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Dollar / Thrifty Car Hire / service, care and reckless billing

1 London Heathrow Airport, England, Greater London, United Kingdom Review updated:

This weekend I received through the mail a notification that my credit card was going to be charged approximately Pounds Sterling 380, for "repairs" to a car that was purportedly damaged during its rental period. The letter was addressed to "Mrs. Xcccc", how nice, I was not aware that I underwent a sex change along with all the other indignities showered upon me by Thrifty.

I was astonished, I could not have been more surprised. I have absolutely no idea what it is about, there was no sender information, return address or contact mentioned, it was sent to my wife and not me (and she did not rent or travel) just some information about an Insurance group I have never heard of.

Let me take this opportunity to review the sorry story that Thrifty put me through over this rental.

I arrived at the rental office around 12.30 pm on Friday October 24th. I automatically declined Insurance as my credit card company provides this. I was then told that I needed to provide proof of coverage. This is a first for me. From the website where I booked the car (The THIFTY site in the US) there was no mention of that requirement and I showed the sheet that I printed out to the sales rep, and he agreed it was not there, but in the end without it I was forced to pay the useless, unnecessary and costly Thrifty Insurance package. Unfortunately it was too late to go elsewhere for a vehicle.

After my car was readied, we noted the left front side tire had considerable scuff damage to the wheel and it was stated on the damage form. I started my drive to Hertfordshire. The car pulled very slightly to the left immediately, but I just thought it was a slightly low pressure tire which I would check at fuel fill up. After joining the M25 we continued clockwise, and then about 15 -20 miles into the trip the car started rumbling badly and pulling to the left strongly, so I pulled over to the hard shoulder. The front passenger side tire was flat.

I'd had a long trip but started to change the wheel, seeing there was a locknut on the wheel I looked for the key piece. I turned that car inside out looking for it, no key. Called the office they said I had to call emergency service. I asked if someone could instead come out with a new car and let me go on my way, but they refused to help. 2 HOURS LATER !!! the Jaguar emergency service arrived, found a correct key from their stock, and changed the tire to the compact spare. By this time, of course I was into rush hour. So I drove the 20 miles back to the renting office through the rush hour to change the car. Guess what, instead of apologizing and trying to expedite me on my way, they wanted to conduct a forensic on the tire !!! After they reviewed it they concluded it had just gone flat as there was no evidence of puncture or other damage.

The replacement car did not have operating navigation but otherwise was OK.

I then re-started my drive to my intended destination, of course now in the worst Friday evening traffic clockwise on the M25. I finally arrived at my destination at 7.00 pm that evening, having had to take 6 hours for a 45 minute journey. Upon returning the UNDAMAGED rental to the office at 7.00 am the following Wednesday, there was no shuttle to the airport for 30 minutes, I had to wait and pay for a taxi !!!

Not ONE WORD of apology, and guess what, a unsigned notification in the mail that I was going to be charged for damages. WHAT DAMAGES ?? Oh and a "thanks for your custom and we look forward to serving you in the near future".

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  • Ia
      27th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I had a bad deal from Thrifty in Orlando, Florida and would not touch them again. They quoted the best price when I surfed the net but at the airport after a long over night flight quoted a much higher price and when I complained said "Welcome to Florida". The car I got had a mechanial fault but was fine for short journeys. It was after a few days replaced with no questions asked but the replacement car had a similar fault. The USA is the only part of the world I've had problems (I was wrongly charged for gas in San Fransisco - by another company -and the charge appeared well after the end of the hire) and I assumed it was the US that had the problem so it is interestring to hear of problems in London. Give Thrifty a bodyswerve.

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