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.
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.
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 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 at 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 lightning 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.
You would not believe the problems I have had with Dollar just trying to get a quote. This has been going on for 3 weeks. A long story, but worth the read. In other words, never rent with Dollar! I am in Australia and traveling to San Francisco in July 2009. I was especially interested in hiring a Chevy Corvette Convertible from their style series range, but was having issues in displaying prices/availability on the website.
I decided instead that I would email their worldwide reservation desk with my simple inquiry. Bear in mind when you read the below, that it is the same person responding to me each time, and so they had records of my previous emails (through the tracking number).
Now by this time I felt like I was being wound up. I made a complaint via email to head office, who never responded. I had also asked the sales representative for the contact details of their complaints dept or customer advocate - never a response! Of course! And now 2 weeks later I thought I would give it one last try. So emailed her back asking her to just call the rental location and ASK when it was going to be available. She replied back saying she made the call, and the car had been pulled from the rental location in 2009 due to unpopularity.
I am very angry now. Could she not have just done this in the first place? It would seem that Dollar are really not interested in whether they have a customer or not, and in the current economic down spiral, I would have thought that companies would be tripping over themselves to get customers. I will NEVER rent from Dollar. EVER.
I reserved a Kia Rio (or similar) economy car online, with Dollar Rent A Car, to be picked up Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 at Tucson International Airport and to be dropped off Sunday September 21 at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. On the 15th we arrived at the Dollar Rent A Car counter at the designated time to pick up our car. We were told that there were no cars available but that they had an arrangement with Alamo to rent us a car and that if there were any discrepancies in the rental price, we would be reimbursed.
The gentleman who helped us was very apologetic and helpful. I was a little disappointed as I had made my reservations on June 18th and now I was being told they did not have a car for me. However, it seemed that the employee had taken care of any problems, was nice, and so we went on to Alamo to get our car. After waiting in line for 30 minutes at Alamo, we were informed that the only vehicle that we could take to Phoenix was an SUV and would cost at least $600, almost $400 more than we had planned on paying.
My husband and I knew that we could not afford this difference even though Dollar had promised they would pay the difference, we decided to check with them. We called Dollar from the Alamo counter and explained the situation. The person I spoke to told me to ‘wait a minute' and began talking to someone in the background. While I was waiting for a response, the Alamo representative began talking to me as I explained my frustration with the situation. She made an innocent comment stating that Alamo did not have a policy of overbooking. I replied that I think that would be a good lesson for Dollar.
Immediately, the Dollar representative began yelling at me on the phone stating that he did not appreciate my attitude and that it was uncalled for. I asked if he even knew what I was responding to. He said no. I then told him that based on the situation that DOLLAR had put me in I was being more than cooperative and understanding. I had not raised my voice, I had not cussed, I had not complained a SINGLE time. He continued to berate me at which point I became upset and let my husband deal with the problem.
He hung up the phone and went back to the Dollar counter where the same representative, whom we later found to be named **, continued to be uncooperative and kept insisting that he was just trying to help us. (Of course reneging on an agreement and reducing a woman to tears is my idea of helpful! What was I thinking?!) My husband replied that we appreciated that but the only way to help us was to get us a car. He even tried to tell my husband that just because we had a reservation, it did not guarantee that we would have a car.
I think he should be shown a dictionary as the definition, by Webster's, of reservation includes an arrangement to have something (as a hotel room) held for one's use; also a promise, guarantee, or record of such engagement. By the very definition, a reservation is a promise or guarantee!! My husband finally had to become firm with ** and miraculously, a car was found for us. I truly believe, that had my husband not intervened, ** would have continued to be disrespectful and bully-ish to me and I would have been left high and dry. As soon as a man entered the situation he became accommodating and helpful.
I feel that I was disrespected as a customer and a person. The simple fact that we had a contract for services to be rendered, that initially the company was not going to honor, is enough for me never to use Dollar Rent A Car again (much less recommend it to others). Combine this with the horrendous attitude and customer service given by **, and the situation is even worse. I cannot see how this company will continue to survive when there are so many other choices out there. I suggest a change in policy and better employee training. My experience was (negatively) unforgettable.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- On 4/10/08 I rented a car to travel with a business partner to one of his clients. After finishing the appointment, we got into the car and it wouldn't turn over. Luckily, with my business partner in the car, I was able to get it to turn over and get him to the airport. But, that was the only luck I received.
Right after dropping him off, I had to stop the car and get something from the trunk. I stopped for 2 minutes and then couldn't start the car again. I contacted their Roadside Assistance and was taken through a series of steps of stepping on the brake, turning the key, moving the shifter and it started. I was late to another appointment so just kept the car.
I didn't drive it the following day because I was afraid it wouldn't start. On the third day, I drove a friend to an errand and then we had to get to a party...but the car wouldn't start. I called Roadside Assistance and advised them this was the 3rd time I had a problem with the car starting and wanted them to bring me a new car. After being on hold for 10 minutes, the young lady (Samantha) returned to say they had a truck coming to get the car. She didn't offer to have a new car brought to me.
I advised her that I got the car to start and then she advised me that she would not be able to assist me unless the car didn't work. I mentioned that after 3 problems, it is obvious the car is not functional and I needed a car that was safe and reliable. I also advised her that I could get stuck in an unsafe area which could cause liability issues for Dollar. Her response, "Make sure you drive in safe places"! I was appalled!
I was then transferred to Kiernan, the Operations Manager at LAX, who proceeded to tell me that he had two minutes to talk to me and that the 4 employees in his office were more important than my issue. He even had the nerve to ignore me and tell his employees that this customer is more important than you guys. I AM THE CUSTOMER AND WITHOUT THEM, YOU HAVE NO JOB.
After Kiernan was finished with his unprofessional discussion, I asked for a new car and a refund and was advised I could get 10% off but would have to drive the car to LAX. (I was in Irvine on a Friday night at 5pm.) I said forget the 10%, just come and get the car. He wouldn't because the car was working at the time. Well, we turned into the restaurant parking lot and as valet came to take the car, it wouldn't start! They came and got the car but I had to find my own way home.
The tow truck company that came to get the car called to make sure I had a way home. I got more customer service and concern from the tow company than the company was contracted to give me a reliable, safe car while on a business trip. By the way, the charges took a month to show up on my credit card. NEVER USE DOLLAR or HERTZ - they are one and the same.
DIA, COLORADO -- For all the customer's from the Denver International Airport Dollar Rental Car. Do not leave belongings in rented vehicle. Although it is against company policy, your personal belongings will become employee property. I worked as a temporary worker at this location. Several personal items such as clothing, money, CD's, sunglasses, etc. were taken from the job site. I am an eye witness to this. Also the cars are not cleaned properly. When there is a high demand of rentals, all returned cars are to be vacuumed only and air freshener sprayed to kill any smell. These cars are not very hygienic and not at all cleaned properly.
This is also coming from personal experience in the car wash bay. The bay area supervisors are constantly belittling employees. When we would try to take extra time to do more thorough cleaning we would be reprimanded by harsh words. The supervisors were constantly using profanity at us. When other employees would talk back they would tell them to punch their card and go home. I have seen several fighting matches in what they call the bay. Management has done nothing to solve these problems.
Also when offered employment we politely declined because I didn't feel comfortable working in these conditions. I mean what if it had been my family renting a car and forgetting something of sentimental value in a car. What was funny is that the bay supervisor thought that it was because our papers were bad and offered help where we could obtain legit paperwork. I was born in America and was appalled by this statement. What type of employees is this company hiring?! I could name four supervisors in the bay with no people skills and let's just say no integrity. So I was surprised when I researched this company and found this company statement on integrity (statement at end).
My advice would be not to rent at this company. They don't care about the customer, they care about your money. They don't care about the bay employees, they care that the dirty cars make it back onto the rental lot. What kind of integrity does this company really have? They are lucky they do not have more verbal harassment and sexual orientation discrimination lawsuits. And for my gay couples they discriminate on them as well.
I have witnessed a recent incident as early as 04/2008. What happened was this, two known gay women were not allowed to converse at break, work in the same area, nor allowed to ride in the same company vehicle. Do you really want to feed your money to a company like this? If you do you may as well fund a terrorist organization. They are also aimed at bringing down American Pride and Integrity. DO NOT RENT DOLLAR UNTIL DOLLAR CAN RESOLVE ITS INTERNAL MALFUNCTIONS.
Dollar's Statement of Integrity: Obey the laws and regulations covering our business conduct worldwide. Be honest, fair and trustworthy in all of your Company activities and relationships. Avoid all conflicts of interest in work and personal affairs. Foster an atmosphere in which equal opportunities extend to every member of the diverse Company community. Strive to create a safe workplace and to protect the environment.
Encourage a culture where each employee is recognized and valued. Also guiding us and upholding our ethical commitment is a set of Company policies on key integrity issues. All employees must comply not only with the letter of these policies but also their spirit.
BOS,JFK,LGA,CAK,LAS,NAP, FCO -- I rent about 25 to 27 times a year, domestically and internationally. It has happened numerous times now that whenever I book online with Dollar they refuse to honor the "BASIC" rate quoted online. I am not talking about added charges but just the basic rate. This happened occasionally in the past three or four years and each and every time in the last two years.
For the past two years, the rate charged is THREE to FOUR times the quoted rate, which I ALWAYS print out, EACH and EVERY SINGLE TIME! The last time, I told them to forget it and went and rented with Enterprise if they would not honor the internet rate. The employee shrugged her shoulders. What does she care? She gets paid peanuts and they all appear to have no more than a 10th grade or high school education. I have had to dispute charges through American Express but American Express does nothing if Dollar does not agree with the amount being in error.
Therefore, I intend to file a complaint with the SEC, FINRA and the FTC, since they are governed by all three and have them investigated for fraud. The corporate office franchises their name and says that they are not responsible for what the franchisees do but, in my opinion, they should NOT lend their name to franchisees committing fraud and THAT should be in the Franchise Agreement, in an enforceable manner.
Further, if the parent company or corporation lets this practice continue (and judging from the amount of complaints regarding this proliferating practice of not honoring the rates quoted on and printed by customers from the internet), word of mouth will work its usual way and everyone will avoid renting with Dollar/Thrifty.
What does this mean? The parent company is a PUBLIC company on the Stock Exchange, their symbol is DTG and their stock has already been going down. Sources: Yahoo Finance and Hoovers.com In my opinion, the unscrupulous, if not fraudulent, practices of their franchisees will drive their stock price into the ground.
I have an MBA in Marketing from Ivy league schools in the Northeast so before I form an opinion I research facts. There are numerous complaints on the internet (just google their name + the word "complaint") about this company doing their bait (with the lower internet prices) and switch (higher double, triple and quadruple rates when the customer gets to the counter).
There is a PATTERN here and all these independent people had the VERY SAME THING HAPPEN that happened to me! In my opinion, therefore, when customers lose faith in you and cannot depend on your prices, they go away and stay away, meaning the company stock will be run into the ground unless this company enlists law enforcement to take action against their own franchisees, but it may be too late.
UNLESS the franchisees or the company is in trouble financially and they intend to maybe file for bankruptcy and they are trying to get all the money they can upfront before they go Chapter 7? I do not know. This is just speculation. It will be interesting to know if they do announce they are losing money and that they may be filing Chapter 11 to give an appearance of "doing their best" as US Airways did, when they cut the labor force in half and then took those millions out like Wolf and Siegel did shortly before filing for bankruptcy. The Judge let them get away with it...incomprehensible!
If the company executives are NOT doing that and they are honestly trying to perform in a professional manner, according to generally accepted practices of good business, then they will do something immediately to STOP THIS UNSCRUPULOUS, if not fraudulent practice of BAIT AND SWITCH BY THEIR FRANCHISEES. The company corporate office is having a conference call on November 7, for investors but it may be only one way, I do not know.
I am out quite a bit of money, especially with the Euro exchange rate and if these agencies find anomalies in their investigation and they are found guilty of fraudulent practices, that should be a basis to not only bring criminal charges but also a civil complaint to recover charges plus punitive damages. I AM NOT INTERESTED IN ANY CLASS ACTIONS...only in an individual tort or civil action. If an attorney contacts me, please do not do it by phone--please do so by email.
The Parent Company's name is Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., and their Corporate Headquarters is located at 5330 E. 31st St. Tulsa, OK 74135 Phone: 918-660-7700, Fax: 918-669-2934 http://www.dtag.com Website where people book is at www.dollar.com.