Trouble returning car at ASE

Old Mar 4, 20, 7:51 pm
  #1  
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Trouble returning car at ASE

Did a one way rental with National, Denver to Aspen. The drive itself was uneventful. Then...

DAY 1, 7pm. I drive into the parking lot at Aspen airport to return the car. Normally you park the car and bring the keys to the office inside the airport, but this time there is someone in the parking lot. She tells me she's with National and asks me for the keys. She says I don't need to stop by the office, she'll take care of everything.

DAY 2, 9am. The National app shows the rental is still open and the car is overdue. I call the local office. Automated system, no option to speak with a local agent; the trick is to select "lost and found." Finally reach a guy in the Aspen office. I explain the problem, he assures me he will take care of it.

DAY 2, 1pm. Rental still open, overdue. I call the main customer service, they say they'll reach out to the location.

DAY 2, 5pm. Rental still open, overdue. Chat with someone on Twitter, they say they'll reach out to the location.

Day 2, 8pm. Rental still open, overdue. I call the local office, talk to a woman who says she has no record of the car being returned. Asks me to describe the agent that took the keys, says no one like that works there. She says she'll investigate and call me back, never does. I start to worry that the person that got the keys was impersonating an agent. It was dark and I was tired. Couldn't happen in Aspen, right?

DAY 3, 10am. Rental still open, overdue. I call the local office, talk to a guy.. I explain the problem, he assures me he will take care of it.

DAY 3, 12noon. Finally the app shows rental closed, car returned on time.

By the way, something similar happened one year ago at this location - but then it only took one call (the following morning) to get the rental closed.

And PSA: ALWAYS get a printed receipt. Duh.

Last edited by dwbf11; Mar 10, 20 at 6:03 am Reason: Edited to keep the post on topic.
eastbysouthwest is offline  
Old Mar 5, 20, 7:57 am
  #2  
 
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Happened to me at LAX once. One day rental and contract was never closed out, despite the return agent handing me a return receipt. The LAX branch manager called me to ask about the car, and I forwarded the receipt to her. Took several days for the contract to be closed as well.

I also agree on getting a receipt, whether it is printed or emailed as proof of return.
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Old Mar 5, 20, 10:43 am
  #3  
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I'd like to save a tree, but paper is best. Once I got charged for gas even though I returned the car with a full tank. By the time I got the email receipt and noticed, I was already on the shuttle bus. I called and got a credit, but this is easier to fix on the spot.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 12:48 pm
  #4  
 
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I've learned, the hard way, that you should always insist on getting a receipt.

Sometimes, you don't have the time and you need to trust the system. When I returned a minivan to the location near the Port Authority in NYC earlier this year it took them 3 days to close out the rental contract and get a receipt. Nobody seemed stoned, just seems to be the system at some locations...
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Old Mar 6, 20, 1:09 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by noah View Post
I've learned, the hard way, that you should always insist on getting a receipt.

Sometimes, you don't have the time and you need to trust the system. When I returned a minivan to the location near the Port Authority in NYC earlier this year it took them 3 days to close out the rental contract and get a receipt. Nobody seemed stoned, just seems to be the system at some locations...
Thanks for the data point. Aspen is a small location so I expected them to act faster, especially after I called multiple times. I only started to worry after my third phone call, when their employee said she had no record of the return.

But yes, the lesson for me is to always get a paper receipt. E-mail receipts are more convenient in theory, but this shows you can't always trust you will get one. And for after hours returns, you may want a photo / video of you dropping the keys in the box. Too paranoid? Perhaps.

As a side note, I wonder if most rental cars have some kind of GPS / tracking device so they can be found if the local office "misplaces" them. I recall Fox Car Rental was fined by California (ten years ago or so) for using GPS data to overcharge renters who drove outside certain states.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 6:01 am
  #6  
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To all: let's keep the conversation civil and on-topic. If anyone wants to add further feedback for the original poster in a constructive way, that's fine, but we will not be having more off-topic discussion about drugs or the like. Any questions, please PM me.
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