Thrifty Car Rental Complaint - Thrifty San Juan Unethical Practice
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.