Another example of Terrific Svc from Thrifty

 
Old May 14, 11, 12:20 pm
  #1  
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Another example of Terrific Svc from Thrifty

Why do I even ever rent with Thrifty.

Rented a car in BUF this week. An economy Suzuki whatever it is (small).

Drove 52 miles. Car took 4 gallons to refill. Obviously wasn't topped off since I'm guessin it gets 30 mpg not 13.
Commented to agent when I dropped it off and he said "4 Gallons?" wow that doesn't seem right. Then said "Did you floor it the whole 52 miles?" Gave him a dirty look and he didn't so much as smile so wasn't joking... no apology. I said "perhaps it wasn't full when I got it." He shrugged his shoulders and handed me my receipt.

Seriously... don't acknowledge it wasn't full when you rented it, instead come up w/ the illogical conclusion somehow the customer is wrong again.

Unreal.
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Old May 14, 11, 12:27 pm
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I always check fuel gauge when checking out, 25% of the time it is not full.
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Old May 17, 11, 12:50 pm
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I don't want to defend Thrifty for this, because I think this practice is wrong --- but I do think that all major car rental companies do this. If they refill the tank, they put in just enough fuel to make the fuel gauge register "F". As soon as you drive 50 miles, the gauge shows 3/4...

Sometimes I wonder if they actually take fuel *out* of the tank if the previous customer was stupid enough to actually top it off...
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Old May 17, 11, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by david7031 View Post
I don't want to defend Thrifty for this, because I think this practice is wrong --- but I do think that all major car rental companies do this. If they refill the tank, they put in just enough fuel to make the fuel gauge register "F". As soon as you drive 50 miles, the gauge shows 3/4...

Sometimes I wonder if they actually take fuel *out* of the tank if the previous customer was stupid enough to actually top it off...
I have NEVER heard of that being the case from ANY rental company in the industry.

If the rental company has to fill it up, they fill it up until it clicks off. Why wouldn't they? They get to bill the previous customer at the double-the-pump rate. The more they put in, the more profit they make.

Besides, the car detailers don't have time to slowly put a quarter gallon of fuel in at a time and carefully watch the fuel gauge so they know to stop exactly when the gauge shows full. No, the detailers fill it up to at least the first click if not a click or two past that.

The blame should be placed on your fellow previous renters who fill up 20+ miles away from return and try to game the system. If the gauge is on full, the rental agency won't take the time to go by the fuel pump. (Yes, shockingly, they trust the customer to have actually filled it up! Unfortunately, trust doesn't go very far these days, and you as the next renter are the victim of what happens when people try to trust each other these days...)
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Old May 20, 11, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
I have NEVER heard of that being the case from ANY rental company in the industry.

If the rental company has to fill it up, they fill it up until it clicks off. Why wouldn't they? They get to bill the previous customer at the double-the-pump rate. The more they put in, the more profit they make.

Besides, the car detailers don't have time to slowly put a quarter gallon of fuel in at a time and carefully watch the fuel gauge so they know to stop exactly when the gauge shows full. No, the detailers fill it up to at least the first click if not a click or two past that.

The blame should be placed on your fellow previous renters who fill up 20+ miles away from return and try to game the system. If the gauge is on full, the rental agency won't take the time to go by the fuel pump. (Yes, shockingly, they trust the customer to have actually filled it up! Unfortunately, trust doesn't go very far these days, and you as the next renter are the victim of what happens when people try to trust each other these days...)

Hi Jackal,

You may be right. I have no *data* to the contrary. It's just that this seems to happen so frequently (>70% of the time), and since I always do fill the tank, I tend to assume that my fellow travellers are honest...

At a major airport like LAX, where a rental car company may process 1000 cars in a day --- well, if they save $10 on fuel on each of those cars, that's $10,000 per day in profit. You could indeed hire one or two extra detaillers for that price and still be comfortably in the profit zone. I guess I'm just a bit less trusting of the car rental companies than I am of my fellow travellers!
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Old May 20, 11, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by david7031 View Post
Hi Jackal,

You may be right. I have no *data* to the contrary. It's just that this seems to happen so frequently (>70% of the time), and since I always do fill the tank, I tend to assume that my fellow travellers are honest...

At a major airport like LAX, where a rental car company may process 1000 cars in a day --- well, if they save $10 on fuel on each of those cars, that's $10,000 per day in profit. You could indeed hire one or two extra detaillers for that price and still be comfortably in the profit zone. I guess I'm just a bit less trusting of the car rental companies than I am of my fellow travellers!
The only internal communication on this matter that I've ever heard (although this is a local thing, not necessarily a national policy) is that if the gauge shows full, don't take the car to the fueling station. The primary reason for that is (in addition to keeping staffing costs down) that most of the time, the car will take less than two gallons, and that's too small of an amount to bill the previous customer for, meaning the rental agency has to eat the cost of that fuel. That cost adds up far faster than any games the agency could ever play with fuel.

I certainly haven't ever heard any policy specifying cars should ever be filled up to anything less than full, and I have most definitely seen people deliberately not fill it up full within 10 miles of return like they're supposed to, with the intent to defraud the rental agency/next customer. Heck, people have admitted as much on public bulletin boards (including IIRC this one).

Last edited by jackal; May 20, 11 at 8:57 am
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Old May 21, 11, 1:06 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
The only internal communication on this matter that I've ever heard (although this is a local thing, not necessarily a national policy) is that if the gauge shows full, don't take the car to the fueling station. The primary reason for that is (in addition to keeping staffing costs down) that most of the time, the car will take less than two gallons, and that's too small of an amount to bill the previous customer for, meaning the rental agency has to eat the cost of that fuel. That cost adds up far faster than any games the agency could ever play with fuel.

I certainly haven't ever heard any policy specifying cars should ever be filled up to anything less than full, and I have most definitely seen people deliberately not fill it up full within 10 miles of return like they're supposed to, with the intent to defraud the rental agency/next customer. Heck, people have admitted as much on public bulletin boards (including IIRC this one).
You are winning me over to your point of view.

I have only rented from Thrifty 3 times so far. Two of the 3 times they asked to see the fueling receipt when I returned the car. Three of the 3 times, the tank was really full when I rented it! So by actually enforcing the rules, they are helping the honest consumer.

I have not had this experience at Hertz, Avis, Alamo or Budget: there, I have never been asked for a fueling receipt. *And*, I have often gotten cars with non-full tanks.

Since this is supposed to be a forum for Thrifty and not all rental experiences in general, I'll add that so far, all of my experiences at Thrifty have been very positive. They offer good service at a low price. The cars are a bit older than the competition, but (perhaps because of that) they are not so worried about recording every scratch on the paint. I was told (twice!) that they expect some wear and tear after 30K miles, and not to worry that might be charged for damage caused by someone else. Right now I'm a happy camper...
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Old May 21, 11, 1:16 am
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People are cheap and try to beat the system by getting the needle to barely register F full
I know people that do this
Sometimes people do fill up far away from the drop off point because they don't know the area and possibly because gas prices tend to be higher the closer you are to the airport.
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Old May 21, 11, 1:46 pm
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If possible I always stop at the first station to "top up". If there is any major discrepancy I bring the receipt for that first "fill-up" upon return of the vehicle showing time and location. I have always received credit for it.
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Old May 22, 11, 7:22 am
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
If possible I always stop at the first station to "top up". If there is any major discrepancy I bring the receipt for that first "fill-up" upon return of the vehicle showing time and location. I have always received credit for it.
Often get in late on Sunday nights and rent car and start Monday's early - good idea $-wise but stoppin immediately for gas seems so inconvenient as I just want to get my butt to my hotel and sleep.
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Old May 22, 11, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by jkburns1 View Post
Often get in late on Sunday nights and rent car and start Monday's early - good idea $-wise but stoppin immediately for gas seems so inconvenient as I just want to get my butt to my hotel and sleep.
"If possible" is within reason, physically or mentally.

Sometime like your situation I just say never mind and just get my rest which is more important.

I have seen too many fast gauge needles.
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Old Jun 1, 11, 12:21 am
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Almost brand new Hyuandi Elantra I had a month or so ago (59 miles on it when I picked it up) was only 7/8th full when I got it. Didn't realize until I was about 2 miles down the road, so I took a photo of the fuel gauge/odometer with my phone.

When I returned it they made me go into the rental desk inside the airport, but they did refund me ~$13 on the rental - although only after I showed them the photo...
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Old Jun 1, 11, 3:32 am
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I had a car in SEA that was just barely on F and took almost 4 gallons of gas just after picking it up.

Oh, did I mention it was with Enterprise?

I was nice and filled up to the second click about two miles from the return. I did ask for (and received) a $10 credit upon return after showing my receipt.
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Old Jun 1, 11, 7:10 pm
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I did an o/w rental from LGB to SNA. With local errands, I put on a total of 28 miles. About 2 miles from SNA, I filled up and it took almost 3 gallons on a 40+ mpg subcompact. It may have been easier & less hassle to just pay for 28 miles of gas consumption.

The agent refunded me for 2 gallons ($7) since it should have taken <1 gallon of gas for 28 miles.
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Old Jun 3, 11, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
I had a car in SEA that was just barely on F and took almost 4 gallons of gas just after picking it up.

Oh, did I mention it was with Enterprise?

I was nice and filled up to the second click about two miles from the return. I did ask for (and received) a $10 credit upon return after showing my receipt.
Finally got National (after three back-and-forths) to reimburse me the $17 and change they owed me for a two-pronged problem: inaccurate fuel capacity information in their computer system (they have the 2011 Chrysler Town and Country as holding 23 gallons, when the manufacturer specifications clearly state 20 gallons), which messed up the prepaid fuel option I purchased, and giving me a car 6 gallons short when I picked it up.

To their credit, they went ahead and threw in an extra $8 credit. Whether that was intentional goodwill or just because they couldn't figure the math out properly is not clear, but I'll take it.

So indeed, the gas problem is not unique to any one company.
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