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Misled on Gas Fees
Posted by TC Traveler on 02/10/2011
I was an Emerald Club member until this last, final incident this past week. At the Phoenix airport, I was persuaded by the agent that I could return the vehicle and any missing gas would be charged at $3.04. I specifically asked "so you're saying that if I bring it back at 3/4 full I will only be charged 1/4 at $3.04." His answer was "Yes". Needless to say, when I returned the vehicle at over half full, I was charged over $60. I was given a nominal refund when I spoke with a manager, and I was in a hurry to catch my plane so I figured I would follow up with the Company directly. I spoke with the, and I use this term very loosely, "Manager" Stephanie. She said that National was not going to refund any additional money. The Company I work for has National listed as the "Preferred" car rental company. I will go out of my way to never rent from them, and persuade all friends, family, and colleagues to do likewise. This is a very shady Company, stay FAR, FAR, away from them.
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Posted by dan gordon on 2011-02-10:
you most likely used a prepaid gas option and no refund is ever given for 'unused' gas. I think your leaving out some valuable info.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-02-10:
This sounds like a misunderstanding over the prepaid gas option. The last time I rented a car, the details of what I consider to be a scam (but most the rental companies do it) were printed on the contract. In fine print, but it was there.

If anything seems to good to be true, it usually is. As someone who remembers having to return rental cars with a full tank, my antennae were tingling the first time I heard about this "feature".
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-02-10:
Dan> Agreeing with you on this one. Something seems to be left out of this story. The OP went out of their way to stress the term "manager", yet never gave any reasons to support why they felt Stephanie wasn't acting like a manager, other than that she woudln't refund their money. Lots of missing info? Please come back and fill in the blanks to help us better understand your frustration with them.
Posted by TC Traveler on 2011-02-11:
I will gladly fill in any info you feel is missing. I booked this vehicle on Price Line, and ended up with National. As an Emerald Club Member, I typically go right down and get in the vehicle without going to the counter. However, since it was done through Priceline I was told I needed to go back up to the counter, which I did. While up there, the Agent mentioned that I could go with the prepaid option for $3.04. I have never before even asked about this option, so I asked several very clarifying questions which I put in my prior post. Specifically, would I be charged only $3.04 for any gas missing, he very clearly said "yes". When I returned the vehicle, it was then that I saw the $60 charge even though the tank was more than half full. As I was running late for a plane, I went into the enclosed area at the Phoenix airport and talked with a Manager who credited $25 which wasn't closed to what was owed (balance remaining was still $35). When I told the Manager was happened, he shook his head and said "I'll talk to him" indicating to me that this wasn't the first time this agent had done this. When I called the Customer Service line, I was told I would receive no further credit. I then asked to speak to her "Manager" which means I spoke to a peer of her's who takes escalated calls (I have worked in Call Centers for over 10 years, I know how this works) which is why I called her "Manager" in my prior post. I hope this clears up any missing information. My point is that I was deliberately told something that wasn't true, and even when I asked clarifying questions the information was still not corrected. Then, when I tried to have this rectified, the Customer Service experience was horrible.
Posted by trmn8r on 2011-02-11:
In the complaint you wrote "I specifically asked 'so you're saying that if I bring it back at 3/4 full I will only be charged 1/4 at $3.04.'"

That is different than asking "would I be charged only $3.04 for any gas missing"

That is the crux of the complaint in my opinion. By the way, did the fine print on the contract contain a complete description of the policy?
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-02-11:
Car rental agencies seem to be very shady anymore. I NEVER opt in any of these additional "benefits" that end up to cause more of a hassle and headache than a convenience. Any time I rent a car, I just be sure to top it off somewhere close to the rental office.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-02-11:
That's a great rule of thumb Prince-Caesar. I totally agree.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-02-11:
oh and ALWAYS be sure to get an agent to inspect the car before and after the rental and provide you with a reciept showing no damage!
Posted by PepperElf on 2011-02-11:
you know the last time i was involved in a car/van rental was when my bf rented a truck to help me move... the gas price was... i forget actually, but it included a $30 surcharge.

I am wondering if the OP reviewed his or her paperwork. I sure as heck know our rental agreement specified this.

so of course we made a point of filling it up to past full before returning it. why pay extra if you don't have to?
Posted by TC Traveler on 2011-02-11:
I agree with the comments above, in retrospect I should not have taken the agent's word but read the fine print. One would hope you can trust the Agent is telling you the truth.
Posted by NationalCarRental on 2011-02-23:
I'd be happy to discuss this with you TC Travler. Please email me at care[at]nationalcar.com with:

- Your full name
- Rental agreement number
- Emerald Club number

When emailing please list reference #110223-002099 in the subject line.

- Elizabeth with National Car Rental
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Westchester County Airport National Car Rental Nightmare
Posted by WAM on 11/03/2010
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.
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Posted by getoverit on 2010-11-03:
I hope you get this straightened out but it pretty much comes down to "he said,she said".

I would have been better if you had mentioned the scratches to the guy at the counter, even though they didn't give you a form. (I don't think they do, most times.)

For what it's worth, this seems like something that could have happened with almost any company.
Posted by FlShopper on 2010-11-03:
I think both the rental agency and the customer should be responsible for doing a walk-around and inspection, so both can protect themselves in the event something like this happened.
It may be very hard to prove your case without that checklist; let us know how it turns out.
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-11-03:
I have used National, and had no problem. But I don't remember ever having to inspect a car prior to rental. Condition was never an issue (until I ran one off the road, caused significant unseen undercarriage damage, and returned it).

To me, they can hold you responsible for this, but I sure hope they do not. After reading complaints such as this, the next time I rent a car you can bet I am looking closely at it.
Posted by NationalCarRental on 2010-11-03:
I'm sorry to hear about this existing damage issue. Per our rental agreement, it is up to the customer to inspect the car for damage and report it to an agent before leaving the lot. However, I understand this is a small rental location and that a employee may not have been available in the lot, however you should have alerted someone to this damage. By signing the agreement and leaving the lot, you are accepting responsibility for the vehicle and condition in which it's returned in.

However, I'd like to have our Damage Recovery Unit look into this for you. Please email me at care[at]nationalcar.com with your full name, rental agreement number and the damage claim number.

When emailing, please list reference #101103-002832 in the subject line.

- Elizabeth with National Car Rental
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Rip off
Posted by Streak on 10/15/2010
Called for a rental car to closest airport to Okla Florida, was told Tampa upon getting to point to pick up car found out Gainesville fl was closer. At which point national did not have car reserved and almost doubled quoted rate. never rent from them again hope you won't get ripped off also. found out to late about others bad experiences.
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Posted by bcd on 2010-10-15:
Where is Okla, Florida?
Posted by bob932304 on 2010-10-16:
Posted by redmx3racer on 2010-10-16:
Who did you call? National directly? And yes if you choose to pick up a car at another location than the one you reserved a car at the rate can be higher as you don't have a car reserved at that location.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-16:
Yeah, if you reserve a car at Tampa and you go to Gainesville, you're just a walk in.

In my experience, the car rental companies never actually reserve a car anyway. They do lock in a rate for the rental period you book, along with other terms like mileage limits (if any) etc.

If they don't happen to have a car of the class you booked, they'll give you something else which might end up being a better car. If they happen to be out of cars when you show up, you're SOL.

It's a screwy system but they all seem to do it that way. That's why I always make at least two or three reservations. If I don't like what they have at one place, I try the next one.

I realize that people like me aren't helping things because I'm a no-show more often than not. I would have no problem with it if they started doing "real" reservations with "real" cancellation policies, etc. But currently, that's not the way it works. (btw - I just rented a car at Avis last week).
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Poor customer service/ They tried to rip me off when returning the car
Posted by MARCO123 on 10/14/2010
In their office in Lima-Peru they tried to charge me more money than agreed (100 more dollars than agreed)because they made apparently a mistake with the rate. They also made a mistake with their fuel records and tried to charge me for fuel that I did not use. When they realized their mistake they did not even apologize.

They also wanted to charge me for some luxury "car wash" because my family left some sand on the floor of the car(any other company would include this in the service). Finally the exchange rate they tried to use for US dollars was honestly a theft(10% more than the legal rate), The car was good, but the company just tried to take my money.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-14:
everyone should ALWAYS keep their agreement and contract that shows any damage, fuel level, and your rate. I think its rediculous they were going to charge you to clean the vehicle, unless it was excessively dirty.
Posted by NationalCarRental on 2010-10-14:
Sorry to hear about this issue, please contact us at Internationalcustserv[at]nationalcar.com with the complete details including your rental agreement number and full name.

- Elizabeth with National Car Rental
Posted by trmn8r on 2010-10-14:
If this vehicle was used near the beach, and there was quite a bit of sandy muck on the floor/carpeting, the cleaning fee may be justified. I haven't rented in years, but I always swept out as much visible dirt as possible to avoid being whacked for cleaning.

The other issues sound as though they definitely tried to take you for a ride.
Posted by MARCO123 on 2010-10-15:
My mistake was not to check carefully the paperwork when I picked up the car, I would've noticed that they recorded the wrong amount of fuel in the contract, but it was still their mistake.About the cleaning fee, I think it was ridiculous as I live in the caribbean and when returning rental cars there is always some sand and I never got charged. It was not the Sahara desert inside the car, just some sand from the shoes of the kids.Anyways I was paying 124.00 US$ per day so it should cover a little vacuum cleaning.About the rate, they just insisted half an hour that I should pay more, which of course I did not do. Customer service has already been contacted and now I will forget about this incident as I don't want anyone in trouble for this, but I think other customers should be careful with rates and paperwork before renting from this company.
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Fraud Damage Claim by Purco in Salt Lake City
Posted by BMack on 09/26/2010
SALT LAKE CITY AIRPORT, UTAH -- DO NOT RENT from National Rental Car out of Salt Lake City Airport--you will turn in the car, then a company called "Purco" will assess you with a windshield damage, or some random damage, but not until 3-5 weeks after you turn it in, even if it's was turned in in a perfect condition like mine. The details: I was told by National Rental Car that this company was not legit, that they had nothing to do with them, but they went after me via a credit agency--listing a $332 bill against me. I'm and airline pilot who rented this car for one day, 25 mile drive--it was turned in with zero damage and full of gas; ie perfect renter. I do not know how long this fraud has been going on, but avoid renting cars from National Rental Car, esp out of Salt Lake City Airport.
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Posted by unhappy999 on 2010-09-26:
Something isn't right here. If National Car Rental has nothing to do with Purco, then how did Pruco get your info and knew that you rented a car? You should try contacting your States Attorney General about this scam. If your local tv station has a person that deals with consumer complaints, you might want to contact them.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-09-26:
Sounds more like a problem with Purco (whoever they are) than with NCR. If there is truly a mark on your credit, get a letter from NCR saying they are not collecting a debt and forward it to the credit people. Contact the atty gen in the state involved and let them know that Purco is attempted to defraud you of 332 bucks.
Posted by Helpful on 2010-09-26:
Great responses unhappy and judge.
Posted by NationalCarRental on 2010-09-27:
We are listening and would like to assist you in resolving this issue. Please email us at care[at]nationalcar[dot]com with your full name, contact information, rental agreement number, any additional details. Please use "Incident # 100927-001522" for the subject. (Rich)
Posted by leet60 on 2010-09-28:
Whomever you spoke with at National apparently was not aware of Purco. Purco does indeed mitigate and collect damage claims for many car rental companies including National car rental licensees. As it happens the company is located in Utah.

Whenever I rent a car I walk around the car and make a video of every inch of the car to show any existing damage before I drive away with it - I do the same upon return. This has worked successfully for me in several instances of "claimed damage" by the rental company.
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National disgrace
Posted by Baddriver on 07/28/2010
JFK AIRPORT, NEW YORK -- After a long flight I finally got to the Federal Circle station where many of the rental places are. Expect very slow service - maybe 30 minutes or more to get a car. My car was none too clean, but at least it ran fine. But coming back to return it with a lot of luggage was a nightmare. No help whatever from staff to get the luggage 100 yards to the hotel shuttles. A cart rental costs $5.00, but was inconveniently located and did not accept credit cards. Compared with car rental at other US airports, not to mention European, the service represents a real embarrasssment as a welcome to the USA.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2010-07-28:
Car rental in Europe is not cheap, I can tell you.
Posted by NationalCarRental on 2010-07-30:
Sorry for your frustration. We would like to address the customer service and vehicle cleanliness concerns with the location. Please email us at care [at] nationalcar [dot] com with your rental agreement/reservation number, your contact information, and any other details you want included.

Please include reference number 100730-002748 in the subject line of your email.


- Kevin from National Car Rental
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Do not rely on delivery promise
Posted by Ceneri on 07/20/2010
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- We were very disappointed that Specialty Cars did not follow through with the delivery service as promised. We had the car reserved for weeks and were assured it would be delivered to our San Francisco hotel on Sunday, 7/11, at 11am. That morning by 11:45am there was no car and no attempt to notify us of a delay. Thankfully, we were close to the Ofarrell store, so my husband walked, bypassed the chronic long line of customers and got the car. By that time, we were a good 2 hours behind schedule. We even joined the 'Emerald' National service to qualify for the delivery. National Car Rental will hear from us and we will cancel our 'Emerald' status.

It was clear the Ofarrell St office was hopelessly understaffed. We tried a number of times, Fri & Sat, to approach the store for a possible upgrade and were met with long, slow lines. Needless to say, we had better ways to spend our valuable vacation time, especially, with a car already reserved.

I'm sorry to say, we will not be using National Car Rental or any of its
affilates again.
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Posted by NationalCarRental on 2010-08-06:
I'm sorry to hear this and would like to address this not only with the location but with you as well in attempt to rectify the situation.

Please contact me at care[at]nationalcar.com with your full name, contact information, reservation number and the rental agreement number.

When emailing please list reference #100806-001613 in the subject line.

- Elizabeth with National Car Rental
Posted by NewfBC on 2010-09-18:
I've never heard of National offering to deliver a car to a hotel. This is not a benefit of Emerald Club. Where did you assume it was?
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Notified of rental car damage 11 months after return
Posted by Scottydont on 07/06/2010
I rented a vehicle from National at LAX in August 2009, and in July 2010 I received a call from a collection agency to collect for damage to the vehicle. This was the first I had ever heard of any damage, and I do not recall any damage on the vehicle. The agency promptly sent the supporting documentation and photos. Since it had been almost a year I could not recall if I talked to anybody at rental about the damage to note it, and I no longer had my receipt/rental agreement. National claims they tried to contact me via mail, but they were sending the correspondence to an old address. They said it was my responsibility to update my address information as an Emerald Club member. I had moved a year prior and had updated my driver license, but driver license and address are on separate pages therefore I forgot to update address at the same time. My mistake, BUT their website design is seriously flawed in design and function not to prompt for this AND their attempts to try and locate me regardless are a result of laziness or stupidity. I mean as an Emerald Club member they had my email address to send a message they were trying to reach me, and in addition I updated my address a few months ago in my profile but obviously their system and process sucks and they did not try to reach me again before giving the claim to the collection agency. They could have had this handled 11 months ago, but instead they handed it off to a collection agency and now have an upset frequent renter. No longer will I rent a car from National, Alamo or Enterprise (they are all owned by Enterprise).
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Posted by NationalCarRental on 2010-07-08:
I'm sorry for the frustration you experienced in regards to this event, and we'd like to address the issue with our Damage Recovery department. Please email care [at] nationalcar [dot] com with complete details including rental agreement (RA) number if possible given the fact that the rental was last year along with the names of representatives you spoke to.

Please include reference number 100708-002573 in the subject line of your email.


- Kevin from National Car Rental
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Stolen Cam Corder
Posted by Bob Avery on 05/17/2010
SEATAC, WASHINGTON -- This is a copy of the email I sent to National Car Rental

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, Ryan Matthews. With Ryan, 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 very 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?
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Posted by spiderman2 on 2010-05-17:
Maybe it got tossed with the trash you left in the car and in the trunk? I also think you need to own your part of being careless with the camcorder and not place all the blame on National. You left the camcorder in the trunk after they trusted you with the video that they spent their hard earned money on.
Posted by NationalCarRental on 2010-05-27:
Bob, I sincerely apologize for any frustration over the camcorder. However, National is not responsible for any items left in the rental vehicles. We do our best to help recover lost items - you may call SEA at (206)433-5501 to see if the camcorder has been found since.

- Elizabeth with National Car Rental
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Ripping Off Left Over Electronics
Posted by Burglar on 05/05/2010
I left my $100 bluetooth headset in my rental car in San Jose when I returned it. It was in plain sight, in the cup holder. Yeah, my bad for forgetting it, but National is bad for stealing it.

Guess what, it never showed up, even after I filed a lost report.

Something simple like this, I would sing the praises of National and their honesty. Now I think they are a bunch of thugs.
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Posted by redmx3racer on 2010-05-05:
As a former car rental veteran-Sometimes stuff like this simply gets vaccumed up by mistake. For example-black cupholder, black blue tooth headset, dark-ish garage, employee rushing because he has 40 cars to clean in an hour, big, powerful, industrial vaccum.....

I can't speak for everyone-but who wants to stick something in their ear that has been in someone elses ear anyway? Gross.

Posted by NationalCarRental on 2010-05-06:
We apologize for any frustration over your lost Bluetooth. While we make every effort to locate items that are left behind, we are not financially responsible for lost items.

- Elizabeth with National Car Rental
Posted by Burglar on 2010-05-08:
I never got a response from National, other than the post here, which I appreciate.

But in my mind, this was an easy "steal" for a National employee. It's a bluetooth, not a cell or computer. Who would pursue claiming this?

And besides, National is not liable for items left behind. I get it. I have rented one or two cars in my lifetime.

What I don't get is National's buzz off attitude, as opposed to....how about..."we will make a note of this and track the employees who had access to your vehicle since you turned it in. Rest assured if this happens again, we will discipline the individual(s). While this may not bring back your Bluetooth, we will do everying thing in our power to make sure this will not happen again."

How does that sound, National?

Posted by Anonymous on 2010-05-08:
Burglar, I don't think the company would get that detailed a response, but I definitely think you should have gotten more than you did. Even a simple "we will contact the employee who inspected/cleaned the vehicle and inquire about your bluetooth" would have been a step in the right direction. You didn't even get that and it stinks.
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