Thrifty Car Rental... NEVER AGAIN!!! Upon retirement I wanted to visit Ireland again to just meander around and play golf when the weather permitted in mid November. Prior to the trip, I contacted my credit card company to make certain I had the same conditions for insurance as the last time we went. Visa assured me I need not purchase any insurance as by using the card I was covered. Visa actually snail mailed a letter for me to take as proof of insurance.
Months before I had reserved a compact car for my sojourn around Ireland – just large enough for a set of golf clubs and a satchel of clothes for the great price of $99.00 for the week. Of course, the first thing the counterman talked me into was a slightly larger vehicle for only $29.00 more for the week. Why not? I took it.
Next came the question of insurance. So far my bill for the week was going to be $128.00. Not bad for one week of transportation. When asked if I needed insurance I proudly presented my letter from Visa indicating I was covered. The counterman scanned the letter and with a slight degree of one-up-manship stated, “We don't accept Visa insurance.” Not a, “I'm sorry sir, but” or “Unfortunately, sir,” just, “We don't accept Visa insurance.”
But… but, my letter. "It says I don't need to buy any other insurance." Long story short – I'm in a foreign country and some pre-adult with pimples is telling me, “Well, if you get in an accident, you will have to pay for the entire cost.” What do you do??? You buy their insurance. (Now, this insurance is to cover me if I get in an accident.) AND, “Do you also want the insurance in case the windscreen is broken, vandalism to the car, the car is stolen, the tires get shredded, and any other unforeseen problems that may arise?” This is insurance for anything else that happens that is not an accident with another vehicle. Again, I'm in a foreign country, it's suggested I get it. I get it.
All told: the car rental was $128.00 for the week. The insurance I had to buy was $351.00 for the week bringing my car rental to a grand total of $479.00. Hell, my airfare from Chicago O'Hare to Dublin was only $455.00!!! I walked away from the counter feeling screwed, totally screwed. But what were the options? Not being one to let things go easily, it took a few days to forget about it.
UNTIL I got home. One of my first calls once I was in my own car was to VISA to find out what the problem was only to find out the only problem was with THEFTY, I mean Thrifty. I was covered. What I should have done was to refuse the insurance, but at the time, I felt I was behind a rock and a hard place.
I called customer service at Thefty, I mean Thrifty, to lodge a complaint and attempt to get my insurance money back and was informed the fine print indicated only MasterCard Gold and Platinum were accepted. Claim denied. I called my VISA card again and was told my VISA insurance would have covered any claim whether Thefty, I mean Thrifty, would take it or not.
I once had my car broken into a number of years ago and felt like many do under the circumstances – violated. That's exactly how I felt when I found out the truth. Thrifty undoubtedly owns the insurance company and makes more off the insurance than they do in renting cars.
I will never, under any condition, ever rent another car from THEFTY, I mean Thrifty. What they did borders on fraud and theft. Their representative at the counter lied, out and out lied to me; and to how many others? What should have been a $128.00 transaction turned into $479.00. I suggest you “STAY AWAY from THRIFTY CAR RENTAL!!”
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.
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.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- You're 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 websites. 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.
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!!!!!
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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. Thrifty.com 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.