Fox Rent A Car Complaint - You Have to Read this to Believe It
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- Below you will find a letter I sent to the President of Fox Rent a Car, Mike Jaberi, more than 24 hours ago.
My letter describes our experience with his company in agonizing detail. I am posting this because I have not heard back from ANYONE at "Slimy Like a Fox Rent A Car".
I know it's lengthy and I apologize for that. I needed to make sure it was all detailed. I hope this helps you. In hindsight, spending the extra money with a reputable company would have been very wise. After all, you get what you pay for.
As an aside. In my "after the fact" research on Fox - as I was trying to recover from buyer's remorse - I found that Mr. Jaberi and his senior managers were sued in 2006. In a nut shell, they installed GPS tracking devices in vehicles. In the small print - each customer who traveled out of California and three surrounding states would be assessed a $50.00 fee and $.35 per mile penalty for going out of the area (despite the fact that they paid for unlimited mileage.) Nearly every customer was charged and fees averaged $400 per customer - more than the cost of the rental. The People of the State of California sued and won. What dirt bags.
May 5, 2011
Dear Mr. Jaberi,
I am bringing the following information to your attention as a courtesy before I "tweet", blog, review, etc. my experience with your company.
I reserved a car with your company to be picked up after 11:00 pm on April 16, 2011 in San Diego and returned April 26, 2011 in Los Angeles.
On April 16 our flight from Buffalo, NY to San Diego was seriously delayed. I phoned your customer service center twice - once at 1:00 pm (est) and once at 5:00 pm (est) to inform your representative that our flight was delayed and we would not be picking the car up on time. Each time I asked whether or not I needed to provide my reservation number and name. Each time I was told "no" that our reservation would be held until 9:00 am (pacific time) the next day - April 17.
On April 17 we finally arrived in San Diego and made our way to your rental office. The customer service representative told us that our reservation had been canceled. When I told him I called and tried to change it, he said he was very sorry but he was currently "sold out".
My husband and I spent the next 30 minutes negotiating with him. Amazingly, he said he could free up a Jeep Wrangler and figure something out for the poor slob who would be his next customer (he didn't use those words but it was clear.) However, it would cost us an additional $50.00 per day. For obvious reasons we were not happy with this arrangement. When we objected, his next offer was to "figure something else out" and agreed to give it to us for an additional $20.00 per day.
I don't know if you ever spent nearly 36 hours in airports with two teenage girls but I can tell you at that point I was willing to accept this arrangement. My husband was not. I spoke with my husband and assured him that I would contact your customer service office after the trip. (The calls I made to your office were stored in my cell phone.) I was sure that I could recoup the difference after I spoke with someone in customer service.
When I mentioned these details, your agent interrupted and agreed, at last, to give us the Jeep Wrangler at the same price we were supposed to pay for a full size car - a base rate of $166.24 for the week - despite the fact that our trip was one day shorter than when I reserved the car. Having no knowledge of what was to come, I let that go.
We hesitated on the Wrangler, only because we were doing a lot of driving - up and down the coast and we were concerned about the gas mileage. Your agent assured us the Wrangler did as well as a full size car - 25 miles to the gallon and we would love it. He also explained your pre-paid gas policy. Pre-pay one tank of gas at your rate - $.30 a gallon less than the going rate and bring the car back with an empty tank.
Off we went.
The first mis-statement was that the Wrangler gets 25 miles to the gallon. Absolutely not. We drove from San Diego to Sequoia National Park and then down to Los Angeles. The best we did was about 18 miles/gallon.
We returned the car in Los Angeles on April 26 and our total cost ended up at $443.33 - a significant difference than what we expected.
Looking at the details I had two concerns - the extra day we paid for and the prepaid tank of gas.
We were charged $4.20 per gallon and paid $94.50. This means we were charged for a 22 gallon tank. So, I did what any concerned consumer would do. I completed the feedback form your team sent me on April 28. I did not hear back. I waited about a week and called your customer service office. The woman I spoke with spent about 15 minutes telling me that the gas price ($4.20) and the tank size (22.5) added to $94.50. I patiently tried to explain to her that "I KNEW THAT" but I also knew that a Wrangler has an 18.6 gallon tank and the highest gas prices in Los Angeles (according to the US Dept of Energy) topped in at $4.38 per gallon. You do the math.
When this woman didn't budge, I asked to speak with the Customer Service Manager. I was transferred directly in to his voice mail. I left a message explaining my problem. I waited two days and I did not hear back. I called again today (at 11:45 AM eastern time) and asked to speak with the customer service manager. The woman I spoke with told me he was on another line and would call me as soon as possible.
Now, it is 1:32 PM eastern time. That must have been one long phone call. This brings me to you.
I find this entire experience unacceptable and I pray you do as well. I can be reached by phone or email. My phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. My original reservation number was XXXX-XXXXX. If I don't hear from you I will assume that you agree with your customer service team.
Thank you for your time.