misleading surcharges

 
Old Dec 10, 09, 3:25 pm
  #1  
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misleading surcharges

rental of mid size in las for 11 days. base rate of 169.13. checking the rates they give for access fee, rental tax, and sales tax. seems to me things dont add up. Is this legit and how can they publish surcharge rate percentages and then have the figures not add up. this if for thrifty in mid january. anyone have any thoughts?

Car Class: Ford Fusion or similar
Rate: $107.14/week
Total Base Rate (USD): Total Base Rate (USD):
$169.13 $169.13
OPTIONS
CHANGE
BOOK IT
Rental Time Charge
$169.13
AIRPORT ACCESS FEE (10%)
$18.40
Customer Facility Charge ($3.00 per day)
$33.00
RENTAL TAX (12%)
$28.25
STATE TAX (8.1%)
$19.07
Vehicle License Fee ($1.35 per day)
$14.85
Total Estimated Mandatory Charges (USD)
$282.70
Estimated Grand Total (USD)
$282.70
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Old Dec 10, 09, 6:26 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by playertom View Post
rental of mid size in las for 11 days. base rate of 169.13. checking the rates they give for access fee, rental tax, and sales tax. seems to me things dont add up. Is this legit and how can they publish surcharge rate percentages and then have the figures not add up. this if for thrifty in mid january. anyone have any thoughts?

Car Class: Ford Fusion or similar
Rate: $107.14/week
Total Base Rate (USD): Total Base Rate (USD):
$169.13 $169.13
OPTIONS
CHANGE
BOOK IT
Rental Time Charge
$169.13
AIRPORT ACCESS FEE (10%)
$18.40
Customer Facility Charge ($3.00 per day)
$33.00
RENTAL TAX (12%)
$28.25
STATE TAX (8.1%)
$19.07
Vehicle License Fee ($1.35 per day)
$14.85
Total Estimated Mandatory Charges (USD)
$282.70
Estimated Grand Total (USD)
$282.70

It's legit in the sense that everything is disclosed. With respect to adding up, it does, as some items are subject to certain taxes/fees and some are not. The 10% airport fee is based on the base rate and the VLF only. The state and rental taxes are based on the base rate, VLF, airport fee and facility charge.
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Old Dec 10, 09, 6:57 pm
  #3  
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i see what ur saying there but if u take say 12% of the base rate it doesnt come out to $28.xx or the 10% doesnt come out to $18.xx and 8.1% sales tax doesnt come out to $19.xx
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Old Dec 10, 09, 6:59 pm
  #4  
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got it it seems like they are taxing and surcharging taxes and surchages. that could go on forever it seems the way they think.
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Old Dec 11, 09, 1:37 am
  #5  
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The VLF and airport access fee are rental agency-imposed surcharges (albeit universally imposed ones). The airport access fee pretty much exactly covers what the rental agency must fork over to the airport leasing authority as part of the concession agreement.[1]

The city tax and state tax are on all revenue collected by the rental agency, including other agency-imposed fees. Therefore, the VLF and airport access fee are subject to the city- and state-imposed taxes.

This isn't the case in every jurisdiction, however. Here in ANC, the airport concession recovery fee is not subject to additional tax by the city and state. (The VLF is, but none of the agencies in Anchorage charges a VLF anymore.) Also, in most jurisdictions, defined coverage products are not subject to additional tax (CDW, SLI, PAI, etc.) However, although I have not reviewed them, it appears that the way the LAS and NV tax codes are written, airport access fees are not exempt from taxation.

If you don't like that, well, write your LAS city council member and your NV state congressman. Oh, wait, they're not yours: this is taxation without representation!

Footnote 1: Actually, this is why airport access fees are normally 11.11%, because the rental agency collects an extra 10% to cover the 10% concession fee, but then they have to pay 10% of the additional 10% collected, bumping it to 11%, so they charge that, which is then itself subject to a concession fee, so it becomes a repeating decimal of 11.1111111...%, which is usually rounded to 11.11%. Odd that they actually don't do that in this case!
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Old Dec 11, 09, 5:48 am
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In addition to what jackal said, don't worry too much about whether it adds up: chances are you'll end up paying less. In my experience, the Thrifty booking system often "overtaxes" on the estimate and then the local computers figure out exactly what is taxed and what isn't, and you wind up with your final total.

Take my home of B.C. for instance, where there are two fees and two taxes on every rental. One fee is the VLATR, or Vehicles License and Air Tax Recovery. It's the same as the VLF -- a fee imposed by all agencies but for their own revenue -- except that it also recovers expenses from Canada's A/C Excise Tax, where new car equipped with A/C is taxed $100 to the first owner. We also have the $1.50 per day Provincial Vehicle Road Levy, paid directly to the Provincial (State) Government. Finally, there are two separate sales taxes, the 5% GST paid federally, and the 7% PST paid provincially.

The VLATR is subject to both taxes, whereas the PVRL is only subject to GST, since otherwise the B.C. government would be taxing a tax. However, on a Thrifty rental estimate, the whole darn thing is subjected to 12% worth of sales taxes, meaning your estimate comes out slightly higher than what the actual cost would be. It can be a bit annoying, but it's better than the other way around (Hertz IME)...

And yes, come July 1st both sales taxes will be combined into one 12% tax, so my example will probably become obselete, but that debate is best saved for another day...
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Old Dec 11, 09, 6:10 am
  #7  
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thanks for the info. just seems like we are getting taxed over and over again. oh i guess thats normal though. soon it looks like surcharges and taxes will be as much as the base rental on cars. thanks again.
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Old Feb 24, 10, 10:57 am
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Mine is a bit different. I booked through Travelocity at 205.41 but my rental agreement has an eye-popping 353.09!

During three separate calls to CS, I was told:

1) I needed to go to the nearest Thrifty counter to have the additional charges removed. I drove to DAY and was told they couldn't do that.

2) I needed to go to the original Thrifty counter to have the additional charges removed, but before returning the car.

3) I needed to return the car and have the charges removed afterwards.

Any suggestions, dear friends?
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Old Feb 25, 10, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by GuyverII View Post
Mine is a bit different. I booked through Travelocity at 205.41 but my rental agreement has an eye-popping 353.09!

During three separate calls to CS, I was told:

1) I needed to go to the nearest Thrifty counter to have the additional charges removed. I drove to DAY and was told they couldn't do that.

2) I needed to go to the original Thrifty counter to have the additional charges removed, but before returning the car.

3) I needed to return the car and have the charges removed afterwards.

Any suggestions, dear friends?
Taxes and fees are always subject to change. For example, here in ANC, the state-mandated Customer Facility Charge (which pays down the bond debt on the new consolidated rental facility) is increasing from $4.81/day to $6.something per day in March because of lower rental volume last year [the state has bills to pay, too!].

However, a 75% increase is a bit much!

Are you sure your Travelocity quote included ALL charges (taxes and fees)? Are you sure your rental agreement specifies the exact same time period (number of days, hours, etc.) on your reservation? (You didn't pick up earlier than planned or tell them to change your return date/time?)

If there truly is a difference, identify what it is (rate changed, extra charge added, taxes different, etc.) and point it out to a CSR or manager on duty at the rental station (at return should work fine, but you might want to tell the return greeter you have questions about your charges, since it's usually easier to modify things before the contract is closed).

If they can't help you, then contact Thrifty customer care at 1-877-283-0898 x4 during normal business hours after returning the car. Make sure to retain any documentation you can showing the difference between your reservation quote and your actual charges.

Last, if Thrifty customer care is unable to help you, talk to Travelocity, since they guarantee their estimated totals (to within 1%, IIRC).

Unless you chose to add coverage, add an upgrade, change your rental time period, or the taxes had a SERIOUS hike, you should be able to get your money back. (Note that ignorance of any additional options on the contract is not a defense: you are responsible for reviewing the charges BEFORE you sign the contract. While an honest, ethical salesperson will clearly disclose all your rental charges up front [something I WHOLLY support, and shady rental sales anger me like few other things], even if the rental agent circles five boxes and just tells you to intial and sign, it is on you to review what you are signing before you do so.)
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Old Feb 25, 10, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post

Unless you chose to add coverage, add an upgrade, change your rental time period, or the taxes had a SERIOUS hike, you should be able to get your money back. (Note that ignorance of any additional options on the contract is not a defense: you are responsible for reviewing the charges BEFORE you sign the contract. While an honest, ethical salesperson will clearly disclose all your rental charges up front [something I WHOLLY support, and shady rental sales anger me like few other things], even if the rental agent circles five boxes and just tells you to intial and sign, it is on you to review what you are signing before you do so.)
Thanks for your response; Everything just about matches except for my rental has an "upgrade" listed at 13.00 day x 9 days = $117.00

It doesn't make any sense since I signed up for Thrifty's "We pick the car for you" midsize and they have given me a midsize! (Ford Fusion). It was after midnight when I picked up the car and the counter rep was talking a mile a minute-I do remember him saying "We just have a PT Cruiser but I'm going to put you in a nice Ford Fusion". Isaid I didn't mind the PT Cruiser, but he insisted this would be better. Yeah, $145 better for them.
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Old Feb 25, 10, 10:30 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by GuyverII View Post
Thanks for your response; Everything just about matches except for my rental has an "upgrade" listed at 13.00 day x 9 days = $117.00

It doesn't make any sense since I signed up for Thrifty's "We pick the car for you" midsize and they have given me a midsize! (Ford Fusion). It was after midnight when I picked up the car and the counter rep was talking a mile a minute-I do remember him saying "We just have a PT Cruiser but I'm going to put you in a nice Ford Fusion". Isaid I didn't mind the PT Cruiser, but he insisted this would be better. Yeah, $145 better for them.
Well, while you're still responsible for the contract since you signed it, this is one of those gray areas you may be able to push back on.

I would ask to speak to a manager upon return and tell them exactly what you said. Here are your talking points:
  • You booked a wild car
  • You were happy with the PT Cruiser
  • The sales representative told you he was going to put you in the Ford Fusion, not even really giving you a choice
  • The agent did not disclose the fact there was a difference in cost, either during the offer or when he was explaining the contract to you

If it truly happened how you describe, this is the kind of sleazy salesmanship that angers me. And it's not even the best way from a revenue standpoint: honest, customer-focused, relational-based sales will ALWAYS trump the lying/cheating/stealing method.
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Old Feb 28, 10, 10:07 am
  #12  
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I followed your advice and went to the counter after telling the cs agent I had a billing problem. The CS at the counter immediately dropped my bill to the travelocity $205 and said "Yeah, we've had to talk to XXXXX agent about doing that."

Why don't the just fire the moron?!?

Anyways, thanks for your help.
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