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Payless Car Rental - Customer service

Author of the complaint
9:39 am
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Ms D.S., Vice President, Air Travel Rental Corporation d/b/a Payless Car Rental,
500 Route 1 South, Wyndham Garden Hotel, Newark, NJ 07114, Tel: [protected], Fax: [protected]

This letter is to report a complaint about the horrible experience I had on July 3, 2008, about 5:30 pm at the above facility of Payless Car Rental. The entire experience was bizarre and very humiliating. The behavior of Ms. D.S. was extremely unprofessional, rash, rude, and intimidating.

I booked my car rental through This was for “unlimited mileage” as clearly mentioned on reservation confirmation . By the way, this was deceptive in my opinion not to mention the geographical restriction on the Priceline reservation confirmation and rather mentioning this in the fine prints of rental policies on a separate web link. Even in the fine prints of the rental policy there is no mention that I need to declare names of all the specific cities I may visit.

The staff at the Payless Car rental asked for my driver license and my credit card and charged my credit card (American Express) for $368.43 (which was later voided). Then they asked me to specify which cities I will be going to. I told them I may go anywhere in the areas that is covered in your plan as "free" and colored green in your map. However, they kept insisting that I HAVE to tell them which cities I will be going to. I said I may also go to Philadelphia in addition to New England. I told them to please just mention in the rental car agreement that we may go anywhere in the "free" covered area. I found it strange and odd that they have to know and they have to specify in the rental agreement all the places I may visit in the next 10 days.

I am still mystified as to the reason for the way she (Ms. D.S.) behaved. She was full of attitude. She told me that she will not give me a car and cancelled my reservation. In my hand, I had a copy of the rental car agreement I had just signed and a customer copy of my credit card receipt. She came and PHYSICALLY snatched these documents from me and called the security. A few minutes later, one of her staff gave me the yellow copy of the rental car agreement/invoice and voided Amex receipt (photocopies of which are enclosed herewith). The entire episode happened in front of my wife and my son who were horrified and disgusted, and could not believe if this was really happening. Two security guards came and talked to me and my wife. He told us that this lady is "full of attitude and in the past she has had several incidents with other tourists including a female German tourist recently". We asked them why no one takes action against her. He said she "owns" this Payless car rental franchise.

I have rented cars on numerous agents over last several decades. Needless to say, I have never had any experience anything like this. I was totally shocked with what had happened today. I along with my wife and son then went back to Newark International airport (several miles distance) and rented a vehicle at National Car rental. The experience at National was pleasant, friendly and smooth. My 12 year son told me that why did not we come to this facility first. He is absolutely correct.

I would appreciate if a thorough investigation is done in to this matter and appropriate actions are taken. In my view, at the minimum Ms. D.S. and her company should be stripped of her Payless Car rental Franchise and people like these should be debarred from any participation in customer service. I would not be surprised at all if there are past complaints by other tourists against Ms. S and her Payless car rental franchise.

This was the first day of our long planned 10 day vacation and this experience at Payless ruined our vacation experience, and caused immense emotional and mental harm.

I plan to leave no stone unturned including a possible legal action unless and until appropriate action(s) is taken against Ms. D.S. and her Payless Car rental Franchise.

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Sep 09, 2008 9:39 am

Sir. I do not live in USA. But I worked in the car rental industry last 20 years. I understand your problem. You booked the vehicle with unlimited KM. Buy it is a grey area out there. You can drive to Mexico and back.
As you know car cost is very high .In order to sell this vehicle or turn back to manufactures, rental companies must keep their KM very low. Otherwise they loose their profit. Therefore rental companies manage their fleet by asking customer destination. By doing this procedure, they can give low KM vehicle, if you are travelling long distance. If you are staying in town on the other hand, they will put you in their high KM vehicle in fleet. If it is suitable for you. To determine the right fleet, they must ask you this question.
Your second concern is credit card hold. It is like Hotel booking when you are checking in hotel; they hold certain money on your card for security. It is a same procedure in the rental business. All companies swiped your card and hold money for few days. Remember you are the winner if you get away with their car. Think about the car rental company's risk versus your security deposit. Most Rental companies are self-insured. Therefore if the vehicle ships it to overseas, they will loose the big margin of their profit. On the other hand, third party liability is play major roll in this rental business. If you rent a vehicle and you travel to Mexico and you have a major accident. The people involve in the accident could take the rental company to court for their full compensation. It is a low that rental companies must carry third party liability. Some companies has only restricted region for rental. This is determining by insurance company.
Your credit card hold must gone-off with 5 to 7 days depend on your credit company. It is nothing to with rental company.
I hope you will understand some of the procedure.

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2350 34th St N, Florida United States