Seriously?? Bad Dollar experience in Austin

 
Old Aug 17, 11, 9:40 pm
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Thumbs down Seriously?? Bad Dollar experience in Austin

I'm usually a Hertz guy, occasionally Avis and Enterprise, but really am not terribly loyal when it comes to cars, they've always been about the same to me. I do like the Hertz Gold program. However, on this trip to Austin, Dollar was less expensive or equal than all the others, so I thought I'd give em a try. NEVER again, I'm cured of this.

Check in was extremely time consuming, almost 20 minutes with the agent, the computer wasn't working right (it happens) but the most annoying thing, was the constant pressure for an upgrade (at a price) from them-Sure, they all do that, but it's usually more like "I have you in a XXXXXXX but for only $10/day more I can give you a XXXXX". No thank you "Ok, would you like LDW insurance" No thank you. "Ok, here's your keys, spot B-2, have a great day" and off I go.

Not so with Dollar, it was more like someone had a gun to her head, and unless I took the upgrade, she was gonna be toast. Had to politely say no thank you repeatedly to the upsell, over and over and over-THEN she wanted to talk Insurance....over and over and over. Yes, thank you I KNOW what LDW is, NO I don't want it. Then she wasn't able to print my contract, had to go to the back and have the "Manager" do it for some reason. When she came back, I noticed the car was what I reserved, a "Full Size" sedan, but couldn't help but notice it was a freaking 5 year old Honda Accord with almost 60k on the clock. A 2006 model! NEVER seen a rental car that old before that wasn't at a Gas Station Rent-a-Wreck. Figured it was a mistake, the info on the contract had to be wrong.....but get out to the location where the lot attendants pull up the cars, gave the lady my contract, she hands it back and says "the guy's gonna be gone a while, you might just want to go get it yourself unless you want to wait....." I've waited long enough, so I decide to go search the lot (she wasn't sure which spot it was in, said "click the keys, and honk the horn....") I pointed out there WAS no keyless entry on this key, just a key.....

Anyway, I finally find the car, and yes, it is indeed a 5 year old car, and looks like it. It's pretty rough, smells bad, stained carpets, fogged over headlights, crumbs in the seats and more "Damage Reported" stickers on the dents and dings than I've ever seen, and doesn't look like it's been washed in a month- but I've wasted enough time with this, and it's only a 3 day trip, so whatever. Actually drives OK, though it's a hybrid, so the constant shutting off of the motor and starting up again at red lights kinda is irritating, but again, figure it's just a few days.....then, on the way back to the hotel this evening, the check engne light comes on. Unbelievable! I do not have time to drive all the way back into Austin to change this piece of junk out, hopefully it starts in the morning.....Shoot, if she wanted to do the upsell thing, all they would have had to do was show me the POS they were giving me!

Sorry to rant, usually I'm very easy to get along with, I travel a LOT, and usually take delays, missed connections, changes, and the occasional bad room or meal in stride as all part of the experience, but this car really has soured me on Dollar. Next time I'll rent a horse, before I rent anything from them again!
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Old Aug 18, 11, 6:52 am
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Dollar and Thrifty in Austin are independent licensees. There is another thread in the Thrifty forum about another bad experience there.
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Old Aug 18, 11, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
Dollar and Thrifty in Austin are independent licensees. There is another thread in the Thrifty forum about another bad experience there.
Yes; Dollar corporate locations are virtually always much more like what you describe as the normal rental experience (certainly less pushy than most Enterprise locations).

Write a letter to Customer Care. Dollar corporate has only moderate oversight ability of the internal operation of its franchises, but if enough complaints are filed, they can take action up to and including revocation of the franchise license. They can, however, force the location to issue compensation to you for the poor quality of your rental car and your bad experience with the overly pushy sales.

And I'd suggest giving Dollar a try at one of its corporate locations before writing them off entirely. Most larger airports are; I'm actually surprised a city as large as Austin has a franchise. SLC and PDX are also franchises, as are possibly a couple of other airports around the South/Midwest, but the vast majority of cities/airports of that size are corporate.
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Old Aug 23, 11, 1:37 pm
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a 5 yr old car they rented to you, really?? I have to call this one..

Now I just rented from Dollar twice in the past 2 weeks in SAN, and I wont do it again. Each time I had to wait around 30 minutes for their shuttle to get me from Terminal 2, once at the lot, I stood in line for an hour before being helped. I rented a compact, ended up with a 2010 Ford Focus, no problem not much diving for this trip. I put on about 200 miles, filled up the car and headed back to Dollar, upon return the car the lot guy checks me in and says, you are a gallon short, I'll have to charge you $8.99/gal for the gas.. I told him how does he know I'm a gallon off (he mumbled something in Spainsh, this white boy knows spanish and the rest of the conversation was in Spainsh) he dropped this whole you us $8.99/gal BS and printed out my recipt. I did go inside and talk to the manger about this, he apologized for it.

Now this past weekend again I rented in SAN, waited 30 minutes for the shuttle, and again an hour in line. I rented a Crown Vic, and came back on Monday, dropped off the car, i filled the car up again, and the same guy checked me in, agian he told me, you are a gallon off and I have to charge you $8.99/gal. I explained to him in spanish he pulled this same crap on me a week ago, I showed him my recipt, after that no other words come out of his mouth... I again went to speak to the manager (same guy) and told him what this guy is doing, I reminded the manager that I had the same problem a week ago and you said you would talk to the employee, I asked the manager did he really speak to the employee or does he allow his employees not listen to you and they are allowed to do what they want..

The only bright spot at Dollas in SAN is the shuttle driver, Sammy, very nice and VERY professional.

Dollat wont get my business again.. They will try and nickel and dime you to death... Back to Thrifty for me.


Originally Posted by Paddlenpedal View Post
I'm usually a Hertz guy, occasionally Avis and Enterprise, but really am not terribly loyal when it comes to cars, they've always been about the same to me. I do like the Hertz Gold program. However, on this trip to Austin, Dollar was less expensive or equal than all the others, so I thought I'd give em a try. NEVER again, I'm cured of this.

Check in was extremely time consuming, almost 20 minutes with the agent, the computer wasn't working right (it happens) but the most annoying thing, was the constant pressure for an upgrade (at a price) from them-Sure, they all do that, but it's usually more like "I have you in a XXXXXXX but for only $10/day more I can give you a XXXXX". No thank you "Ok, would you like LDW insurance" No thank you. "Ok, here's your keys, spot B-2, have a great day" and off I go.

Not so with Dollar, it was more like someone had a gun to her head, and unless I took the upgrade, she was gonna be toast. Had to politely say no thank you repeatedly to the upsell, over and over and over-THEN she wanted to talk Insurance....over and over and over. Yes, thank you I KNOW what LDW is, NO I don't want it. Then she wasn't able to print my contract, had to go to the back and have the "Manager" do it for some reason. When she came back, I noticed the car was what I reserved, a "Full Size" sedan, but couldn't help but notice it was a freaking 5 year old Honda Accord with almost 60k on the clock. A 2006 model! NEVER seen a rental car that old before that wasn't at a Gas Station Rent-a-Wreck. Figured it was a mistake, the info on the contract had to be wrong.....but get out to the location where the lot attendants pull up the cars, gave the lady my contract, she hands it back and says "the guy's gonna be gone a while, you might just want to go get it yourself unless you want to wait....." I've waited long enough, so I decide to go search the lot (she wasn't sure which spot it was in, said "click the keys, and honk the horn....") I pointed out there WAS no keyless entry on this key, just a key.....

Anyway, I finally find the car, and yes, it is indeed a 5 year old car, and looks like it. It's pretty rough, smells bad, stained carpets, fogged over headlights, crumbs in the seats and more "Damage Reported" stickers on the dents and dings than I've ever seen, and doesn't look like it's been washed in a month- but I've wasted enough time with this, and it's only a 3 day trip, so whatever. Actually drives OK, though it's a hybrid, so the constant shutting off of the motor and starting up again at red lights kinda is irritating, but again, figure it's just a few days.....then, on the way back to the hotel this evening, the check engne light comes on. Unbelievable! I do not have time to drive all the way back into Austin to change this piece of junk out, hopefully it starts in the morning.....Shoot, if she wanted to do the upsell thing, all they would have had to do was show me the POS they were giving me!

Sorry to rant, usually I'm very easy to get along with, I travel a LOT, and usually take delays, missed connections, changes, and the occasional bad room or meal in stride as all part of the experience, but this car really has soured me on Dollar. Next time I'll rent a horse, before I rent anything from them again!
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Old Aug 23, 11, 1:50 pm
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At SAN, Dollar and Thrifty are both corporate, so there's little difference beyond the name. Shared fleet, identical pricing, etc.
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Old Aug 23, 11, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
Dollat wont get my business again.. They will try and nickel and dime you to death...
As a corporate location, managers can be held directly responsible for poor customer service reports.

Please fill the form at http://www.dollar.com/Help/CustomerAssistance.aspx out to prevent this from happening to others.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 2:41 am
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Yes I know this, in fact they are right across the street from each other. But the level of service is night and day. FWIW the price was not the same, that is why I went with Dollar, plus I get trible miles on US.

Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
At SAN, Dollar and Thrifty are both corporate, so there's little difference beyond the name. Shared fleet, identical pricing, etc.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 2:42 am
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Thank you for the link, I was surpised to see I didn't get a "tell us what you tihnk" email from Dollar as I do from Thrifty.

Originally Posted by jackal View Post
As a corporate location, managers can be held directly responsible for poor customer service reports.

Please fill the form at http://www.dollar.com/Help/CustomerAssistance.aspx out to prevent this from happening to others.
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Old Nov 19, 11, 3:13 pm
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Watch Austin Dollar Closely

Receipt had an extra $15 in charges (3 days at $4.99 or so) for "roadside assistance " or something like that even though all optional charges/coverages were declined.

Took a manager to have the charge reversed.

<sigh>
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Old Nov 19, 11, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by dgreen12 View Post
Receipt had an extra $15 in charges (3 days at $4.99 or so) for "roadside assistance " or something like that even though all optional charges/coverages were declined.

Took a manager to have the charge reversed.

<sigh>
They're a franchise. No corporate locations (that I'm aware of) have a policy like this.

I'd suggest sending a note to Dollar corporate using the form above. Dollar's headquarters can't really dictate specific policy to a franchisee, but if a location receives enough complaints, they do have ways to influence things at a franchised location.
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