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Old Gas Guzzler....The "Special"? .....Really
Posted by Angelagilliard on 05/15/2012
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 care 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.

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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-15:
Awesome review.
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-05-15:
My grandparents drove a crown vic back in the 80s. Other than cop cars, I haven't seen one in about 25 years.
Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2012-05-15:
Nothing wrong with a Crown Vic. Comfortable, durable,reliable, and cheap to fix in case something goes wrong. Police and Taxi services use them for a reason. My grandfather drove them exclusively from the 70's to today. I find it difficult to believe that the OP had never heard of the Crown Vic, I mean they are ubiquitous.

Personally I'd much rather have a Crown Vic than some tin can Echo, Versa, or Aveo. IMHO the OP did well.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-05-15:
I'm imagining the back seat, draped in velvet and a luscious blond. Gosh I miss the 80's...
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-05-15:
I think the Crown Victorias are what the police use...or, used to use.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2012-05-15:
Opps...didn't meant to repeat you Clutzy...I didn't read the comments before posting mine.
Posted by ok4now on 2012-05-16:
D.B. You are correct. The police used to use the Crown Vic's. They are built on a frame chassis and can take a lot of abuse. Also easy to repair in an accident. They stopped using them because the gas tank was mounted behind the rear axle. They were exploding/catching fire when rear ended at highway speed. Many deaths and injuries due to this design. Ford was made aware of this but claimed that there was no other place to mount the gas tank. They were replaced by Chevy's that are uni-body construction. They collapse like an accordion when hit and can't be fixed. Go figure.
Posted by onlooker on 2012-05-16:
Did you rent over mother's day - some increase in rentals due to holiday maybe?
Were there many graduations going - some increase in rentals due to increased visitors?
You got a boat - but which would have been worse the Crown Vic or the Crowne Zilch?
I too would have been taken aback with that car. But like above it would have been better than some of tincans out there.
Posted by FoDaddy19 on 2012-05-16:
I want to clarify something. The police used and still use the CV . The CV, along with it's platform mates, the Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car, went out of production last September. Mainly due to upcoming CAFE standards, and the fact that the civilian customer base was literally dying off of old age. Very few police departments stopped using them, the whole exploding gas tank thing was blown out of proportion. It was mainly due to a case of sheer numbers of the car in law enforcement use and the nature of how the cars are used in law enforcement, to my knowledge there is problem with civilians CV's exploding, largely because they don't use the cars in the same way police departments do.

In the interest of disclosure. I was in fleet sales for Ford for a couple years, and I sold these things by dozen.
Posted by MRM on 2012-05-16:
In my city, they still use unmarked and marked Crown Vics on the road. And I hate those civilian Crown Vics on the road because you think that they are police officers.
Posted by trp2hevn on 2012-05-16:
I think if the OP wanted a certain type of car, then they shouldn't have picked a category that leaves it open to interpretation as to a good deal or not. Someone else may have been delighted to have a comfortable car. Also, maybe the location was overbooked on those other car categories and had a surplus of the larger cars.
Posted by Slimjim on 2012-05-16:
Crown Vics are one of the most seen cars on the road. 9 out of 10 taxis and police cruisers use them. (or use to as they just stopped making them in 2012, not the 70s). Honestly, if I was taking pot luck, I could think of a lot worse cars to get. To each his own I guess. I would have no problem with this car if the price was right.
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Bad Service
Posted by Apiresdeabreu on 05/07/2012
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Looking for rates at Miami airport Dollar was one of the less expensive, between US 700.00 for one week at Alamo and US 900.00 at Avis. I paid US 440.00 for five days with insurance in a mid size model that would be a Avenger, model that they didn't have.

When I made the cote I told the agent that I was going to drop off the car in Orlando. Arriving at Orlando airport they overcharged me in US 100.00 telling me that I had to drop off it in Miami. Customer service said that they couldn't do nothing about it so I had signed the contract. I would not recommend it to anyone.
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Vehicles not worth renting!
Posted by All4tenz85 on 11/03/2011
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA -- Rented a Vehicle from Dollar Rent a Car at the Oakland, CA Airport. This is a complete disaster -- In addition to the 47K miles on it, it had multiple dents, the cigarette lighter "socket" was completely missing, the remote control was inconsistent, and the horn did not work AT ALL!

We determined that the remote for the power locks was low causing the locks to lock/unlock at random. I parked the car with my luggage in it and locked the door - as I walked away, I heard the doors unlock. Luckily, we heard the sound of the doors unlocking - otherwise we could have lost everything. Finally, and most importantly, the horn did not work. I needed to alert a truck that he was merging into me on highway 99 -- with no horn I was a sitting duck. By the way - a working horn is a mandate in California Vehicle code -- I will NEVER rent with Dollar again.

I called Dollar Rental Car customer service -- they were less than empathic. I asked could I exchange at a different Dollar Location - since I am now 100 miles from Oakland - They refused! I just had to deal with it for the 3-day rental.
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Posted by lexophiliac on 2011-11-04:
Who checks the horn when renting a vehicle? The doors locking and unlocking at random was potentially dangerous.

OP - Consider contacting their corporate office and giving them your feedback as well as the California DMV to alert them of the dangerous violation.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-11-04:
Definitely report this incident to a higher authority. These are legitimate complaints that deserve a satisfactory resolution. Good review!
Posted by Nohandle on 2011-11-04:
I personally don't sound my horn after a close call on a highway. Why bother? Most times you are dealing with an idiot behind the wheel and are you sounding your horn to make a point after the fact? The only times recently I recall using the horn is if someone is coming out of a parking spot and don't see me. I just don't want to be backed into. Yep, you still need a working horn on your vehicle.

When renting a vehicle it's impossible to check out everything. During the day do you check out the headlights? How about the wiper blades? Good grief, you're renting a vehicle and expect to find it in operational condition. I have no problem with what the OP stated and think it's helpful. Why? Because it's just something else we need to check for when renting a vehicle.
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Posted by Bethmcevoy on 08/25/2011
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 Linda (manager) would call us back. However, when Linda 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 were 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 preauthorization 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.

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Posted by BEJ on 2011-08-25:
Contact Corporate at
E-mail: Customer Service Request Form
Mailing Address:
Dollar Rent A Car, Inc.
Attn: Customer Service 2W2
P.O. Box 33167
Tulsa, OK 74153-1167
Toll-free Support Service: 1-800-800-5252
Fax: 1-918-669-2060
On there website is a page where you can send them an email.
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-08-25:
I can understand both sides of this complaint. If I was renting the vehicle and had AAA tell me the battery was bad, I would have made another call to the rental agency about the process for this to take place. I would not have taken it upon myself or assumed reimbursement for the costs.
Posted by Old Timer on 2011-08-25:
Dollar sucks. The location in Kauai stole our camera. The manager admitted theft was a problem and "we could probably find our camera at one of the local hock shops"? WTF?? Called corporate and they said to bad even they know it was taken by one of their employee's.

Used to like Dollar, now so many of the locations are just crooks and con artists. Sorry you had to get ripped for a battery. Our camera, your battery, probably 1,000's more stories about Dollar out there.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-08-25:
I agree with At Your Service. Once you found out the battery was back, a call to the rental place would have been in order. With AAA standing there waiting for instruction, it would have to take place quickly, but it makes sense to be sure the charge is authorized.

Given what you went through, and the conversation that you had with corporate, I think they should fully compensate you.
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Dollar Rent a Car
Posted by Campsite on 08/22/2011
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- Does ANYONE want to have a bad experience? Try to rent a car from Dollar Rent a Car. We called a month and a half early to pick up a mid-size car with audio auxiliary input in Phoenix, to be returned to Denver. A "manager" called us back at 11:00 PM EDT, to confirm our order. We arrive and no one knows anything about this conversation, and we're offered a Jeep. We explain that we are (obviously) planning a lot of driving, do not want to sit in a Jeep and have our luggage visible at every stop. Their solution - how about an SUV? After repeating our selves several times, spending nearly an hour and a half going round and round, and being told that they had nothing else to offer us, they suddenly "found" a car that we could have and, as we had originally planned, we could drop it off in Denver ... for a $500.00 fee. When we mentioned that Our Veterans Advantage membership allowed us to register a second driver at no cost, they knew nothing about that program, would NOT go to their web site where it was clearly stated and would NOT do anything to verify what we were saying. The car was supposed to be a non-smoking car. When we went to pick it up, we not only found that the passenger seat had a cigarette burn hole in it, but it also was registered and had a COLORADO license plate. We were taking this car back to Colorado for them and being charged five hundred dollars, saving them the hassle, aggravation and cost to get it done.
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Posted by Skye on 2011-08-22:
That sound likes a big nightmare.

Thanks for the warning.
Posted by At Your Service on 2011-08-22:
Would it normally make any difference as to where the car was registered? I would think someone has to drive it and the drive is used for income for the company owning it. I'm not sure I see any problem with this.
Posted by bob93 on 2011-08-22:
If you had done this on the web you could have printed off all the information and you would have all the rates 'in writing'. It is good to know you can't trust a phone call. Drop off fees are very common and, like the previous poster said, where the car is registered is immaterial. Good warning.
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Unwanted Car Insurance
Posted by Jaxxie on 06/05/2011
COLUMBUS, OHIO -- I rented a car at the Columbus, Ohio, in May from Dollar Rent a Car as they advertised the lowest rate online. Having a safe driving record a using a credit card that covers insurance, I "verbally" declined the offered car rental insurance . . . TWICE. Unfortunately, I did not read that they added this charge to the contract anyway. So I was unpleasantly surprised to see this $150 UNNECESSARY UNWANTED CHARGE on my bill.

When I called the 1-800 number to complain and request this charge be dropped, I was told that I had to pay, that I "signed" the contract.

LESSON FOR EVERYONE: Always read the car rental contract you are signing to avoid extra unwanted services/ charges no matter how rushed or tired you are at the car rental counter.

I feel DOLLAR in "good service" should have refunded the unwanted unnecessary charge on my bill. Since they didn't, I won't go back . .
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-06-05:
Absolutely - you have to read the contract that you are signing when you rent *anything*. Could be a car, a piece of equipment, etc.

This is kind of like disputing overdraft fees. I wish you luck, but if the contract you signed shows insurance coverage was not declined, it will be a tough road.
Posted by ticia232 on 2011-06-05:
You have to sign (or initial) for the insurance fees, on the contract.

I know this because although my husband does have a good driving record, he always pays extra for the insurance so that if he does have an accident it does NOT count against his insurance and make the rates go up. Many insurance companies do NOT care about who was at fault.

What would you prefer a $60 (or $75 in your case.)one time payment, or an increase of most likely more if something does happen?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-06-06:
The issue isn't what the OP prefers, but the fact that they felt deceived. Ultimately though, the responsibility lies within the OP for signing something without thoroughly reading it first.

I have professed time and time again on this site, that your signature is more valuable than many give it credit for.
Posted by Jaxxie on 2011-06-10:
Thanks for all your comments . . . They all were positively gracious but confirmed what I already learned . . . one HAS to read the contract before signing despite what one's "verbal wishes" were. I learned my lesson . . . But also I esp.appreciate ticia232 point about paying the car rental insurance one time to avoid your own car insurance going up is there's an accident . . . Good point (p.s. though it was $150, not $75.). Won't your car insurance people find out you had an accident even though you did not put the claim to them and raise your rates anyway??
Posted by ticia232 on 2011-06-17:
Jaxxie, the answer is NO! My husband gets the insurance through the rental company because of that. And yes, we were involved in an accident that was not our fault, the rental company insurance paid everything and NOTHING was told to our insurance.

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Charged for insurance I didn't want
Posted by Goverton on 05/10/2011
MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- My husband rented a Dollar rental car out of Manchester, NH. We were thrilled to get a $15 per day rate as the trip was expensive enough and we are not rich. When he got to the counter, he verbally declined insurance -- TWICE. But he signed the form without paying close attention. To our surprise, our $150 dollar total bill was a whopping $316 when he checked out, as the person who had him initial made him opt for insurance he did not want. Be warned -- check your contract carefully and don't rely on the person behind the counter to check the boxes correctly! We complained, said we used American Express that covers insurance automatically, but Dollar would not retract the insurance charge. They had unfortunately "fired" the person Justin in their office who had made the mistake so we were not able to contact him and have a discussion. This Justin person was fired for making too many mistakes on the job. As someone who is quite challenged with just making house payments and paying bills, the $160 extra dollars that went to Dollar Rent a Car -- a big corporation -- and out of my poor pocket, is a good example of poor customer service.
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Posted by Ytropious on 2011-05-11:
Why would you want a "discussion" with Justin? He only X'd the boxes for you to sign, it's still YOUR job to read them before initialing.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-05-11:
How do you know what Justin was fired for?
Posted by jktshff1 on 2011-05-11:
Good post..makes people aware.
"he signed the form without paying close attention"
"check your contract carefully"
There it is.
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LIES and other B.S.!
Posted by KOLCHAK on 04/29/2011
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 LIGHTYEARS 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!!

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Posted by drugdoc121 on 2011-04-30:
I have personally rented minivans from many different car companies and NEVER have had one quote me below $50/$60. Sorry, not for a minivan. Plus I live in Ct and $39/day is not a rental price here for a minivan. I think the agent was right, I think you were misquoted by Alamo.
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Added fees
Posted by Eclectic29 on 04/26/2011
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA -- Posted rates through Expedia put rates at $31 per day subject to an underage driver charge (driver under 24 yrs). When they arrived, only one had a credit card and she was not the driver, so charge added for 2 drivers even though only one drove the car. Told waiver liability fee was a certain price, not told it was a per day price. Expectation was around $200 for four days; card charged $546 for the same time.

Misleading and possibly shady practices all around. No effort by customer services person at all to resolve situation.

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Posted by BEJ on 2011-04-26:
That is how they operate. Had family coming from out of town for a big family gathering. Tried to pay for their car rental as a thank you for traveling so far. Could not do it. The one renting/paying for the car has to be the driver. They do charge for extra for extra drivers. As far as the insurance goes, it has always been a per day charge and not a flat fee for the entire rental. I think you will find that the other rental companies do business in the same way.
Posted by doug thurston on 2013-08-13:
same here rented a car for 3 days and they charged me for 2 drivers just read the fine print i did not read, now im paying for it 3 days $200.00. dont use them.
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Poor customer service
Posted by Mainetraveler on 03/27/2011
Upon returning a car the agents seem to automatically charge customers for a full tank of fuel without telling the customers. This happened to me recently and since the service desk doesn't go over the bill with customers, I only realized the "mistake" a few hours later. Two phone calls later and a stop at the actual location, I still couldn't find anyone with the authority to correct the mistake.
They were unmoved by the fact that their own records show I only drove the car for 52 miles (most of it due to inaccurate GPS unit), and that I had a gas station receipt for the couple of gallons that I topped the tank with at 711.
I will never use them again, no Matter how cheap their convertibles might be!
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Posted by Alain on 2011-03-28:
Did they ever correct their mistake? If not (and if you paid by credit card), you are going to want to dispute the bill with your credit card company.
Posted by Emanuel on 2013-07-04:
Their customer service center is off shore and you will end up getting someone who speaks really poor English, has poor social skills, and is not competnent to help anyone let alone themselves. This is not to show biased towards anyone but if one cannot have a meaningful dialogue with a company they hire and are not able to understand the language you are using
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