Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Car Rental Programs and Ride Services > Rental Car Discussion
Reload this Page >

Thrifty - Worst Excuse For Not Honoring The Reserved Rate

Thrifty - Worst Excuse For Not Honoring The Reserved Rate

Old May 4, 17, 8:20 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Falls Gulch VA
Posts: 206
Thrifty - Worst Excuse For Not Honoring The Reserved Rate

I keep thinking I've heard every way of being screwed when traveling but this one takes the cake (so far anyway).

I had a reservation with Thrifty in LAS a couple of weeks ago, two days for a mid-or-larger car. Thanks to the good folks at AutoSlash, I ended up with an outrageously low daily rate of $14.44, $43.34 total with fees and taxes.

I had flown in a few days earlier and picked up the car after I'd finished my business, planning a couple of days of touring. I reserved for a pickup time of 9 AM.

I'm a Blue Chip customer so, as directed, I went right to the lot. The monitor that lists Blue Chip renters and tells you where to pick up your car was blank. The agent in the booth was having difficulty finding my reservation, so I handed him a printed copy. After a fair amount of typing, he handed me my paperwork and directed me to where to pick out my car. I did so, and drove off.

When I returned the car, I looked at the receipt and noticed that I was charged about $20 more than the cost on my reservation. I would have stopped at the rental desk (Dollar, same company, I know) to ask about it, but there were a couple of people in line and I didn't want to miss my flight I - figured I'd call and straighten it out when I got to my next destination.

When I called, I was passed around to three different people all of whom insisted that I was charged the rate that was on my reservation.

After filling out their "did you have a great rental experience?" survey with a lot of "terribles" I was surprised to get an e-mail reply from someone with a Hertz e-mail address saying that he would look into it. I e-mailed him a copy of my original reservation and the receipt, and a day later he came back with this answer:

"The reason is your original pick up time was schedule for a 9 am pick and it seems you picked the vehicle up 15 minutes earlier than schedule. I know this doesn't seem like a big deal, but with some rate codes the time of pick-up is important. So with picking it up earlier, the rate defaulted to $24.59 a day instead of the $14.44 a day that your reservation quoted." !!!!!!!

I know that rates change frequently now with rental cars, but I always assumed that that the rates they quote are the rates in effect at the time you make the reservation, for the car, date, and time you want.

Could be that the agent at the desk at the lot was a mindless dolt, but it would have been reasonable for him to point out that the rate the computer spit out wasn't the same as what was on my reservation and then let me argue about it. Or if he knew why the rate was different (and I suspect that he didn't, since it took quite a bit of digging to find the reason) suggest that I go back to the lobby, have a cup of coffee, and come back in fifteen minutes.

The Hertz guy apologized, of course, and said he put in a request for a refund of the difference between what I reserved and what I paid, so I'm hoping this will end well.

I realize that a reservation isn't a contract, and if it was, I'd have broken it by picking up the car 15 minutes early. But I guess that when your business is controlled by a computer, the human employees, at least at the service level, have no choice but to blindly follow whatever it says.

I wonder how often this occurrs. What if a flight arrival was late, or, heaven forbid, 15 minutes early?

I've learned to carefully inspect a rental car for damage before I leave the lot, but I've always assumed that if the car is there when I arrive, that the reservation process worked.
Mike Rivers is offline  
Old May 5, 17, 2:32 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Chicago Illinois
Programs: 1MM UA
Posts: 1,743
Was the other rate on the paperwork that you picked up?

I never leave a rental car lot without checking the rate versus my
reservation. I don't want to deal with it when I come back. The rate
does not match the rate on the reservation 20% of the time. At
National they desk people are often really annoyed that I won't
go to the aisle and get my car, but the fraction of time they mess
up the rate is higher.

My worst experience was in Boston, when my flight was delayed
a bit and I arrived at the National Desk around 11:45 pm. The
desk agent said "this is your lucky day" and sent me to the aisle,
before I routinely refused. By the time I got to the booth, it was
12:05 am. A much higher rate came up because of the date change.
I had to back up and go back to the desk.
sosafan is offline  
Old May 5, 17, 7:48 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Falls Gulch VA
Posts: 206
Originally Posted by sosafan View Post
Was the other rate on the paperwork that you picked up?
I usually glance at the paperwork before I leave the lot. In this case, I did, and I found two cards in the packet, one with the rate on my reservation and the other one was different (and higher). I'm not sure if it was even the same as the rate I was charged, but probably was, since everything is done by computer, taking human error as well as human good judgment entirely out of the picture.

I got an e-mail today telling me that my refund is on the way, so at least I ended up where I expected to be.
Mike Rivers is offline  
Old May 5, 17, 9:40 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 865
as an example, I've rented from Alamo enough times, I know that if I show up early and use the kiosk, I have a high likelihood of seeing a different rate from my reservation. so if i do show up more than a few minutes early, eg 30+m, I relax and browse the internet. i'm old enuf that one doesn't have to swat me on the head until I get in line, assuming they are someone I want to "play" with...

i have a lot of admiration for Alamo because of their no deposit policy, eg beyond the actual estimated cost of the rental, so happy to abide by the terms of the reservation that I made...
randix is offline  
Old May 11, 17, 3:45 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 22,375
OP I dont know if what I ran into at times was the same with your rental. But many times when Im getting quotes (even with Costco) when I change the time of p/u it will spit out a different rate sometimes cheaper sometimes more expensive

So much so that Ive booked the way cheaper rate and cxed my flights booked within 24, and booked a different flight to correspond to when I will be picking up the booked car, if theres a large down time before I can get the car

So it is possible ( not probable) that there was a more expensive rate for a p/u B4 9 .

My Budget last weekend I p/ued up 1/2 hour early since there was a 29 min grace that I needed for the d/o. My contact was for $20 more since it was charging me according to my d/o time I reserved. Returned the car with 20 mins of the grace period used and my final receipt was for my original rate w/o the extra hour having been charged. Although if I wasnt in a rush I would have had them change my return time to mirror the exact time I p/ued the car to be safe
craz is offline  
Old May 16, 17, 4:59 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Falls Gulch VA
Posts: 206
Originally Posted by craz View Post
OP I dont know if what I ran into at times was the same with your rental. But many times when Im getting quotes (even with Costco) when I change the time of p/u it will spit out a different rate sometimes cheaper sometimes more expensive
What I've found over the last couple of years is that rates, at least with Hertz/Thrifty, adjust their rates several times a day, based on the number of reservations for a specific combination of time, date, special rate, and type of car, at the time you're making the reservation. It can go up or down. So what you've experienced when changing the pickup time may have been not because the time was different, but rather that you made the change an hour later, or on the next day.

I think that the rate system has become so complex that real humans, whether renters or car rental staff, can predict or understand them. Only The Computer can.

For example, the first customer service person I spoke to when trying to resolve this rate difference told me that my reservation was for two days and one hour (it wasn't - pickup and return times reserved were both 9 AM) and that because I picked up the car at 8:45 and returned it at 8:30, I wasn't charged for the extra hour, so I should be happy.
Mike Rivers is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread