NEW YORK -- Avoid NATIONAL CAR RENTAL St. Lucia – bad experience. Car was rented knowing there was problems (it was just in garage for repairs – 125,000 miles). They said they would replace car if we had problem when we rented it. They didn't find another car. They left us stranded – we rented from a more expensive company who rents quality cars. Now they want to charge me for a bad car, bad experience.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Two weeks ago, I returned the rental car (2013 Chevy Malibu) after a 4 day rental at National Car Rental at LAX. After a minute of wait, a representative walked towards me from the far side of the (vacant) lot came towards the car, walked around it and told me that there was a damage to the car. I asked her where the damage was. She said something like "front...". I couldn't get the second half of what she said. I walked to the front of the driver side and couldn't see any damage. She ducked down and showed me the damage to the bottom of (rather under) the side skirt below the driver side.
Standing about 2 feet away from the car and looking down, I couldn't see it. I had to duck down to see it. My trip was a normal Monday through Thursday normal rental which I do several times a year (I rent from National for at least 100 days a year for the last 3 years). There was nothing unusual about this trip nor I hit any object on the road. I do walk around the car to look for any damages. But, this damage wouldn't be visible if you stand in-between cars parked in the emerald club aisle and walk around it. Yet, the representative claimed that it was my responsibility and started writing a pink ticket.
I subsequently called the Damage Recovery Unit (DRU) and spoke to a representative about this incident. I explained her how walking around the car wouldn't help finding this damage as it was in the bottom and one has to duck down or walk several feet away and look at the bottom to see the damage.
The DRU representative told me: The damage was not reported during any previous rental (if the damage is not visible in plain sight, how anybody can find and report it?). The branch manager at LAX location determined that it was my responsibility (on what basis? Walk-around the car without ducking down will not reveal the damage. There is also no video/picture record of "before and after" condition of the car). There is no way to override the manager's decision. She also told me that there is no further means to escalate or contest this. (Unbelievable!)
First they (themselves) determine that it is my responsibility without any proof that the car was damaged during my rental and then there is no way for me to contest this! I'll update this post as things progress in this case.
Update: 11/22/2013 - Early this week, received a letter from National Car DRU an estimate of the damages. Also today, I've written to the email address provided by the National Car Rep.
Update: 11/22/2013 - After posting my first update for the day today, I noticed something in the picture of the damage in the claim report sent by DRU. (I'm unable to attach it to this review for some reason.) There are 2 pictures showing the damage and they clearly show the reflection of the person (on the car door) taking the picture, ducking down to take the picture of the damage. This makes it evident that the damage wouldn't be visible if we walk-around standing next to it. I've sent another email to the National Car care email ID mentioned above with that picture.
Update: 12/3/2013 - I got a call last week from the National Car rep. She was very professional and went through my case details with me. Based on the information I provided and that the damage was less (total of about $430), she would close the claim and not pursue me for any damages. I subsequently also received a letter from National DRU confirming this. I'm glad there is somebody to whom I could escalate and resolve the issue. Thanks National!
One lesson learnt is to take picture/video of the condition of the car before leaving the lot. Not just walking around but to duck down and check the fender etc! Also, to do it when returning the rental, I've started doing it in more detail! I know the looks I get for doing it. But, I know what I've been through! So, I don't care!
National car rental closed the claim
ALEXANDRIA, LOUISIANA -- I rented a small economy car for a week to visit my children. I'm 43 and was expecting my 1st grandchild. I get to the airport AEX and all they have is a luxury Tahoe. At first I thought wow... an upgrade for no extra money but the thought of the gas cost made me hesitate. It was a bad thunderstorm when I flew in and I decided to go with it. The manager told me to come back in 2 days and he should have something to switch out. I was okay with that.
After one day of driving, I spent over $60 in gas and realized that by the time I would go back and switch the vehicle I would have probably put $200 in my gas tank! So I called customer service, which was a nightmare, hoping I could find a location to switch out vehicles sooner than my original plan with the AEX location. Well after hours, the customer service line rolls over to people that have a hard time understanding me and vice versa.
They gave me names of Enterprise locations near the town I had driven to which was about 2 hours from my original pick up location. I felt like as an Emerald Club member I should have gotten a better level of service. I would have thought that customer service would have arranged the switch for me. I didn't even know Enterprise and National were affiliated. So I did all the legwork on my own trying to switch out this car and save my gas allowance for the trip.
I finally got an answer from the Enterprise in Opelousas. ** was the associate who helped me. She acted as if I was bothering her. I tried to be polite but it was a challenge. I was so frustrated. Multiple phone calls, no resolution, and the customer service line hung up on me repeatedly. It was beyond frustrating. I switched the Tahoe out for a VW Jetta. It was filthy, only had 1/4 tank of gas and nobody mentioned that. If I had not questioned it, I could have been on the hook for an entire tank as that is what my original paperwork stated. ** at Enterprise handwrote a note on my original agreement.
I was so sick of all of this that I just left. Well, 2 minutes down the road and the car dies. I recrank it and decide to go back and get the Tahoe because a gas guzzler is better than a broke down beater any day. I go back, and they are closed. So I spend the rest of the evening trying to get from place to place. My nerves were shot. The next day, I call the original place I rented from. They did not have another car but told me to head that way and they would work it out. So I did that.
The entire staff and manager were awesome. They apologized for everything, gave me a gorgeous Malibu and one day credit on my rental. It was a great resolve to my dilemma. I still spent way more on gas than I wanted to but I felt respected and I appreciated ** helping me so much. I don't feel like there is an issue at the National Rental Car location. There is an issue with the Emerald Club customer service you receive via telephone and there is an issue entrusting your customers to Enterprise because they do not treat you like a valued client but rather an inconvenience.
Tamara, our team could make the proper management aware of your concerns and experience. Please email us at: Care@Nationalcar.com with your contact information, rental agreement number and any additional details you would like to share about your experience. Please attach reference #140826-002879 to your email. Thank You. –Christina
LAX, CALIFORNIA -- We will NEVER use National again! Picked up vehicle from airport location in March. Car hadn't been inspected prior to us taking. Had gashes in tire, they wanted us to return the vehicle to LAX from Anaheim. We weren't going to sit in traffic for over an hour. They sent out AAA to replace, only to be told by AAA it was a donut & not suitable for highway driving. We were heading to San Diego in 2 days. Again National wanted us to return vehicle to airport, finally agreed to we could replace at John Wayne Airport.
Upon calling John Wayne told they didn't have same vehicle, only small cars. After long argument with LAX they agreed to bring replacement to us, but would be between 4-6 hours. Through all this they charged us $59 to AAA to come change the tire. We missed an entire day's ticket at Disneyland amounting to $364 US for 4 of us & when we did return the vehicle nobody was willing to do anything about it.
We've had NO satisfaction from National's Regional Manager at all on this. Not even an courtesy call to apologize. This is pathetic. Used other car rentals in the past & never had such poor customer service in my life-time. Will never recommend them to anybody, if fact will go out of our way to tell everyone to stay clear of National. The most helpful reviews and complaints are factually correct, include details from your firsthand experience, and have photos.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Please send us a detailed email to Care@Nationalcar.com with complete details such as: contact information, reservation/rental agreement number and reference #150811-003315. As customer service is of the utmost importance, we would like to look further into this situation for you. Thanks for posting and we look forward to hearing from you soon. -Tatiana
JFK AIRPORT, NEW YORK -- Rented a car from the National Car Rental at JFK airport, was told $409 for four days after reviewing and agreeing to the price. On my return I was told the car was only for three days not four and I was charged additional $136. After reviewing it with the manager she said she would honor the $409 quote that I was given. After several days I was charged by National Rent-A-Car $136 on my checking account which was not authorized. After reviewing it with the manager she said she would honor the $409 quote that I was given.
After several days I was charged by national Rent-A-Car $136 on my checking account which was not authorized by me. I guess this is a common scam that National pulls on customers. This is my last National car rental I will ever get. Very unprofessional, extremely sneaky
We'd be happy to look into your situation. Please email Care@Nationalcar.com with your contact information, reference #150721-003215 and reservation/ rental agreement number so we can address your concern. -Tatiana
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Rented a reg vehicle. All they had left was a Suburban LT left for me - I briefly walk around and didn't see any damage. When I return the vehicle I got blame for a damage bumper way underneath that you couldn't see walking around the vehicle. I have been renting cars for 18 years now. In the last year our company switch from Avis to National and now I see why they switch back. National acts like that you have a preferred status but when they can try to back charge you for something they will. I was going to look at the vehicle with the asst mgr. He told me there was no need that he would look at himself.
The lady that check me in to the asst mgr were so rude and not professional at all. If they had work for me they both would of been fired on the spot. Their both answers to me were, "Oh well, ** happens. You are responsible. We can't help you even thou you are a Emerald Club." The same issue happen to one of my co-workers 2 months ago and he went thru the same thing. I am lucky that our corporate have extra coverage on our vehicle. But I still have to go thru paperwork and send it so they can take care of it. I am glad we as a major company have switch back to AVIS who actually cares about their preferred customers.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention . Please send us a detailed email to Care@Nationalcar.com with complete details including: Renter's full name, current phone number, location rented, rental agreement (RA) number, “DX” or claim number and reference # 150630-002787. As customer service is of the utmost importance, we would like to look further into this situation for you. Thanks for posting and we look forward to hearing from you soon. -Tatiana
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- I was at a red light in my rental when a car made a left at the cross street and hit me head on. FL state trooper's very helpful - National Car Rental something else. I called several different numbers (given to me by employees) as I called the wrong department apparently. After 2 hours with being on hold, I finally did reach the correct department "roadside assistance" who I did speak with on call #2, but was told not their issue and gave me someone else to call. At no time did anyone offer to transfer me. I was told the replacement car would arrive within 2 hours.
At 5pm when I heard nothing, I called and was told ETA was 10 minutes. Now at 6:30 pm - still no car. Another call to National I was told driver just got to airport. I then heard how busy they are etc... Guess what?? I am the customer don't tell me how busy you are. I stayed put to be able to receive the vehicle. What a waste of my first day of vacation. No I do not want a coupon for my next car rental! NEVER AGAIN will I rent from National. I will pay the extra $$ and go with Avis or Hertz. At least they know what good customer service is.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention Michele. Please send us a detailed email to Care@Nationalcar.com with complete details such as: contact information, reservation/rental agreement number and reference #150602-002828. As customer service is of the utmost importance, we would like to look further into this situation for you. Thanks for posting and we look forward to hearing from you soon. -Tatiana
WASHINGTON DULLES, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- I have rented from National Car Rental in Dulles for over 2 years, pretty steady. For about a year- all seemed OK. Then, I began to notice when I returned a car, and did not wait for an attendant to check gas and give me a receipt - I would receive a extra fuel charge. I ALWAYS fill the tank. The gas station in 1/2 mile from the rental place. So my last rental (4-23-14 #**) had about 3 gallon charge added! I only went 99 miles, AND, I filled up around 4 gallons.
I'm being cheated - pure and simple. Or, let's say, they are trying to cheat. I call every time and I get the extra charge reversed. This time the customer service person Michelle wanted me to send my gas receipt. Are you kidding me? I told her to look at how often I rent - but in any case, sure I'll send it. Finally she relented and said she would refund 'as a courtesy' to me. I am so disgusted with your company. It's palatable. So get a handle on the way this business is ran.
I would like to discuss this further with you. Please email us at Care@Nationalcar.com with your contact information, reference #150427-003286, rental/reservation number and any other details. -Tatiana
EVERYWHERE, CALIFORNIA -- National Car Rental is the WORST car rental company in this country. If you rent from them, when you receive your bill you will be subject to all kinds of hidden fees that they do not tell you about. They told me that my rental was to cost $220.00, but they charged me $770.00! It was until I called back for the fifth time did they actually admit they over charged me and would refund the difference but when they gave me my refund they only gave me $250 back instead of the $550 they actually owed.
When I called again they came up with all of these hidden fees that were never a part of the original agreement and magically appeared after they realized they were essentially trying to steal hundreds of dollars from me. On top of this, they forced me to pay for insurance on the car even after I clearly stated that I did not want protection on the car.
Needless to say, National Car Rental is a corrupt, deceitful, greedy company that will take advantage of you as they have me and if you are reading this PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE for your own benefit, do not rent from them and enable such avarice to continue. If for some reason you do and when you do get overcharged PLEASE call them to notify them and when they try to delay it or deny it as I guarantee they will, keep moving forward because they can not continue to get away with this thievery of the American people. National Car Rental is the WORST car rental company in this country.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I have been a loyal National Car Rental customer since 1979. Normally when I pickup a car, the agents review and help inspect the car before I leave the lot. In July 2014 I rented a car from the National Car Rental location at JFK. We had been on a plane all day and due to delays we missed our connecting flight home to Rhode Island. The agents and porter were very nice, helped us with our bags and sent us on our way. They didn't help inspect the car as they normally do and I neglected to check it myself. I used the car for 22 hours, and caused no damage to the car. When I turned it in, the agent noted some dings and dents. Now National is billing me for the repairs.
I expect basic customer service and assistance inspecting the car should be part of the rental cycle. However, at National it's not. I'm still working with the folks at the National Car Rental damage unit on this issue. If I have to pay for the damage I'll never do business with National again.