Complaints & Reviews

[Resolved] alamo rents a car with bald tires

I rented a car from Alamo FLL, a 2009 Mazda 5 Grand Touring and picked it up at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, on February 8 to head for the state of Maryland. We(myself, my wife and son) reached North Carolina without any precipitation. Thereafter, for four hours straight, we traveled under heavy rain until a forced stop at a hotel in Fredericksburg, VA, because the car was starting to twist. In one situation we almost hit a truck that was passing next to us on the same direction, making my wife and my child on the back seat to scream desperately. We were all frightened to death.


Due to the hurry to get to our hotel room the night before, I left the car steering turned all the way to the left allowing the tires well exposed. And to our surprise and indignation we noticed that they were completely bald. As we found out later, part of the tire was already showing some steel mesh. At that very moment we realized how much risk our lives had been exposed to, after driving for so long. A tremendous disappointment crossed our minds, for the enormous irresponsibility from Alamo. We immediately started using our movie and photo camera to make a complete report of the situation.

I called Alamo toll-free and the attendant on the other side could not send another car because there was no office of Alamo close to where we were. Then she asked me to head to a tire store, which Alamo holds an agreement with, to exchange for new ones, just about a mile away. Later my GPS proved that it was 5 miles from the hotel. The fear of driving in the melting snow and ice with bald tires still hung over our heads. Since they would not come to us as in my understanding they should, we were forced to venture to the workshop indicated.

The situation turned into a great paradox, because the rep person from Alamo had warned me that if the tire store to which we were about to go found out that the vehicle was not able to traffic, they, the people from the store, would not allow us to drive out of there. It was like if someone asked me to walk from the top of one building to another on a tightrope, and then on the other side someone was waiting to consider whether the situation might be actually risky. If so he would not let me go back the same way I came. Because of the ice and snow the night before the streets were very dangerous even for a car with new tires. We could see some cars hanging along the road sides as the result of twists.

We talked with Marcus, the consultant of Firestone Complete Auto Care, who was waiting for us, already advised of the situation. We were extremely stressed. Bureaucracy and paper work took 3 hours before the official authorization from Alamo to change the tires, because a simple report from the workshop was not enough.

Tired of waiting, because we could not leave the store without a solution, the news finally came through the consultant, falling like a bomb on our heads. Needed to return the next day because they did not have the model and size of tires that the car used and needed to order them from another branch. Marcus settled up with us for 9 o'clock the next day, promising that the tires would be waiting for us by then. The store opens at 7 and would give them time to pick them from the other store, about 20 minutes away. There was another overnight stay in the hotel, meals, more stress, frustration and uncertainty.

The situation forced me to prove that the Alamo attendant was wrong. I drove the same car with the showing-mash-of-steel tires back to the hotel and from the hotel back to the store the next day.

Although arriving at 9 as marked by Marcus, we only left the store with the new tires at 12:35.

I'm asking for refund of my expenses and three air tickets Rio/Washington DC/Rio to give us the chance to accomplish what was not fulfilled at the time of the rental due to the setback provoked by the situation


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.

  • Alamo Rent A Car's response · Mar 12, 2010

    Jim, we apologize for any frustration with your rental experience. We'd like to address this issue with you. Please contact us at care[at] - including your full name, rental agreement number and any other details.

    Also, please refer to incident # 100312-004577 in the subject of your email to us.

    - Elizabeth with Alamo Rent A Car

  • Alamo Rent A Car's response · Mar 25, 2010


    We sincerely apologize for any problems during your rental and would like to address them with you. Please email me care[at] - including your full name, rental agreement number and any other details.

    And please refer to incident # 100325-002902 in the subject of your email to us.

    - Elizabeth with Alamo Rent A Car

  • Bb
    BBB5580 Mar 24, 2010


    My wife and I rented a car just last week which also had bald tires, with the mesh showing. Unfortunately, we were actually in an accident. Our car felt like it was fishtailing for several miles, the back end would swing out then correct itself with a jerk. We had decided to call in the morning and demand a new car, but unfortunately we never had the chance. With my wife, 2 year old daughter and brother in the car, the back end fishtailed out and never recovered. We did a complete 180 on the highway and slammed into a concrete divider, totalling the passenger side of the car. My wife and child went to the hospital, me and my brother we beat up, but not seriously injured. The car, totalled, 2 under-inflated BALD tires on the back of the car. My wife and daughter were released with minor injuries. I HATE ALAMO, they almost killed my family. What am I asking from alamo? Nothing, my lawyer will do all the asking for me.

    0 Votes

the worst car hire in the world.

I had the exact same problem with National car hire in three different countries. National car hire just doesn’t care any bit about the service they provide. At Toronto int. I booked a mid size car at the counter. Paid for it, wand the $200 deposit. I went to the midsize car section, only to find that there is none available. Now I ask you, how the hell do they make you pay for something that they don’t have? Got back to the counter and ask them how do they work. The Indian guy who was helping me said, Sorry, but I don’t know what is available. Would you prefer something else? I’m to afraid to ask what you have available. After a long fight with them to refund me they said the Manager is not available to sign for the refund. WT[censored] You make me pay for some thing you don’t have, then you tell me you don’t know what there is, then you can’t refund me till the next day. What’s next? Luckily Avis’s Manager overheard everything that was conspiring at the desk. Because of the situation with the refund, Avis arranged a car for me for one day free of charge. The following morning I eventually got my money back. National even had the audacity to ask me if I still want to rent the car from them. WHAT? ARE YOU [censored] INSANE???!!! I went back to Avis and booked the car for the rest of the week. About a month later I returned to Ontario for a project. I was so thank full with the great service I got from Avis that we decided to book 35 cars for 6 weeks in Ontario. It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, National car hire’s service is up to ###!! Especially in South Africa! I advice people traveling to South Africa for the 2010 Fifa World Cup to make sure that they book with Avis or First car rental. You will have no problems what so ever. Friendly and fast service.

charged twice for the rental

Hi. Booked a car rental from a website called arguscarhire which coated me some £85 for 3 day...

attention: overcharging scam; it has method and it looks like they are trained to do it. never saw something like this in the us before

we rented a car through Alamo in Aug 09 and paid for it in advance and declined the insurance already as we...

fraud - hiden fees - scam

On August 2009, we book our compact car by the Internet at Sanford int, Airport. When we showed up at the counter, the clerk ask us if we wanted to have a convertible for 3$ more a day. I ask the clerk 3 times if it was realy 3$ a day and he told me yes and It would be only 30$ for 10 days plus taxes.

So I decided to take the convertible since the clerk told me nobody wants to have convertible in Florida in the summer time and that was why it was so cheap. When we came back from our trip I saw on my credit Statement that Alamo took 265$ + 310$ for the convertible. So I paid 575$ when I was supposed to pay 295$. I called the customer service and the gave me 100$ credit and they told me as a courtesy. I forgot to read the review before booking my car and that is my mistake... I never gonna book any car with Alamo after that... The customer service is very bad and I strongly suggest you to read all the review before taking any reservation with this company. I feel very angry being ripped off by a company who don't care for their customer... I am telling you read the review carefully or you will pay...

  • Ki
    King1970 Mar 24, 2010

    Read what ur signing, and if u can judje any rental car company based on reviews from stupid peole like you you will be walking next time ###.

    -1 Votes
  • Gm
    Gmash1 Dec 21, 2010

    King1970 - Your a waste of Air. Alamo is screwing people plain and simple. It's deceptive and it's wrong. What happened to trusting what people say anymore? This Alamo Sanford location should be shut down!

    1 Votes

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hidden charges

Alamo has a very strict and poorly advertised policy of exorbitant late charge fee's. I had a weekend rental for 3 days, taken on Saturday at noon, returned Tuesday 4AM. They charged my credit card and extra $450 claiming that I had returned the car after the designated drop off time. Even though the website indicates 1 day = 24 hours, they claimed the weekend rate expires at the designated time. Read around and you will find lots of problems with Alamo. Do not rent from them.

additonal driver fee

Recently I booked a car on Priceline for Baltimore. The contract was accepted by Alamo. I paid for the rental with my credit card and listed my daughter as the driver. Everything was fine until we were leaving the parking lot. The Alamo security lady said that the name on the credit card and driver's license were different so they sent me back to the counter. There the Alamo attendant told me I would have to add my daughter as an additional driver. I showed them my contract which stated she was the only driver. I had an eye problem and was not going to drive. They still charged me for the additional driver. I contacted Priceline and was told Alamo should not have charged me as it violated the contract Priceline has with Alamo, but they could not do anything, I would need to deal directly with Alamo. When I called Alamo, they said their policy was to charge for the extra driver, even though she was the only driver and that Priceline could not tell them to do different. I recontacted Priceline and they were unwilling to do anything else as it was Alamo that charged my account. So, beware, only the person with the credit card used to rent the car can be the primary driver. I am really annoyed at both parties for not telling us this beforehand. It is an underhanded way to get more money.

  • Pa
    Patti510 Aug 26, 2009

    Something similar happened to me recently. We rented a car in Michigan (but are from California) and added my husband as an additional driver. Previously, when renting an auto, adding a spouse as an additional driver was free. The rental agreement was originally through and was paid for in full. When we returned the car we were handed an additional charge of almost $100. This pisses me off. This cost was not disclosed and if I had known I would have gone with another rental company. I just called Alamo's customer service department and was told that this is a state based fee and that it is free in California but not in Michigan. I am disturbed about this additional fee especially after spending time doing my homework to find the best deal and then this happened. Boooo for Alamo! The moral of this story is...ask questions when adding an additional driver as sometimes they will not disclose this additional charge. Bottom line, I think this is unlawful.

    0 Votes
  • Ki
    King1970 Mar 25, 2010 driver fee in California at all...even if u add 10 drivers.

    0 Votes
  • Ki
    King1970 Jun 23, 2010


    0 Votes

bait advertising

I had a email that showed I could rent SUV for 194 a week. After I put in my dates it went up to almost $500. So I called the company and the nice young lady said well the cars were available when I received the email, but now they are no longer available. So then the both of us went to the website. There was a advertisement for last minute specials. Wouldn't you know it, there it was again. One week for $194. Of course when I put in the actual dates it too went up to $5oo. She apologized and said others had been complaining. And of course National, which is affiliated with Alamo, does the same thing. Deceptive, unethical advertising. Stay away. I'll never rent from them again.

hidden fee

Alamo: Why Charge me a hidden Fee?

Between May 10th and may 24th, 2009, I rented a Ford Focus through a travel agency in Costa Rica, from where I come from ( with ALL INCLUSIVE in Orlando Florida.
Every thing was fine, until they charge an extra $123.53 "Carefree Personal Protection" (CPP) which I NEVER order.
Seems to be that the rental agent at the Orlando International Airport decided that I needed such insurance, but she never ask me for that, the only thing she said was: do you need a GPS in Spanish? I answered: I don’t need a GPS in Spanish. And she printed the receipt and made me sign with my initials.
If I bought an ALL INCLUSIVE PACAGE to the travel agency, why I will need an additional CPP???? And I told her: give me only what is included in my reservation.

What I think is, she is getting a great commission, selling "extras" that customers don't order, don't need and don't know are paying.

Let me ask you: Will be the First and last time, I ever rent a car with ALAMO??
Alamo: don’t take advantage of honest and hard working people, give my money back.

Carlos Calderon; from San José, Costa Rica.
RA# [protected] RES#[protected] Contract ID S00208NK

on-line reservation car rental

I made a reservation through for a car rental days in advance. I was transferred to the Alamo Car...

[Resolved] rental car damage scam

The following is basically how I complained to the Better Business Bureau: I recently rented from Alamo...

awful experience

I rented a Hybrid car from Alamo to drive from Raleigh, NC to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. I originally was supposed to rent a mid-size car, but took the advice of the sales rep and went with the hybrid to save on gas. Anyway, I drove down and returned the car as expected. I did not have any trouble with the car during my rental aside from the fact that I returned it an hour late since we ran into traffic on the way to return it.

However, I received a letter from the Loss Damage department saying there was damage to the car and they were investigating the claim. The odd thing about the situation is that they sent the letter to my parent's house in Chicago. I have not lived with my parents in over 5 years! I moved from that address when I went away to school and have had an apartment in MD since 2004. I also did not give them that address when I rented the car and it is not on any of my documents.

In addition, I have never rented a car before this time as I was always under age and did not want to pay the underage fee. Thank goodness my parents still live there or I would have never gotten the letter. I don't understand why they would send the letter there and not to the address I gave them. How do they expect me to get the information and act accordingly if they do not send the letter to the address where I reside?

So, I called the Loss Damage department with the information my mother was able to give me to see what damage they are investigating, but the representative was not much help. She could not tell me what damage they are investigating or when she would know. So, I have no idea what they are talking about. Also, when the car was returned, there was no damage noted on my return paperwork. I will never rent from Alamo again because this is absurd!

neglect to honor contract at las vegas

In Feb. 2009 I had paid over $500. through the Priceline bid process for a full sized vehicle. If I did not...

upselling through fear

My senior parents were taken advantage of. They booked a car online and upon checkin were asked where they...

illegal alamo suv caused police to pull me over!

Illegal ALAMO SUV caused Police to pull me over!

Three issues: Filthy vehicles, breach of privacy and illegal cars.

Firstly, the SUV selection I could choose from were all dirty and had litter inside the vehicles. I picked the least nasty one. It had a dirty exterior, french fries under the back seats and used juice bottles under the front seats. It was still better than the others that had cigarette burns in the upholstery and grease and soda smears on the dashboards.

Secondly, in the glovebox was paperwork from the previous renter. All his personal info, how much he paid, etc... that was a shock!

Third, and most egregious, the SUV I drove for 4500 miles had EXPIRED TAGS on the license plate! They expired in November of 2008 and I drove the SUV in January of 2009! I was pulled over by the police and it was truly infuriating. Getting pulled over is always scary, but to find out that it's not your fault and you're PAYING for the privileged to drive an unlicensed vehicle is just unacceptable.

To apologize for their awful and illegal rental, Alamo took a measly $25 off of my bill and offered me a coupon for future use. I haven't accepted the coupon as I'd rather have a full refund.

[Resolved] drop-off scam

Has anyone else seen this Alamo scam? (Ontario, CA airport) You return the rental car a little after 4:30 am-...


We rented a car in May of 08 and paid in full. I was charged in July for Transfer Liability Fee and again in October for a parking fee, admin fee and a toll fee. How did they get authorization? Total thieves!

  • Ma
    Mary Kay Frazier May 12, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Don't rent from Alamo. They'll get you every chance they get. I rented a car from Alamo through Allegiant Air - their website made it easy to add the car on and the price seemed reasonable. Upon picking up the car at the Alamo counter, they asked for an additional $60.00 for "city fees". This made no sense to me, but I paid it and went on. While using the car, we received a parking ticket in the City of Clearwater for $30.00. Upon returning home, we quickly paid the fine. A few weeks later I got a letter in the mail from Alamo saying that they had charged my credit card for $30.00 (even though the ticket had been paid for several weeks ago) and they charged me an additional $25.00 for an administrative fee. So now the parking ticket has costs me $85.00. I can't find anyone in the company who will talk to me about this. I submitted a comment on their website, got a response asking for more information about the dates of our rental, and now they won't respond at all.

    We will NEVER rent from Alamo again and I would enocurage everyone to ban them - I think they're a bunch of crooks!!! How dare they charge my credit card with my authorization.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    CarlosIgnacioC Jun 20, 2009

    Alamo: Why are you Charging me a hidden Fee?

    Between May 10th and may 24th, 2009, I rented a Ford Focus through a travel agency in Costa Rica, from where I come from ( with ALL INCLUSIVE in Orlando Florida.
    Every thing was fine, until they charge an extra $123.53 "Carefree Personal Protection" (CPP) which I NEVER order.
    Seems to be that the rental agent at the Orlando International Airport decided that I needed such insurance, but she never ask me for that, the only thing she said was: do you need a GPS in Spanish? I answered: I don’t need a GPS in Spanish. And she printed the receipt and made me sign with my initials.
    If I bought an ALL INCLUSIVE PACAGE to the travel agency, why I will need an additional CPP???? And I told her: give me only what is included in my reservation.

    What I think is, she is getting a great commission, selling "extras" that customers don't order, don't need and don't know are paying.

    Let me ask you: Will be the First and last time, I ever rent a car with ALAMO??
    Alamo: don’t take advantage of honest and hard working people, give my money back.

    Carlos Calderon; from San José, Costa Rica.
    RA# 417108288 RES#449348689 Contract ID S00208NK

    0 Votes

[Resolved] overcharged

I rented a car from Alamo online for 15 days I paid in full, I wasnt late in returning the car, when I took...

overcharged for gas

I rented a vehicle from the Manchester, New Hampshire branch on Aug 1st. I returned it on Aug 4th in the A.M. A week after returning the vehicle, I see and exorbitant amount of money charged to my card on behalf of Alamo. In calling the customer service line, I am told (with quite a bit of attitude and a complete lack of courtesy)that I returned the vehicle empty, and I was charged for 15 gallons of gas (the vehicle I rented does not have that large of a tank) at over five dollars a gallon. I explained to the woman that I filled the tank the night before. And that the fuel neck attachment had been ripped from the quarter panel of the vehicle which was noticed when I went to fill up, which inidcated prior damage to the vehicle which was apparently not well repaired. (I work for a collision center, I'm quite aware of how these things work) At some point, there make have been a leak if the guage is reading empty. The woman told me I should fax the reciept from the fill up to be reimbursed. In the mean time, I called the Manchester airport to inform them of the extremely dangerous situation of one of thier cars possibly leaking gas. I was treated with disdain and indifference and cut off before I could even warn the gentelmam on the line of the possible danger. If this is how the safety of clients is regarded, I wonder what incentive there is to trust this company. Beyond all of that, I was reimbursed only a partial amount of what I was charged for the gas, which is cleary unwarranted, as I have submitted the proof of my intent to return the vehicle with a full tank. If you look at the milage used while the vehicle was in my possesion, it is quite impossible that I used over a tanks worth of gas. I would very much expect to be refunded the full amount I was erroneously charged as well as expecting a prompt and hopefully much more courteous reply than I have experienced so far in my dealings with this company. I have submitted a complaint via the customer website but will not be surprised if I have to take it further to see any resolution.

never use them

I rented a car by Alamo through a car rental site where my agreement clearly stated that the cost included all the necessary insurance and the first tank of gas. The voucher that I provided upon rental was kept as payment but upon returning the car, the terms of the agreement were dismissed and I was charged $60 for re-filling the gas tank.

Despite indicating the clause on the agreement and refusing to authorize the payment, the Alamo rep proceeded to charge me, said he could do whatever he wanted and then refused to discuss the matter any further, moving on to the next customer and ignoring me.

I will never use Alamo again, this is the second time in a few months that I have either had a problem with my rental, or a complete attitude problem from the representative. Although it may cost me a little more to rent from Dollar, they have always been respectful and helpful and it is well worth the extra money.

As for Alamo, I refuse to pay for rudeness and they can keep their old, haggard cars. Alamo should know that in this day and age where prices are so competitive, one of the key distinguishers is customer service and if this is any example, they'll soon be losing business like crazy.

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