|Needed to rent a car for a trip from Phoenix to the San Diego area. Due to some personal issues, do not have a credit card, so was pleased to see a place that said with a cash deposit they would rent a car at a "not too outrageous rate". I asked on the phone if there were other charges and the only one I was told about was the normal tax and surcharge. |
Went in with the required $400 in cash, gave them my driver's license and they copied it onto a form that I signed. I asked for a copy and they said they didn't do that - should have been the first clue. I signed as I was anxious to make this trip and I had a copy of the agreement for the car. I asked about insurance and was told that I didn't need to show them my insurance or anything like that. Another clue that I didn't catch! Then, on the paperwork was an amount listed as " @ 16.95 a day" - they filled in the amount, which I thought as possibly the late daily rate although when I was told I had to have it back by noon in one week or it would be reported as stolen
The car was I think a 2003 Chevrolet Impala and had over 100,000 miles on it. Ran fine, but the cigarette lighter did not work, and I wanted to have a working one for a cell phone for the 6 hour drive. Called them back the next day and they said to bring it by and they would fix it. When I got there to have them fix the car, there was a young lady standing there and she tried to warn me about them and the overweight, rude, bald man came unglued at her - screaming and yelling for her to get off his property - should have been the final clue, but since I had already rented from them, I was probably stuck for the amount anyway. They could not fix the first car, so I was given another Chevy Impala, probably about the same age, but at least it had working lighter and actually had cruise control. The car ran fine and I decided to return it one day early to make sure I was not late getting it back to them.
When I went in and they started adding up the numbers for the charges, all of a sudden the "$16.95" was then identified as the "insurance" charge. I asked what this was and said that I had asked and been told that I didn't have to pay for their insurance. The man informed me that a) I had signed a form that showed it (didn't see it to read it) and b) had I given them a debit card it would have only been $10.95 per day. When I stated that I thought it was not fair, he just looked at me and gave me back about $11 from my $400. I had figured I would get back about $130 or so, knew that was getting charged more, but really - they must make most of their money from the insurance ripoffs, and the $11.99 cleaning of the car, etc.
When I looked at the BBB site, in this area they have had almost 100 complaints and none have been responded to by them. There are some things that they should be required to do, such as make it an area to initial that you understand you are paying the extra money for insurance, etc
Based on what I have read here, I am glad that I did NOT give them my debit card as I am almost sure that other charges would have appeared on the bill somehow.
So, lesson learned for me. I will just make sure I can get a pre-paid credit card of some kind soon and use that only for trips and pay it off every time I use it so I do not have to go through this humiliation and the cost of dealing with them.
I hope karma does come back around, not sure how any of them sleep at night. In the current economic times, when people have lost homes, jobs, etc, it is companies like this that make it harder to get ahead.