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St Maarten Thrifty Attempted ripoff.
Posted by on
5310 E. 31ST ST TULSA,, OKLAHOMA -- This letter is to make sure that Thrifty Car Rental 102 Airport road Simpson Bay In St Maarten N. A. doesn't attempt to make an additional false charge against my Visa. The charge of 131.01 is $5.91 over what my paperwork from Expedia shows would be the total cost of the rental car.
I will forward copies of any paperwork that is necessary including the reservation from Expedia after you have had the opportunity to read this letter, look at the pictures and their associated descriptions concerning the false charge I believe Thrifty will attempt to charge against my account number 000-000-000-000-.

My husband and I arrived in St Maarten late afternoon on May 17th and proceeded to Thrifty Rental to pick up our car reserved through Expedia for seven days to return on the May 24th 2011. We were the first people to the rental counter. We had arrived first we were the last to leave of 7 couples arriving with us to pick up cars.
The person waiting on us was new and didn't understand the computer system well. We showed him the reservation made through Expedia showing a total dollar figure and he didn't know how to back into the number in his software.

We decided to take the car and speak with Expedia to resolve the overcharge after we returned. We were given a car we looked over the car found dents and scratches had them noted on the proper form and left. When we arrived at Simpson Bay Resort we found out there wasn't a door handle to open the passenger side door.

We learned that Thrifty maintains a desk at the resort from the resort front desk personnel. We found the person manning the desk and explained the lack of a door handle. He called the main office where we rented after we showed him the lack of a handle on the passenger door he told us told us he had another car for us outside. The resort rental person wrote out a damage transfer sheet showing we were getting another car we were told to keep our original contract with it.
The day before we were to turn the car in we drove down the hill from the resort to go to breakfast . I noticed the car would lurch rather than take off smoothly. I took the car into the rental agent at the resort desk as he was close. The agent explained he didn't have a car that day at the resort, he further explained we would have to take it back to the main office a couple of miles down the road.

I asked him to drive the car before we took it to the main office I was concerned that the car was not safe. He was reluctant to test drive the car but eventually obliged us my husband jumped in the car with him.
He took off at a high rate of speed on the resort ramp leading from the front desk. My husband asked him to slow down as it was more noticeable at slow speeds and it was dangerous to drive fast where so many people were walking. He stopped driving fast than he noticed the lurching as we had.

My husband was reluctant to drive the car he suspected the transmission. We didn't want to be stranded between the resort and the rental place. The resort agent assured us the car was low on transmission fluid and said the car would make it to the rental office no problem.
Any other car rental company would bring you a car or have the vehicle towed to their location. This company has no concept of service or safety.
We pulled up to the rental office an employee came and we explained what the vehicle was doing. He got into the vehicle drove it back and forth it did the same thing. He went into the office to arrange another car. A few minutes later another man came out and saw some fluid on the ground near the left front tire.
He drove the car around the corner to the wash area my husband and I followed. My husband told them he wanted the car jacked up so he could take a closer look as long as they were accusing him of damaging the vehicle they complied.

After jacking the vehicle up the mechanic with the agent standing there looked at my husband and said you have hit the oil pan. We both replied that we hadn't hit anything, My husband knelt down and looked he could see the plastic cover that is supposed to protect the oil pan was completely eaten away. My husband responded that the entire bottom of the plastic cover was worn away he also pointed out that the dents and scratches in the oil pan were rusted not shiny metal as you would have if the damage was recent. My husband brought his face closer to the pan asked the mechanic and the rental agent to come closer he again pointed out that there was no new damage showing that all the scrapes were rusted over the front leading edge was scaly rust it had been there a long time with no new bare shiny metal showing. He also pointed out that there were no puncture holes or oil on the pan.
The mechanic said yes it is rusty but it wasn't leaking. My husband replied again that we had not hit anything that this was obviously old damage he also stated that we were able to drive the vehicle to the rental place without the engine seizing.

My husband stated again that the agent at the resort rental desk said the transmissions oil was low and that was the cause of the lurching. My husband stated the oil must be leaking from the filler bolt on the pan or from somewhere above. He repeated there is no puncture holes on the pan and no oil showing anywhere on the pan.

My husband is a Private Investigator he is accustomed to running investigations and asking questions to obtain answers. He had the feeling they were going to attempt to run a scam by the way they were acting prior to him asking them to jack up the car.
They stopped answering his questions.

While the vehicle was jacked up my husband continued to take pictures of the dented rusty bottom of the pan and it's worn out cover. He then told the rental company he wanted the plastic cover removed so he could look closer and take photos even though the cover was worn away from the bottom my husband wanted to see the sides of the pan they complied removing the cover. They wouldn't say anymore about the vehicle they asked us to leave the wash area.

They brought us another car my husband took a beach towel I was holding to transfer to the new car and lied down on it on the ground in front of the vehicle after getting the man's attention. He ran his hand on the inside bottom of the plastic cover. When he pulled his hand out it was full of oil from this replacement vehicle.

The plastic cover had a crack approximately 8 inches long but not completely worn away. The man than told my husband I will get you another vehicle. He brought around another car of the same make and model my husband lay on the ground again ran his hand on the same location again his hand came out covered in oil. This plastic cover also had a crack which my husband photographed.

At this point my husband who is usually reserved and quiet said what kind of a racket do you have going here, attempting to blame me for a leaking pan that all of the vehicles you bring out have.
The man said nothing he brought around an upgraded much newer vehicle. Again my husband got on the ground ran his hand this time the plastic cover was not cracked and no oil was leaking. Before leaving they asked my husband to write out a statement my husband said I have nothing to report we did not hit anything he told them he could not report what he did not do.

He told them that it is obvious that you don't inspect or provide proper maintenance to your vehicles' as I has just found two more with the same defect. The man from the car rental said they wouldn't give us a car unless we wrote out a statement. My husband wrote out exactly what he told them that he had nothing to report. I have a copy of the statement my husband wrote.

The following day was our day of departure we came to return the car we were given the day before. My husband started the check in process. When you rent the car Thrifty requires their customers to allow them to take two separate imprints of your card on credit card slips. On one of the credit card slips they write the contract amount. On the other slip they write 850.00 dollars or leave it blank I can't remember and require you to sign both. They said when we left the island they would give the slip back to us that represented the deposit to tear up.

We finished the checking out my husband said you haven't given me the deposit credit slip you asked us to sign. The man replied that it looks like you have a damage report here. My husband replied that we had not damaged the car and suggested that the man read the statement my husband wrote.
My husband asked to speak to the manager they said he was at a meeting and encouraged us to call their customer service number. My husband told them that they wouldn't be able to get away with what they were doing that he had taken pictures of all of the leaking cars they had attempted to give him prior to giving him the upgraded car. He told the agent he wanted to show these pictures to the manager. This agent replied again that the manager was in a meeting. We had to go to the airport to catch our flight and left.
I'm attaching the pictures along with the explanations of each picture my husband wrote. The pictures show the vehicles oil pan area they attempted to say we damaged, the other vehicles they brought out that were leaking oil and the final vehicle we took which was clean and dry.
This company needs to be stopped my husband will be sending these pictures to Expedia, as well as Visa. His intention is to send this package to Thrifty headquarters, Media outlets, and the Insurance Industry to learn if Thrifty or Dollar at the same St Maarten address (companion businesses under the same roof) have made similar claims against other unsuspecting innocent people and got away with it.
Thank you, Chris Birchall

The following descriptions are of pictures I took of the area where we were being accused of hitting the oil pan. Unfortunately I'm not able to post these pictures here but reading the description will give you an accurate picture of the scam Thrifty in St Maarten was attempting to pull against us.

IMG 6572 This picture shows the underside of the pan and worn away plastic cover while still attached to the vehicle. In this light it is difficult to see the rust in the scratches on the bottom of the pan. If you look at the raised circle closest to your view you will see a tinge of red. The next pictures were taken after I told the company to remove the plastic cover so I could see the entire pan. I changed the camera to flash and the macro setting so the colors would show true. This picture and the following pictures prove that this damage happened at a much earlier time. The protective cover has obviously been hit many times before as it is completely worn away. There is rust on the pan where the scrapes are not shiny metal. If the damage were recent it would be shiny metal not rusted over. There is no oil on the pan that they claimed we hit while driving this car. The following pictures with the pan cover removed tell the whole story this companies employees are attempting to collect money from innocent people they are committing fraud.
IMG 6576 This picture is of the same vehicles pan taken by laying the camera flat on the ground using the macro setting and shooting straight up with the flash. It clearly proves that the damage to this vehicle took place a long time ago as deeply embedded rust is in the scraped areas. Notice you don't see any puncture holes or oil leaking anywhere on this pan.
IMG 6582 This is a picture of the protective cover laying on the ground after I asked the rental company to remove it so I could see the pan clearly. It is clear that this cover is completely missing only the sides are intact.
IMG 6583 This picture was taken Immediately after they removed the plastic cover so I could get a better look. What I find interesting is I don't see any oil at all on this pan. All I see is old rusty damage. This is not a transmission pan this is the oil pan for the engine. We reported that the vehicle was lurching forward which they stated the transmission was low on oil. If the engine oil pan had drained the engine would have heated and seized up. There was no check engine light on, the engine ran fine. The oil pan and transmission fluid pan are two separate and distinct systems on any vehicle. They are not connected in any manner in any vehicle. The fluids are completely different a transmission uses transmission fluid the engine uses oil. If you look closely at the rear and the right side of the pan in IMG 6583 you will see to shiny spots like oil has dripped down the sides from somewhere up above and has run partially onto the bottom . Also there is no damage what so ever in these two areas. It appears to me that oil is dripping from something leaking above that can't be seen. There are no puncture holes anywhere on this pan in the metal only scrapes. It is possible that the mechanic failed to tighten the filler bolt after he added oil. It looks as though there may be a slight amount of oil at the bottom of the bolt. But you don't see any oil blown back onto the pan which proves the oil is coming from above.
IMG6575 This picture is of the damaged protective cover still bolted to the vehicle. I placed this picture out of sequence to point out the oil stain in the upper left hand corner. Please notice the oil stain in the top left corner is not touching or near the pan. The oil pan stops and the corner where this stain is several inches behind the pan. Please look at picture IMG6585 notice that the darkest largest oil stain on this damaged pan is the same area reverse side of stain showing in IMG6575. Also notice the second darkest oil stain is in front of the pan several inches. This proves without a doubt that the oil leak is from above dripping down. Please notice there is no damage to the pan not even a scrape in the area where these oil stains appear.
IMG 6584 This picture was taken of the same pan from a different angle. It shows clearly that there is no puncture or new scrapes to the bottom of this vehicles oil pan. This rust has been in place for quite some time. If there was recent damage shiny metal would be obvious not rust . If there was leaking from this pan it had to be due to a mechanic not tightening the filler bolt you see in the pictures. It is obvious there are no punctures to the pan nor any blown oil on the bottom of the pan.
IMG 6585 This picture speaks a thousand words remember that the bottom of the protective cover is eaten away as shown in IMG6582 there is no protective cover over the pan. Notice the oil stain to the extreme sides of the cover as shown in IMG 6585. When I reached my hand up to inspect the second and third cars before they finally gave me an upgraded vehicle my hand was rubbing the inside bottom of the protective cover not the pan see IMG 6587 and IMG 6588). The way I was twisted laying on the ground it was easier to touch the inside bottom of the cover with my palm than it was to touch the bottom of the pan. I believe this oil is leaking onto the protective covers from above. Possibly from a transmission line. As I said earlier the vehicle was lurching when you put it into drive or when you started out from a light. I asked the agent at Simpson Bay Resort (Thrifty Rental Desk) to drive the car before we were told to drive the car to the main Thrifty office as I feared it may break down on the way after he finished driving the car he stated the transmission is low on oil. Notice that the two spots on this plastic cover match the location of the shiny spots I discussed in IMG6583 if the cover was bolted back up on the vehicle. The oil must be leaking from somewhere up above this pan and dripping down onto the plastic cover as I stated above there are no scrape marks on the bottom of the pan that meet up with the oil spots on this worn away cover.
IMG 6586 Again this picture proves that I didn't hit anything look at the old rust in the scrapes. More importantly notice there is no oil on the pan. I'm convinced that the oil must be leaking from up above and dripping close to this pan onto the ground. This company is running a scam attempting to make innocent people liable for damage that is most likely a defect in the vehicle. A non mechanically inclined person would be bulldozed by their intimidating condescending attitude.
IMG6587 This is a picture of the next vehicle Thrifty attempted to give me as you can see the plastic cover is torn it has been hit at some point. When I reached inside bottom of this cover with the agent looking on I pulled out my hand covered in oil. When I showed the agent the oil he said I will get another vehicle.
IMG6588 This is the same vehicle same damaged pan with better lighting and positioning. It shows you how much a picture can change when you get light and position to show the full extent of the damage.
IMG6594 Here is the protective pan cover for the upgraded vehicle I accepted after showing the agent that two additional cars after I turned in the leaking one also had oil dripping down into their covers. This was a newer vehicle the cover was undamaged and when I reached my hand in there was no oil present.
IMG6595 This is the same as IMG 6594 from a different angle clean and dry.
IMG6596 same vehicle different angle


     
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MDSasquatch on 05/26/2011:
Did anyone read the entire complaint and want to paraphrase?
Anonymous on 05/26/2011:
"The charge of 131.01 is $5.91 over what my paperwork from Expedia shows would be the total cost of the rental car. "

That makes it quite a valid complaint but not enough to read all of that. I hope you are able to come to a satisfactory resolution with them.
old fart on 05/26/2011:
Exquisite boring details..good luck to Thrifty.
momsey on 05/26/2011:
Wow, that's long. Is all of that really in reference to an overcharge of $5+? I agree with blue. Good luck.
Mrs. V on 05/26/2011:
Paraphrase:

The $5.+ is in addition to a complaint that the OP beleaved that Thrifty is going to submit a 'damaged car report' and charge the OP for.

And that the OP has very good proof that he did not damage the car (photos of old damage and other cars in similar condition).
Anonymous on 05/26/2011:
OK, I read it and it is a very valid complaint. Very detailed! It was not really about a 5 dollar over charge. They were accused of damaging the second car from the agency(first had to be returned due to a missing door handle). The husband, a private investigator, took pics and asked lots of questions. They were given two more cars that he proved had the same damage, before they were given a decent car. Upon checkout, they were refused their security deposit.

I think they will have their money back. Not only do they have photos of the car they were accused of damaging, but they have pics of two more cars with the same exact damage from the same company.
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Thrifty Purposely Misrepresent and Tries to Sneak in Fees
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I reserved a rental car from Thrifty through Southwest Airlines online booking. The car was to be picked up on Saturday, February 15th and returned on Tuesday, February 18th; the estimated charge was 178.00 which I paid on my credit card. When I went to pick up the car I asked if I could change the return date to Thursday, February 20th. The associate at the counter told me that was fine. I asked how much it would cost and he told me it would be the same rate, $44.00 per day.

After he went through all the options (insurance, toll pass, etc) he told me to sign on the small computer screen in front of me. The screen was small and difficult to read (it was grey with black lettering, about 3" by 3"). I tried to review what I was signing and realized the total was $650.00. The associate never verbally told me any costs associated with the rental agreement unless I asked. I asked him if that was the cost and he said yes. I asked him why it was so much and he said it was because I rented it for extra time. I told him that it was more than three times the estimate. He said that the estimate was only for the car, and didn't include taxes and insurance. I told him to take off any optional charges (insurance which I had through my regular coverage, toll pass which was 45.00 and prepaid fuel), and it still came to $416.62. I asked him why it was so much still, and he said taxes.

When I was getting ready to return the car I looked at the receipt and realized there were 2 return change fee charges of 15.99 each. I returned the car at 8:30 am. The woman checked me in and printed me a receipt which also included an additional late charge of 15.99 for returning the car late (the receipt said 8:35 am). When I rented the car they did not tell me it had to be back by 8:30 am, it wasn't until I carefully read the receipt that I saw the early time it had to be back. Still, I got it back at 8:30 am and they refused to reverse even that fee. The total I paid for the car was 437.06.

I talked to two customer service representatives, neither of whom cared that I had been mislead about the charges. I was also not told that adding an extra driver would cost $11.00 per day. I only added an extra driver because my traveling companion has a license and I thought I would add them just in case (they didn't drive at all during the trip as expected). They only cared that I had "signed the contract" no matter how much the associate had misled me while it was happening. There was a long line of customers waiting behind me, the computer screen was almost impossible to read, and my six year old was waiting impatiently after the long plane ride.

If I had understood the additional fees I would not have extended the rental or added the extra driver. The rental agency was dishonest, purposely not up front about the fees and costs of the rental, and took advantage of a person far from home and needing transportation. The associate behind the counter was clearly impatient the whole time I was reviewing the charges, and kept trying to rush me through the process. They also still have not credited the $178.00 that I paid through Southwest.
     
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Thrifty Car Rental: Bait and Switch!
Posted on
POMPANO FL, FLORIDA -- Before our winter vacation trip to FL, I shopped for rental car deals.

A great promotion from Thrifty offered me a minivan for our week in FL at a rate lower than what most dealers were charging for compact cars.

When I made the reservation in advance, I was surprised by the price and was not sure how valid, so I called the Pompano Fl location and inquired. They assured me the promotion was good and that they would have my car or an upgrade avail on my date. They also told me a spouse was included in the rental rate.

When we got there, the manager of the Thrifty Car Rental Pompano FL location (Mr. Oddy) told me that my reserved Van was not avail (supposedly Thrifty in FL was "all out" of vans), and the only option was a tiny compact. We are a family of 5 and luggage, on vacation. He offered me no options except to call other locations myself, and hope for the best. We spent over 4 hours on the phone with customer service, being passed from representative to representative and getting hung-up on. Their only option was to make a new reservation at a higher rate and a different pickup location. It was apparently a Bait-and-Switch Promotion!

I reached the off-property Ft Lauderdale Airport location, explained our dilemma, and they said they had no vans. When I asked to speak to the manager, they hung up on me. The second call I was patched to his voicemail! I called back from another phone and asked about renting a minivan that day. The agent (Paul) assured me they had vans and gave me the rate (much higher than our reservation). When I said I would be right there to pick it up, and I already had a reservation, he suddenly claimed he made a mistake and they had NO vans. I asked for the manager and they disconnected the call. I called back, and got the manager, a VERY nice man (Leaman), who said he would go get a car for me and have it ready. We got there in the dark, and they were waiting. We did agree to take the insurance, even tho we are covered on our own policy and through the credit card, but felt we wanted to give them something for their help. We did not agree to pay the $10/day extra for the spouse to drive. That was an unexpected turn!

In any case, the van was realtively new and shiny on the outside. Only after we got in and drove a bit, did we realize it smelled like it had been used for a sex and Pot smoking festival, with a heavy dose of cheap aftershave. The next day we tried to air it out in the sun, but it was really dity inside, and many parts broken or rusty. Also, the gas mileage was AWFUL! The 20 mile trip to the airport used almost 1/4 tank!

When we returned the car, I was careful to fill up near the airport. I even filled over the line. At vehicle check-in, the agent demanded to see my gas receipt (I never take one) and I told him just to look at the gauge. It was tough to communicate, but he finally agreed to settle it. Apparently, you need to prove you filled less than 10 miles from the airport!

All in all, the Pompano manager is awful at customer service. He made NO effort to plan ahead and have the proper cars, nor did he help us secure another car. The Ft. Lauderdale/Port Everglades manager, Leamon, is a gentleman and truly represents Thrifty in how he fulfils customer service.

NEVER, in 25 years of renting cars in Florida, has a rental company ever told me: "We have no cars for you, too bad, go away", when I had a reservation in advance. I think the BBB should look into the promo and how many people got ripped off... Thrifty's telephone customer service agents need better training. If I can't be assured that the car I rented will be available, if not an upgrade, then why would I want to rent from Thrifty? I don't need the aggravation.
     
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Alain on 01/09/2012:
The BBB is probably going to be of little help. Thrifty has been a paying member of their's since 1972 and as long as they pay their dues, their rating most likely won't go below A-. You can, however, file complaints at http://www.myfloridalegal.com/consumer and http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/index.shtml Your best option is probably not using Thrifty again, though.
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The Worst Rental Car Experience in Thrifty!
Posted by on
We were supposed to pick up the minivan in Las Vegas airport that we have reserved on Thrifty.com about 1.5 month before. Even with drop off in San Francisco, weekly rental, unlimited miles the price was pretty good, about $450. The pick up time we indicated on reservation was 11 am. We came to airport 11:10 am, huge line, so we got to the counter around 12:15 pm.

Customer service lady refused to honor our reservation price even after I showed printout, actual email received from Thrifty and went to Thrifty web site on my iPhone to show her the reservation. As a robot she was saying continuously: "There is nothing I can do, computer shows different price, your rental price is $575 instead." For some reason she looked surprised that we had a nerve to argue with her. 15 minutes after she finally called manager. New lady went over our reservation, said she will do a "special" arrangement for us (!) to honor the price the company gave us! What "special" arrangement?! All you have to do is honor your own reservation! Manager promised us that she will adjust the price, but since it will take time, meanwhile we can go pick up the car, and she will meet us there with modified invoice.

Anyway, another 40 minutes were spent trying to decline their additional insurance and trying to prove that our own car insurance does cover rental cars. We had to call our insurance to get them fax our policy, otherwise Thrifty won't agree. Advice to everyone renting car: if you are planning to use your own insurance make sure to have your policy on hand where it's clearly defined!
Finally we went to get a car, we waited another 30 minutes, no one showed up. We left deciding to call Thrifty and resolve this matter over the phone.

Wonderful week in California passed by, we got to San Francisco about 4 pm and went to return car to one of the city locations.

I somewhat expected problems so wasn't surprised when a technician gave as a printout of total price $865 after we returned the car. After we asked what is going on he just said a computer gave me this price. Here we are again at customer service counter. Plus side, only 1 person ahead of us.

We got to the counter, the nightmare is all over again:

1. there is no mentioning anywhere that manager in Las Vegas adjusted the price
2. our reservation had unlimited miles, their's reservation had 1500 miles we we were hit with additional miles charge
3. we brought the car too early! The weekly charge kicks in ONLY when car is returned at 5 pm, not a minute before. Since we returned car 4:05 pm our weekly reservation disappeared and some day by day change appeared! The funny thing is that manager suggested us to get the car again and drive around for an hour, and come back at 5 pm because the computer (again) won't let him to adjust anything! Finally we negotiated to not getting a car, and simply come back a hour later and he will make another adjustment that looks like we returned car at 5 pm.

Saying that we were furious would be a big understatement, we travel quite a bit, rent cars very often, sometimes we have issues, but not anywhere even close to this one.

I have to thank the manager in San Francisco who spent quite some time with us, on a phone with Las Vegas, Thrifty and finally resolved the whole issue. He even apologized for all our trouble, something that no one in Las Vegas never thought of! Actually our final price came about $30 less than our original reservation. We haven't complained, but for all the time and troubles they should have given us the car for free!

Lessons learned:

Avoid Thrifty even if they have lowest prices (though I assume this could have happened to any other car rental);
Always have your insurance card AND insurance policy if you want to decline rental's insurance;
Call your rental company before pick up and triple-confirm price, pick up time, drop off time, miles to avoid surprises (though, again, it might not help).
     
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Whiteduck on 03/17/2011:
Wow. What a fun bunch. Thanks for the heads-up!
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Thrifty Car Rental from Dusseldorf Airport
Posted by on
THEODOR-HEUSS-STR. 71-73 (DUSSDELDORF AIRPORT, GER -- I would like to add my story to similar experiences that I have now seen on this site. It appears that some Thrifty car rental places in Germany are taking advantage of foreign travelers. Please be warned about this company, and avoid them or be very careful when renting from them.

I booked my two-week rental through Expedia for a total of 327.40 euro. When I arrived with my family into Dusseldorf, we were met taken off-site to the rental agency. They explained that my US insurance would not be acceptable, and coverage with a Visa card would only be allowed with an advanced approved letter from Visa stating that the car was covered. They said that I would need to purchase an additional insurance from them for ~20 euro per day and they would charge me a minimum of 600 euro deductible upfront. While this is pretty outrageous, we just had an overnight flight from the US and more stuff than we could carry, so I paid the money.

The rental vehicle was fine, and we returned it on the morning before our flight. After much delay, so that we were getting worried about making our flight time, a guy comes out to inspect the vehicle and finds a tiny hairline scratch on the tailgate near the license plate. I couldn't believe it; I would not have even though to mention this if I had done a thorough inspection of the vehicle before accepting it. Then, before taking us back to the airport, they made me sign a form (in German) saying that it was scratched. They said that although I was probably not responsible, they would check their records and make sure that it was noted before so that I would be off the hook for it. They would not, however, give me my deposit back. Again, in a tight spot, I signed the form and we made our flight back home.

After a few weeks, I filed a complaint with Thrifty in the US and requesting that I get my deposit back. I did not get a reply from them, but yesterday I did get a bill from the German agency saying that the damage was repaired for a fee of 681.42 euro -- remarkably close to the deductible. They also charged my credit card an additional 81.42 euro. What I have been able to decipher from the German bill, is 171 euro for painting, and many other expenses for unrelated parts such as some rear flaps, debasement charge (51 euro), allowance cost (19.65 euro), phone/fax business charges (50 euro), and others that I can't figure out, which bring the total to 681.42 euro.

I have now asked Visa to block the payment. I have also requested proof that the car was actually painted. I anticipate that nothing was done to the car and that this will happen to the next unsuspecting customer as well. I have also sent my complaint to the consumer protection agency in Dusseldorf. I don't actually anticipate that anything will come of this, and that I will just end up paying a significant fraction of the tiny VW's value for the privilege of renting it. But, I would like to warn others. If I had noticed the warning posted here an elsewhere about this kind of scam, I would have chosen another company (or taken the train!). If you do rent from a place like this, I highly recommend that you go over the car in extreme detail and get them to sign off on every blemish; I am not exaggerating about how small this scratch was. Once they make you buy their endurance, it is in their interest to find a problem with the car, and they probably will.
     
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trp2hevn on 09/12/2009:
Holy cow! I checked the conversion and that's close to $1000. Hopefully, Visa can help you with this mess.
trixie on 04/20/2012:
Thrifty Car Rental is faud the need to be send to Investigation by (FBI the cannot to it to us in usa
Pascal on 12/12/2013:
Had the same experience yesterday, final invoice double than announced because they invoice insurance and winter tire on top of the web offer. Still didn't get my 600 euro deposit back
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Never Again!
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- May 2013 Starting with the positive. Got a great rate for a five day rental on a mid size SUV and the gentleman at the front counter at the airport was extremely nice, friendly, and courteous. From that point on, there is not a good thing I can say about my experience with Thrifty. The first car I was given didn't even make it out of the parking space. Awful noise coming from transmission when I put it in reverse. Thrifty guy told me the brakes were wet because the car had just been washed and the noise would stop after it was driven. Funny cause the car didn't appear to be just washed and I know what wet brakes sound like. I refused the car.

Second car was absolutely covered in whole dead bugs. The windshield was so filmy with bug guts you could barely see through it. There were used drink cups and swizzle sticks in the car. I refused this car also although the Thrifty guy assured me that "The car has been serviced. This is Florida. Those bugs just don't come off". Again kind of funny because on our way out of the airport an hour later, this same car (recognized the scratch on the back bumper) was in front of me pulling out of the garage and spotless.

The third car I accepted. A couple of minutes after hitting the main road, I noticed the Oil Change Required light was on. It stayed on the entire trip making me somewhat nervous about all the driving I did and waiting to see if the actual oil light would come on. When turning the car in, I mentioned it to the girl who did the check in and she said that light stayed on all the time because Thrifty serviced its own cars and so they couldn't turn it off. Funny that every mechanic I know knows how to reset the codes. I really don't appreciate being treated like a stupid woman which is exactly what Thrifty employees did. Nor do I appreciate having to worry about a car I've paid to be able to drive. Don't care how good the deal is, I won't be a Thrifty customer again.

Update 6/13/2013 - Today I received an email from Thrifty stating I was going to receive a coupon in the mail good for one free day of car rental. A few minutes ago, I got another email stating that I should ignore the previous email. Apparently, I will not be receiving a coupon and they apologized for any confusion their 'eagerness" had caused. Way to Win customers and inspire confidence Thrifty. Wasn't going to use you again anyway.
     
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Misleading and dishonesty business operations
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Rating: 1/51
SALT LAKE CITY AIRPORT, UTAH -- When I did comparison shopping online before my trip with the same type of full size car among various car rental companies, your pricing was the reasonable one, and that is why I choose your company for rental car this time.

But when I retune my car to your company location, I noticed that the price printed on the agreement was higher than what was I booked. (I can supply you with the evidence that the confirmation email that I received from your company after I booked car rental online if you would like.) I asked the guy at the return location, but he insisted that you have to raise the price, and I have to pay more. I did not get much time to argue with him because I have to catch up my flight.

I have rented cars for my various trips through different car rental companies in many years either by booking via Expedia or Hotwire.com or via rental car companies directly, but never once a company will not keep their promised price based on the booking price! Your company breached the trust that I entrusted in your company and did not keep up your contractual obligation to keep the rental car price as you have already agreed upon when I did the online booking.

I demand a refund of the price difference into my credit card immediately, and an apology from your company!

If your company will not honor your online car rental booking price, you should not in this business at all.

I will report your misleading and dishonesty business operations to FCC, and other consumer protection agencies, as well as post thousands of review comments at Internet forums, that to make sure there will be no victims to fall into your cheating traps in the future!

     
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bob932304 on 10/02/2012:
Just wondering what the contract you signed when you took the car said. That is the bottom line.
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Thrifty Car Rental is completely unethical...
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Rating: 1/51
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I rented a car from Thrifty through Expedia. This was an international car rental for the Copenhagen, Denamrk airport. The overall price breakdown provided included "estimated taxes and fees" and came to a grand total of $132.00 for a one day car rental.

Upon arrival I was informed that there was an additional VAT Tax of 25% and a Location fee of 300 DKK. These additional fees increased my overall cost of a one day rental by 69%.

I went back and complained to both Expedia and Thrifty. I knew Europe had a VAT Tax, but why weren't these taxes and fees included in the "estimated taxes and fees" in my initial price breakdown? The answer from Thrifty was that these additional fees were clearly detailed in the T's and C's.

Am I at fault for not pouring over the Terms and Conditions? Yes. However, if they as a company already know that the customer will incur these fees, why wouldn't these fees be detailed in the price breakdown provided when I placed my order? Why would these fees be buried in the T's and C's if for no other reason than to appear more price competitive than one really is? Is this not a clear example of a bait and switch and deceptive business practices?

The customer service was terrible. They couldn't have cared less and were completely unwilling to do anything at all to turn around this customer experience. To top it off, the car had a dent in the back door which apparently did enough damage so that you couldn't lock the door. We didn't realize that until later on that night. Again, Thrifty's response was sorry, but again, we aren't going to do anything for you.

After multiple emails and phone calls back and forth, they just told me they have closed my ticket and that's it. This company is unethical, has incredibly deceptive pricing, and couldn't care less if you had a good or bad experience with them. I own a small business and I can tell you one thing, we are never doing business with Thrifty again.

Beware, Thrifty, Dollar and Sixt are all under the same umbrella corporation. I won't do business with any of them.
     
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trmn8r on 09/26/2012:
No, I don't believe this is a clear example of "bait and switch". As you state, the terms and conditions were available to you.

Bait and switch is a different animal.
CowboyFan on 09/27/2012:
Renting a vehicle overseas is difficult enough without getting a third party like Expedia involved. This just shows the advantage of renting directly from the rental car company.

Looking at the Thrifty Website, if the op had booked directly, the VAT is listed right on the price that your are required to pay.
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Car Size Shell Game - Thrifty / Dollar Car Rental Austin TX
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Rating: 1/51
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Your taking a trip, you go online and request rental car quote for a car at your destination, request a full size car and see the words full-size car like a Chevy Impala or similar. When you get to the car rental location the car is a mid-size “smaller” car but wait you were quoted and are paying for a full-size car. Here is how it happens; Clearwater Transportation LTD runs Thrifty Car Rental / Dollar Rent a Car at Austin Bergstrom Airport Texas, when they get car rental request for a full-size Car Chevy Impala, they gives you a Chevy Malibu, Toyota Camry, or Nissan Altima all are listed by the manufacturers as Mid-Size vehicles. How do you get less than what you were lead to believe your paying for? I asked them, and here is their answer: “There will always be a reference vehicle and will state “ or similar “ because that different locations runs different size, makes, and models in any given category. When you book a reservation we do not make any guaranty to a specific make, model, or exact specifications”. The Rental company can magically re-size a vehicle from the what the manufacturer has stated its size Mid-size to the new Full-size. So what is next you order a full size 12oz steak dinner and get a 8oz smaller version and are charged for the 12oz because that all they have and that what we call our smaller steaks here the full size steak dinner.
How can Car rental company advertise car rentals of Mid-size cars as Full–size. The secret is in what you call it. I was told by that Car rental company manager “you better contact the renting location and find out what that company runs in it size class”. So you can’t believe or trust in what is advertised on National Car Rental web sites you have call the company and ask them so what do you call a Full-size car at your location. What is this a new version of the shell game, Car Renters beware you may not get what you paid for, trust no one, verify, then if they are playing word game go to someone else your money is good at the other guy store.
     
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dan gordon on 04/12/2012:
very common practice. Just rented a car for next week. A mid size with Hertz is a Toyota Corolla or Nissan Sentra. A compact is a Kia Rio.
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Thrifty San Juan Unethical Practice
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SAN JUAN -- Buyer Beware. I rented a vehicle from Thrifty at their San Juan, PR location the week of the 16 - 23 November 2011. I had made the reservation via Travelocity. During the initial check in, I noticed that the price on the contract was approximately 10% higher than I had originally locked with Travelocity. No big deal for me at the time but it was a sign of later things to come.
Assessed
I was offered a 'optional' service called 'easy pass'. Knowing I could pay for the tolls myself I declined the service. I was told by one of the attendants that if I used the service I without having it included into my contract I would be charged a fine of $40 by Thrifty. I asked the attendant and her counterpart to confirm whether or not I could pay for tolls with cash and to which the response was yes. With that, my family and I went on our way. A few days later while cruising in the south coast of PR, I attempted to pay for my toll fee via the cash lane only to be told by the attendant that the vehicle's easy pass was active and had already paid the toll. Naively thinking I could pay into the vehicle's account with the intent of arguing with the rental agency about the vehicle's unwillingness to allow one the ability to pay in cash, I gave the toll booth attendant $10.00 to add into the Thrifty account. That didn't work, I was advised that even though I had elected to pay for my tolls in cash, their vehicles already come with the 'easy pass' pre-installed which does not allow for one to pay the toll without using the service. As a result, I was fined $40.00 by Thrifty.

Here is what is wrong with Thrifty's policy. If the vehicle is set to pay for tolls then do not give the option to the driver. Instead, add the usage fee to the baseline rental fee. To do otherwise is a cheap way to increase your margins by trapping tourists into an unfair company fine. Absolutely unethical and disappointing behavior. I sent the company an email to their service department two weeks ago asking for a refund of the fine in order to salvage my relationship with them but received no answer. I am never again going to use their services. I should have gone with Enterprise.
     
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SteveWiginowski on 01/03/2012:
I've had something like this in Florida. They instructed us to put the EZ Pass away when going through a toll, if we were going to be paying by cash. If not, then it will pay automatically. We put it away and had no issues.
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