Monday, December 13, 2010

NEVER to Rent a Car From Dollar or Thrifty

Dollar Rent-a-Car and Thrifty Rent-a-Car are one in the same.  This year at Ironman Hawaii I thought I got a good deal $184 for 7.5 days for a Chrysler Seabring convertible.

Well...  the car we picked up after waiting in line for 2 hrs and 45 minutes after an 8 hour flight had bad brakes, blown rotors, shot ball joints and had cigarette ash and dirt on the inside.  Honestly, that wouldn't bother me too much.  Mistakes are forgivable as long as the company owns up to them.

After limping into the hotel lot in Kona I decided that the next day or so I would return the car.  This car was extremely unsafe.  The folks behind the counter sincerely apologized for my trouble and wasting another 90 minutes of my vacation.  They offered me a "free" upgrade to a convertible Ford Mustang.  Cool.

Fast forward to late November where I am CHARGED for the "upgrade".  I've been on the phone four times with the home office of Dollar / Thrifty - wasting another 6 hours.  I've asked for explanations.  I've been very nice.  I've been factual and mean.  The company promised to "research what happened and get back to you".  In the mean time, I received no less than FOUR letters stating that I owe them (the exact amount of the "upgrade".)  Call it bait and switch.  Call it dishonest business practices.  Call it stupid.  Just don't give them one red cent of your money.

Today, after two hours of TRYING TO JUST PAY THE DAMN BILL - I paid the bill and PROMISED to blog about the horrible customer "experience" I went through.

Do me a favor readers...

This isn't over.  I'm filing a BBB complaint next.


  1. I too will never rent a car from Dollar or Thrifty ever again. I recently flew in to Winnipeg from Florida. With reservation in hand , I proceed to the rental desk , only to be told that they did not have a car for me even though I did have a reservation. They offered to call around to other agents but with no guarantee of a car or rate.

    To say the least, I was livid! The young people behind the desk were apologetic but obviously had no control and little to offer. After requesting to speak to a manager I was placed on the phone with Rick Andrews (Regional Manager - or so I was told) and basically he said it was their policy to over book and there was nothing he could do.

    There is nothing worse than flying for hours with the knowledge that you have at least another 90 minutes of driving before reaching your final destination but now you have no car and no way to get around. And the reservation you have is not worth the paper it is printed on . Dollar thought that a simple "I 'm Sorry" will make it all better.

    After much stress and aggravation they finally produced a car, which was probably meant for someone else. I feel sorry for the next traveller who has to endure their pathetic customer service and unethical business practices .

    1. I also just rented from Dollar in Boston. We had to wait 45 minutes to get some help. Then we were told that it was going to be 11 dollars more for my wife to be listed as a driver because the credit card was in her name! Now I'm about to go postal when we went outside to have the gal out there say "Sorry, we can't give you a Crown Vic (the car we paid for) You'll have to take whatever we can find because we have no cars!" I got back home and called to complain and the customer service rep I contacted could have cared less. She simply said, "Look, it says in your contract that the payer has to be listed as a driver and it also says we don't guarantee any particular model" So, needless to say, I won't be renting from Dollar ever again!