Tricolor Complaint - With tricolor, the customer is always wrong!
SAN JOSE ALAJUELA COSTA RICA -- I just had a bad experience with Tricolor Car Rental near the main airport (SJO) in Costa Rica. We rented a SUV and the next day after a morning of driving to Poas Volcano, the brakes started to fail! I've been driving for over thirty years, and I don't believe I've ever had this happen before--believe me, it was scary. The first time I pressed them to the floor and the vehicle kept on moving was the worst, but I found that the brakes sometimes worked, although as I kept using them they became more and more worthless.
It took most of the day, but I managed to make it back to Tricolor (after putting my wife, baby, and grandparents on a bus back to my house), and told the Tricolor representative what happened. They said they would explain the situation to their boss, **name removed**, and that I should call him the next day.
I tried to get through to him the next day but the line was busy, and I tried again the following day, and finally spoke to him.
His manner was smug, and he didn't even apologize for the vehicle. On the contrary, he said the brakes overheated because I don't know how to drive in Costa Rica (by the way, I've been living here for 5 years, and have been driven in all kinds of terrain over the many years I've had a license), and that he was charging me a day rate of $80 for the one day I had the car.
This was $15 higher than the daily rate he'd orginally rented me the car for! (We had planned to have it for a week.) I also had given him a receipt for $40 of gas I'd put in the car--I'd rented it half full and returned it full--and he wouldn't refund my gas money!
In conclusion: no apology, no refund, no discount, no gas reimbursement. Just a smug attitude that seemed to suggest: we've already charged your credit card and you have no recourse. And it's true: this isn't worth spending hours on the phone with American Express about.
BUT I WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO KNOW THAT THEY SHOULD AVOID TRICOLOR!
By the way, avoid Economy Car Rental in Costa Rica also. My friend had a similar bad experience with them when he agreed to extra insurance but then realized a few days later that he didn't need it because his credit card already covered it. He went back there to remove the insurance, and they did so, but they wound up charging him for it anyway. Six months later, after countless calls, AMEX disputes, etc., he still hasn't gotten his full refund, which should have been substantial because he rented the car for a month.
I don't know if there are ANY good car rental companies in Costa Rica, but I can speak from personal experience that Tricolor and Economy are to be avoided.