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.
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.