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.
When I arrived at the Dollar desk to collect the car I was in a hurry as my wife had been taken ill on the plane and I wanted to get away as quickly as possible to get to the hospital. This was already a bad start to our honeymoon. So you can imagine I was in a real hurry but then had to spend a very long time at the San Francisco Airport desk insisting to the guy that I did not want to upgrade to a convertible, he just kept going on and on about upgrading, and I just kept telling him I did not want to pay a single thing extra than what we had already paid for (through CarHire300) and I refused to upgrade to any additional packages.
It was ridiculous, I must have repeated myself 100 times or more - I said very clearly "NO I do not want to pay for anything more than the car rental which is already paid." He said OK and then passed me the contract across the desk and keeping his hand on the contract at all times, pointed where to sign, which I did, took the keys and left. I did asked him about petrol and what type the car took, he advised that the car had a full tank already, when I asked how much that would cost he said not to worry about it we would not be charged and to bring it back empty, which I thought was a bit weird, but had no time to query it - now I see why!
He never mentioned anything insurance or road safe and certainly did not inform me to expect any additional charges. I only signed it where he said to, I did not agree to any charges - yet here is what was taken additionally: $104.85 - Personal Protection Plan, $89.85 - Optional Supplementary Insurance called "Road safe plus" (This is a top up insurance that covers for items that are not normally covered in the standard breakdown package), $27.64 - "Conferrecchg" (This is tax payable on any extras), $15.87 - "State Tax" (This is also tax payable on any extras), $54.11 - Prepaid fuel, $292.32 - Total Amount.
I did not agree to any of these additional extras, we were already on an extremely tight budget for our honeymoon so there's absolutely no way I would have initialed for them. This is absolutely terrible, I feel totally tricked. Was the guy at the desk on commission!! How could this have happened when I did not agree to those charges!!! Is this how Dollar gets money by tricking people into signing for something they know nothing about!! I am totally disgusted and do not intend to let this rest until I get a full refund.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- During the process of renting a car at this location this past weekend, I handed my license and insurance card to the booking agent. She took my license but returned my State Farm insurance card and advised me Dollar does not accept personal insurance. She then went on to say I had to pick from the two insurance coverages they offered ($26.99 - basic or $36.99 - full/per day). I choose the $26.99, finalized the contract and left with my vehicle.
On Monday I looked at the paperwork to see by what time I had to return the vehicle and I noticed there was a charge listed as "estimated optional coverages". I called the corporate office and was advised this charge was for the optional insurance I chose. I explained to the representative that I was told I had to get the coverage and told them my story. I was then advised to speak to the manager upon the return of the vehicle.
Later that day when I arrived to return the vehicle, I spoke to the manager who told me I chose the insurance, initialed the contract and there was nothing that could be done. Perhaps if I would have come in the next day after having rented the vehicle something could be credited but seeing as I chose to come in the day my rental ended, there was nothing that could be done. Even after explaining once again how the desk representative did not give me a choice because I either had to take the insurance or leave because according to her "Dollar does not accept personal insurance" he still said it was my fault and that I should have brought the insurance issue up earlier.
How can an issue be brought up if I wasn't aware there was an issue until I questioned a charge and called the corporate office? Having accomplished nothing after speaking with the manager, I called and filed a complaint with the corporate office so the insurance charge was refunded and my complaint was sent to the general manager. I also followed up with my own complaint letter to the corporate office, general manager as well as to the Better Business Bureau. I will not rent at this location ever again and I strongly suggest people heed my warning because this location misleads the consumer and the worst part is the incompetent manager condones this behavior.
My husband and I had planned a Hawaiian vacation for years. We paid for a mid-sized car for our stay on Maui. Upon arriving there, we were told there were no more mid-sized cars, only minivans and jeeps. The counter girl was very short with me, and told me I'd have to take an upgrade--either a van or Jeep. I got my husband, who was out watching our bags, to come in. He was told the same thing--either take the upgrade, or you don't have a car.
Upon returning home, I filed a complaint with Dollars office is Hawaii. I was told that the girl at their counter told us there would be a "wait" for a mid-size car, or we could take a mini-van at no cost to us. A Jeep would be considered an upgrade WE wanted, and would be an additional 200 and something dollars. This is NOT what happened, we were NOT told of a wait, and if there was one, for how long? Nor were we told that the van would be at no cost, but the Jeep would. They claim my husband came in and decided to upgrade right then and there, and as far as they were concerned, they were done with us.
All I can say is, maybe the counter people get some kind of "kickback" if people upgrade while picking up their cars, and this one person hadn't gotten her quota for the day. Needless to say, that will be our first and last time ever renting from Dollar. The customer service is non-existent, and the old saying "the customer is always right" is just that to them, a saying. I really don't understand how with all the companies going under, any of them could afford to have people like that work for them--there's always someplace else we as consumers can do business, and the honest ones will always get our business.
CALIFORNIA -- Do yourself a favor and never rent with these guys. This was my third such experience, and I won't make that mistake again. LAX last week and a 40-minute line-up which never seemed to move. The reason is that the high pressure, dishonest sales people were trying to cram insurance - Upgrades (at more money) GPS' and every item they could down every customers' throat.
I am well aware of my coverage limits as a Canadian. My Visa covers rental car collision. My Roadstar covers me on third liability up to $2 Million on rental cars. The dummy woman behind the counter was threatening me that I wasn't covered at all unless I took out their insurance, which of course totaled more than the daily rental rate!! She then told me the car I had chosen was a terrible car and I should upgrade. She said, "With that car, people can see in the back and you will have all your stuff stolen."
I suggested that there would be nothing in my car as I was driving straight to the hotel and taking my bags out. She continued to argue with me. During my time at the counter, which should have taken 5 minutes but instead took 15 minutes or more, a fellow came up and was irate that the car he just rented was 2 levels below what he had paid for. He was sent to get a "premium" car and got far less. Having been caught, they remedied this quickly. Dollar tends to pop up on the Expedia listings with the lowest cost, therefore many people, like me will simply book with them. Don't do it, they do not deserve your business and cannot be trusted.
If you don't have the credit card that provides automatic collision, or you don't have Roadstar to ensure high liability coverage (most States require mandatory liability to some extent in all cars including rentals) you can take out this coverage in Canada for just a few dollars per day, typically about 10% of what they will charge you at the counter of the rental company. As I said earlier, this was the third time in a row I dealt with the high pressure and dishonesty, so it is obviously part of their business plan to achieve profit margin selling customers things they don't need.
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- My friend and I rented a car from Dollar at the travel agent rate of $17.95 per day for four days. When we returned the car, we were shocked to find that Dollar charged us $161.55 for four days or $40.39 a day or 225% of the original rate. There was $16 of CFC (whatever that is), $11.42 for Privilege Fee (I guess it is their privilege to take our money), $8.12 for fuel surcharge (as if paying for gas ourselves is not enough), and above all $39.96 for a second driver.
We complained on the spot and they said it was all in the contract we signed (about 2 am when we picked up the car, they really expect everyone to read the contract before we get the key). The representative that handed us the key never said anything about the extra charges. So take my advice, use Hertz.
PUERTO VALLARTA, ALASKA -- I recently made a reservation for a compact car through Dollar in Puerto Vallarta for $84.06. The advertised price stated that the car would be rented in the airport. However, when we arrived in Puerto Vallarta, we were taken on a shuttle down a random Mexican backstreet to Dollar's rental center, well away from both the airport and any reasonable competition. There, after a long day of travel, with a tired baby and a sick mother, we were told that we needed to pay $42 per day for basic insurance. I explained to them that I had already made my reservation and agreed on a price, but they did not seem to care about our original agreement.
Since neither ** or ** could tolerate any more traveling in the heat, and the neighborhood did not feel safe enough to try to hail a cab, we were forced to pay the exorbitant rates - nine times the original price we were quoted. We were also told we would be given a free upgrade to a larger car, which we were instead later charged for. I have spent months traveling in Latin American countries, and have never been robbed so severely - to my surprise by a supposedly reputable American company.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- I ordered a car through Orbitz and purchased insurance. When I arrived at Dollar Rental Car, I had to wait 1/2 hour to be served. Then the representative charged me triple the price! I asked why, he said Orbitz was only charging to hold a spot. He also charged me for unnecessary insurance, even after I explained that I purchased insurance. After being there for 1 hour, I had to take the car to get to my appointments. My vacation consisted of me arguing on the phone with Dollar Rental Car every day and getting the run around! Don't deal with Dollar Rental Car or Orbitz!!!
SAN DIEGO, OREGON -- I have rented cars from Hertz, Enterprise and Dollar for local needs lasting a day or two and trips lasting 7 days or more. In each instance, hands down, Dollar outshines them all. Flying into a strange airport, not knowing where to go next... no problem. The driver was right there to help with luggage. Fast, friendly! And those long lines...? Hah, with Dollar, make sure you sign up for their express service. I was waved right on through past all those people, contract ready, car ready... it was amazing. Car rental heaven.
They just pointed to the area where the size of car I had reserved and said pick one out. Unfortunately I had back issues with that car, so I had to arrange for an exchange. And that experience was terrific as well. Everyone... and I do mean every person I talked to and dealt with in San Diego at the airport and LAX, were so helpful and polite. Until they give me a reason to do otherwise, I will never rent from anyone else again!
DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, COLORADO -- We rented a mid-size SUV through Priceline.com for our trip to Denver. When we arrived at the rental car office we had to wait in line for 45 minutes before being served. When we finally got served we were pressured to get an SUV 4 wheel drive instead of our original reservation, at 3 times the original quoted price.
The agent told us that the mid-size SUV we reserved had no 4-wheel drive and that the police may not permit us to drive up to Breckenridge without a four-wheel drive in the mountain. Just before packing our gear in the car, we noticed that the car delivered just before ours, to another family, was a mid-size SUV 4-wheel drive exactly as we should have got.
I asked the driver how much he paid and when did he reserve and he paid $300 or $1,200 less despite booking online at the same time as us. Worse still, the attendant told us that over 3/4 of their fleet of mid-sized SUVs was 4-wheel drive. The staff does hard sell, trying to make you change your original reservation so they can actually make more money!!!! Never again.