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Old Nov 2, 11, 10:07 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Question Do I have a valid complaint against the Thrifty staff at Toronto Pearson?

Hey there, Thrifty customers. I currently live in the United States. Last week, I went a business trip to the Canadian providence of Ontario. I had to meet with separate sets of colleagues in the cities of Hamilton and Ottawa, as well as in downtown Toronto. I had a reservation with Thrifty, which had offered a relatively low rate for a 2-day car rental. Needless to say, this was my first time renting from Thrifty.

First, I had to meet with my colleagues in Hamilton. The next day, I had to meet with my other colleagues at the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto. The day after that, I was going to fly Porter from YTZ to YOW.

I had intended to pick up my rental from the Thrifty counter at Toronto Pearson and drive to Hamilton. The day after, I had planned to return my rental at a Thrifty location in downtown Toronto. That way I'd be able to just walk to the Fairmont and meet with my colleagues.

On Friday morning, I landed at YYZ and checked in at the Thrify rental counter outside the arrivals hall. I explained to the staff there that I had wished to return my rental at a Thrifty location in downtown Toronto. I also let it be clear to them that I had never before dropped off a rental car in a downtown area. They had no problem with my wishes, and gave me the address to a Thrifty rental location near Rogers Centre on Front Street.

However, when I drove from Hamilton to downtown Toronto, I could NOT for the life of me find this Thrifty rental location at the address that the Thrifty staff at YYZ had given me. I ended up driving up and down Front Street in search of this address. I even sought the assistance of the front desk at Rogers Centre, and they told me that such a Thrifty location did not exist in the downtown area.

As it turned out, I had no choice but to drive my rental back to YYZ, hitting all sorts of bumper-to-bumper traffic in the process. After finally dropping off my rental at YYZ, I had to shell out $60 for a taxi back to downtown Toronto. (I didn't complain to the Thrifty staff at YYZ at that time because I was in a big hurry.)

As a result of all this hassle, I missed my meeting on top of eat $60 for a taxi ride.

I called the Thrifty rental counter at YYZ directly, and argued to the general manager that it was unfair for me to miss my meeting and to eat $60 all because his staff had not initially given me the proper information.

The manager then explained to me that the Thrifty rental location in downtown Toronto is actually located underneath the RBC Insurance building on Front Street.

I then told him that none of his staff had provided me with any directions to this Thrifty location. All they had given me, I explained to him, was an address.

The manager then conveyed to me that it wasn't his staff's fault that I couldn't find the address. He also told me that he couldn't justify reimbursing my cab fare.

At that point, I just hung up on him.

Do you guys think that I had every right to file a complaint with the Thrifty staff at YYZ? Do you guys think I should've received some kind of reimbursement from Thrifty for my unplanned taxi ride?
Jericho-79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 4, 11, 6:36 am   #2
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Originally Posted by Jericho-79 View Post
Do you guys think that I had every right to file a complaint with the Thrifty staff at YYZ? Do you guys think I should've received some kind of reimbursement from Thrifty for my unplanned taxi ride?
Absolutely not.

For one, when you made your one-way reservation scheduled to drop off at Front Street, you would have seen the exact drop-off address at Thrifty.com, listed as:

Code:
TORONTO FRONT STREET (Y69) 
330 FRONT STREET WEST 
LOWER LEVEL RETAIL 
TORONTO, ON CANADA M5V 3B7
(416) 593-5604
Even if you didn't book it as a one-way, that same information is easily accessible at Thrifty.com by clicking Locations.

And if you had had trouble locating the office itself, the phone number listed above (and right on the website) would have connected you directly to someone at the location who could describe where they were.

Secondly, it's absolutely unfair to assume that someone at one location knows exactly how to get to another location. It certainly wouldn't be fair to ask someone in Atlanta which side of the street the location inside the Las Vegas Hilton is on. Sure, the YYZ employees may live in the same city as the location on Front Street, but Toronto's a big city, and I wouldn't expect someone who lives and works in one part of a big city to be intimately familiar with another part of a big city they may not often travel to. (I'm from L.A. but am completely clueless about the South Bay area, since all of my experience is in the San Fernando Valley.)

It sounds to me that the Thrifty staff at YYZ did everything you could reasonably expect them to do to assist you. Furthermore, you chose a course of action that would have cost them money (returning the car back to them and expecting them to reimburse your cab ride) rather than calling them and giving them the opportunity to assist you without costing them a cab ride. Had you called from the downtown area and told them that you were having trouble finding the Front Street location, they may have been able to find someone familiar with the area to give better directions, or they may have been able to transfer you directly to someone at the location who could help you find it.

Unless the staff had refused to help you by not giving you the address or intentionally (not accidentally) directing you to the wrong location, I see absolutely no fault on their part. I know people who have lived in my smallish city for over a decade and have worked in the hospitality industry for almost half that long and still have no clue where some major hotels are. I see 10 Thrifty locations in the Ontario area, and expecting someone at one location to know exactly where all of those other locations are is very unfair. Providing you with the address they see in their computer system is certainly all that can be fairly expected of them.
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Old Nov 4, 11, 5:50 pm   #3
 
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@jackal

I respect your opinion.

However, as I stated, I live in the United States. And my cell phone service provider does not allow me to make phone calls outside the US.

Plus, I asked various people in the downtown Toronto area for directions to that address you posted. Not only did I asked the front desk at Rogers Centre, but I also asked taxi cab drivers and workers at the CBC building.

So I was at a loss as to what to do.

In that same area, Budget and Hertz have drop-off locations with surface lots and signs visible from the street.

Little did I know at that time that Thrifty does not have anything of that sort.
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Old Nov 4, 11, 8:42 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jericho-79 View Post
@jackal

I respect your opinion.

However, as I stated, I live in the United States. And my cell phone service provider does not allow me to make phone calls outside the US.

Plus, I asked various people in the downtown Toronto area for directions to that address you posted. Not only did I asked the front desk at Rogers Centre, but I also asked taxi cab drivers and workers at the CBC building.

So I was at a loss as to what to do.

In that same area, Budget and Hertz have drop-off locations with surface lots and signs visible from the street.

Little did I know at that time that Thrifty does not have anything of that sort.
I used pay phones when I worked in Canada in order to make phone calls. (You might check out some kind of Canadian calling plan, too.)

An e-mail to Thrifty customer care would be the most effective course. Be polite and not demanding.
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Old Nov 9, 11, 2:52 pm   #5
 
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I forgot to mention that I didn't have the phone number of the downtown Thrifty location.

Whenever I travel, I don't have gadgets like Smartphones, so I can't look up names and numbers on the web or send email.

I learned a good lesson from this misshap.
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Old Nov 20, 11, 12:57 pm   #6
 
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Most Thrifty locations are in underground parking garages in major cities, just a heads up for your next travels. Since you had the address, why didn't you check with the actual building? Toronto also has a whack of thrifty locations in the vicinity, Eaton Centre and Union Station are two that are only a 5 minute drive from the Front St. location. Most of us Torontonians are very friendly and would be happy to look something up for a tourist if you stop and ask next time.

Regarding your situation, personally I don't think you should be reimbursed. They're not obligated to get you to your destination, just make sure you have a reservations there. I'd probably just chock the cab fare to car rental tuition, lesson learned for next time.

(FYI, YYZ downtown should have only been $50, I think. Did you do flat rate or meter?)
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