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they damaged my car!
Posted by Dara.kong on 07/20/2002
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I'm writing with a complaint about the experience at Thrifty Rent-A-Car, and I hope someone will take this seriously.

I have used Thrifty Car Rental services a total of six times in a span of just over a year. This has been all at the same location, Orlando Airport, FL. Each time I left with a positive experience without any major issues. There was an incident during the first car rental transaction when the clerk counter failed to mention extra charges listed on the receipt. We went back and resolved them telling the clerk counter we did not need all the extra unnecessary insurance since we had our own insurance coverage. I have looked through some of the letters at planetfeedback.com and that seems to be a prevalent problem among many other consumers too. The first two times with Thrifty, I rented a car from them. The last four time I used their airport parking service. Once was the self parking service and the other three times I used the valet service.
My most recent experienced with Thrifty was about two weeks ago. I went to the location on Saturday, June 29, 2002 around 5:30 in the morning. I followed the signs toward the valet parking section and parked and got my luggage out from the car while an attendant wrote down some information from the car and handed me the ticket. I left my car keys in the car so the vale attendants could park the car. I then walked into the main area and signed the form and told the clerk when I expected to be home. I returned to the thrifty location about a week later on Monday, July 7 around 7:00 in the morning. I paid the valet clerk and saw my car through the glass being parked on the curb.
I could tell it had been raining most of the day by looking at the car. There was a lot of dirt and water marks all over. The major thing I saw that stood out were some black marks on the rear passenger side. At first I simply thought it was dirt or something else but I got closer and tried to wipe it off when I noticed they were actually scratches. The black spots were the parts where paint was scrapped from the car. The scratches were about four inches long. Right above the scratches was the red side marker lamp that was shattered. Only a few broken pieces were still attached. Also the part that holds the light was popped out of the socket so it is now partially outside the slot. I was furious. This was my new silver Lexus IS300, four dour sedan. I only got this a year ago and I have taken extremely good car of the car. That's the primary reason I used the valet service, because I felt that I was leaving my car in good hands, and the previous three times I used Thrifty, my car was returned to me the same way I had left it, with nothing wrong.
I immediately notified the clerk at the valet counter and she had the attendant who had brought the car out to see what the problem was. I pointed out the damage and then he went back inside and came back with a Polaroid camera. He took one picture and took me back inside and the clerk gave me an accident report form to fill out. I wrote down my information and handed it back. The clerk said she would place this in the box of the person in charge of claims, and that I should call her later in the morning to check on the status of the report. I took the business card with the phone number, (407) 380-1002 and took a look at the picture to make sure it accurately showed the damage I received on my car.
I got home and later called back around 10am. I spoke with the person in charge, Dana Finley, and explained to her the situation. She told me to get an estimate for the repair from three different auto shops and fax them to her. So I got two estimations that day, one was for approximately $370 and the other was about $380. The next day, July 8, I got another repair estimate, but for some reason this particular body shop wanted to charge over $600. But I took all three estimates reports, as requested, and I handed them directly to Ms. Finley at the Thrifty lobby. I asked her what I should do next, and she said to wait a few days and call back then. She was going to put the estimates in a file so that the managers could review them and decide accordingly on the amount to be paid.
I waited until Saturday, July 13, to call again. I called around 2 in the afternoon but got a voicemail, so I just left a message. I called again the next day on the 14th and spoke with Ms. Finley again. She told me that she had a chance to review it and that a check was in the mail. That's all she said so I waited patiently for the check to arrive.
The check arrived in my mailbox on July 17. However to my surprise when I opened it, the amount only read $250. This was well below the lowest estimated repair which was $373.05. I did not understand the reasoning of paying only a portion of the estimated repair costs. I called the next day on July 18 but got the voice mail box again. I left a message saying I had received the check, but there seemed to be an error, and that I would appreciate it if Ms. Finely would return my call.
I did not receive a call back, so I decided to call again on July 19 and this time I got through. I asked Ms. Finley why I was only compensated for $250 when she knew that it would cost at least $120 more to repair the damages. I had, after all, directly handed her the repair estimates. She replied that Thrifty could not know for sure whether it was one of their employees who caused the damage or a Thrifty customer. Apparently the cars that use the valet parking service are parked in the same lot as the self parking area. So, the damage might have occurred when one of the employees was moving my car or another car nearby, or another customer that was self parking his own car might have backed into it. Either way, she said, they could not be held responsible. She even said that the company paid more than they should have and the amount paid was reasonable. I then asked her what else could be done, but she replied nothing. I asked to talk to someone else, perhaps a manager, but she was the manager of the establishment and in charge of the claims department.
I am extremely unhappy with Thrifty's response to the whole situation. The entire ordeal has been very frustrating, and my car is still damaged. I hope this issue will be resolved.

Here's what I'd like to see happen: I would like Thrifty to compensate me for my losses. This means paying the remaining balance of the estimated repair costs. I have already received $250 which means there is still the amount of $123.05.

I'll definitely never rent from you again nor use your services, and you can be sure I'll steer my friends and family away from your company.

Please get back to me quickly about this issue. I hope to hear from you within 7 business days.

Thank you for taking the team to read my letter.
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Thrifty Car Rental Deceptive Practices
Posted by Dee101 on 09/27/2009
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- I was a walk up rental customer having the ability to choose many other car rental options at Orlando Airport Site. I chose Thrifty.
I told the agent I was looking for an economical car for a two day rental. I also stated I DID NOT WANT THE ADDITIONAL INSURANCE COVERAGE OFFERED BY THRIFTY... KNOWING MY OWN COVERAGE WAS ENOUGH. She came back offering a much larger SUV (not what I was looking for) and an offer (a "special" for that day) of the additional insurance being "INCLUDED" WITH THE DAILY RENTAL CHARGE.

I AGAIN SAID ..I DO NOT NEED THE ADDITIONAL INSURANCE. She said it was a special deal along with trip saver( a form of AAA coverage @ $5.99 per day).... I was not going to argue.

Turns out I did actually pay for the "LDW1" coverage @ 24.99 per day, and the tripsaver coverage @ 5.99 per day... over and above the rental cost. Looking back I realize the agent watched me closely as I initialed the circled charges which was an acceptance of these charges .. Unbeknownst to me! Their "codes" for these services were not explained on purpose!!!

I was lied to and treated with deceptive practices. The codes they use for these insurance charges are not explained and even if you state EXACTLY what you want they deceive you.
I tried several customer service complaints to Thrifty.. they all stated because I signed the form and initialed the charges the bill was valid and they would not remove the charges of $49.98 and 11.98 ...




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Posted by MaggieMcT on 2009-09-27:
So, you didn't read what you were initialling, did you? Which doesn't excuse anyone for misleading you, but still, it's your responsibility to read anything you sign. I'd chalk it up as a learning experience.
Posted by Eloise on 2009-09-27:
MaggieMcT's got a great point. Always read a contract before you sign your name to it. I'ts always better to be proactive rather than reactive.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-27:
No company explains their codes or 'office speak' to customers. Nor should they. However, what was the TOTAL cost overall? Was it the total two day rental price plus taxes at a discount rate as you were offered?

EX: Rental 2 days regular price no insurance $150.00

Special: Rental 2 days with insurance $125

If you accept the lower cost, the insurance is included at regular price and the rental itself is lowered to accommodate the cost of the coverage, which MUST be on the contract to apply.

You also stated you didn't argue. If you paid less than the regular overall price, there was no reason to. If you paid MORE, then you are at fault for NOT arguing.
Posted by Fufu487 on 2009-09-27:
I have to agree with Op here. She stated she did not want the insurance, and ended up paying it anyways. They used codes that would not outline the conditions where she signed. I would be upset too. If I specified I didn't want something, and they threw it on anyways and charged me for it, I'd be fuming
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-27:
Fu, you aren't understanding, and the OP isn't clarifying.
Posted by trp2hevn on 2009-09-27:
Maybe they lowered the price of the rental for the exact same amount of the coverage. If so, then you didn't pay any extra, but still got the benefit of the coverage. If that is what happened then the agent also made commission on the coverage.
"Their "codes" for these services were not explained on purpose!!!" Maybe it wasn't on purpose! Why didn't you ask what 'LDW1' means? It's Loss Damage Waiver. The '1' will mean what level of coverage you are getting. I think credit card companies use these same codes when you ask about your credit card rental coverage. Do you know what the price would have been with out the "(a "special" for that day)"? Probably would have been the same amount. Maybe next time you could try some of the smaller off airport companies.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-27:
TRP, that's what I was trying t explain. Thanks.
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Thrifty Car Rental from Dusseldorf Airport
Posted by Henkelman on 09/12/2009
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 thought 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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Posted by trp2hevn on 2009-09-12:
Holy cow! I checked the conversion and that's close to $1000. Hopefully, Visa can help you with this mess.
Posted by trixie on 2012-04-20:
Thrifty Car Rental is faud the need to be send to Investigation by (FBI the cant to it to us in usa
Posted by Pascal on 2013-12-12:
Had the same experience yesterday, final invoice double than announced because they invoice insurance and winter tire on top of the web offer. Still didnt get my 600 euro deposit back
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Don't Rent From Thrifty!
Posted by Eastman on 07/08/2008
BOSTON, LOGAN AIRPORT, MASSACHUSETTS -- We reserved a car from Thrifty on a recent trip to Boston. When we went to pick it up, the guy at the counter added additional charges to the contract, after we'd already said we didn't want them. When I pointed out that the contract was wrong, he asked for my credit card back to fix it, then sent me outside to examine the car. When we got to the hotel, we realized he had not returned my card. They would not answer their phone (we tried every number we could, even the roadside assistance) and we had to drive back to the airport. Once there, the agent repeatedly denied having my card, and only superficially looked for it. That is, until the manager finally appeared, at which point, my card magically materialized... the agent saying said he found it on the floor. I am positive the agent pocketed it.

Two other complaints: the car they gave us was dirty, hadn't been cleaned. And the wait at the airport was long, due to the fact they are farther away than other rental car companies and run a smaller van and a smaller fleet.

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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-08:
So because of one a-hole we shouldn't rent from Thrifty?

Posted by Soon_to_be_his_wifey06 on 2008-09-18:
It is pointless wasting your time trying to find a direct number to the major airports because they do not give out their number to customers they don't want to spend time answering phone calls this is why they only give you customer service and the agents are told to NOT give out the airports number for any reason.
Posted by Rawkzilla on 2009-01-07:
Wifey is correct. Thrifty, I'm sure, like a lot of rental companies, tries to keep its counter agents focused on helping customers at the counter. Sure when the counter is slow they can answer their phones, but otherwise them being busy isn't a sign of them not caring. I guarantee you if you had been the customer at the counter watching the agent talking on a phone with some other customer instead of handling your reservation, you'd have been upset that they weren't giving you the attention you deserved.
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Worst Ever
Posted by Bigcato on 03/27/2014
HOBBY AIRPORT HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I reserve a premium full size vehicle from thirty 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!
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Thrifty Purposely Misrepresent and Tries to Sneak in Fees
Posted by Hlapenn on 02/21/2014
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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Watch Your Credit Card Charges
Posted by Loveworldtravel on 11/19/2013
KAHULUI, HAWAII -- We rented a Jeep for our week in Maui. The rental agent ran my husband's debit card and told him that he didn't qualify for the rental. She then ran my card, on the same account, and said I did qualify. Didn't think much of it until that night and I checked our online banking, they charged BOTH of our cards for the rental! $431 each!!!!

I called Thrifty the next morning. The manager said she would look into it and call me back. I have YET to hear from her. I called Thrifty EVERY day of my vacation trying to get answers but NEVER got to speak with anyone. I did receive a voicemail from the manager asking me to call her back but she was never there when I called. The charges did get taken care of but management never let me know. My bank was actually the one to notify me the double charge was taken care of. But it wasn't fixed until after we got back.

We had to cancel some reservations for some things because we "lost" the $431 at the start of our trip. Very disappointed with management. Seems like a nice scam they have going on. Be very careful if you rent with Thrifty. WATCH the CHARGES on you cards!!!
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Posted by yoke on 2013-11-20:
The second charge may have been a deposit that gets taken off when the car is returned. I have had it happen to my credit card in the past with car rental places.
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Posted by Darendavenport on 08/28/2013
Recent experience with thrifty:
They make you click agree over a dozen times on electronic pad knowing no one reads them. I brought the car back full of gas but no receipt so they charged me $10.00 for gallon of gas. I complained and they told me I agreed to it so tuff luck. GO ELSEWHERE!
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Posted by cmthru on 2013-08-28:
Without a receipt they will charge an outrageous price per gallon. All the rental agencies do it.
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-08-29:
"click agree over a dozen times on electronic pad knowing no one reads them"

....and that's why you should read them!
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Over an Hour to Wait in Line for Car Pick Up!
Posted by Busycmr on 07/25/2013
Thrifty car rental has over an hour wait to pick up a car and we all have reservations! This is unprecedented and should not happen. Only two workers on line and twenty people in line. Each reservation is taking 7-10 min I will never rent from them again. Enterprise is right next to me and has no lines.
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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-07-25:
Maybe its because Enterprise has no more cars for rent.

I'm sure its not "unprecedented" as it happens with all rental companies at one time or another.
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Thrifty's Excessive "Administrative" Charges for Tolls on E-470
Posted by Fredthomas on 07/12/2013
DAYTON, OHIO -- When we rented a car from Thrifty for a 2-week trip, we asked at the counter for detailed information on toll charges. We expected to travel on E-470 around Denver, which we knew allowed ONLY electronic payment of tolls. The explanation at the rental desk was that we could pay either a flat $71.98 for 2 weeks of tolls, or pay the actual tolls plus a $15 administrative fee. Since we planned only 1 trip around E-470, the $15 charge seemed like a much better deal and that was what we elected.

Unfortunately, when the bill came over 2 months later, Thrifty charged us $15 FOR EACH TOLL PLAZA WE PASSED during the 47 mile trip, adding an extra $60 to the actual toll of $15.95.
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