TAMPA, FLORIDA -- Our family vacation began with a flight to our usual place of destination which meant we were flying into Tampa Fl. Our reservations were made 6 months in advance and now it was time to soak up the sun, First we got on the shuttle to the off sight rental facility of Payless Car Rental in Tampa, FL. When we arrived and noticed two people ahead of us we figured that this would be quick and painless at Payless, but instead it was the beginning of a NIGHTMARE!
I was listening to what the rental agents were saying to the people as they were being processed and a lot of it was concerning to me and sure enough my wife and I were next after waiting 45 minutes. They asked for the driver's license of all licensed drivers that would be in the vehicle, not of just the driver of the rental. Next we told them again the two car seats we needed even though this was already on our itinerary and listed on our confirmation.
The agent that was helping us started to go into a sales speak explaining to us what our charges were and what extra protection we should take. The first thing that caught my eye was the base rental fee of $589.00... WHAT?? We were quoted and reservations were made with a price of $245.00. Even though we had this set price that did not include the taxes and list of 6 other additional fees and then proceeded to tell us that did not include the car seat rental even though it was listed on our reservations and listed on the quote.
Continued by scare tactics for us to pay another $19.99 per day for protection that your insurance company would not cover... what was that I ask? The agent explained to us that in the state of Florida if I were to not take their insurance and there was damage to the vehicle whether my fault or not we would be liable for rental fees as long as it takes to get that vehicle back into operating condition... most likely that would take 30 to 45 days and we would have to put an additional $280.00 deposit down if we opted out of there insurance.
When you think that is the end we are only half way there... my wife saw another additional charge of $80.00... for a second driver... I was the only driver and I was the only driver listed, but in the state of Florida as was quoted by the agent all licensed drivers must be charged this fee! At this point I was ready to take the shuttle back with my 16 month and 4 yr old boys and head back to the airport... were told that we would still be charged and that we would have to dispute these charges with our credit card company!
We sucked it up took the rental walked out to get in our full size rental vehicle to find a Nissan Altima! Nissan and all other rental companies list this vehicle as mid-size! When we returned home to contact Orbitz and Payless we got a credit of $27.00... Our final bill $554.00 Our quote $245.00 difference $309.00 more than quote and a bad start to a much needed vacation! BBB here I come!
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- I received a price from Hotwire for Payless Car Rental for around $121. When we arrived at the Payless Car Rental facility, I had about 6 to 8 people behind me with only one agent. I showed him the Hotwire paperwork and he immediately started trying to hard sell me on getting additional insurance but I told him that my insurance would cover the rental but he kept on going about that it wouldn't cover this and that, windows, etc. minor damage, etc. After 4 times of saying no, he finally said OK and that he could put me in a Chrysler 200 convertible.
Wow, I told him that would be great. He never once mentioned ANYTHING about additional charges or upgrade or anything to indicate this would cost me more money. In fact the customer in front of me was upgrade (for free) to a VW Jetta so I didn't think anything of it. He then told me they would have to hold $280 or so until I brought the car back but it would be refunded to me. I thought that was pretty high but I had people waiting behind me and appointment to make. I would say about 4 days later I remembered this and looked at my paperwork. It showed that the agent had charged me an upgrade cost of $25 a day for the Chrysler for $125.00 extra.
I put in a complaint to Payless Car Rental through their web site but as of this complaint I still haven't heard a word from them. When I brought the car back, the agent I worked with was working so I went to him and explained my issue with being charged $125 extra for this upgrade which he NEVER mention any additional costs at all. I told him that if he had mentioned any type of charge in association with the Chrysler, I would said no way. His response was that I should have known better.
He said that he had circled the total cost and that I had signed the form showing the cost. I told him that I thought that was to deposit that he told me about and why hadn't he circled the upgrade cost of the Chrysler since he was being so upfront, he had no answer. He told me he would give me $60 back but I told him no since I shouldn't have been charged the $125 in the first place. He never once disclosed that he was charging me more for the Chrysler. The whole process seemed very under handed and high pressured. Not to mention that you are charging someone an additional $125 a week is dishonest. DO NOT RENT FROM THEM.
MONTREAL -- Payless Car Rental Montreal – hidden geographic restrictions on "unlimited miles."
A few months ago I booked a car on Travelocity to go from Montreal to a location 600 km away and back again. Naturally like a fool I gravitated to the cheapest option – Payless car rental based in the Montreal airport hotel, an independent franchise. What a delight when on the screen I saw unlimited miles; however little did I realize there was a hidden clause on the next tab of the page under geographical restrictions saying unlimited miles is only for the province of Quebec.
Anyway I went ahead and booked the car and also 2 hotel rooms in my destinations for the 3 day vacation. The day before our journey I went over to the location and was straight off asked where I was going, and like an honest bloke I said such and such place. I was immediately nailed with the "then sir, unlimited miles does not apply." I was reeling. Should I cancel and get another car? Should I try to negotiate? It was too late to cancel my vacation. This was the classic bait and switch.
I left the place and sat in the lobby to think for a bit; it's interesting that when I dropped of the car later I saw 2 fellows cancel their reservation on the spot. Anyway it was too late so I went ahead and got the car, and begged them to lower my over distance fees. I hate getting surprised like this. I hate losing control over my destiny, and being at the mercy of others. Anyway through their infinite magnificent grace and mercy they decided to extend by daily km allowance out of province and to reduce my charge per over km. Nonetheless when I brought the car back I was hit with a huge excess charge.
Of course the smart fellow behind the counter blamed it on me, saying it was my fault I did not read the fine print. How convenient. I wonder how the credit card companies like it now, in North America, that the governments are forcing them to vomit the sneaky fine print out into bold letters in boxes above the sign here line.
I wanted to be a bit of a smartass so I asked the guy, what if I lied and said I would drive around aimlessly inside Quebec. He said, well sir we will check this on the audit of the contract, with the satellite location finder records showing you left Quebec, and we will then hold you in infraction of the contract. So don't try that – honesty is the best policy always. By honesty I mean the complete truth, not part of it.
By the way this geographic limitation is quite bizarre. I only see this in Quebec only with Payless of course. I used to live in Boston for 10 years and regularly rented cars there for unlimited mileage and I never saw any geographic restrictions. I looked around other rental agencies and I think unlimited only applies to Canada, and entering the USA is altogether another aspect. These is in general a cautionary tale – call ahead and confirm that the unlimited miles means what it says; calls the agent you used [online or otherwise] and the rental firm. Finally get it in writing that it is indeed unlimited.
Conclusion – "Payless' means "Getless", and you end up paying the same as others, through tricks and games and deception. Located in the Lobby of the Hilton Hotel. 12505 Cote de Liesse, Dorval, Quebec H9P 1B7, Canada. 514-828-9494. Montreal paylesscarrental.net. http://www.paylesscarrental.com/
APACHE JUNCTION, ARIZONA -- My husband and I recently went to PAYLESS CAR SALES in Apache Junction. We were greeted by a salesman who quickly took us out for a test drive in a vehicle we looked at. My husband and I along with 2 of our children, loaded up in this vehicle for a test drive. Within a block of leaving the lot, we noticed that the speedometer was not working properly as it stayed at 30 MPH regardless of the vehicle moving or not.
The salesman said to just add 30 MPH to the number climbing at the time. There were other damaged equipment items installed on this vehicle. When inquiring about repair of those items prior to sale, we were told that the car is for sale 'as is'. We were reminded repeatedly that they were already taking a loss on the vehicle selling it to us, so the car was being sold 'as is'. I am floored that a company could attempt to sell a car to a family that knowingly has faulty equipment in it. We looked at other vehicles on their lot with a salesman.
We expressed an interest in 2 other vehicles but were told inside that the numbers wouldn't fly with the lender. The vehicles were within $750-$1,000 of the other vehicle we were looking at and similar in age and mileage. This didn't make sense. We had completed a credit application earlier and went inside to discuss approval and vehicle options. We were told that we could select the original SUV (with faulty speedometer and other equipment) or a minivan they pointed out to us. We stated we weren't interested in anything other than SUV's at that time. They agreed at the beginning to 'work on the price' of any vehicle we were interested in.
Upon further discussion after our test drive, we were told the list price was the best they could do since they were already taking a loss on the vehicle. In addition, we were told we HAD TO purchase the extended warranty. I explained that I actually am not opposed to car warranties, but that my understanding was that a dealership and/or lender COULD NOT demand an extended warranty, that these were optional to the buyer.
Over further discussion, the salesman STILL INSISTED that we had to accept their choice of extended warranty or the lender would not allow us to complete the loan. After excusing himself for a while, he returned with the same answer except now he offered a shorter term for more money. We left the dealership and went home to some more homework. We called several different people at the lender's office and explained what happened and the dealership we were dealing with.
They were very interested in any items that might have been misrepresented with their name attached by the dealership. The lender confirmed our thoughts that EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE IS OPTIONAL, NOT MANDATORY. We also gave them VIN #s, year, mileage, make and model numbers of other vehicles this dealership had, and they stated we would have qualified for these as well. So another lie by this dealership. Oh, and the price that was already too low to consider working on even though it had faulty equipment... they lowered it through at least 2 different car search websites only 2 days after we left!
Think twice, three times, or even 10 times before going here. They are trying to take advantage of people. We have called several times and explained our issues in detail and were double-talked and dismissed like school children. And 5 days later, still no word from the manager/owner that we also left messages for. I would be VERY CONCERNED for the nearby elderly, people with recent credit issues due to rising ARM mortgage payments, slow pays, late pays, new job, new to area, etc. Even with doing some homework and giving them several opportunities to correct themselves, they did not. They looked us right in the eye and lied. Outrageous!
WEST PALM BEACH AIRPORT, FLORIDA -- Reserved a car at Payless. Arrived at PBI at 10 pm. I go to Payless and they said they overbooked 20 cars that day. I had to go back and rent from Enterprise for more than double the price. I called Payless the next day and put a complaint in. I received an email with this gripe.
"Thank you very much for letting Payless know about your unpleasant experience. On behalf of our entire Payless team, I apologize for the situation. Be assured that a copy of this letter, along with the details of your report, is on its way to the appropriate management team. Unfortunately this situation is something we do not compensate for. We take great pride in providing dependable cars and attentive service at a great price, with no surprises. Your feedback is extremely important because it helps us maintain our high service levels. We appreciate your business and hope you will give us another opportunity to meet your rental needs in the future."
I thought having a confirmation number was the same as an agreement. If they had requested pre-payment and I didn't show up, you can be sure they would have charged me. At least with Enterprise, when I returned the car and told them there was no washer fluid, they took $40 off the bill.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- Reservation was confirmed. Buses from LAX supposedly run every 10 minutes but if they are full they cut their route short and return to agency leaving other terminals waiting. Long line for check in but Fox counters stepped in to help out. Once contract printed you go wait in a Russian-style bread line with a bunch of other people for cars that are non-existent and they do not know how long it will take. At least they cue the waiters by the time the contract was printed.
Plan for at least an hour, possibly 2 or more. There ought to be consumer protection laws for companies renting cars they do not have and apparently have to beg, borrow or steal from more reputable agencies! BTW... Rental booked through HOTWIRE so they have some shared culpability in this mess... They need to screen their partners better!
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I rented a car in Los Angeles. While on the road, at 4 pm, I had a blowout. I got out in the pouring rain to change it and discovered there was no spare. I spent the next 45 minutes calling the only phone number on the rental agreement, which was the number of the office where I rented the car. I called 118 times and each time got a busy signal or no answer. I finally called the hotel where we were staying and they gave me the number of a towing company. I had the car towed into the nearest tire store because there was a hole in the sidewall of the tire. I had a new tire put on.
When I went back to the Payless counter at Fox Car Rental at LAX, they told me that I had to get the money from the insurance company. I explained that I hadn't been in an accident, but he said that didn't matter. I submitted the receipts and paper work to the insurance company and after three weeks was told that since the damages were only $208 and there was a $250 deductible that they wouldn't pay. I'll take the bus before I ever rent from these clowns.
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- They try to scare people to get insurance that you don't need which cost more per day than the car. They did that to me in Vegas and I fell for it. When I got home I called my insurance they said I'm covered it's a hard sell by some of the rentals. This time he said if I get a flat or run out of gas just call and they would come out and get me going, however when I signed the paperwork it was 30.00 more than my online quote they said because I elected roadside insurance at this point I just wanted to get out of there. I will never use them or any car rental company that uses such sales tactics again. The name should be pay more not Payless.
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- Stay away from Payless car rental company at Tampa airport. Extremely dishonest company lying about the rates. I attracted by rates and booked a car through internet just recently at the end of August 2014, but when I came to pick up the car they increased a total price three (!) times from internet total price for same type of car. Moreover, I reserved to pick up a car at say 11:30 a.m., but my flight was delayed because of weather conditions and I came to pick up at 4 p.m., because of this they charged me the extra day of renting. The personnel is rude. Don't rent thru this company, they behave like a scam.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- My husband and I travel quite often and have rented cars a countless number of times in the past. I've never been through a worst experience than Payless. The staff was rude, they ripped us off, the manager threw the contract in our face when we refused to take "the extra coverage". It was HORRIBLE and a bad way to start our vacation. It gets better, when we wrote to complain to their corporate office, they made it sound like we were complaining about the extra charges not about the abuse of their employees. Don't ever rent from them especially out of Vegas. Their employees there are beyond rude and horrible; especially the manager. Will complain to consumer affairs.