Thrifty Complaint - Scam and Fraud
NEW JERSEY -- On 8/12/07 I arrived at Manzanillo airport in Mexico, the Thrifty agent told me that the Orbitz rate of $71.98, under which I have reserved the car through Orbitz was wrong, it should have been $201. Left with no real choice at that airport, I agreed to the increase and signed the rental contract. I picked up a Dodge Stratus with 54,000 Km, it had a loud, clearly audible rumbling noise emanating from the front ends, and it felt excessively spongy and lethargic when it bounced over the many speed bumps on the road in Manzanillo; a strong indication that the shocks and struts were in very poor condition. Also the back seats were broken and sunk in when sat on. Nevertheless, given that it was Mexico, I assumed that it was nothing out of the ordinary to have a rental car in poor condition and high mileage. Besides, the 45 minutes drive between the airport and my hotel made me decided to just stick with it.
During the 7 days, from time to time, the car's lower right front panel would come unattached, I would just push it back in, to its mounting clips on upper panel, until it came off and just hanging loose again. At the end of my trip on 8/20/07, I drove it back to the airport, the AC stopped working, and a foot-long black rubber/plastic flap came off the hanging lower front panel, flapping in the wind and against the right front tire. Anyway, I was able to make it back to the airport and returned the car. After checking the car upon my report of the problems, the Thrifty manager told me that the oil pump was leaking oil because, she determined, that I must have run over something. She also mentioned dirty muddy water (which was from the rain in the previous several days and the muddy sections of some roads) -- and I will be responsible for the repair cost. I told her that since I was not offered to inspect the oil pump prior to renting, there was no way for me to know what was the condition of the oil pump, for all I know, the car could very well had an oil leak long before I picked up the car, therefore I would not pay for it.
She had since charged $1,425.23 on my credit card which I have filed a dispute with my credit card company. So there you have it -- Thrifty at Manzanillo airport used deceptive, low rates at Orbitz to lure renters, then charged the higher, normal rate once they showed up. Provided a beat-up junk that had numerous pre-existing mechanical problems through years of traveling the bumpy roads of Manzanillo. And, if something goes wrong as hoped and expected, then charge the renter for the repair costs.
Sounds like a classical third world fraud to cheat the tourists.