My Experience with Dollar

Old Sep 6, 13, 5:07 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: North West, UK
Programs: BA GfL (GGL/CCR), Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,868
My Experience with Dollar

My first post in the Dollar forum. Thought I would share my experiences in my three rentals whilst on holiday in Hawaii.

Big Island
I booked this rental at KOA through Auto-Europe for a Mustang Convertible and the queue at the off-site rental counter was long - I waited for 30 mins which really annoyed me. Especially when the majority of the time the rental agents spend with the client relates to trying to upsell. My wife and I organized ourselves to avoid the queue as much as possible. I ran for the shuttle bus and got in the queue. The wife sorted out the bags and I picked her up.

I was sweet talked into an upgrade to a Jeep for 4 days. This took about 15 mins.

I got a decent deal through Auto-Europe for about 150 for 4 days for the Mustang. Mike sold me the concept of an upgrade to a Jeep due to the additional clearance off the ground required for some of the roads on Big Island.

Initial offer was 92 for the 4 days, which I thought was steep. I told him it needed to be lower and I got it for 72 - 18 per day. However I think that was steep in hindsight too. He briefly pulled out his rate card and I asked to have a look at it, but in the end he avoided showing me. Looking at the rates on line, I think I should only have paid around 8 per day.

First Jeep had a broken roof system, and I had to wait 30 mins for another Jeep to be prepared, so wasn't happy with Dollar for that.

I didn't find any situations where I needed the extra clearance on normal Big Island roads, but it got me up Mauna Kea ok, so I was happy enough. Note as most people on this forum probably know you are not supposed to take hire cars up Mauna Kea other than from a specific rental company, so bear that in mind.

Had to take the full tank of fuel, but I bled the thing dry, so probably saved myself some money in this rental for fuel. We were on fumes when we dropped the car off.

From our experience on Big Island we decided we needed to try and by pass the queue and I joined Dollar Express in time for our next rental at OGG. I had to ring up the Dollar call centre to get them to add my Dollar Express number to my reservation but they were happy to do that.

This rental was organized through Auto-Europe again for a Mustang for 4 days for around 150.

We applied the same strategy - I went to the rental counter behind baggage collection and since I was an Express member, the lady sorted everything out for me there and then. No upsell, just confirmed the full tank of fuel and I picked up the shuttle to the off-site location and then had my blue Mustang within 10 mins of arrival. Very pleased with the service etc.

Unfortunately there was absolutely no queue whatsoever on Maui, so I didn't get any benefit from being an Express member other than to avoid the upsell opportunity.

Again bled the car almost dry, so was about even on that one. Overall good experience of Dollar.

At the last minute we organized a 2 day rental of the cheapest car for us heading back to HNL. Had to ring up on the morning to get my Express account number added to my reservation which I organized through the website (to get clarity over the insurance costs). Apparently the website is classed as an agency website, so it's handled differently by the call centre.

When I told the shuttle driver that I was an Express member and I wasn't on her list, she rang the request through and by the time I got there, everything was sorted. They expected me, and I was in my Focus within 10 mins. Again really good service. The queue here looked to be at least another 30 mins if not 45 mins. This time I had to fill up on my return and provide the receipt, which they checked.

Overall good experience with Dollar - probably the best value I came across when checking on line, and I would certainly use them again, especially making use of Express to by-pass the long queues.
billinghamn is offline  
Old Sep 13, 13, 5:46 am
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Gibraltar/UK
Programs: BA Gold, Priority Club Gold, Ibis Plat,
Posts: 1,197
Why is it no matter what car company you use it always feels that you are dealing with cowboys on a sales mission - upgrade this for only blah blah..upgrade that for only.....have you got enough insurance cover......long lines.....rubbish service..unclean cars...why do we rent cars!!

Grumble over...but I feel it is one of the most rip off areas in the service industry!
nivsy is offline  

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