NEW YORK -- I went through Hotwire to rent a car at Westchester County Airport. Hotwire gave me National Car Rental. I have never used National. On arriving at the airport I did the paperwork at the rental counter, one person operation; he was very nice, gave me the keys and I headed out to the car lot. My wife and I put our bags in the trunk and I notice scratches on the driver side bumper. The rental agreement does not have a walk around checklist sheet and there was not an attendant around (very small operation).
When we return the car the employee who did my rental agreement was in the rental car lot talking to some friends. He came over and got the keys from me and he notice the scratches on the bumper. He asked me if we had an accident. I said no, the scratches were there went we picked-up the car. This is when the NIGHTMARE begins; he said he had to do a car history search to see if the scratches were noted. He had another employee do the car history search. The employee made a remark to the other employee that the car history was out of date and he continues to search the records.
I stated again that I did not have an accident and that the scratches were there when I picked-up the car. The employee doing the search said I should had come back into the airport and reported the scratches to them. I told him that it was their job to check the car or have someone in the rental lot to do a walk-around. He completed his car history search and could not find a report on the scratches and because I did not come into the airport and report it, then I was at fault. He completed an accident report and I said I was not going to sign the report because I did not have the accident.
He told me if I did not sign the accident report then the company would hold me responsible and he was forwarding the report to the claims department. I sign the report under protest. I call the customer service immediately and filed a statement as I waited for my flight. The lady taking the statement said more the once, that this was a common problem at these small operation and she would document my statement. We will see what happens.
SEATAC, WASHINGTON -- Upon return to SeaTac, I dropped off the car in your return area. After passing through the terminal inspection area I noticed that I had left my camcorder in the trunk of the vehicle. I returned immediately to find that the attendant could not locate the car. After twenty minutes of persistent coaxing, I was able to help him find the vehicle which was already in the queue to be rented out again. Interestingly enough, the car was not serviced in any fashion. It was dirty on the outside and still had garbage inside of the vehicle as well as in the trunk. But alas, no camcorder.
I continued to ask for assistance and was turned over to the manager, **. With **, we tried to determine which attendant provided the service to the vehicle in order to ask if the camera had been found and placed in the lost and found box. Again interestingly enough, there was no record of anyone servicing the vehicle. The car had mysteriously moved itself from the return queue to the "TC" Ready for rental queue all by itself.
The camcorder is gone, I realize that and the tracks were covered very well but I want you to understand that on the camcorder were two days of video recordings of competitive soccer play that were going to be used for a group of 16 year girls as college tryout videos. These girls and their families had spent a lot of hard earned money to travel from Sacramento to Tacoma to participate in this unique opportunity. And now, thanks to the honesty and integrity of your workforce, its all gone. I wish there was some way to just recover the memory card that had the soccer games on it.
Cameras can be replaced but the expense of sending an entire soccer team and now the disappointment that these young ladies and their families must endure cannot. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the camera was taken from the trunk of the car in your facility. I also wonder why there are no surveillance cameras in place in that specific location of the garage and how the car ended up in that location without being serviced. Can you honestly say that you believe in your heart that one of your employees is not responsible for the theft?
I made a reservation with National to compare to others and let me say I am not impressed. To start with, I was dropped off at a group of cars that had no sign to show what cars were what (luxury/premium/full size etc.) and most were all dinged up and dirty. After flagging down a lot attendant, he was nice and dug out a better car for me in the rear behind all others, hooray for him, didn't get his name though. The car was hastily washed and was still dirty, the interior smelled of cigarettes. I washed the car on the way home and had the car wash freshen the air.
The girl at the exit booth seemed confused and asked if I even had a reservation. Then she said the card on my profile had expired, I gave her the card on my profile to show it had not but that was not the same card or number, I think she may have had another persons profile on the computer. During the trip someone on the road told me my right rear stop light was not working, being LED lights there was not much I could do, so I drove 9 days with only one stop light.
Are these vehicles inspected before each rental? Apparently not. All this I can live with so far. I return the car today and the greeter asked if I had a return authorization. What? What is that? I said no, and he said a receipt will arrive in my email. I get home and the O'Hare manager sent an email stating "you have dropped a car at our location, can you give me your name and dates of rental". What is this all about? I have never dealt with this kind of disorganization at Hertz.
I sent all of my info to the O'Hare manager and am waiting to hear back. I just checked my National profile and noticed a rental in my profile that I never rented. Somehow, they mixed my reservation with someone else's and charged his credit card for my rental and his. Plus, the receipt sent to me has the wrong vehicle on it. I am still trying to have someone at the joke of a business to return my call and try to talk to a person with higher than a first grade reading level. I am really scared to use National or Alamo again because of this confusion.
SAN JOSé DEL CABO. B.C.S. MéXICO C.P. 23400 -- On the 10th January 2010 we rented a car from National Car Rental in Tijuana Mexico for return to Tijuana on the 27th January. The first problems started on our drive down to Todos Santos when the windshield broke. After several telephone calls, which were not returned, we had agreement to take the rental to the La Paz central depot for exchange. On arriving they wanted to change the screen only and make us wait several hours for the work to be done.
Eventually after much arguing and telephone calls to Tijuana, they gave us an exchange car on the understanding that we take it back to La Paz and pick up the original rental. We were staying 60 miles away from La Paz, but had no option but to agree. 4 days later we returned to La Paz and changed the cars over at our expense. We left Todos on the 24th to return to Tijuana with the car, however over night, a storm took out 4 bridges and parts of the road back, the roads were impassable for 5 days.
We were then in Loreto some 4 hours North of La Paz, we telephoned National explaining that the rental could not be returned by the due date, because of the road conditions, and asked them what they would like us to do. They said to take the car back to La Paz for which we could pay US$741.00 as a one way drop off. After 2 days of arguing we agreed on US$350.00 after first agreeing US$250 which they reneged on. As we had deadlines to meet, with regards our return we had no option but to pay these rip off charges. We thought about just abandoning the car in Loreto and let them sort it out, but being responsible people, returned the car.
We are a British family and regularly book rentals from the National Group in Europe. But National Car Rentals Mexico have to be bottom of the league. Their customer services are non existent, and they do not return telephone calls. This rental for 16 days cost us US$1590.00. Beware of Nation Car Rentals Mexico.
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- I was sent on a business trip to Kansas City, MO and my only available option for a rental at that time in the class of vehicle I needed was National. I usually rent vehicles once a month or so on business trips for my job, and usually use Enterprise with no problems what-so-ever. I knew from stage one of the experience that National would be different. After the extremely rude treatment by the employees at the desk (rude as in they acted like I was bothering them by walking up to the desk and asking them to do the job that they chose to accept and get paid to do), my car was very dirty.
They have a policy where you choose any car in the lot in your class. So I picked another car, that one was dirty too. I had to look through about 5 Chevy Impalas before I found one that was relatively clean. Even that car was in poor condition as little things where broken inside such as the lever to lean back the driver's seat.
After my stay in the area was extended by my company, I needed to call National to extend the rental by 9 days. I called their 866 number, waited on hold for 20 minutes, and received a call center in India. I absolutely hate companies that utilize Indian call centers. I could barely understand the rep, who I had to ask "What?" to 5 times to understand him saying "May I have your RA number?" and he became very angry that I was having a hard time with HIS poor English, again, when HE chose a job that requires dealing with English speaking people. He said he could not help me and transferred me to a number that was disconnected.
I hung up, called again, waited another 20 minutes, received a different Indian service rep with a language barrier. I explained what happened, and this rep said she would transfer me to the correct number. Again, number was disconnected. I called a 3rd time, was on hold a 3rd time, explained that the number I was being transferred to was wrong. The 3rd rep obviously did not understand what I was saying and transferred me to that same disconnected number. The 4th time I called I received the same rep from the 1st call. This time he transferred me to a wrong number, a private residence.
Now this was at 10:30 PM when I was making these calls, so the gentleman who was woken up was rather angry about it. So finally I looked up the Kansas City office number myself. I called that number, received an automated answering service, and guess what... was transferred back to the Indian Call Center when I chose what I thought was the appropriate selection for whom I needed to speak with.
After calling back and spending 10 minutes choosing different options on the automated line, I FINALLY received someone at the desk in Kansas City. I explained to her how frustrated I was, and she completely blew me off without so much as an apology or "thank you for your patience." Completely and utterly unprofessional. I spent 2 hours, literally 2 hours, just trying to get a hold of someone who could help me, my company was spending over $1400.00 on this rental, 1/15th the value of the car they rented us, and I don't even get an apology for their inept call center.
So here's the best part. After explaining to her what I needed, she said she couldn't help me, and transferred me back to the Indian call center. I drove the car back the next day, handed them the keys, walked over to Enterprise, and settled for a smaller car and good customer service.
ENGLAND, UK -- I rented a car at Gatwick Airport outside London, drove for about 2.5 hours, a motorcyclist crossed the road and scraped my car then slammed into the vehicle behind me (and survived... somehow). I'm not at fault, the policeman almost point-blank said it at the time but covered himself about "investigations" and so on. All fine. And, according to the contract I signed, they kept a damage deposit of about $1,500 until liability could be formally declared. This is fine, I understand that and prefer that to be the case as it's safe for both them and me. That's mid-September of 2007.
Fast forward to March the next year: the insurance department has lied to me repeatedly about what they've done and when, they claim they've sorted things out last winter when I did it - inside of two days - in January (and if I hadn't done that I'd *still* be waiting for them to pull their thumb out), my chequing and VISA accounts are now closed, there's a collection agency chasing my PayPal account debt.
And what's the line National UK (PremierFirst Vehicle Rentals; Vanguard Rentals... etc)? "Well, normally this sort of thing takes at least eight months, you know. We've done nothing wrong, so why should we apologize?" I've never had such lousy service in my entire life, no matter *what* side of the Atlantic you'd like to discuss. Litigation is imminent for them.
However, the details left out about the accounts - skipped in trying to make this a little less than saga-length - basically would explain that the PayPal account, the chequing account, and the VISA account are all inter-connected, as is required by PayPal. They want your credit card information, and they want a real bank account to deposit into or draw from.
As for the destruction of all of those accounts, the money for the damage to the car was held until liability was fully declared (and that's fine by me) and after for four months I stepped in and did the job of resolving the issue of liability for the guy in the office with the file (and that's *not* fine by me). Additionally, no one warned me the charge was coming down before it happened - and I wasn't worried, because it wasn't my fault, and I had insurance, right?
So I'm suddenly landed with triple my credit limit on my account. Money gets sucked from every direction into the VISA account, I've got cheques bouncing all over the place because I paid bills when I got back home but hadn't got the VISA bill yet, I ordered a bunch of books from other people in my industry (I'm in publishing), thinking I was fine with all of my finances balanced. And suddenly I can't use my VISA, my bank account's over-drawn, my PayPal is locked...
Yes, I'm a "publisher", which sounds great, but we're in start-up mode, so we've not pulled a dime for ourselves yet. So, here I am with no money, no credit, I can't order supplies to use in the creation of re-selling product so I can't make an income for the business, I can't write a cheque to pay any personal bills... good thing the house is in the wife's name.
And National continues to say that they did everything they could, yet I solved the liability being agreed to by the other side in 48 hours, after they'd sat on their hands for four months. "This sort of thing usually takes eight months to work out, so this has gone quite quickly!" Okay, it's gone fast because *I* made it happen, and if you regularly take that long to sort this simple a case, maybe I ought to be working there instead of that lot!
Again, hit the site for the complete details. It's not a spam-bot site, I'm not trying to suck your details out of your computer, I'm not even using Google Ad things for revenue. I only want to create a place for people screwed by this specific company to band together.
BILLINGS, MONTANTA -- If you read the fine print carefully, the National Rental Agreement Terms and Conditions specify that driving "off paved roads" negate the terms of the contract. I would bet that this rental agreement condition is common among the major competing rental car companies. However, I learned the hard-way what this truly means at National Rental Car.
On September 1, 2007 I rented a Chevrolet Suburban from National/Alamo for a week in Montana on a fishing trip to the Boulder River. On the last day of our trip, at approximately the 33rd mile point on Forest Service maintained, well-traveled, unpaved portion of Montana road 298 (running parallel to the Boulder River), the right rear tire blew a flat. We changed the tire, and to our great astonishment the spare tire was also flat!!!
Upon contacting the National Roadside assistance number, we were immediately informed "there is nothing that National can do to help." Receiving the explanation that the onus of the cost of vehicle recovery, repairs, "loss of use", and so forth was mine, was not so much of a setback or concern. The significant impact was the sensation of blatant abandonment when informed that National was going to provide zero assistance or help with our situation. To quote the representative, "you are on your own."
A second representative with whom I spoke appeared deceptively helpful. His advice was to tow the vehicle to a paved road surface (which was about eight miles from where the vehicle was located at that time). He indicated that once the vehicle was on a paved road surface National Roadside Assistance would be able to help. While as ludicrous as this sounded, I felt quite desperate, so I complied.
After repositioning the vehicle, and another conversation with a National Roadside Assistance customer representative, we waited for well over three hours with no sign of help. I then called National Roadside assistance for the fourth time. With as much detail as possible, I pleaded with the representative to help our situation. While the representative appeared compassionate to our circumstances, she was brutally honest and informed me that our contract had been designated as a "Recovery" and that someone would be out within THREE DAYS to tow the vehicle to Missoula (over 260 miles from where were currently located).
In a state of disbelief, I asked her about the status of someone coming out to get us, her response was that there was nothing noted in the log about that, and there was nothing she could do to help. Again, we were on our own. At this point of utter dismay and fury at the National customer service treatment, I cannot express how grateful I was to USAA insurance! Their roadside assistance was an absolute opposite experience. They came to our rescue within an hour after my first call to report our situation.
A wrecker drove both the vehicle and the four members of our party back to the rental location at the Billings airport, where, upon which, to add insult to injury, the agent at the National airport counter unconvincingly told me that she had attempted to call me to inform that someone was going to come get us.
My long-standing loyalty to National/Alamo is now terminated. My wife and I have used National for years. Between us, our yearly travel requirements exceed at least a dozen car rentals, if not more. Our experience has always been decent (not spectacular), but we have always enjoyed the convenience of the Emerald Isle where you can by-pass the agent counter and walk straight to a vehicle and drive it off the lot.
However, with similar service options available at competing companies (i.e., Avis), the transition to move to another company for regular business is just too inviting. I cannot imagine a worse customer service experience than what National put us through.
MERIDA, MEXICO -- I had reserved a rental car through National Car Rental through their website before I traveled to Merida.
Problem #1:The confirmation page said, Pick-Up Location: Merida Int'l Airport and Drop-Off Location: Merida Int'l Airport. Upon arriving at the airport, there were 5 or 6 auto rental offices within the airport, but no National Car Rental. I inquired, and was told that National Car Rental does not have a location in the airport, yet their information on the confirmation said they did. Though I should have just booked a car from a company that did have an office at the airport, I decided to take a taxi into Merida, approximately 10 miles away, to the National Car Rental office, costing me about $10 USD.
Problem #2: I gave the clerk (**) at National's office my confirmation and he looked it up. He had no explanation for the erroneous information about the "airport location" other than to tell me, "We don't have a location at the airport." Great... thanks, **. He proceeded to calculate the rates and added the "optional" insurance collision coverage at approximately $20 USD per day. I told him I would waive the coverage because my corporate Diners Club/Mastercard covered it.
Six months earlier, I had no problem waiving the insurance at the same location and my corporate card agreement specifically covers it. This time, I was told by ** that the "optional" coverage was mandatory and that he would not rent me a car if I didn't accept the "optional-mandatory" insurance. We went through this many times and I reiterated that the same office rented me a vehicle six months earlier and I waived the "optional" insurance as I had the right to, but, I suppose being motivated by his personal greed, maintained he would not rent me a car unless I paid the extra $20 USD per day for 16 days.
The clerks must be commission-driven to sell the collision insurance and I had every right to waive it. The last time at National Car Rental, they simply ran an imprint of my credit card, then tore it up after inspecting the car when I returned it. After much frustration, I decided to take the car, pay the fee, then address it with National Car Rentals customer service department when I returned.
Problem #3: I wrote to National's customer service through their website's email address and explained the problem. They didn't disagree with the point I was making until they denied my request for a refund two weeks later after I sent all the documentation they asked for (rental agreement, receipts, etc.) and I also sent them a copy of my corporate card terms & conditions, which specifically said that UT covers collision damages. They gave me a bunch of legalese, denying me the refund of the "optional-mandatory" coverage for approximately $250 USD. All they offered was to pay the $10 USD for the taxi from the airport, which was an insult.
I got the impression that they were nervous about authorizing the small refund and more concerned about their little refund budget. It's embarrassing for National Car Rental to have to take over 2 weeks to answer a simple question... why was I charged for insurance when I should have been able to waive it??? Then... come up with a bunch of garbage to save themselves a few hundred dollars.
I am a frequent traveler and work in a Top 10 Fortune company and associate with many business travelers. Everyone I have spoken to said that I should have been able to waive the fee and save the $250 USD, including our travel planners. I really feel like I was ripped off by a greedy, commission-driven sales clerk who committed customer service fraud and was supported by the National Car Rental customer service department.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO -- Before traveling to Mexico, consider taking the bus to your hotel! I recently took a trip to Cabo San Lucas and rented a car from your agency at the San Jose Del Cabo airport (SJD). When I made the reservation prior to the trip, no mention was made of the company's policies and rates regarding Mexican travel insurance. I recently looked on the National Car Rental website and found no written policies regarding the need for Mexican car insurance there either.
Here is my situation: I arrived at the rental agency rather late at night and was told by the National Car agent at the airport desk to go outside, where I would be met by their van. I was warned not to speak to anyone on the way out of the airport, as they would be trying to engage me in signing up for a timeshare presentation. I eventually worked my way through the crowd of “timeshare hawkers” to meet the driver of the van.
Upon arriving at the National Car Rental offsite office, I was chagrined to hear from the agent that I would have to take out Mexican auto insurance at the double the rate of the daily cost of the rental car (20 American dollars per day, in addition to the daily cost of the car). When I tried to argue that my credit card company and American auto insurance company would cover the cost of an accident, I was told that the only way I would be able to take the car off the premises was to allow the agent to place a $2,000.00 imprint of my credit card on file with their office.
In addition, if an accident occurred, he told me that I would immediately be charged with the total cost of the car, until such time as my own insurance issued a check for any damages. I was told that the car I had rented (a tiny, poorly maintained vehicle) cost in the neighborhood of $30,000.00, and that I would need to be prepared to come up with that amount of money in case of an accident.
Now here's the most infuriating part: He was willing to give us a $200.00 voucher to cover the cost of the insurance, provided that we sign up for, and attend, a timeshare presentation at the Sheraton in Cabo San Lucas. Apparently, after all of the admonitions NOT to speak to timeshare agents, we were, in fact, dealing with a timeshare agent all along; and that person was disguised a rental car agent with your company.
After returning to the United States, I learned that the only type of Mexican insurance I needed to purchase was liability insurance, in the event that I might injure someone with my vehicle. In fact the expensive comprehensive insurance package he pushed on us ended up negating any insurance that would have been provided by my credit card and auto insurance agency in the United States.
It was late at night, there was no cab in sight, and we were, quite frankly, frightened into signing all of the papers and attending the high-pressure timeshare presentation just to cover the unnecessary cost of the insurance. That presentation ended up costing us a full morning of our vacation, not to mention a high-priced gas bill in traveling from San Jose Del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas. I believe that National Car Rental owes me the cost of the Mexican insurance that was unnecessarily foisted upon us under false pretenses by an agent with clear conflicts of interests.
I also believe that National Car Rental should make all information regarding the need for Mexican insurance explicit on their website, and caution renters to check with their credit card companies and auto insurance agencies before renting vehicles. The fees for such insurance should also be clearly posted along with the daily rental car rates. Finally, I believe that National Car Rental should make sure that all of their agents are clearly working for the renal company, and NOT FOR TIMESHARES OR OTHER BUSINESSES.
Should you desire to reimburse us for the cost of the insurance, I will happily provide you with the necessary paperwork. I look forward to your immediate response to my complaint.
EL PASO, TEXAS -- National charged an $40 refueling charge even though I had just filled the tank to brim minutes before. I didn't notice the charge on bill until I was in the terminal.
Thought a quick email to customer service would correct the error. But no!
National service representative absolutely refused to removed the charge. Basically National fraudulently billed for 8 gallons when they could not have fit even 1 gallon into that tank.
This is clearly a scam, and the local and central office are both in on it. I had to dispute the charge through my credit card company.