Priceline.com Complaint - No Help At All! Crooks!
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA -- My boyfriend and his family planned a vacation in June of 2008 to go on a Carnival Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean that was to leave out of Miami, Florida. My grandparent's and parents spend time in Okeechobee Florida during the winter so we decided to spend a few days down there with them before all of us were to embark on this cruise together. We agreed to fly into West Palm Beach International Airport, rent a car, and then drive Okeechobee from West Palm. My boyfriend said he would take care of the car rental arrangements. He decided that he would go to Priceline's website to book a rental car, in hopes of getting the car we desired for a lower price. Well, that was a mistake. My boyfriend booked a Full Size car through Avis by way of Priceline. He booked the car for 9 days total. He was using his own personal Progressive insurance. On Saturday, when we arrived at West Palm Beach Airport, we jumped on the Avis shuttle with 8 pieces of luggage and 4 carry on bags. At Avis in West Palm, my boyfriend waited in line to get to the counter.
After waiting, he waited some more. Time stood still as the line inched along. After reaching the counter and providing our reservation and confirmation numbers, Avis personnel led my boyfriend out to the parking lot to show him the car he would have as our rental. It was not a full size car by any means. My boyfriend went back inside and stood in line, again, the line inched along as time ticked by. My boyfriend again walked out into the parking lot with Avis personnel, and was directed to another car. Still, it was not a full sized car, but a mid sized car. Keep in mind, we had lots of luggage and needed space for all of it in the trunk. Again, my boyfriend went inside and waited in line to make sure that we were receiving the correct vehicle, that we had already reserved, because we knew that Avis was trying to pull a fast one on us. In the meantime, I called the number that Priceline provided us to find out what kind of cars they considered to be full size. It turns out that the Priceline number is absolutely no help at all unless you want to learn the melody of their advertisement. Discouraged and frustrated and anxious to start our vacation, my boyfriend's dad called Avis to find out what they considered a full size and or mid size vehicle.
Depending on the year, make and model of the car is how they classify it. Body styles and sizes of vehicles change over the year, but Avis' standards do not. After 2 whole hours of negotiating and arguing and haggling to find a car that would at least accommodate our luggage, not to mention, the 4 of us, Avis provided us with a Dodge Magnum. It was a tight squeeze, but we managed to get our luggage and ourselves into the car, and begin our hour long drive to Okeechobee. We were running 2 hours behind on our vacation, due to Avis and Priceline's song and dance and failure to provide any help to us, we were on our way. Well, here comes the fun part. On Sunday, my boyfriend was involved in a fender bender while driving the Dodge Magnum that Avis had provided for us. No one was injured but the car was no longer in driving condition. My boyfriend was ticketed due to the fact that the woman who hit him, her car's air bag deployed and in Okeechobee, their policy is that in that circumstance, they have to issue a ticket. So, we needed to have a car in order to drive from Okeechobee to Miami before 9am on Monday morning to get on our cruise ship for the remainder of our vacation. It's a Sunday night in a small town, no car rental businesses are open or available.
Now, the Okeechobee Sheriff's Department needed to have the Dodge Magnum moved off of the road, so they called a local towing company to come remove the car. Once my boyfriend's father got on the phone with Avis and told them what had happened, they told us that they could not do anything for us until the car that had been rented was car was returned to West Palm's Avis parking lot. The total towing cost for the car to be towed from Okeechobee to West Palm would be over $400.00. Ok, we would pay the towing if necessary without a guarantee that once the damaged car was returned to them, that they would have another suitable car to rent out to us, we didn't like the sound of that. Also, once Avis found out that my boyfriend received a ticket in the accident, they terminated the contract that he had with them.
We were stranded! They told us there was nothing they could do to help us because my boyfriend had received a ticket. After hours of making phone calls and arguing with Avis personnel, we still had no answers. They would not rent my boyfriend another vehicle, but they would rent another vehicle to another person over 25 in our party. Again, it's a Sunday night and no businesses in this small area are open or available. Furious and nervous about what would happen after finding out that Avis had basically stranded us and given us a bunch of "no" answers and failing to offer any sort of an alternative solution to our problem, we decided to take a gamble with the rest of our vacation, our cruise, and try to rent a vehicle from the local Okeechobee Enterprise first thing on Monday morning. Enterprise opened at 8am. We were there at 7:45am. By 8:10am, we had a 2008 Toyota Camry rental car with a full tank of gas and we were on our merry way to Miami for the remainder of our vacation.
At Enterprise, we arranged to drop the car off in Miami before our cruise and then pick up another vehicle the following Saturday upon our return. We dropped the car at Enterprise in Miami and we boarded the ship for our cruise. When we returned from our cruise we made our way over to the Enterprise office in the bottom of the Double Tree Hotel. In less than 45 minutes, we received a clean, 2008 Nissan Xterra with a full tank of gas and we were on our way. All of our luggage and all 4 of us were driving back to Okeechobee for our last night of vacation. So here is what I want to say, the people at Enterprise could not have been more professional, helpful or kind. And, the nice young man even upgraded our rental from a full size to and SUV without charge. He also offered us a free tank of gas, so we took him up on that offer. We were all in shock and absolute delight due to the treatment we received from Enterprise. It was like night and day compared to the terrible and frustrating service and lack of respect we had received while dealing with Avis and their Mickey Mouse operation.
The second Enterprise vehicle was wonderful and we had absolutely no problems returning it to the Enterprise office in West Palm Beach International Airport before boarding our flight back to Chicago. Bottom line, I will never ever ever ever allow anyone I know to attempt to book a rental vehicle through Priceline. Pay the extra money, it's worth it. Also, I would like to mention that I would rather walk over broken glass 1,000,000,000 miles than ever ever ever attempt to rent a car through Avis ever again. I cannot say enough positive and complimentary things to Enterprise and I cannot say enough negative things about Priceline and Avis. Enterprise is absolutely amazing and a pleasure to deal with, whereas, Priceline and Avis are the world's absolute worst nightmare. DO NOT SPEND YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON PRICELINE OR AVIS. WITH TOUGH TIMES AS THEY ARE, DUE TO THE ECONOMY, GIVE YOUR MONEY TO ENTERPRISE!! Enterprise provides the service that they say they will, and then some! They met and exceeded all of our expectations and we could not have been more pleased! Thank you Enterprise....Avis and Priceline....get your act together! You have lost 4 customers and everyone else that we choose to tell our story to. Thanks for nothing Avis and Priceline, YOU CROOKS!!