PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- I was charged almost 3x what I was quoted online, with surcharges and fuel. Pressured into upgrading and/or paying $10 a day extra for GPS (we declined both, and found the GPS was there anyway). I asked for the prepaid fuel option, but was charged $96, at $10 a gallon, at the end of the trip. All right, I didn't read the fine print, assumed the clerk had done as I'd requested. However, this clerk was the only one available to serve a long line of people, so we waited one hour and ten minutes to be served - after 14 hours of travel, you can understand that I was tired and irritable and willing to believe that when I declined certain options, I'd be respected.
When we were given our car, which was scraped and dented, the attendant would not assist us in making a vehicle inspection and filling out a form, said merely "we don't worry about any scrapes under six inches". I finally spoke to two more agents before I could get the form and mark the damage on the vehicle picture.
Upon complaining to the parking attendant, I was referred to the manager. When I saw him, risking missing my flight, I was referred to the 800 number for Customer Service. When I waited on the phone for 20 min with Customer Service, they hung up on me twice when I said I wished to make a complaint.
CAVEAT EMPTOR. Read the fine print, to know that you are being cheated into signing for something you didn't ask for. I will NEVER use Thrifty Car Rentals again. By the way, the guy coming on to his shift just as we were leaving the rental office remarked to his fellow worker, "Now you get why over 30 employees have quit since October." What a surprise.
By the way, my review on Thrifty's Facebook page was removed by them. It is curious to me that none of the large travel companies have a category for reviewing car rentals, and the ones posted online are solely positive ones funded by each company.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I have never been so upset by a rental car experience as I was this time. One word sums up this experience: RACISM. I rented a car for three days. The pickup experience was good. The car was a Prius and it had problems. The car kept saying "does not detect key" and was a pain to start each time. I could deal with this and was not completely upset with the car. Just annoyed.
The big problem came when I returned the car. I got on the shuttle to go back to LAX and I was holding my briefcase in front of me. The driver approached me and told me to put my small case on the rack. I very calmly said that I had fragile items inside and I would hold it. I also thanked him for his concern. He then insisted that it was a rule that all bags must be put up on the rack and told me again to put the bag on the other side. I again politely declined trying to explain again about the items in my bag and that I would hold it. He then told me I was blocking the walkway. However the bag did not protrude any further than my knees when I was sitting down.
I again in the most polite way possible told him that I would continue to hold my bag. At this point you asked me to get off the bus. I said I would not leave the bus and he could get the manager of the location to come and talk to me. He started getting more angry and told me to get off the bus. At this point the other passengers on the bus told him to leave me alone. He continued on for another two or three minutes and I said I would not get off the bus unless the manager of the location came out and told me that I needed to get off. At this point he just became frustrated and said "WHITE PEOPLE" walking to the driver's seat and slamming a clipboard down.
Keep in mind that every person on the bus was a "white person". At this point I stopped talking to him completely. An older gentlemen probably around 65 or so was extremely upset by his statements and started raising his voice at the driver. I told him it would do no good and the best thing we could do was ignore his ignorance.
I called customer service but they would not connect me to the location to speak to the manager. I actually never in 35 years have had an experienced this. While I was not really offended because I can recognize that he did this out of complete ignorance and obviously did not have enough education or common sense to know better, I still feel like I need to say something.
CVG AIRPORT, KENTUCKY -- I had a car reserved for a trip from Jacksonville Fl. to Cincinnati Ohio for Jan 10-17. My plane was delayed and Thrifty was informed that I would not be able to pick up my car on the 10th as scheduled due to arriving after they closed. I stayed in a hotel overnight and went to Thrifty the next morning and Thrifty refused to honor my reserved rate. New rate was $170 more than my reserved rate. The terms and conditions of their rental agreement plainly states on #8 that Customers with reservations who experience weather or mechanical delays with airlines will be accommodated. Not good customer service so I went elsewhere to rent a car.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Thrifty does not answer the questions asked. I asked for the lowest price for a car, which would've been a weekly rental rate. Instead I was charged $569 for 4 days for a compact car, and that was refusing the insurance. It was truly a compact car, and the smallest car I've ever driven.
The situation went from bad to worse. Integrity is lacking at all levels and the customer service does not improve through the ranks. My experience was horrible enough for me to write my first review ever. I will not ever patronize this company again. They could offer me the car for free and to keep it, and I still would not think of dealing with them. STAY AWAY.
RENO, NEVADA -- I forgot what it was like to deal with a corrupt car rental company! So don't be a "deer in the headlights" like I was!
We reserved an Economy car described as a Kia Rio or similar (4 doors with a trunk). When we got to the Thrifty/Dollar rental desk, they stated that "their Economy car was a Fiat hatchback and it wouldn't fit our two pieces of luggage" (our luggage was average sized). I stated that the car I reserved does fit 4 people and our two pieces of luggage. She stated, "Well everyone has a different perception of what two pieces of luggage means." The Fiat barely fit two carry on pieces! She then recommended I rent a mid sized car. Are you kidding me? For two pieces of luggage and two people?
I told her I wanted a car similar to the Kia Rio that I reserved. She offered me a Toyota Corolla. My initial reservation total was 129.00 for 7 days. She ADDED 200.00 for the Toyota Corolla! I was livid! She left me no choice but to accept it, or lose out on the 129.00 for the reservation and have to find another car somewhere else. What was Thrifty/Dollar's response when I contacted them? Oh well, you signed for it and drove off with it.
PLEASE AVOID THIS PAIN! DO NOT RENT FROM THRIFTY/DOLLAR! But if you are stuck with a reservation you can't get out of, bring a picture of the car type you reserved, just in case, and...good luck!
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Thrifty Car Rental has a business practice of showing sweetheart rates and then gouging the customer with hidden fees. For example: Monthly rate: 17/day. Day rate: 60/day. Return a day EARLY and you have the day rate. Fuel refill cost: $2.00. Good, right? Not so fast. They don't tell you at the counter that fuel taxes are not included. Second driver doubles the cost. On and on...it's ridiculous. I just parked my car at the airport to avoid a $2,000 price bump on a $1,000 rental. WOW.
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.
CANCUN -- We rented a van on January 2nd at the airport in Cancun (reservation **). When returning the van they said that there was a damage at the wheel rim. When observing it very carefully you could see a very small indentation on the rim (about 1mm in diameter).
A damage like this could only be caused by almost [destroying] the whole wheel, so it was obvious that the damage was already there because the wheel was otherwise perfect. They charged us 400 dollars for that damage which is clear that was already there when renting the car (invisible to the naked eye unless you knew it was there and you are an expert in rims). We took pictures of that alleged damage. I am enclosing one.
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 because 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.
HOBBY AIRPORT HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I reserve a premium full size vehicle from Thrifty online to be pick up when I arrived in Houston, at Hobby airport. I also call them to confirm that they would have one not leaving anything to chance and they said they did. Well when I arrived they had only a Dodge Challenger which had been in an accident and they pretended they didn't know it, and gave me a Chevy SUV Captiva which was too small. No GPS or good radio. I reserve a premium car and got some trash for my money and they gone tell me that the Chevy SUV was equal to a premium. It was too damn small for someone over 6 feet. Very disappointed and feel cheated!