Check the "Full Tank" quantity

 
Old Nov 13, 11, 12:12 pm
  #1  
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Check the "Full Tank" quantity

In the UK I prepaid for the rental this weekend of an ECAR at Palm Springs airport in California. The voucher amount included "Airport Concession Fee". I had to purchase a full tank of gasoline at pick-up and return the car with no refund for unused fuel. I have no problem with that.
The rental agreement showed a charge for AirConFee and for 16 gallons of fuel. According to the manufacturer's handbook, the tank holds 12.4 gallons: i.e., I had been overcharged by 3.6 gallons - and the fuel gauge needle was just on 'F' anyway.
Since collecting the car (Ford Fiesta 4-door) I have spent over five hours on the telephone with Dollar, both to the outlet and to the corporate contact centre - time I can ill afford to lose. Several times they promised that someone would return my call within 30 minutes, but never did so (presumably hoping that I would go away).
Eventually they agreed that I was correct , but only after I threatened to go to the police alleging fraud, and to inform the Wall Street Journal (and FT, of course!).They claimed that the fuel quantity had been entered wrongly on to their database and nobody had noticed it until I called.
They also agreed to refund the AirConFee (or should it be the airCONfee?)
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Old Nov 13, 11, 8:11 pm
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You claim you can't afford the time, so how much was the charge for the extra 3.6 gallons ?
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Old Nov 13, 11, 8:16 pm
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I hate the nickel and diming rent a car companies seem to engage in recently.
I am sure it was a matter of principal for the OP. Glad to hear it got straightened out.

Too bad it took 5 hours though...
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Old Nov 13, 11, 8:21 pm
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Somethings are just easier to let go........

Especially when someone is going to make a point of saying "time I can ill afford to lose."

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Old Nov 14, 11, 3:40 pm
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Thanks OP most other posters

Thanks to the OP for doing everyone else job.
Companies get away with things because people just let it go (another term for I am to lazy to stand up for the right thing).
This means that others have to fight your battles.

Shame on the lazy ones.

to the OP:

to others
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Old Nov 14, 11, 3:42 pm
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All this effort for perhaps a $20-$40 charge

I'll pass!
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Old Nov 14, 11, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by AndDee View Post
All this effort for perhaps a $20-$40 charge

I'll pass!
Since you seem to be flush with money perhaps you could send me 20- 40 a month
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Old Nov 14, 11, 7:44 pm
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I had this happen with National in DCA. A bit convoluted:

-I picked up the car, noticed after leaving the lot that the fuel gauge needle was just barely on F, and filled it up at a gas station less than 5 miles away. It took four gallons ($14).

-I prepaid the fuel. The fuel charge on the contract was wrong; I was driving a Chrysler Town & Country with a 20-gallon tank, but the system had charged me for 23 gallons.

I took my initial fuel receipt into the counter upon return (time-stamped less than 15 minutes after leaving the garage). The young lady at the counter had difficulty understanding exactly what transpired, since there were two related-but-separate issues going on. She issued me a credit, but it was the wrong amount (too little).

I had to contact corporate and email a scan of the fuel receipt (the counter agent had taken my original receipt) and thoroughly explain what happened. Apparently it was still too confusing, since they finally just refunded me a flat dollar amount that was more than the fuel overcharge plus what I put in immediately after renting.

My point is: It's not only Dollar that does this.

As for spending so much time on the telephone, why didn't you send in your complaint here? http://www.dollar.com/Help/CustomerAssistance.aspx I've had perfectly fine experience with getting mistakes fixed that way.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 7:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Blutak View Post
In the UK I prepaid for the rental this weekend of an ECAR at Palm Springs airport in California. The voucher amount included "Airport Concession Fee". I had to purchase a full tank of gasoline at pick-up and return the car with no refund for unused fuel. I have no problem with that.
The rental agreement showed a charge for AirConFee and for 16 gallons of fuel. According to the manufacturer's handbook, the tank holds 12.4 gallons: i.e., I had been overcharged by 3.6 gallons - and the fuel gauge needle was just on 'F' anyway.
Since collecting the car (Ford Fiesta 4-door) I have spent over five hours on the telephone with Dollar, both to the outlet and to the corporate contact centre - time I can ill afford to lose. Several times they promised that someonewould return my call within 30 minutes, but never did so (presumably hoping that I would go away).
Eventually they agreed that I was correct , but only after I threatened to go to the police alleging fraud, and to inform the Wall Street Journal (and FT, of course!).They claimed that the fuel quantity had been entered wrongly on to their database and nobody had noticed it until I called.
They also agreed to refund the AirConFee (or should it be the airCONfee?)
Best to always just tell them you will return the car full of gas with the receipt, and avoid giving them the opportunity to hose you down. It seems that they are all engaging in deliberate corporate policies of attempting to defraud, using things like charging $8/gallon if you don't return it full to charging a flat fee of $13.95 even if you return it full but don't have the receipt from the gas station. Civility, common sense, and honesty no longer seem to have a place in the corporate world. This deliberate fraud of claiming more fuel than the car can hold doesn't surprise me in the least, and I will definitely be on the outlook for it should I have to rent and return the car empty. Thanks, OP!
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Old Nov 14, 11, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
Best to always just tell them you will return the car full of gas with the receipt, and avoid giving them the opportunity to hose you down. It seems that they are all engaging in deliberate corporate policies of attempting to defraud, using things like charging $8/gallon if you don't return it full to charging a flat fee of $13.95 even if you return it full but don't have the receipt from the gas station. Civility, common sense, and honesty no longer seem to have a place in the corporate world. This deliberate fraud of claiming more fuel than the car can hold doesn't surprise me in the least, and I will definitely be on the outlook for it should I have to rent and return the car empty. Thanks, OP!
Prepaid international vouchers typically include all taxes, fees, and necessary coverage for out-of-country renters at a very low rate--certainly lower than buying the coverages at the counter, and often lower than the retail base rate available directly with the company.

They also typically require you to purchase prepaid fuel. It's in the voucher's terms and conditions. If you don't like that, don't buy the prepaid voucher. (You'll spend way more in the end, though.)
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Old Nov 14, 11, 9:15 pm
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This is why I always take the option of returning the car full if I can. Plus I keep the receipt from the gas station and take a photograph of the fuel reading at the rental return station.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 11:44 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Prepaid international vouchers typically include all taxes, fees, and necessary coverage for out-of-country renters at a very low rate--certainly lower than buying the coverages at the counter, and often lower than the retail base rate available directly with the company.

They also typically require you to purchase prepaid fuel. It's in the voucher's terms and conditions. If you don't like that, don't buy the prepaid voucher. (You'll spend way more in the end, though.)
I can understand that the coverages are likely necessary for out of country renters. The underlying problem, however, is that the rental companies are resorting, as a matter of policy, to underhanded attempts at fraud such as claiming to need 16 gallons of fuel to fill a 13 gallon tank, and all the other sneaky little tactics they employ assuming that travelers may be in too much of a hurry at the return to question or fight them. In my view, these tactics are highly unethical if not frankly fraudulent/illegal. Hotels are pulling the same sort of shenanigans with hidden "resort fees," etc. The whole level of civility and honesty throughout business seems to be slipping rapidly.
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Old Nov 15, 11, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
The underlying problem, however, is that the rental companies are resorting, as a matter of policy, to underhanded attempts at fraud such as claiming to need 16 gallons of fuel to fill a 13 gallon tank, and all the other sneaky little tactics they employ assuming that travelers may be in too much of a hurry at the return to question or fight them.
I am quite familiar with the rental industry and can firmly attest that (at least at most locations of most companies), something like this is most definitely an oversight.

Some franchise operators may be a bit less than scrupulous, but PSP is a corporate-owned location, and I have never found a corporate location of DTG to be participating in outright fraud. Incompetence or lack of attention to some details, maybe, but not willful fraud.
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