E-Z (and Advantage, Fox)

Old Apr 25, 19, 9:17 pm
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E-Z (and Advantage, Fox)

I needed a one day rental in Vegas earlier in the week, and of course went with AutoSlash. Prices were higher than I liked, but they did offer a $19 all in rate with E-Z, mid-size, booked through AutoSlash, not Priceline, no prepayment required. That evening I was feeling feisty, up for the "counter fight", so I went with the E-Z quote and was prepared to do battle, just a one day rental, I could deal with it, right?

I showed up at 8pm and found the E-Z counter closed. There was a hand-written sign, go to the Advantage desk if you have a reservation.

Went over to the Advantage area and found a short line, there were 2 customer reps at the counter. Unfortunately, the short line did not translate into my getting to the counter any time soon. Was probably only 10m, but seemed like forever.

Agent took my DL and credit card, and asked what kind of car I'd like. I replied, whatever is in my reservation. She again asked, and again, I repeated, whatever my reservation reflects. She asked if I wanted full coverage, and I replied with my standard statement that I must have repeated twice a week for years before every rental agency under the sun, "no coverage and I'll bring it back full". She asked who my insurance carrier was, and then asked if I wanted to prepay for fuel. Yep, you guessed it, I replied, "no coverage and I'll bring it back full". She was slightly annoyed.

She then pointed me to the small LCD screen on the counter, 3" x 5" or so, and told me to answer the prompts. One of the prompts was, that I've reviewed the terms and conditions of my rental and fully agree with all provisions. Of course, that was impossible, as up to that point, I was given and showen absolutely nothing. That LCD device, and procedure, is the exact same thing you'll find at Fox.

I was then given the paperwork and instructed to proceed out the door to the Advantage booth, even though it was an E-Z rental. When I got out to the garage and found the Advantage booth, there was a line, with folks who were waiting to get their car assignment, as well as folks who had gotten their car assignment, but were waiting to return the signed defect checklist. It was not a pretty line, even at that time of night. Folks complaining that only diesel cars were available, and folks who given the delay, were complaining that their short vacation time was spent picking up a car. I waited probably 15m until I was given the assigned spot for my vehicle, and the paperwork for defects, which I needed to complete and then return to the line in the garage.

My car was indeed a midsize (and a diesel), it had 55,000 miles. I found nothing to report, but back to the line I went.

I returned the car the next evening, and actually was 1 hr and 15m past the return time. I was met by one person who was "checking in cars" for E-Z, he was casually dressed, wore no E-Z branding whatsoever, he could have been someone off the street. He did not walk around the car, he did not check the fuel, he simply asked me, did I fill it up? He made no remark that I was past the return time, and said I was good to go. I was charged the $19, my $200 deposit was promptly refunded.

I didn't mind the counter interaction, but I have to admit, the waste of time in the garage and a high mileage car really generated the irritation. The use of that small LCD screen which is also used by others, like Fox, is terrible, the renter is never afforded the opportunity to review the terms and conditions. At Fox a few months ago, I wouldn't sign their screen unless they showed me the contract--let me tell ya, the agent was beyond annoyed.

Was it worth the $19 price? Probably not. Payless for good reasons belongs at the bottom of the barrel, not sure I'm inclined to agree w AutoSlash that Advantage, E-Z and Fox deserve anything approaching 3 stars. But if you're up for it at the time you decide to make the reservation, great; you just may not be feeling the love when you actually pick up the car. I'd rate Fox higher than Advantage or E-Z because once you're done at the counter, you're free (although more often not, your class of car is not available, they just shrug, take the next higher class). I'd give E-Z and Advantage 2 stars, I'd give Fox 2 1/2. But in all cases, their use of that small LCD screen in which they get the agreement of the renter to the terms and condition, without the renter seeing those terms and conditions, is reprehensible, so maybe they should all have one star subtracted for that alone.

It was an experience, I could have gone without.

fyi and fwiw.
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Old Apr 27, 19, 8:24 am
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Rentals in Las Vegas were diesel? I've never heard of such a thing in the US before.
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Old Apr 27, 19, 6:02 pm
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In all the years...

Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
Rentals in Las Vegas were diesel? I've never heard of such a thing in the US before.
I've been renting cars, I have to say I have never rented or even driven a diesel car before, the one from E-Z was the first. Maybe that says somethin' about my taste in cars... when I was standing in line to pick up the car the other night, the woman in front of me had returned to the Advantage garage booth to complain that it took "too long" between the time they held down the start button to the time the [diesel] car started--there ensued a long (sigh) discussion [argument], with the rep in the booth saying simply, well, if you don't like the car, you can go back inside and [stand in line] ask for a different car...

Last edited by randix; Apr 27, 19 at 7:13 pm
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Old Apr 28, 19, 2:31 am
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I am glad you shared this. I am always tempted by these operators having some really attractive prices in Las Vegas and knowing they are at the consolidated rental car facility I have often thought to myself "what is the difference... you still get to use the airport's bus and it is just a different counter and different return lane in the same facility as Avis, Budget, or Alamo/National... how bad can it be..." But I've always stayed away due to past experiences elsewhere as well as current reviews online.

Cannot believe they are renting out diesels... what the... ....
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Old Apr 28, 19, 3:05 am
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Originally Posted by randix View Post
I've been renting cars, I have to say I have never rented or even driven a diesel car before, the one from E-Z was the first. Maybe that says somethin' about my taste in cars... when I was standing in line to pick up the car the other night, the woman in front of me had returned to the Advantage garage booth to complain that it took "too long" between the time they held down the start button to the time the [diesel] car started--there ensued a long (sigh) discussion [argument], with the rep in the booth saying simply, well, if you don't like the car, you can go back inside and [stand in line] ask for a different car...
What kind of diesel car did you get?
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Old Apr 28, 19, 1:56 pm
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In reply to your question...

Originally Posted by m907 View Post
What kind of diesel car did you get?
I didn't keep my RA, but it was a VW model, midsize, had 55k miles on it... the attached pik looks like it, including the sunroof...

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Old Apr 28, 19, 10:11 pm
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Maybe these were used VW diesels that were manufacturer buybacks, repaired under the recent emissions cheating scandal? It would not be that surprising if VW, or its local dealers, eventually sold some to third-tier discount rental brands, likely at a substantial discount.
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Old Apr 28, 19, 10:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
Maybe these were used VW diesels that were manufacturer buybacks, repaired under the recent emissions cheating scandal? It would not be that surprising if VW, or its local dealers, eventually sold some to third-tier discount rental brands, likely at a substantial discount.
That was my thought when I saw this. The only other midsize vehicle in the US that I'm aware of that offers a diesel engine is the Cruze.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 1:38 am
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I'd actually be curious to drive one.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 6:16 am
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I'm no car guy...

Originally Posted by m907 View Post
I'd actually be curious to drive one.
I think you'd have more fun browsing the shelves at your local 7-11. It drove ok, similar to any non-diesel car I've driven; lag present when pressing the start-up button (which was located in an unusual location, to me anyway); the fuel gauge never moved but fuel consumption was what I expected given the mileage I used; the interior showed plenty evidence of wear.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by randix View Post
I think you'd have more fun browsing the shelves at your local 7-11. It drove ok, similar to any non-diesel car I've driven; lag present when pressing the start-up button (which was located in an unusual location, to me anyway); the fuel gauge never moved but fuel consumption was what I expected given the mileage I used; the interior showed plenty evidence of wear.
IIRC the (gas) VW Jetta I rented in Colorado a few years ago had the start button on the center console (that is, down by the cupholders) rather than the dash or steering column. I assume thatís what youíre referring to? Saabs used to be like that too, back when they were still around - even the ones toward the end that were just rebadged GMs.

FWIW, Iíd be curious to try one as well, but I wouldnít go out of my way or pay extra for it.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 5:12 pm
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Yep...

Originally Posted by strickerj View Post
VW Jetta I rented in Colorado a few years ago had the start button on the center console (that is, down by the cupholders) rather than the dash or steering column. I assume thatís what youíre referring to? Saabs used to be like that too, back when they were still around - even the ones toward the end that were just rebadged GMs.
Yep, that's where that start button was, exactly as you described.
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Old Apr 30, 19, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by randix View Post
Yep, that's where that start button was, exactly as you described.
I'm in a Tiguan right now that has the start button in the same place. There's a rubber cover where the keyed ignition would have been which confused me until I found the button.
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Old May 1, 19, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
Maybe these were used VW diesels that were manufacturer buybacks, repaired under the recent emissions cheating scandal? It would not be that surprising if VW, or its local dealers, eventually sold some to third-tier discount rental brands, likely at a substantial discount.
I drove past the giant parking lot off I-25 at the Pikes Peak International Raceway (between Colorado Springs and Pueblo) recently where thousands of bogus VWs have been stored:

Volkswagen bought back almost 300,000 cheating diesel cars. A bunch of them are parked outside of Colorado Springs
https://www.denverpost.com/2017/08/3...orado-springs/

Well, to quote Johnny Horton:

There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.

I suspect you're exactly right.
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Old May 1, 19, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
I drove past the giant parking lot off I-25 at the Pikes Peak International Raceway (between Colorado Springs and Pueblo) recently where thousands of bogus VWs have been stored:



https://www.denverpost.com/2017/08/3...orado-springs/

Well, to quote Johnny Horton:

There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.

I suspect you're exactly right.
Oh yeah, we had one of their lots around here too (the Pontiac Silverdome). There were more cars in the parking lot there after the VW buyback than at any Lions game! I kid, I kid...
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