Overcharged and Ignored
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- I decided to shop price instead of Hertz, my home car rental company for many years. I chose Thrifty. It was a nightmare.
I arrived in Denver to pick up my car. It was February 6, 2010. To find my reservation, they had to use my confirmation email because they had lost it, including the credit card information I had given them in making the registration. I waited so long at the counter while they tried to find it, that the clerk gave me a bottled water! We finally just started over.
After I finally got ready to choose my upgraded car, they gave me my GPS - a plug in with a chord, not built into the car. It was new, so the counter person didn't know how to use it. I had to unpack it from its box and read the directions myself.
By this time, the clerk and I had hit it off, so we almost had a date. I never did take her up on the invitation to dinner, but she was the only good thing about Thrifty.
The car choice was not the promised upgrade as promoted to me when I made the reservation. Only 3 Hyundai Sonatas - all alike - were left. So, let's see, did I want Hyundai #1 with the yellow fabric seat covers, Hyundai #2 with the gray cloth seat covers, or Hyundai #3 with the dirty black seat covers! I chose the green one with yellow seats covers - not as garish as it sounds.
Before I left the counter, my friendly reservations specialist told me to go ahead and join the Blue Chip club before the end of my 17-day visit, because I would get a one-day refund credited at the check-out. I was surprised she hadn't asked me that during the check-in, since we had to start all over again, but I had my laptop and she gave me the website, so I thought I was all set. Yeah, right!
In Denver, unless you want to pay a fine, you have to avoid the toll roads, since its all pre-pay. Otherwise, Denver fines you $25 every time you get on, even if you didn't intend to. So, right out of the lot, I am trying to avoid the toll highway that leads away from the Denver airport. But, I can't get the GPS to give me an alternative route, so I just figure I'll take the first exit before the toll station. Well, that didn't work. I now owe Thrifty another 27.50 for my toll and fine. I got off the toll road immediately after getting on it, before the censors (I thought), but I guess not.
During the trip, the car was okay. Not as clean as I originally thought, and it was out of window washer fluid which I filled up when I took time to vacuum the car out the next day. A previous customer had left peanut shells under both front seats. I don't know, maybe the circus in town distracted the guy in charge of cleaning the car! Or, maybe it was a Republican, who knows!?
Before I turned in the car, I took time to register online for the 17th day discount by joining the Blue Chip club, but I got an email the day before I left saying the computer had been down, had lost my information, and would I please try again. Because it was just a day before taking the car back, I thought I better call customer service. I did.
After going through the usual queue of phone choices, verifying that I spoke English and all of that, I finally reached a customer service representative. She said she couldn't help. The computer was down and I would just have to try again. So, I did, assuming that I might get the chance the next day when returning the car to see my girlfriend at the counter and assure my 17th day discount. I also filled the car with gas before I went to bed the night before, as I was supposed to do.
When I returned the car, the place wasn't even open. It was 6:30AM and the only person at Thrifty to talk to me was the person receiving cars. I felt sorry for her. She could not speak English. So, figuring I would have to deal with this later, I just took my ticket from her hand-held computer, and walked to the bus and went to my plane.
Before I boarded the plane, I called Thrifty. As it turns out, I guess Oklahoma (Thrifty headquarters) wasn't open yet, so I got no help. Later in the day, however, I tried again and got the response that they would send me a Blue Chip discount for my next 17-day trip! Lovely.
I have since written two emails and one letter and heard nothing. I have never been able to join the Blue Chip club. And, would you believe that, in reviewing this file, I just noticed that they charged me for $50 extra for 20 gallons of gasoline, as if I had NOT filled the tank! The person who couldn't speak English had asked me if I had filled it. I said yes, but she must have marked "no."
Anyone out there know someone better than Thrifty?
207-775-1957 x105 (leave me a message)
Oh, and P.S. NOTE TO THRIFTY: A Hyundai Sonata only has a 17-gallon tank!