Beware! Thrifty in Brazil is a ripoff and unfriendly

 
Old Nov 5, 12, 9:03 am
  #1  
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Exclamation Beware! Thrifty in Brazil is a ripoff and unfriendly

I made a reservation for $433 dollars thru the AA site, however at the counter at GIG, not only I could not pay in dollars, but had to pay in BRL at an inflated exhange rate of 5% over the current rate.

The person at the counter was not friendly, the car's gas tank was almost empty, and I was told that unless the car was returned clean, there would be a cleaning charge.

This is the first and last time that I will ever rent with Thrifty.
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Old Nov 5, 12, 4:53 pm
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huh

You were in a foreign country the bill is due in local currency. The franchisee is under no obligation to accept a foreign currency. (The US dollar is a foreign currency in Brazil). You could of paid with a credit card and not have paid the 5% to the company. Even in the US when someone comes from Canada most the stores never give full rate exchange to hedge against fluctuations. When you travel to Canada and stop at the border at the currency exchange they never give the full exchange they take a little for their trouble. This is called business.
They informed you of the requirement to return the car clean before you left.
If they were trying to rip you off they would have kept their mouth shut and charged you on return.

At anytime you were free to not continue with the transaction but you chose to go ahead. Now you complain here. Did you even bother to contact Thrifty or did you just rant here?
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Old Nov 12, 12, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by darben View Post
I did talk to the hq and tried other rental agencies. There remained no option other than to take the loss, which although small but coupled with the unfriendly service, made me real mad. Nobody likes being ripped off, nor being ill-treated.

btw, I always book 2 car rental companies. I had another reservation on that same day in the evening, but due to a change in travel plans I arrived in the morning. I had attempted contact twice but the calls did not go thru.

There is a saying in Brazil: "Pimenta no rabo dos outros e' refresco".
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Old Nov 13, 12, 9:16 am
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How is this a ripoff? You were renting a car in Brazil and have to pay in local currency. It's the same thing in the States, you can't rent a car with the Brazillian Real. And everyone charges an exchange rate transaction.

Plus one unfriendly employess makes you hate Thrifty for life? Sounds like you were pissed about paying in a local currency and went in with a sour mood. All rental cars need to be returned clean and most locations --other than in US-- don't give you full tanks. Relax chap.
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Old Nov 16, 12, 8:32 am
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Originally Posted by PlateMan View Post
And everyone charges an exchange rate transaction.
Padding 5% to the exchange rate without disclosure was the rip-off. When I spoke to the hq, they said that the currency exchange was done thru a travel agency, not thru a bank. This is yet another example of the rampant corruption that plagues Brazil.

Originally Posted by PlateMan View Post
Plus one unfriendly employess makes you hate Thrifty for life?
I don't hate Thrifty, but it will never get my business again.

Originally Posted by PlateMan View Post
All rental cars need to be returned clean and most locations --other than in US-- don't give you full tanks.
I don't recall ever renting a car with an almost empty tank. Having to stop for gas right away after a 15+ hour flight? c'mon!

Originally Posted by PlateMan View Post
Relax chap.
Thanks, my plate is full.
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Old Nov 17, 12, 10:31 am
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Here is your warning about exchange rates. Almost everywhere you go will give you less than the official rate. That includes currency exchanges, stores etc. You should be an informed traveler specially in third world countries. As the rental agency WAS DOING YOU A FAVOR by acting as a currency exchange for you you have no complaint with how they choose to handle the transaction. You could have brought Brazilian currency with you or used a CC

Thrifty is probably relieved that you will not rent from them anymore but as customs vary widely in some countries and amongst franchisee's I predict that unless you become a more informed consumer before you travel/book a trip you will never be happy unless you experience the exact same amenities as in your home country.

How far did you drive after your 15 hour trip? So far that the almost empty tank would not have got you to your hotel?

RELAX MAN enjoy the world but be prepared in advance
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Old Nov 17, 12, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by boboqui View Post
I made a reservation for $433 dollars thru the AA site, however at the counter at GIG, not only I could not pay in dollars, but had to pay in BRL at an inflated exhange rate of 5% over the current rate.
Originally Posted by darben View Post
Here is your warning about exchange rates. Almost everywhere you go will give you less than the official rate. That includes currency exchanges, stores etc. You should be an informed traveler specially in third world countries. As the rental agency WAS DOING YOU A FAVOR by acting as a currency exchange for you you have no complaint with how they choose to handle the transaction. You could have brought Brazilian currency with you or used a CC
darben you should be an informed traveler especially in third world countries. Nothing that you wrote has much relevance to boboqui's post

From my reading the rental agency was doing no favor nor was it acting as a currency exchange. What boboqui stated was that the booking was quoted in $US but could not be paid in $US so he paid in BRL but the rate of exchange that the local Thrifty franchise used was 5% worse than the current exchange rate in favor of the agency.He did bring Brazilian currency and even if he had paid with a US credit card he still would have been charged the inflated BRL price plus any extra % the credit card charged for transactions in foreign currencies. The cost in $US may have been up to 8% above what he had been quoted.

There is some cause for complaint.

The exchange rate padding is common in Brasil (The Sheraton Sao Paulo also uses a rate to their advantage by about 5%) but not universal (The Sheraton Rio's rate is very close to the bank rate).
The only thing I would add is that I think it quite possible that there is something hidden somewhere in the Thrifty booking process informing that for reservations that are not prepaid at time of booking and that are paid at the rental counter the $US price is an estimate and the the rental will be charged in the currency of the rental country at whatever exchange rate the agency makes up (perhaps stated in different words)
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Old Nov 17, 12, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by 3544quebec View Post
darben you should be an informed traveler especially in third world countries. Nothing that you wrote has much relevance to boboqui's post

From my reading the rental agency was doing no favor nor was it acting as a currency exchange. What boboqui stated was that the booking was quoted in $US but could not be paid in $US so he paid in BRL but the rate of exchange that the local Thrifty franchise used was 5% worse than the current exchange rate in favor of the agency.He did bring Brazilian currency and even if he had paid with a US credit card he still would have been charged the inflated BRL price plus any extra % the credit card charged for transactions in foreign currencies. The cost in $US may have been up to 8% above what he had been quoted.

Where in his post does it say that he brought the currency. He used the car rental as a currency exchange for his U.S Dollars. My point was; he was free to bring local currency he chose not to thinking he could pay with his US Dollar which the rental agency said no to. They exchanged his US dollars to local currency at 5% premium. I take it from your screen name that English may be your second language so that may be a reason for the misunderstanding. If you are from PQ then you have paid a commission every time you have crossed the border to the US and stopped at the duty free usually 3% but if you ever went to the Bank of Montreal and where not a customer of the bank you paid more

There is some cause for complaint.

The exchange rate padding is common in Brasil (The Sheraton Sao Paulo also uses a rate to their advantage by about 5%) but not universal (The Sheraton Rio's rate is very close to the bank rate).
The only thing I would add is that I think it quite possible that there is something hidden somewhere in the Thrifty booking process informing that for reservations that are not prepaid at time of booking and that are paid at the rental counter the $US price is an estimate and the the rental will be charged in the currency of the rental country at whatever exchange rate the agency makes up (perhaps stated in different words)
Please reread his post
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Old Nov 17, 12, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by darben View Post
Please reread his post
I have reread all of boboqui's posts and nowhere find any statement that he changed US dollars to BRL with Thrifty.

My reading is:
1)Reservation made in $US on thrifty.com (edit: reservation was made on aa.com)
2)Wanted to but was unable to pay in $US but had to pay in BRL (this is quite normal but there is nothing in the thrifty Ts+Cs that I can see that states this)
3)The car rental rate that boboqui was charged in BRL was 5% higher than the converted $US rate going by the bank exchange rate and not that boboqui changed foreign currency with Thrifty at 5% above the bank exchange rate

The complaint is that Thrifty quotes in $US, does not give an option to pay in $US but charges in BRL at an rate that is 5% off the bank exchange rate - seems a reasonable complaint to me. There is no reason Thrifty can't precharge in $US or quote in BRL. To quote in $US but only allow payment in BRL at an exchange rate of the merchant's choosing/construction is somewhat shonky

Last edited by 3544quebec; Nov 17, 12 at 7:49 pm
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