National Car Rental Complaint - Auto Rental and Timeshare sales in Mexico
SAN JOSE DEL CABO -- Below is a copy of a letter I sent to the National Car Rental customer service department.
Before traveling to Mexico, consider taking the bus to your hotel!
COMPLAINT LETTER REGARDING NATIONAL CAR RENTAL AGENCY AT SAN JOSE DEL CABO AIRPORT
Dear Customer Service Department:
I recently took a trip to Cabo San Lucas and rented a car from your agency at the San Jose Del Cabo airport (SJD). When I made the reservation prior to the trip, no mention was made of the company’s policies and rates regarding Mexican travel insurance. I recently looked on the National Car Rental website and found no written policies regarding the need for Mexican car insurance there either.
Here is my situation:
I arrived at the rental agency rather late at night and was told by the National Car agent at the airport desk to go outside, where I would be met by their van. I was warned not to speak to anyone on the way out of the airport, as they would be trying to engage me in signing up for a timeshare presentation. I eventually worked my way through the crowd of “timeshare hawkers” to meet the driver of the van. Upon arriving at the National Car Rental offsite office, I was chagrined to hear from the agent that I would have to take out Mexican auto insurance at the double the rate of the daily cost of the rental car (20 American dollars per day, in addition to the daily cost of the car). When I tried to argue that my credit card company and American auto insurance company would cover the cost of an accident, I was told that the only way I would be able to take the car off the premises was to allow the agent to place a $2,000.00 imprint of my credit card on file with their office. In addition, if an accident occurred, he told me that I would immediately be charged with the total cost of the car, until such time as my own insurance issued a check for any damages. I was told that the car I had rented (a tiny, poorly maintained vehicle) cost in the neighborhood of $30,000.00, and that I would need to be prepared to come up with that amount of money in case of an accident.
Now here’s the most infuriating part: He was willing to give us a $200.00 voucher to cover the cost of the insurance, provided that we sign up for, and attend, a timeshare presentation at the Sheraton in Cabo San Lucas. Apparently, after all of the admonitions NOT to speak to timeshare agents, we were, in fact, dealing with a timeshare agent all along; and that person was disguised a rental car agent with your company.
After returning to the United States, I learned that the only type of Mexican insurance I needed to purchase was liability insurance, in the event that I might injure someone with my vehicle; in fact the expensive comprehensive insurance package he pushed on us ended up negating any insurance that would have been provided by my credit card and auto insurance agency in the United States.
It was late at night; there was no cab in sight; and we were, quite frankly, frightened into signing all of the papers and attending the high-pressure timeshare presentation just to cover the unnecessary cost of the insurance. That presentation ended up costing us a full morning of our vacation, not to mention a high-priced gas bill in traveling from San Jose Del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas.
I believe that National Car Rental owes me the cost of the Mexican insurance that was unnecessarily foisted upon us under false pretenses by an agent with clear conflicts of interests.
I also believe that Nation Car Rental should make all information regarding the need for Mexican insurance explicit on their website, and caution renters to check with their credit card companies and auto insurance agencies before renting vehicles. The fees for such insurance should also be clearly posted along with the daily rental car rates.
Finally, I believe that National Car Rental should make sure that all of their agents are clearly working for the renal company, and NOT FOR TIMESHARES OR OTHER BUSINESSES.
Should you desire to reimburse us for the cost of the insurance, I will happily provide you with the necessary paperwork.
I look forward to your immediate response to my complaint.