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.
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.
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.
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.
WINDSOR LOCKS, CONNECTICUT -- I called Dollar Rent-A-Car at Bradley International Airport using their local number, not the 800 number and spoke with one of their reps. I asked her if they offered competitive pricing against other car rental companies in the area and she proudly told me (LIED TO ME!), "I know for a FACT that we have THE lowest rates at Bradley International".
I was looking for a rental for the next day, not for today, and she told me that at she is only able to book rentals for today, and that I would need to use the 800-number to book a car for any other day. I asked her if the people at the 800 number also offer the cheapest local rates, and she said to me, "They had better, because we are paying them an exorbitant amount of money for their services".
So I called the 800-number to hopefully get a competitive price quote on a minivan rental for the next day (I already had a firm rate from Alamo for $39 per day). The 800 number folks quoted me $124 per day!! The prices which were SUPPOSED to be the LOWEST at Bradley were LIGHT YEARS away from Alamo's... in fact, Dollar's quote was the HIGHEST price quote I had received from any of the rental companies.
I decided to do the local Dollar folks a favor by calling them back and letting them know what a disservice the 800-number people were doing for them (and at such an exorbitant amount of money for their services). So I called and began to explain to the local agent what had happened when I called Dollar's 800 number, but the agent cut me off mid-sentence and rather tersely said to me, "I am very busy right now with a lobby full of people and I don't have time for this", to which I replied, "I was only trying to do you guys a favor and help you out by letting you know what the 800 number people are doing to your business, and when I had called you guys earlier your associate had told me that she knew for a fact that you guys were the lowest".
I then began explaining how I already had a quote for $39 from Alamo for a minivan, to which he responded, "well you probably did not tell her it is for a minivan, we can't match that price". Truth be told, she never qualified her statement with "I know for a fact we are the lowest on only some cars". Anyhow, that was my first (and last) experience with Dollar. What an ENORMOUS DISAPPOINTMENT!!
MAUI, HAWAII -- I would like to nominate Kahului Airport, Maui, Dollar Car Rental Office as the WORST rental Office in the World. I arrived in Maui after a 33 minute flight from Honolulu and a 23 hour journey from Brisbane, Queensland. We caught the bus with our luggage to Dollar Rental to pick up the rental car, a Dodge Caliber organised through DriveAway Holidays ( Ref No: **).
I was confronted by a line 2 rows deep of people waiting to get their rental cars, snaking back to the front door. It was about 2:00 pm on Friday 6th August 2010. It then took an hour and a half to get the rental agreement and vehicle allocated. During this time the Express Desk failed to assist in reducing the waiting line, a single customer took 45 minutes to be allocated a rental car by one in-component Operator.
The queue was attempted to be jumped by an Asian couple with a “medical certificate” who were handled by the Manager. The Manager and two floating staff were not able to open one of the four vacant terminals to reduce the waiting queue, which increased during the 90 minutes to 3 rows deep. I expressed my total frustration with the inefficiency and the crowd applauded. This was not a necessary wait. A competent manager would use the Express lanes, open the closed terminals and make sure one customer does not take 45 minutes to process.
When it finally became my turn to be “served” I was with jabber-jaw who had taken 45 minutes to sign one customer. I couldn't take it and asked for the Manager to see me. It then took 5 minutes to be allocated a rental car (Rental Agreement # **). When we proceeded to the car park it was not a Dodge Caliber but a Chevrolet Cobalt W045776. This is a smaller car and would not fit luggage for 4 adults. My sister who lives in Golden, Colorado but who has two holiday apartments at Wailea, confronted the Manager because I had “lost it” by now and a Dodge W024183 was reallocated to us for the 9 days.
In Australia, I am able to walk straight to our allocated Avis vehicle and drive out within 60 seconds. Elsewhere in the world, I have never encountered such complete and total inefficiency or incompetence in a Rental company. I intend to pass on my total displeasure to DriveAway Holidays, my Travel agent and any forums on the Internet regarding Dollar Car Rentals that I can possibly locate. I will never use Dollar again and I will actively try and discourage others. I wish had read and found this site before agreeing to use Dollar as it is obvious that they have appalling customer service EVERYWHERE!
7600 EARHART ROAD, CALIFORNIA -- As someone who does not own a car, I rented from Dollar this past weekend to get out of the city and take some short day trips with my boyfriend. We were given one key to the vehicle, and paid for the middle insurance option (not the bare minimum, not the most comprehensive package--in fact, we chose the one that the clerk suggested). We drove a little over an hour south of the city, and took a swim in the ocean. In an act of complete carelessness, we lost the key to the vehicle on the beach.
This was 100% our fault, there is no disputing that. We were locked out of the car, which had our clothes, phones, wallets, etc. We were also in the middle of nowhere, where our cell phones didn't work anyway. We walked about a mile down the street (in our bathing suits, with no shoes on, freezing) to use the phone at a roadside diner. We called Dollar and they said there was nothing they could do for us until the NEXT day, and that we would either have to pay for a locksmith to come make a new key, or pay to tow the car back to the city (over 100 miles). They told us that the vehicles are ONLY RENTED WITH ONE SET OF KEYS FOR SECURITY PURPOSES.
They also informed me that the insurance I chose did not include any roadside assistance. We had to pay a local tow guy to come break into the car so we could change and get our wallets (this cost $80.00), and then we had to sleep in the car overnight. When we walked back to the diner the next day to call Dollar again, they said that since the car was a 2010, a new key could not be made because no locksmith had the current software, and our only option was to get a new car towed from San Jose. We waited a few hours for the new vehicle, which arrived with TWO sets of keys (go figure).
We are now responsible for the lost key (understandable) and the tow from San Jose. For a three day car rental which was quoted to us at $16.92 a day, we are going to be paying nearly $600. Not to mention the customer service people told us different stories every time we called, were rude, and although we were stupid and lost the key, Dollar left us stranded in the middle of nowhere to sleep in their car. I will NEVER rent from them again.