Everyone... and I do mean every person I talked to and dealt with in San Diego at the airport and LAX, were so helpful and polite. Until they give me a reason to do otherwise, I will never rent from anyone else again!
DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, COLORADO -- We rented a mid-size SUV through Priceline.com for our trip to Denver. When we arrived at the rental car office we had to wait in line for 45 minutes before being served. When we finally got served we were pressured to get an SUV 4 wheel drive instead of our original reservation, at 3 times the original quoted price.
The agent told us that the mid-size SUV we reserved had no 4-wheel drive and that the police may not permit us to drive up to Breckenridge without a four-wheel drive in the mountain. Just before packing our gear in the car, we noticed that the car delivered just before ours, to another family, was a mid-size SUV 4-wheel drive exactly as we should have got.
I asked the driver how much he paid and when did he reserve and he paid $300 or $1,200 less despite booking online at the same time as us. Worse still, the attendant told us that over 3/4 of their fleet of mid-sized SUVs was 4-wheel drive. The staff does hard sell, trying to make you change your original reservation so they can actually make more money!!!! Never again.
CLEAVELAND, OHIO -- We had an unfortunate encounter with the folks at Dollar Rental Car near the Cleveland Airport. All went well until the part about toll expenses. They spent considerable time convincing the three parties renting from them that we needed the EZ pass because of the very expensive tolls we would pass through on the way to New York. We have no tolls in Utah so we had no other option but to believe them. After all we are standing there waiting to hit the road. But it turned out they were not mistaken, they outright lied about how much the tolls are.
Not only were we way overpaid on tolls, they actually manipulated us into thinking it was a great savings when it is just a moneymaking scheme of theirs. They are very dishonest at that location. Now the really great part - all calls to corporate resulted in being told that we signed a contract, so tough luck. I'm not kidding. The last girl said she was sorry but it was tough luck. Great customer service, NOT!! I will never rent from that company again. It's not just the dishonest employees, it's from the top down. Beware of them. Stay away from Dollar at all costs.
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- I rented a minivan from Dollar for a 12 day family vacation. The counter service was fine, but that is pretty much where the good ended. The van they gave us was not as clean as I expected it should be. There were some interior stains and it was not vacuumed thoroughly. But I had 2 boys with me and was in a bit of a rush, so I overlooked it. After driving on the highway a bit I was noticing the transmission not shifting smoothly and applying brakes at speeds over 40 mph would cause the front end to shimmy. By this time we were well underway and on a tight schedule, so I did not take it back to the rental location to request a better vehicle. Bad Move!
You see, when we finally had the time to inquire I was told the only way I could swap would be to return it to the franchise location where I rented it or to a corporate location. Big problem with this is we are several hundred miles from either and they are not anywhere close to our planned travel path.
There is no mechanism for Dollar corporate to use a different franchise for this type of swap. Even though, in my opinion, you know me the customer, this is a safety issue since failed brakes or transmission could leave my family in a dangerous or vulnerable position. But they could only help us if we were actually broken down, not otherwise, even though I feel we had credible cause for concern. Way to go Dollar. Nobody I know will ever use your inept service again.