Dollar Rent A Car Systems, Inc. Informative - Customer service? What is that?
KONA, HAWAII -- Don’t be deceived by their internet deals. They will offer a lower price online, but rip you off once you get to their office.
Lured by their lower prices and attractive pictures, I reserved an “intermediate") car (“Sebring” or similar) through the Dollar website for our anniversary vacation in Kona, Hawaii.
We arrived at Dollar at 10:30 pm, after a long flight. There were only two workers helping a long line of tired customers. One of them had finished the car rental arrangements with two newlyweds (after convincing them to upgrade to a convertible car), and was describing tourist attractions throughout the island for about half an hour as the other (grumpy) worker helped customers.
After more than one hour waiting, my husband and I went outside to get our car. Only then we realize we made a mistake you should never never make: we did not ask what was the model/year/mileage and color of the vehicle before signing the rental agreement, assuming the company was a reputable one. Ha.
We walked through the hot parking lot to find not the new Sebring we expected, but a 30.000 mile beaten up old Stratus, which incidentally stopped being manufactured a few years back.
I do not drive a jalopy home, and was certainly not going to drive one in our vacation! I Marched back inside and asked to have the substandard vehicle exchanged for something less ancient.
First they said there was no other car in the same category as the one we reserved that was available. We could wait until one arrived, but they did not know when that would happen!! I guess they have only coconuts sitting on their desks, not computers…
I saw a new blue Sebring in the lot and asked if we could have that one instead of the Stratus. They said the Sebring was reserved for a “vip client”, and that there was nothing wrong with the car they gave us. I replied that if that was the case, the “vip client” would have no problem accepting it. But they did not bulge.
I then asked to downgrade our vehicle to a Caliber instead (economy category). They said if we changed categories there would be an increase on the price. I told them that was preposterous, since the Caliber belonged to an inferior category according to their own classification, and was cheaper online – I had checked the rates.
The lady gave me a simpering smile and her patented answer “I am very sorry you feel that way, madam.” But she was not sorry at all. She had the guts to lie to us and say the Caliber was more expensive because it had better gas mileage.
At the end, after much arguing and time wasted, they gave us a van with less than 10.000 miles, but it was dusty inside and smelled vomit.
Bottom line: stay away from Dollar when in Hawaii, unless you don’t care about service.