Dollar Rent A Car

reviewed by Stefani Ch

Stefani Ch
12/25/2010

Dollar Rent A Car 1

I too made online reservations and was quoted $120, taxes, fees, etc included.  I arrived at the Tampa int'l airport at 5:45 pm on dec 22, 2010.  They had my reservation and I gave the clerk my credit card.  He went through the standard, do you want car insurance, I said no, do you want to purchase the prepaid fill up, I said no and suddenly the clerk turned on me and started using what I would call fear tactics to get me to buy additional car insurance.  When I continued to decline he started reading me the contract language of how much I could be liable for.  I still said no.  He then told me I would have to prove I filled the car up within 10 miles of the Tampa airport.  I said I had never heard of having to prove a car was filled up within 10 miles of an airport.  I was told he had been renting cars for several years and this was standard.  I said I disagree, I have been renting cars for decades and have never heard this.  I decided to take my chances and declined the gas even though I was told it would cost 7.46 a gallon if dollar had to add any gas as well as a refueling fee.  I said I would fill the car up myself.  I was tired, had flown from Seattle and I was approaching 16 hours of air travel and airports.  suddenly the clerk said your contract is terminated.  I didn't process the implications right away and stood looking at him.  I said you are refusing to rent me a car?  He wouldn't answer me.  I asked him his name as there was no name tag.  He said he was calling the police.  I asked why and he wouldn't answer.    I said ok, I   
will try Thrifty.  Before I could turn around he walked to the adjacent thrifty counter and spoke to a clerk.  I walked to thrifty and asked to rent a car.  They refused until I was cleared by the police.  I asked what I had done.  I was told "he" was the supervisor and it was out of the thrifty agents hands until the police came.  As I walked away to wait for the police, the dollar agent said, with a smirk, " my name is frank".  I waited an hour for an officer  to appear.  I finally went back to the thrifty agent and asked when the police would show up.  He pointed at a phone on the wall and said you call them.  I did and no one, not Frank or anyone from the Tampa rental terminal had requested the police.  I asked for an officer as I mistakingly believed I would be rented a car.  After 2 hours of waiting the officer showed  up.  She told me dollar and thrifty are the same company and they do not have to rent anyone a car if  they don't want to.  She suggested I use enterprise or national (if only I had).  It was 3 days before  Christmas and the other companies were only renting to those with reservations.  I ended up taking a       shuttle and stuck in in a condo for 4 days.  I felt harassed, demeaned, discriminated against (I am 63,  female and retired disabled veteran), laughed at by thrifty and dollar personnel, rude, etc., all repeats  of others experiences.   I wrote customer service and receved an email back wishing me happy  holidyas and thanking me for choosing Dollar.  After going online and reading other's experiences, i    decided  to check my credit card.  Sure enough, dollar (frank) had charged me $250.00 without ever   renting a car!  I do consider myself fortunate, in a way, because I am  sure the $250 was the  beginning of extra charges.    I do not understand how dollar/thrify rental cars can get away with this.  I realize I was refused a car because there would be many people after me needing a car over     christmas and there would be other customers that would pay the extra fees or be stuck.  My vacation   was ruined, I have spent at least 30 hours researching dollar, writing customer service and posting to  consumer websites.  I will try Tampa BBB, tourism council, Fl attorney general and anyone else I have  the energy to get my story to.  Someone has to expose dollar and thrifty for what they are.   Commission seeking cockaroaches taking advantage of travelers and fraudulently posting and   confirming reservations at rates 10 percent of actual charges.  At least I can show where I called the  police, and verify some of my story.  I know frank will ask and have his fellow car rental clerks agree  with anything he says.   Waiting an hour for the police was excruciating.  I didn't know if I was going to be arrested, forced to leave the terminal are and left to thieves or even put on a no fly list.    Can we unite and each send a letter and email to dollar customer service every day until they are forced into telling the truth, honoring contracts and prevented from taking advantage of people?   Are the clerks receiving commission?  Do they promote by taking advantage of trusting people?  Are we back to the early 1920's and buyer beware?  Never again.  There is no such thing as a free lunch or a cheap rental car.  I will now gladly pay $40 day, receive excellent customer service, be in and out of the rental terminal in 5 mins by using national, enterprise, hertz, etc.  
I do not mind waiting in line. I did mind being treated like a waste of time because I wasn't buying services rental clerks receive commissions on. Truth in lending- renting is fair. Sneaking in charges at when traveler's are the most vulnerable should be a crime. Frank from Dollar, would you treat your Mother or Father the same way you treat customers? It must be a very lucrative rip off. I hear they are looking for vacuum cleaner salesmen Russia.....

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