National Car Rental Complaint - Car Rental Rip-Off and Customer Service Fraud
MERIDA, MEXICO -- I had reserved a rental car through National Car Rental through their website before I travelled to Merida.
Problem #1:The confirmation page said: Pick-Up Location: Merida Int'l Airport and Drop-Off Location: Merida Int'l Airport. Upon arriving at the airport, there were 5 or 6 auto rental offices within the airport, but no National Car Rental. I inquired, and was told that National Car Rental does not have a location in the airport, yet their information on the confirmation said they did. Though I should have just booked a car from a company that did have an office at the airport, I decided to take a taxi into Merida, approximately 10 miles away, to the National Car Rental office, costing me about $10 USD.
Problem #2: I gave the clerk (Victor) at National's office my confirmation and he looked it up. He had no explanation for the erroneous information about the "airport location" other than to tell me, "We don't have a location at the airport." Great...thanks, Victor. He proceeded to calculate the rates and added the "optional" insurance collision coverage at approximately $20 USD per day. I told him I would waive the coverage because my corporate Diners Club/Mastercard covered it. Six months earlier, I had no problem waiving the insurance at the same location and my corporate card agreement specifically covers it. This time, I was told by Victor that the "optional" coverage was mandatory and that he would not rent me a car if I didn't accept the "optional-mandatory" insurance. We went through this many times and I reiterated that the same office rented me a vehicle six months earlier and I waived the "optional" insurance as I had the right to, but, I suppose being motivated by his personal greed, maintained he would not rent me a car unless I paid the extra $20 USD per day for 16 days. The clerks must be commission-driven to sell the collision insurance and I had every right to waive it. The last time at National Car Rental, they simply ran an imprint of my credit card, then tore it up after inspecting the car when I returned it. After much frustration, I decided to take the car, pay the fee, then address it with National Car Rentals customer service department when I returned.
Problem #3 I wrote to National's customer service through their website's email address and explained the problem. They didn't disagree with the point I was making until they denied my request for a refund two weeks later after I sent all the documentation they asked for (rental agreement, receipts, etc.) and I also sent them a copy of my corporate card terms & conditions, which specifically said that ut covers collision damages. They gave me a bunch of legalese, denying me the refund of the "optional-mandatory" coverage for approximately $250 USD. All they offered was to pay the $10 USD for the taxi from the airport, which was an insult. I got the impression that they were nervous about authorizing the small refund and more concerned about their little refund budget. It's embarrasssing for National Car Rental to have to take over 2 weeks to answer a simple question...why was I charged for insurance when I should have been able to waive it??? Then...come up with a bunch of garbage to save themselves a few hundred dollars.
I am a frequent traveler and work in a Top 10 Fortune company and associate with many business travelers. Everyone I have spoken to said that I should have been able to waive the fee and save the $250 USD, including our travel planners. I really feel like I was ripped off by a greedy, commission-driven sales clerk who committed customer service fraud and was supported by the National Car Rental customer service department.