Thrifty Complaint - St Maarten Thrifty Attempted ripoff.
5310 E. 31ST ST TULSA,, OKLAHOMA -- This letter is to make sure that Thrifty Car Rental 102 Airport road Simpson Bay In St Maarten N. A. doesn't attempt to make an additional false charge against my Visa. The charge of 131.01 is $5.91 over what my paperwork from Expedia shows would be the total cost of the rental car.
I will forward copies of any paperwork that is necessary including the reservation from Expedia after you have had the opportunity to read this letter, look at the pictures and their associated descriptions concerning the false charge I believe Thrifty will attempt to charge against my account number 000-000-000-000-.
My husband and I arrived in St Maarten late afternoon on May 17th and proceeded to Thrifty Rental to pick up our car reserved through Expedia for seven days to return on the May 24th 2011. We were the first people to the rental counter. We had arrived first we were the last to leave of 7 couples arriving with us to pick up cars.
The person waiting on us was new and didn't understand the computer system well. We showed him the reservation made through Expedia showing a total dollar figure and he didn't know how to back into the number in his software.
We decided to take the car and speak with Expedia to resolve the overcharge after we returned. We were given a car we looked over the car found dents and scratches had them noted on the proper form and left. When we arrived at Simpson Bay Resort we found out there wasn't a door handle to open the passenger side door.
We learned that Thrifty maintains a desk at the resort from the resort front desk personnel. We found the person manning the desk and explained the lack of a door handle. He called the main office where we rented after we showed him the lack of a handle on the passenger door he told us told us he had another car for us outside. The resort rental person wrote out a damage transfer sheet showing we were getting another car we were told to keep our original contract with it.
The day before we were to turn the car in we drove down the hill from the resort to go to breakfast . I noticed the car would lurch rather than take off smoothly. I took the car into the rental agent at the resort desk as he was close. The agent explained he didn't have a car that day at the resort, he further explained we would have to take it back to the main office a couple of miles down the road.
I asked him to drive the car before we took it to the main office I was concerned that the car was not safe. He was reluctant to test drive the car but eventually obliged us my husband jumped in the car with him.
He took off at a high rate of speed on the resort ramp leading from the front desk. My husband asked him to slow down as it was more noticeable at slow speeds and it was dangerous to drive fast where so many people were walking. He stopped driving fast than he noticed the lurching as we had.
My husband was reluctant to drive the car he suspected the transmission. We didn't want to be stranded between the resort and the rental place. The resort agent assured us the car was low on transmission fluid and said the car would make it to the rental office no problem.
Any other car rental company would bring you a car or have the vehicle towed to their location. This company has no concept of service or safety.
We pulled up to the rental office an employee came and we explained what the vehicle was doing. He got into the vehicle drove it back and forth it did the same thing. He went into the office to arrange another car. A few minutes later another man came out and saw some fluid on the ground near the left front tire.
He drove the car around the corner to the wash area my husband and I followed. My husband told them he wanted the car jacked up so he could take a closer look as long as they were accusing him of damaging the vehicle they complied.
After jacking the vehicle up the mechanic with the agent standing there looked at my husband and said you have hit the oil pan. We both replied that we hadn't hit anything, My husband knelt down and looked he could see the plastic cover that is supposed to protect the oil pan was completely eaten away. My husband responded that the entire bottom of the plastic cover was worn away he also pointed out that the dents and scratches in the oil pan were rusted not shiny metal as you would have if the damage was recent. My husband brought his face closer to the pan asked the mechanic and the rental agent to come closer he again pointed out that there was no new damage showing that all the scrapes were rusted over the front leading edge was scaly rust it had been there along time with no new bare shiny metal showing. He also pointed out that there were no puncture holes or oil on the pan.
The mechanic said yes it is rusty but it wasn't leaking. My husband replied again that we had not hit anything that this was obviously old damage he also stated that we were able to drive the vehicle to the rental place without the engine seizing.
My husband stated again that the agent at the resort rental desk said the transmissions oil was low and that was the cause of the lurching. My husband stated the oil must be leaking from the filler bolt on the pan or from somewhere above. He repeated there is no puncture holes on the pan and no oil showing anywhere on the pan.
My husband is a Private Investigator he is accustomed to running investigations and asking questions to obtain answers. He had the feeling they were going to attempt to run a scam by the way they were acting prior to him asking them to jack up the car.
They stopped answering his questions.
While the vehicle was jacked up my husband continued to take pictures of the dented rusty bottom of the pan and it's worn out cover. He then told the rental company he wanted the plastic cover removed so he could look closer and take photos even though the cover was worn away from the bottom my husband wanted to see the sides of the pan they complied removing the cover. They wouldn't say anymore about the vehicle they asked us to leave the wash area.
They brought us another car my husband took a beach towel I was holding to transfer to the new car and lied down on it on the ground in front of the vehicle after getting the man's attention. He ran his hand on the inside bottom of the plastic cover. When he pulled his hand out it was full of oil from this replacement vehicle.
The plastic cover had a crack approximately 8 inches long but not completely worn away. The man than told my husband I will get you another vehicle. He brought around another car of the same make and model my husband lay on the ground again ran his hand on the same location again his hand came out covered in oil. This plastic cover also had a crack which my husband photographed.
At this point my husband who is usually reserved and quiet said what kind of a racket do you have going here, attempting to blame me for a leaking pan that all of the vehicles you bring out have.
The man said nothing he brought around an upgraded much newer vehicle. Again my husband got on the ground ran his hand this time the plastic cover was not cracked and no oil was leaking. Before leaving they asked my husband to write out a statement my husband said I have nothing to report we did not hit anything he told them he could not report what he did not do.
He told them that it is obvious that you don't inspect or provide proper maintenance to your vehicles' as I has just found two more with the same defect. The man from the car rental said they wouldn't give us a car unless we wrote out a statement. My husband wrote out exactly what he told them that he had nothing to report. I have a copy of the statement my husband wrote.
The following day was our day of departure we came to return the car we were given the day before. My husband started the check in process. When you rent the car Thrifty requires their customers to allow them to take two separate imprints of your card on credit card slips. On one of the credit card slips they write the contract amount. On the other slip they write 850.00 dollars or leave it blank I can't remember and require you to sign both. They said when we left the island they would give the slip back to us that represented the deposit to tear up.
We finished the checking out my husband said you haven't given me the deposit credit slip you asked us to sign. The man replied that it looks like you have a damage report here. My husband replied that we had not damaged the car and suggested that the man read the statement my husband wrote.
My husband asked to speak to the manager they said he was at a meeting and encouraged us to call their customer service number. My husband told them that they wouldn't be able to get away with what they were doing that he had taken pictures of all of the leaking cars they had attempted to give him prior to giving him the upgraded car. He told the agent he wanted to show these pictures to the manager. This agent replied again that the manager was in a meeting. We had to go to the airport to catch our flight and left.
I'm attaching the pictures along with the explanations of each picture my husband wrote. The pictures show the vehicles oil pan area they attempted to say we damaged, the other vehicles they brought out that were leaking oil and the final vehicle we took which was clean and dry.
This company needs to be stopped my husband will be sending these pictures to Expedia, as well as Visa. His intention is to send this package to Thrifty headquarters, Media outlets, and the Insurance Industry to learn if Thrifty or Dollar at the same St Maarten address (companion businesses under the same roof) have made similar claims against other unsuspecting innocent people and got away with it.
Thank you, Chris Birchall
The following descriptions are of pictures I took of the area where we were being accused of hitting the oil pan. Unfortunately I'm not able to post these pictures here but reading the description will give you an accurate picture of the scam Thrifty in St Maarten was attempting to pull against us.
IMG 6572 This picture shows the underside of the pan and worn away plastic cover while still attached to the vehicle. In this light it is difficult to see the rust in the scratches on the bottom of the pan. If you look at the raised circle closest to your view you will see a tinge of red. The next pictures were taken after I told the company to remove the plastic cover so I could see the entire pan. I changed the camera to flash and the macro setting so the colors would show true. This picture and the following pictures prove that this damage happened at a much earlier time. The protective cover has obviously been hit many times before as it is completely worn away. There is rust on the pan where the scrapes are not shiny metal. If the damage were recent it would be shiny metal not rusted over. There is no oil on the pan that they claimed we hit while driving this car. The following pictures with the pan cover removed tell the whole story this companies employees are attempting to collect money from innocent people they are committing fraud.
IMG 6576 This picture is of the same vehicles pan taken by laying the camera flat on the ground using the macro setting and shooting straight up with the flash. It clearly proves that the damage to this vehicle took place a long time ago as deeply embedded rust is in the scraped areas. Notice you don't see any puncture holes or oil leaking anywhere on this pan.
IMG 6582 This is a picture of the protective cover laying on the ground after I asked the rental company to remove it so I could see the pan clearly. It is clear that this cover is completely missing only the sides are intact.
IMG 6583 This picture was taken Immediately after they removed the plastic cover so I could get a better look. What I find interesting is I don't see any oil at all on this pan. All I see is old rusty damage. This is not a transmission pan this is the oil pan for the engine. We reported that the vehicle was lurching forward which they stated the transmission was low on oil. If the engine oil pan had drained the engine would have heated and seized up. There was no check engine light on, the engine ran fine. The oil pan and transmission fluid pan are two separate and distinct systems on any vehicle. They are not connected in any manner in any vehicle. The fluids are completely different a transmission uses transmission fluid the engine uses oil. If you look closely at the rear and the right side of the pan in IMG 6583 you will see to shiny spots like oil has dripped down the sides from somewhere up above and has run partially onto the bottom . Also there is no damage what so ever in these two areas. It appears to me that oil is dripping from something leaking above that can't be seen. There are no puncture holes anywhere on this pan in the metal only scrapes. It is possible that the mechanic failed to tighten the filler bolt after he added oil. It looks as though there may be a slight amount of oil at the bottom of the bolt. But you don't see any oil blown back onto the pan which proves the oil is coming from above.
IMG6575 This picture is of the damaged protective cover still bolted to the vehicle. I placed this picture out of sequence to point out the oil stain in the upper left hand corner. Please notice the oil stain in the top left corner is not touching or near the pan. The oil pan stops and the corner where this stain is several inches behind the pan. Please look at picture IMG6585 notice that the darkest largest oil stain on this damaged pan is the same area reverse side of stain showing in IMG6575. Also notice the second darkest oil stain is in front of the pan several inches. This proves without a doubt that the oil leak is from above dripping down. Please notice there is no damage to the pan not even a scrape in the area where these oil stains appear.
IMG 6584 This picture was taken of the same pan from a different angle. It shows clearly that there is no puncture or new scrapes to the bottom of this vehicles oil pan. This rust has been in place for quite some time. If there was recent damage shiny metal would be obvious not rust . If there was leaking from this pan it had to be due to a mechanic not tightening the filler bolt you see in the pictures. It is obvious there are no punctures to the pan nor any blown oil on the bottom of the pan.
IMG 6585 This picture speaks a thousand words remember that the bottom of the protective cover is eaten away as shown in IMG6582 there is no protective cover over the pan. Notice the oil stain to the extreme sides of the cover as shown in IMG 6585. When I reached my hand up to inspect the second and third cars before they finally gave me an upgraded vehicle my hand was rubbing the inside bottom of the protective cover not the pan see IMG 6587 and IMG 6588). The way I was twisted laying on the ground it was easier to touch the inside bottom of the cover with my palm than it was to touch the bottom of the pan. I believe this oil is leaking onto the protective covers from above. Possibly from a transmission line. As I said earlier the vehicle was lurching when you put it into drive or when you started out from a light. I asked the agent at Simpson Bay Resort (Thrifty Rental Desk) to drive the car before we were told to drive the car to the main Thrifty office as I feared it may break down on the way after he finished driving the car he stated the transmission is low on oil. Notice that the two spots on this plastic cover match the location of the shiny spots I discussed in IMG6583 if the cover was bolted back up on the vehicle. The oil must be leaking from somewhere up above this pan and dripping down onto the plastic cover as I stated above there are no scrape marks on the bottom of the pan that meet up with the oil spots on this worn away cover.
IMG 6586 Again this picture proves that I didn't hit anything look at the old rust in the scrapes. More importantly notice there is no oil on the pan. I'm convinced that the oil must be leaking from up above and dripping close to this pan onto the ground. This company is running a scam attempting to make innocent people liable for damage that is most likely a defect in the vehicle. A non mechanically inclined person would be bulldozed by their intimidating condescending attitude.
IMG6587 This is a picture of the next vehicle Thrifty attempted to give me as you can see the plastic cover is torn it has been hit at some point. When I reached inside bottom of this cover with the agent looking on I pulled out my hand covered in oil. When I showed the agent the oil he said I will get another vehicle.
IMG6588 This is the same vehicle same damaged pan with better lighting and positioning. It shows you how much a picture can change when you get light and position to show the full extent of the damage.
IMG6594 Here is the protective pan cover for the upgraded vehicle I accepted after showing the agent that two additional cars after I turned in the leaking one also had oil dripping down into their covers. This was a newer vehicle the cover was undamaged and when I reached my hand in there was no oil present.
IMG6595 This is the same as IMG 6594 from a different angle clean and dry.
IMG6596 same vehicle different angle