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Thrifty Car Rental Deceptive Practices
By -

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 trip saver 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... BE AWARE!!!!

I am writing to the US Attorney General, Consumer Complaint Bureau, the NYS Attorney General and my congressman and also the Florida Consumer Complaint Bureau. Thrifty car rental will not get away with these deceptive actions. And I must add one customer service rep offered me (2) $10 coupons for future rentals... and my trouble!!!!!

Racist Shuttle Bus Driver
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

Misleading and Dishonest Business Operations
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
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 returned 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 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!

Thrifty Car Rental Is Completely unethical...
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- I rented a car from Thrifty through Expedia. This was an international car rental for the Copenhagen, Denmark 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.

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.


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.

Lost & Found
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HEBRON, KENTUCKY -- I rented a car the day before Thanksgiving. I took the car back on the following Sunday. On the day I went to get a car I heard people in the line at the counter complaining that the two car that they were trying to rent had problems and they were pissed. By the time me and my son got to the counter we were given a car that smelled like someone had sex in it.

So at that point we went back in and had to upgrade to a different vehicle which nothing was wrong with. I had no issues with the vehicle that I eventually rented. My problem is when I returned my car no one inspected it so we went into Thrifty to drop off the keys which we had to wait for thirty minutes because they only had one employee working behind the desk and that was frustrating. Well I will get to my point - I dropped my car off, left and noticed that I left a bag in the back seat. And since it was the next morning I thought it would be no problem getting it back. The only problem is you can't reach the lost and found supervisors unless you call for a week.

I left several message he never returned my call. And when I finally reached him he told me that he would investigate it and call me back which he never did. Which is unprofessional. I then reported it to upper management which later sent me an email explaining that they are not responsible for lost items are left in the vehicles which is unacceptable to me because I dropped my vehicle off on Sunday, I noticed my bag missing on Monday morning, and you can't tell me where my bag is. By the way, had two hundred dollars worth of Christmas presents in.

The point is whoever checked the vehicle in stole my bag or whoever checked it out stolen my bag. So I am going to let everyone I know even though it is a small amount of money it is the principle to me. And since I had gifts for my family that they didn't receive I am very upset. So people beware. Don't rent a car at Cincinnati Airport CVG Thirty car rentals because they don't care about the little people and have dishonest people working for them.

Thrifty Car Rentals Review - You rent a car, but the deal is a bomb!
By -

LISBON -- In February 2011, I rented a time bomb from Thrifty Car Rentals. I thought I was renting a car, that was what I booked but Thrifty fooled me. After the first 200 kilometers, the car started to fail and my wife and I had a tough time for 15 days!

I was with my wife in Portugal and decided to rent a car with Thrifty to go to Spain. Our road trip started on a cold rainy day of winter and the first thing to fail was the air conditioning. Have you tried to drive a car when it's cold outside without air conditioning? Well, the windshield gets dangerously foggy and the only way to fix this is by opening the window. Thank god I was in Spain and not in Canada. It was "only" 9ºC (48º F) outside. Blood doesn't freeze at this temperature. But that was only the beginning...

The next day I noticed that one of the tires was flat so I filled it up. But that tire was actually losing air permanently and gradually so I had to do that everyday for two weeks. And the reason is because Thrifty doesn't offer assistance to their clients in Spain even though I was only 200 kilometers away from their closest agency, they didn't offer (or accepted, after I asked) to send me a replacement car. Instead, they told me I should fix their vehicle myself! When I finally got back to Lisbon and expressed my discontent, they didn't care much and just offered a miserable 20% discount as a deal to get rid of me.

The amount would be refunded directly to my credit card account and that's when I was fooled again. I should have known they would never reimburse me. They were only trying to get rid of a complaining client before another sucker came in to burn his money away with them. But I was still hopeful, trusting on the company and thinking that was an isolated problem when one month Iater, I sent an email through their website at. explaining what happened.

Few days later they confirmed my fear when I read their answer saying that was not their problem and I should deal straight with their agency at Lisbon. As if Thrifty Portugal at Lisbon was not really Thrifty. It's really disappointing. I recommend this company to be a (bad) case of study for business schools around the world.

A Complete Rip Off, Avoid at All Costs!
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40 LEE BURBANK HIGHWAY, REVERE, MASSACHUSETTS -- Guaranteed to rip you off. Avoid at all costs! We booked a small SUV over the internet for round about $300 but when we arrived Thrifty played what I now know to be a common scam of theirs. Apparently, they didn't have our SUV in stock so were upgrading to the next sized model free of charge. We paid another $100 for an additional driver, another $60 for an infants car seat and another $120 to hire a sat nav. An American friend of mine later told me you can buy sat navs in the US for less than $60. Another little scam they play is to charge you for a full tank of fuel. Their price for a full tank of fuel in my case was about $15 more than a tank of fuel actually cost.

This wasn't mentioned anywhere when I booked the car. And now we come to the big sting. When we returned the car they'd charged us $120.00 for upgrading to a larger SUV. There was a black guy named Joe managing this particular branch near Boston Logan and guess what, he didn't even have the authority to authorize a refund and we'd have to get in touch with Head Office. So we have a branch manager with no financial authorization level whatsoever; well at least when it comes to dealing with refunds. More annoying was that he was completely ignoring my complaints and focusing on another member of our party who was trying the softly softly approach.

This guy had clearly developed a thick skin from dealing with irate customers. Of course we'd signed for the upgrade when we took the car so had consented to having the additional $120 dollars debited (or so we were told). Trust me when I say there was no room for misunderstanding. It couldn't have been made any clearer that the upgrade was free due to it being their fault. Why are they even booking cars out when they know they're already booked? Thrifty are amongst the worst companies I've ever dealt with. They think nothing of accepting bookings for cars they don't have and then rip you off for an upgrade. A $300 car ended up costing us over $700! I say again, avoid at all costs!

Think Twice Before Returning Slightly Damaged Vehicle Prior to End of Rental Agreement
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KAHULUI, HAWAII -- After incurring accidental damage to a Thrifty rental vehicle during my last vacation to Maui Hawaii, I acted in good faith and proceeded to the nearest Thrifty location in order to report the incident and to evaluate the damage in compliance with what I thought to be Thrifty's policy for damage to its rental vehicles during a rental. The vehicle was in driving condition. Upon arrival at Thirfty's Kahului HI location, I was told by the attendant that I had to “sign off on my contract” and pay all fees. I was asked to terminate the rental agreement, despite me verbalizing objection.

I was told I was not allowed/eligible to rent a replacement vehicle until the aforementioned Thrifty location had evaluated the damage incurred by me to the rental vehicle. I filled out the incident report where I provided evidence of double (auto) insurance coverage and reassured the attendant that I had a clean driving record and that I'm a very careful driver at all times. The attendant proceeded to offer my travel companion a replacement vehicle, assuming we were together and/or that we would spend the rest of our time in Hawaii together. My travel companion accepted the offer as it was our only option at the time.

The weekly rate pre-negotiated in my initial reservation was not honored as both my friend and I were charged a higher “daily rate”. Thrifty's policy regarding damage to rental vehicles doesn't seem to address continuation of the rental agreement in such circumstances, exchange for another vehicle or possible termination of rental. I felt humiliated and coerced to change my vacation plans given the way Thrifty Kahului handled the aforementioned incident.

I believe Thrifty Kahului interpreted and enforced Thrifty's policy on damage to its rental vehicles in a way to materialize financial gain at my expense and suffering. It is my hope that other responsible, fully insured drivers who may unfortunately cause accidental damage to Thrifty's rental vehicles are not treated the unfair way I was. Thrifty should offer such clients a reasonable solution in a time of hardship instead of maximizing profits at the financial and emotional expense of its clients.

Charged for Something I NEVER Agreed To
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- I was in for a convention in Anaheim, but flew into Los Angeles. I got a package through Expedia and PAID for my rental car with Thrifty within this vacation package. Upon my arrival to Thrifty the clerk asked my boyfriend and I if we wanted any addition coverages and we specifically said NO. We had our own insurance and we were only driving to Anaheim and parking it at the hotel anyway. The clerk asked my boyfriend to initial where he was told, next to the declined areas. Before he signed anything, I asked twice if we would be billed for anything. He said no, just if we violated any state laws.

I purposely asked for a third time because he barely spoke English and he said no. The only thing on my credit card was a $400 hold in case we didn't return the car. Fine, little did we know what PPP and LDW1 means we trusted the clerk and initialed where he asked. The day we returned the car, I asked the guy who was looking over the car if we are getting charged for the 5 days we rented the car. He said no. I got a receipt and it said net owed ZERO. Great, I wasn't lied to. Little did I know returning back from my trip, I was doing my bills and I happened to look at my credit card statement. 2 days later I was charged $146.63 for something I agreed to.

I called customer service and this woman was RUDE and I told her to not take that tone with me and told her I didn't agree to anything. She then sends me of a copy of the receipt I already had. My boyfriend looked over both receipts and we found that we supposedly agreed to liability insurance and loss damage. WE HAVE INSURANCE, why would we get double what we had?? These initials that they have on the receipt forms are completely bogus and doesn't tell you anything (UMP SLI PPP). This clerk make it clear that we declined and waived all extra costs, yet we get billed and now this is my problem??? Guess again, the BBB is next to know about this.

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Thrifty Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.0 out of 5, based on 28 ratings and
113 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
5330 E. 31st St.
Tulsa, OH 74135
918-660-7700 (ph)
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