Fox Rent A Car - San Diego - Bait and switch
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I rented a Jeep from Fox Rent A Car in San Diego, at the location near the airport. I was excited to get a car from them, as they are one of the only car rental agencies you can rent a Jeep from. I rented the Jeep on Tuesday September 15.
The Jeep ran well, gas consumption was minimal, the inside plastic windows were very scratched up and hard to see out of, but I was willing to sacrifice that for getting to drive something other than a PT Cruiser.
On Friday the 18th, as I was crossing over the bridge from Coronado island, back to the city, the Jeep began to shake violently. I could barely hold the wheel and control the vehicle and I thought we were going to veer into oncoming traffic to the left where our merge lane ended. There was a blue mustang behind me about 2-3 car lengths apart. When the Jeep started shaking, the car pulled back what looked to be 7-10 car lengths as I guess it became apparent from that driver something bad was happening. I was able to pull over at the next exit and immediately decided to take it back to the rental place. Before I arrived I pulled out my contract to call the place to let them know what was going on, and I looked at the price at the bottom of the piece of paper, and the price has a different estimate from what I and my friend remember signing. I thought they had given me a carbon, but this was clearly another copy that didn't have either of our signatures on it.
After we got to the agency, we described our incident with the shaking, and then brought up the price difference. We were told that the original paperwork we signed was "shipped" to LA for filing. I demanded that they then locate it and fax it. The gentleman then explained that we agreed to return it in empty and that was the additional fee. I explained to him that we in no way signed anything that was going to allow him to charge me $371 up from the original contract we signed at $300. After much back and forth, and promising to get a manager, lo and behold, out pops the original contract that we had singed, with the original $300 agreement. I demanded a copy in which they refused and the manager then explained that the extra $71 was for them to refill the car. Before I even pulled away from the agency on the day I picked up the car, I clearly asked the attendant helping us that we were in no way obligated to fill up the tank, or return it on full. He insisted that they have their own gas pumps and it's cheaper for them to do it, that we didn't have to worry about putting gas in the vehicle. I've rented cars from several vendors over the years and knew it sounded fishy.
After much arguing with the manager, he asked why we hadn't brought the vehicle in earlier. I had to explain to him several times that the shaking incident JUST HAPPENED no more than 15 minutes before our arrival. He then asked how much gas was in the car now, which was still a quarter full. He explained that he would have to charge us $3 a gallon to fill it back up, then get us into another car. I explained to him that there was no way I was paying for gas in a car that I was not happy with, was a danger to their customers, and that the bait-n-switch pricing was leaving a very bad taste in my mouth. Then I asked him how it could possibly cost and extra $70 to fill up a Jeep regardless? I can take it down the street and fill it up for less than $40. The manager then again asked why we didn't bring it in earlier again! It was such a run around. He then proceeded to tell me he didn't believe anything I has said about the Jeep, and that we were just trying to get a free tank of gas out of the deal. He then told me and my friend to get out. He refused to help us.
I could go on and on about this incident, but I've never ever been asked to leave a place of business or been called a liar, especially over a vehicle that could potentially kill someone. We did end up with another vehicle after we called the corporation and spoke to a representative there. We spent two hours outside of a place that refused to deal with us over a tank of gas. The replacement vehicle was a Chrysler 300 and has keyless remote entry, which already doesn't work. The attendants are friendly, but please be aware and double check your paperwork before you leave the place.