KEARNEY, IOWA -- I was quoted 750 for the weekly rate but charged 1450... I was never told there was a mileage cap. Only thing the guy asked me is where I was headed. He never asked if I was traveling anywhere else that week. The only other questions I was asked is if I wanted insurance which I declined for I have my own and when I was going to be returning it. I asked if I could drop it off in my hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA, and was told no, not with the Santa Fe, but that he'd call me when he found something he could put us in when we got back. I never received that phone call.
This is the very first time I have rented with Thrifty. I was shocked when I received my invoice. I emailed back right away and was told it was so much higher because of the mileage. I asked if there was anything that could be done to lower my bill and at that point I was ignored. I emailed again two days later and ignored again.
I've been working customer service all my life and would never expect such a big, well known company to accept this as good customer service. I feel I have been taking advantage of. My destination wedding week had turned into a nightmare because of this and it will take us months to recover financially.
My van, that had 6 people broke down with a seized engine in Kearney. Thrifty was the only rental company in Kearney to have a vehicle with a third row, and even though I felt the $750 was pretty high for the week, I was happy they had something that could fit my family.
On top of this, it took 6 days to hear back from customer relations when the original email with my case number said 3-5 days. I had to reach out on Facebook to get this escalated. On day 7 customer relations told me that nothing was going to be refunded. I just turned them into the Better Business Bureau and I recommend anyone they have deceived, to do the same.
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA -- I booked the rental online and was quoted an estimate of $229. When we arrived at the airport, the agent told us if we had booked through AAA, we would not have been charged for the extra driver, but he would not fix the agreement. The car stunk from cigarette smoke, had dirty windows, a tire with a slow leak and the air conditioning stopped working approximately 48 hours before departure. We paid over $550 for the rental which was certainly not worth it. Their customer service is not helpful and I am not happy about this experience at all.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I drove 221 miles. The checkout agent at Boston Logan airport told me, "Don't worry, we'll mail you a receipt." When the receipt arrived they recorded 404 miles and my gasoline charge (I knew I was going to get charged for about 220 miles of gas) was $151.
I called their Customer Service line 1800 334 1705 and spoke to Nicki who couldn't help me but sent me to Carly in the Oklahoma Main Office. She basically said, "Too bad. You returned the car, you got the bill. We can't and won't check it or change it." When made suggestions she said, "No." So I said I would call American Express and dispute the charges and she said, they would wait to hear from AmEx. When I started to say how upset I was, SHE HUNG UP ON ME.
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I reserved a rental car from Thrifty through Southwest Airlines online booking. The car was to be picked up on Saturday, February 15th and returned on Tuesday, February 18th; the estimated charge was 178.00 which I paid on my credit card. When I went to pick up the car I asked if I could change the return date to Thursday, February 20th. The associate at the counter told me that was fine. I asked how much it would cost and he told me it would be the same rate, $44.00 per day.
After he went through all the options (insurance, toll pass, etc.) he told me to sign on the small computer screen in front of me. The screen was small and difficult to read (it was grey with black lettering, about 3" by 3"). I tried to review what I was signing and realized the total was $650.00. The associate never verbally told me any costs associated with the rental agreement unless I asked. I asked him if that was the cost and he said yes. I asked him why it was so much and he said it was because I rented it for extra time.
I told him that it was more than three times the estimate. He said that the estimate was only for the car, and didn't include taxes and insurance. I told him to take off any optional charges (insurance which I had through my regular coverage, toll pass which was 45.00 and prepaid fuel), and it still came to $416.62. I asked him why it was so much still, and he said taxes.
When I was getting ready to return the car I looked at the receipt and realized there were 2 return change fee charges of 15.99 each. I returned the car at 8:30 am. The woman checked me in and printed me a receipt which also included an additional late charge of 15.99 for returning the car late (the receipt said 8:35 am). When I rented the car they did not tell me it had to be back by 8:30 am, it wasn't until I carefully read the receipt that I saw the early time it had to be back. Still, I got it back at 8:30 am and they refused to reverse even that fee. The total I paid for the car was 437.06.
I talked to two customer service representatives, neither of whom cared that I had been mislead about the charges. I was also not told that adding an extra driver would cost $11.00 per day. I only added an extra driver because my traveling companion has a license and I thought I would add them just in case (they didn't drive at all during the trip as expected). They only cared that I had "signed the contract" no matter how much the associate had misled me while it was happening. There was a long line of customers waiting behind me, the computer screen was almost impossible to read, and my six year old was waiting impatiently after the long plane ride.
If I had understood the additional fees I would not have extended the rental or added the extra driver. The rental agency was dishonest, purposely not up front about the fees and costs of the rental, and took advantage of a person far from home and needing transportation. The associate behind the counter was clearly impatient the whole time I was reviewing the charges, and kept trying to rush me through the process. They also still have not credited the $178.00 that I paid through Southwest.
THEODOR-HEUSS-STR. 71-73 (DUSSDELDORF AIRPORT, GER -- I would like to add my story to similar experiences that I have now seen on this site. It appears that some Thrifty car rental places in Germany are taking advantage of foreign travelers. Please be warned about this company, and avoid them or be very careful when renting from them.
I booked my two-week rental through Expedia for a total of 327.40 euro. When I arrived with my family into Dusseldorf, we were met taken off-site to the rental agency. They explained that my US insurance would not be acceptable, and coverage with a Visa card would only be allowed with an advanced approved letter from Visa stating that the car was covered. They said that I would need to purchase an additional insurance from them for ~20 euro per day and they would charge me a minimum of 600 euro deductible upfront. While this is pretty outrageous, we just had an overnight flight from the US and more stuff than we could carry, so I paid the money.
The rental vehicle was fine, and we returned it on the morning before our flight. After much delay, so that we were getting worried about making our flight time, a guy comes out to inspect the vehicle and finds a tiny hairline scratch on the tailgate near the license plate. I couldn't believe it; I would not have even though to mention this if I had done a thorough inspection of the vehicle before accepting it. Then, before taking us back to the airport, they made me sign a form (in German) saying that it was scratched.
They said that although I was probably not responsible, they would check their records and make sure that it was noted before so that I would be off the hook for it. They would not, however, give me my deposit back. Again, in a tight spot, I signed the form and we made our flight back home. After a few weeks, I filed a complaint with Thrifty in the US and requesting that I get my deposit back.
I did not get a reply from them, but yesterday I did get a bill from the German agency saying that the damage was repaired for a fee of 681.42 euro -- remarkably close to the deductible. They also charged my credit card an additional 81.42 euro. What I have been able to decipher from the German bill, is 171 euro for painting, and many other expenses for unrelated parts such as some rear flaps, debasement charge (51 euro), allowance cost (19.65 euro), phone/fax business charges (50 euro), and others that I can't figure out, which bring the total to 681.42 euro.
I have now asked Visa to block the payment. I have also requested proof that the car was actually painted. I anticipate that nothing was done to the car and that this will happen to the next unsuspecting customer as well. I have also sent my complaint to the consumer protection agency in Dusseldorf. I don't actually anticipate that anything will come of this, and that I will just end up paying a significant fraction of the tiny VW's value for the privilege of renting it. But, I would like to warn others.
If I had noticed the warning posted here and elsewhere about this kind of scam, I would have chosen another company (or taken the train!) If you do rent from a place like this, I highly recommend that you go over the car in extreme detail and get them to sign off on every blemish. I am not exaggerating about how small this scratch was. Once they make you buy their insurance, it is in their interest to find a problem with the car, and they probably will.
5310 E. 31ST ST TULSA,, OKLAHOMA -- This 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.
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 a long 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 its 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 then 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, "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, "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.
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.
We were supposed to pick up the minivan in Las Vegas airport that we have reserved on Thrifty.com about 1.5 month before. Even with drop off in San Francisco, weekly rental, unlimited miles the price was pretty good, about $450. The pick up time we indicated on reservation was 11 am. We came to airport 11:10 am, huge line, so we got to the counter around 12:15 pm.
Customer service lady refused to honor our reservation price even after I showed printout, actual email received from Thrifty and went to Thrifty website on my iPhone to show her the reservation. As a robot she was saying continuously: "There is nothing I can do, computer shows different price, your rental price is $575 instead." For some reason she looked surprised that we had a nerve to argue with her. 15 minutes after she finally called manager.
New lady went over our reservation, said she will do a "special" arrangement for us (!) to honor the price the company gave us! What "special" arrangement?! All you have to do is honor your own reservation! Manager promised us that she will adjust the price, but since it will take time, meanwhile we can go pick up the car, and she will meet us there with modified invoice. Anyway, another 40 minutes were spent trying to decline their additional insurance and trying to prove that our own car insurance does cover rental cars. We had to call our insurance to get them fax our policy, otherwise Thrifty won't agree.
Advice to everyone renting car: if you are planning to use your own insurance make sure to have your policy on hand where it's clearly defined! Finally we went to get a car, we waited another 30 minutes, no one showed up. We left deciding to call Thrifty and resolve this matter over the phone.
Wonderful week in California passed by, we got to San Francisco about 4 pm and went to return car to one of the city locations. I somewhat expected problems so wasn't surprised when a technician gave as a printout of total price $865 after we returned the car. After we asked what is going on he just said a computer gave me this price. Here we are again at customer service counter. Plus side, only 1 person ahead of us. We got to the counter, the nightmare is all over again:
There is no mentioning anywhere that manager in Las Vegas adjusted the price.
Our reservation had unlimited miles, their reservation had 1500 miles. We we were hit with additional miles charge.
We brought the car too early! The weekly charge kicks in ONLY when car is returned at 5 pm, not a minute before. Since we returned car 4:05 pm our weekly reservation disappeared and some day by day change appeared! The funny thing is that manager suggested us to get the car again and drive around for an hour, and come back at 5 pm because the computer (again) won't let him to adjust anything! Finally we negotiated to not getting a car, and simply come back a hour later and he will make another adjustment that looks like we returned car at 5 pm.
Saying that we were furious would be a big understatement, we travel quite a bit, rent cars very often. Sometimes we have issues, but not anywhere even close to this one.
I have to thank the manager in San Francisco who spent quite some time with us, on a phone with Las Vegas, Thrifty and finally resolved the whole issue. He even apologized for all our trouble, something that no one in Las Vegas never thought of! Actually our final price came about $30 less than our original reservation. We haven't complained, but for all the time and troubles they should have given us the car for free!
Lessons learned: Avoid Thrifty even if they have lowest prices (though I assume this could have happened to any other car rental). Always have your insurance card AND insurance policy if you want to decline rental's insurance. Call your rental company before pick up and triple-confirm price, pick up time, drop off time, miles to avoid surprises (though, again, it might not help).
WEST DRAYTON, LONDON UB7 0HJ, UK -- I advise you not to rent from the Dollar Rent A Car "London Heathrow Airport" agency. The agency is not at the airport, but, rather, in the lobby of a Sheraton Hotel away from the airport. Moreover, it is not a Dollar agency but, rather, it is a Thrifty Rent A Car agency which, as it turns out, is actually run by a company called "Scot Group Ltd". After returning the car, this agency charged my credit card about US $500 to replace a tire they claim was damaged while I had the car. As explained below, this claim was incorrect and the evidence provided to support it was obviously false.
When I picked-up the car, the agency gave me a "Pre/Post Rental Damage Report" which had at least 16 areas of damage identified. I examined the car and attempted to identify each claimed area of damage, but, in almost every instance, the claimed damage recorded on the Report was inconsequential or non-existent. I rubbed at least one of the claimed scratches and found that it could simply be rubbed away. I did not understand why so many insignificant or illusory items of damage had been noted, but I did not see any point in disputing the presence of damage the rental company had identified.
When I returned the car, a male agency employee claimed that he had found new damage to the front left tire. The Pre-Rental Report noted damage to the front left wheel or tire, but the employee insisted that he remembered inspecting the car (at least 10 days before) and seeing damage only to the wheel. Just by looking, it was obvious the damage to the tire occurred at the same time as the damage to the wheel.
The Assistant Manager of the agency e-mailed purported "before" and "after" digital photos in order to "prove" that the damage to the tire was new. However, examining the photos showed that the "before" photo was of a different wheel and tire.
Thrifty said they would charge my credit card UK pounds 298.98, which they said was the cost of a new tire, an "administrative fee of [pounds] 37.50", and a charge for refurbishing the alloy wheel (65.00 pounds) (which even Thrifty said had been damaged previously). In the end, Thrifty charged UK pounds 343.04 (about $500) over the rental for replacing one tire (on the internet e. g., www.etyres.co.uk, tire prices in the UK for the type of car I had, a Ford Focus, run from 75 to 105 UK pounds).
When I picked-up the car, I noticed 2 sets of customers engaged in heated arguments with a man behind the Thrifty counter. I could hear that the customers were challenging damage claims by the Thrifty representatives. The customers were complaining that the claimed new damage was not their fault, that they wanted documents (which the Thrifty representative was refusing to provide), that they wanted to speak with the supervisor or manager, who was not then available, and that they could not wait for the supervisor, because they had planes to catch.
When I returned the car I had the same experience. Again, the manager was "not available" and nothing could be accomplished at the agency. The Thrifty employees were surly, and their treatment of customers was uninterested and mean. It was obvious this agency was very familiar with, yet utterly indifferent to, angry customers.
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- I decided to shop price instead of Hertz, my home car rental company for many years. I chose Thrifty. It was a nightmare. I arrived in Denver to pick up my car. It was February 6, 2010. To find my reservation, they had to use my confirmation email because they had lost it, including the credit card information I had given them in making the registration. I waited so long at the counter while they tried to find it, that the clerk gave me a bottled water! We finally just started over.
After I finally got ready to choose my upgraded car, they gave me my GPS - a plug in with a chord, not built into the car. It was new, so the counter person didn't know how to use it. I had to unpack it from its box and read the directions myself. By this time, the clerk and I had hit it off, so we almost had a date. I never did take her up on the invitation to dinner, but she was the only good thing about Thrifty.
The car choice was not the promised upgrade as promoted to me when I made the reservation. Only 3 Hyundai Sonatas - all alike - were left. So, let's see, did I want Hyundai #1 with the yellow fabric seat covers, Hyundai #2 with the gray cloth seat covers, or Hyundai #3 with the dirty black seat covers! I chose the green one with yellow seats covers - not as garish as it sounds.
Before I left the counter, my friendly reservations specialist told me to go ahead and join the Blue Chip club before the end of my 17-day visit, because I would get a one-day refund credited at the check-out. I was surprised she hadn't asked me that during the check-in, since we had to start all over again. But I had my laptop and she gave me the website, so I thought I was all set. Yeah, right!
In Denver, unless you want to pay a fine, you have to avoid the toll roads, since its all pre-pay. Otherwise, Denver fines you $25 every time you get on, even if you didn't intend to. So, right out of the lot, I am trying to avoid the toll highway that leads away from the Denver airport. But, I can't get the GPS to give me an alternative route, so I just figure I'll take the first exit before the toll station. Well, that didn't work. I now owe Thrifty another 27.50 for my toll and fine. I got off the toll road immediately after getting on it, before the censors (I thought), but I guess not.
During the trip, the car was okay. Not as clean as I originally thought, and it was out of window washer fluid which I filled up when I took time to vacuum the car out the next day. A previous customer had left peanut shells under both front seats. I don't know, maybe the circus in town distracted the guy in charge of cleaning the car! Or, maybe it was a Republican, who knows!?
Before I turned in the car, I took time to register online for the 17th day discount by joining the Blue Chip club, but I got an email the day before I left saying the computer had been down, had lost my information, and would I please try again. Because it was just a day before taking the car back, I thought I better call customer service. I did.
After going through the usual queue of phone choices, verifying that I spoke English and all of that, I finally reached a customer service representative. She said she couldn't help. The computer was down and I would just have to try again. So, I did, assuming that I might get the chance the next day when returning the car to see my girlfriend at the counter and assure my 17th day discount. I also filled the car with gas before I went to bed the night before, as I was supposed to do.
When I returned the car, the place wasn't even open. It was 6:30AM and the only person at Thrifty to talk to me was the person receiving cars. I felt sorry for her. She could not speak English. So, figuring I would have to deal with this later, I just took my ticket from her hand-held computer, and walked to the bus and went to my plane.
Before I boarded the plane, I called Thrifty. As it turns out, I guess Oklahoma (Thrifty headquarters) wasn't open yet, so I got no help. Later in the day, however, I tried again and got the response that they would send me a Blue Chip discount for my next 17-day trip! Lovely.
I have since written two emails and one letter and heard nothing. I have never been able to join the Blue Chip club. And, would you believe that, in reviewing this file, I just noticed that they charged me for $50 extra for 20 gallons of gasoline, as if I had NOT filled the tank! The person who couldn't speak English had asked me if I had filled it. I said "yes", but she must have marked "no." Anyone out there know someone better than Thrifty? Oh, and P.S. NOTE TO THRIFTY: A Hyundai Sonata only has a 17-gallon tank!