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.
ALBURQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO -- DOLLAR: BAIT & SWITCH
I had planned a photographic study of the Texas panhandle on a tight budget and needed a sturdy hatchback for the job. Dollar Rent a Car promised a "Dodge Caliber or similar" on their web site at a base price of $109.88. The price was right, so I reserved the car through Expedia.
On the first day of travel, I arrived at Dollar's Albuquerque airport desk and gave the agent my confirmation number. She said the base models were all rented (however many THAT might have been) but the "upgraded" model was available for $179.88. She said a Chevy Cobalt sedan was also available for $109.88.
I sweated my options: pay more for the Caliber, take the sedan, or go to another rental outfit. I had looked over the cars and prices at other companies, but didn't have that information with me. I needed a hatchback, so I decided to take the Caliber and try to get an adjustment later.
She started tacking on insurance and options in a rapid-fire manner. Before I knew it, I was signed up for “full insurance” and other options that would cost me over five hundred dollars. I asked her to start over and limit my coverage to the damage waiver. Even then, the surcharges, airport concession fee, and various taxes brought the total to $435 and change for the week.
“It's loaded,” she said. Hm, I thought—more like I'm soaked. I had rented a Jeep Cherokee from Dollar a month earlier out of Oakland-- all-wheel drive, cruise-control--and it had only cost me $367 a week.
En route to the airport, after I finished the job, I stopped and phoned Dollar customer service. Morgan answered. I gave her my rental agreement number, reservation confirmation number, and asked her why I had been overcharged. She told me that the Albuquerque location is actually an independent Dollar affiliate named Fleet Rentals of Santa Fe. I said it didn't matter; Dollar negotiates the terms of association with its affiliates and is responsible when they don't deliver what Dollar promises. She agreed with that assessment, promising to investigate further and get back to me.
The phone rang ten minutes later. Before I could retrieve it, it kicked over to voicemail. I called voicemail. It was Morgan. She left this message:
“Hi Mr. P____, this is Morgan with Dollar. Um, ah, what we can do is, we can, we'll we'll get this taken care of. Uh, just, if you can, give us a call back tonight or sometime before you get to . . . the location, or even after. Either way is okay. And if not, call us back tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. And, once again, my name is Morgan. And sir, I hope you have a safe trip. Thank you. Bye bye.”
I called back the number on my display. A recording announced I had reached “PRC, a leading provider of outsourced customer care solutions” and gave me some options. I punched one and got someone who said he didn't know Morgan, and, in any case, I would have to call her back at the 800 number.
So I called the customer service number again (800-800-5252—you may need it). Lorenzo answered. He said he didn't know Morgan but he'd be happy to hear my story if first I'd give him my rental agreement number. We were starting over. I told Lorenzo my story and he made appropriately sympathetic mouth noises, finally telling me he would investigate further if I could hold.
I held. That was the last I heard from Lorenzo. I soon realized I had been jawing with these people over an hour, and I was running disastrously late. A mad dash to Albuquerque ensued. Along the way I lost the connection. Lorenzo didn't call back.
By the time I reached the Dollar desk to pay up, I could best be described as panicky. I reeked of stress sweat and my mouth tasted like the floor of a barn. Wild-eyed, I threw a credit card at them while I gave them grief over the entire mess. They gave the card back but, I would later discover, without my copy of the rental agreement or a receipt. I ran for the terminal shuttle and eventually boarded my plane exactly ninety seconds before they sealed the door.
When I got back, I phoned Dollar customer service again. Darrell answered. He said he couldn't do anything about the Albuquerque outfit, because it did it's own billing. He transferred me to the manager of Fleet Sales of Santa Fe doing business as Dollar Rent a Car. The man told me in an even, patronizing way that I had rented the “all-wheel drive, cruise-control upgrade” of the Caliber, which came with a higher price, and no adjustment would be forthcoming. I didn't think to ask how many base models were actually available; my guess is: not many.
So that's about it. I bit on the old bait and switch. Morgan never “took care of this.” Lorenzo and Darrell didn't either. And the manager of Fleet Sales of Santa Fe doing business as Dollar Rent a Car in Albuquerque told me to take a hike.
Forewarned is forearmed.
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.