Hundreds of rental car customers complain of high pressure tactics and tricks

Discussion in 'Other Car Rental Programs' started by sobore, Apr 28, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/ne...-complain-of-high-pressure-tactics-and-tricks

    Frequent rental car users like Dr. Allen Friedman know the drill at the counter. He says he’s never had a problem until he arrived at the rent a car counter during a trip to Denver in 2011.

    Friedman claims he declined the optional insurance and all extras. Nine days later he returned the car and discovered a 215 dollar charge for insurance and another 53 dollars for roadside protection on his bill.

    But this customer claims Dollar Rent a Car refused to remove the fees that effectively doubled his rental bill.

    This Sarasota consumer did not complain to the state but we found plenty who did. The I-Team combed through reports filed with the Attorney General's office in the last two years. We found more than 180 against Dollar or Thrifty which are owned by the same company. Most involved optional insurance charges and fees for unpaid tolls. In comparison, we found a total of 42 complaints against Budget/Avis rental cars.

    Former employee Jamal Powell worked at Dollar's Tampa Airport office. He described a sales driven culture and commission structure that rewards agents who up sell optional items.

    Read More: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/ne...-complain-of-high-pressure-tactics-and-tricks
     
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  2. rockyrock

    rockyrock Silver Member

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    Good read, thanks for posting. I have an upcoming Thrifty reservation in San Diego next month. I'll be sure to ask the right questions and use my Amex in case I need to dispute any charges.
     
  3. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    One additional thing for folks renting outside their own nation:

    In Europe and some countries in Asia, Dynamic Currency Conversion (where your credit card is charged in the currency of its country of isssue, with the "foreign" charges converted to the "home" currency with a 3% or greater surcharge) is pervasive with rental car companies.

    By law in most countries, the vendor is required to explain that he's using (they call it "offering") DCC and obtain your written consent before it can be applied. What at least some of the car rental companies are doing is to bury the DCC notice in the mouseprint "Terms and Conditions" that they'll give you a copy of if you demand it, and when you sign the contract (saying that you've read and agree to the T&C) they have you. You'll find out they applied the DCC when you receive your credit card bill (or maybe not even notice it, unless you had other charges in the same currency at about the same time).

    This is particularly egregious if (a) you have a credit card that does not charge a foreign currency conversion fee, or (b) if your card levies a charge for foreign transactions, no matter what currency they're in, since in either case you're out an additional 3%.

    So, look closely, and ask whether DCC is being applied. If it is, write across the contract, above your signature, "I do not agree to DCC, charge me in <name of local currency>." or something similar.
     
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  4. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    wow - I knew about the "upsell" and hate it, but had no idea they buried the DCC in the contract. wonder if that invalidates the need for them to print it on the cc receipt I sign -altho every time I point out to someone who has charged me in my home currency that I DID NOT agree, they feign ignorance of how to charge in the local currency:(
     
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  5. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    With most rental car contracts overseas, I've found you don't sign a cc receipt. They have you sign the "contract" when you take the car, and when you bring it back they may print out and give you a slip showing charges, but you don't sign it, and it's in local currency usually. They apply the DCC when they report the charge. As I said, if you don't read the T&C closely (all four or five pages of it), you never notice (and they never ask again, because they have your signature).

    Yep. I find that silly, since obviously they sell to locals.

    They do fight hard to keep the additional 3% profit, though. One time I was told they couldn't charge in local currency. Now, I know in countries with soft currency, the national Ministry of Finance may have such a requirement (get hard currency from foreigners), but in this case the hotel that was telling me this was in Germany (in what was formerly West Germany), and the currency they were telling me they weren't allowed to charge in was Euros! :D
     
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