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Reviewed April 15, 2023
When booking through Hotels.com, I was asked if I wanted to rent a vehicle. I clicked yes and it directed me to a list of known car rental companies and I selected (and paid for) a rental through Dollar. I didn't even notice (until it came through on my credit card) that I had used a third party booking agent. The day of our trip came and our flight was delayed 3.5 hours and then cancelled. I contacted CarTrawler and they said - "Sorry, no refund. You're past the time to pick up the car." Yes, of course, I was! I don't have a crystal ball. Live and learn, I guess. Never again will I bundle anything.
Reviewed Jan. 28, 2023
They are not transparent at all. When you arrive to pick up vehicle you are told you have to buy another expensive insurance in top of the one they already sold you or you can’t take the car. They marked my pickup as no show as I was in the agency and on the phone with the broker. Which they use to keep your money.
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2023
We were told if we cancel within a certain period we will be charged a cancelation fee or be waived. They charged us full amount. Air Canada canceled our flight 4 hrs before departure and we were stuck. They will not budge even though we are will to pay a cancelation fee.
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2022
This company has awful customer service. When I booked my rental car through Hotels.com, I was re-directed to a 3rd party site, Car Trawler. I booked the car in my husband's name and used my credit card to pay for the car (like I have done countless other times with several other car rental companies). When we arrived at the Las Vegas NU car rental desk, I was shocked at the condition of the building. It was filthy and falling apart. The agents present seemed miserable and were extremely rude. We stood in line for almost an hour. they refused to release the car I had paid for because my husband had a debit card, not a credit card. They refused to accept a debit card for the security deposit.
They also refused to help me rebook and I was treated very rudely and poorly since I booked with a third party company. They left me completely stranded on Thanksgiving day. I had a road trip planned, with hotels already booked and paid for and I desperately needed a car. After a couple emails with Car Trawler "customer support", they refused to refund any of my money. Credit cards and debit cards are basically used interchangeably. We have used a debit card to rent cars from at least 3 other companies this year. Lesson learned: Do not book with NU Rentals, and do not book rentals using a 3rd party site.
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2022
I booked airline tickets and a car on Alaska Airlines website using a bank card that my bank insists works as either a credit or debit card. Car Trawler charged my account $373.49 for a car that they refused to loan me when I arrived at my destination airport. They said they couldn't release the car because my card is a debit card. I have only the one card so I had no other card to offer them. They have also refused to refund the $373.49 reservation payment. My bank says they can't help me because I authorized it and Alaska Airlines can't help me because it's a third party, and Car Trawler won't help me because it's written in the fine print of the contract that a 'credit' card is required at pick up. Disgusting that they accepted it for a deposit and now won't refund it even though I didn't get the use of a car.
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2022
I recently traveled to LA to take care of a medical issue and rented a car through this platform. Apparently, CarTrawler was a sub-app built into the LAX car rental website, because I never actually noticed this branding until the nightmare of getting a refund on this rental began. For starters, I rented this car over a month in advance to keep everything organized. Nowhere in the rental process did it say anything about needing any special kind of credit card, I double-checked because I had lost my credit card and only had my debit. I haven’t had any issues with that in the past, most rental agencies just ask for an extra deposit. Apparently, the rental agency I rented from (Nu- also terrible customer service) doesn’t accept debit, but this wasn’t communicated to me clearly until the day I arrived to pick up my car.
CarTrawler had already taken nearly $400 from my card yet hadn’t clearly communicated that I wouldn’t be provided a service despite having paid already. When I got to the desk at Nu they assured me that when this happens they always issue a refund. However, after a month of trying to get that refund from CarTrawler, they won’t release my funds. This is straight-up robbery- taking money and not delivering a service. Of course, I started my claim immediately upon arrival and they did nothing for 2 weeks to help. I would never trust this service again and recommend you always go directly to a rental agency. Never trust this company.
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2022
I agreed to the unorthodox policies on the CarTrawler website, but when I arrived at the rental car counter I was given different policies regarding insurance. Total Scam! I refused the car and CarTrawler still tried to charge me. I disputed the charge with my credit card company and that was the first time they reached out to me and complained that they wanted me to cancel the credit card dispute. What nerve!
Reviewed Oct. 16, 2022
Total disaster. When we rent to the kiosk in Panama City, Dollar Rental wouldn’t accept the letter from our insurance company stating we had 2 million dollars of liability insurance in any country in the world and would only release the car if we paid another $45/day. We were renting for 2 months so another $2400 was out of our budget. We didn’t accept the car and wrote up a new contract for 1 week. We started the “complaint process” via WhatsApp chats immediately and submitted all backup documents to the address they told us to email to. We received an email today stating the car wasn’t released to us because my husband's credit card has his middle initial on it and he didn’t put the initial on the initial deal we made online.
When I replied that this was not even part of our complaint, the email I received back stated that address isn’t monitored. It’s the same address we had to send all backup docs to and they confirmed receipt of the documents so what’s up with that? I figure they all have a good laugh and go out for dinner with our money. Really watch when you’re renting online - we started with Dollar online and then it took us to Car for hire which then took us to Car Trawler.
Reviewed Oct. 13, 2022
We rented a van in St Croix through Hopper who then went through Cartrawler who then went through Ace/Olympic rentals in St Croix. We were picked up at the airport by the rental company and taken to their offices. We were told we needed to give them a credit card for security. We gave it to them, they assured us we would not be charged if the car was properly returned. We returned it as instructed and when we get our credit card bill we were charged 301.40 and 300.00 the same time. We asked ace/olympic and cartrawler and was told we never picked up our car at the airport. We asked cartrawler and ace/olympic for our money back. We were denied. Still waiting on hopper to help us. We have a receipt where we paid hopper in full
Reviewed Sept. 21, 2022
Avoid this company if you don’t want to lose your money. When they agree to give a refund when the service is not provided, they ended up by not doing it using ridiculous excuses. Don’t get scam by this company, don’t book online with them.
Reviewed July 21, 2022
Do Not under Any Circumstances book your car rental through Alaska Airlines Car Rental!! It’s a scam from Dublin Ireland who asked me to pay $467 upfront to reserve my car! I haven’t traveled since 2019 and figured maybe this is how you have to do it now! I went to Dollar at the airport and they did not have a car for me for 2 hours so they offered me a Minivan at a reduced rate. I told them I already paid $467 and they said that my total fee would be $356. When I returned the car they charged my credit card for $356.
When I returned home I called Alaska Airlines car rental and told them they needed to refund the $467 I paid upfront because Dollar charged me the total reduced amount. The woman I spoke to told me they wouldn’t offer a Refund because I didn’t rent the actual car I requested! I was Livid!! I contact USAA and filed a fraudulent claim to get my money back since I was double charged. I usually travel Southwest and have always booked my rentals through them. Never did I ever have to pay upfront. Again I thought since COVID maybe they are requiring a deposit. I’m hoping my story will help someone. I know now to book my car rental directly with the rental agency.
Reviewed July 17, 2022
We rented a Budget rental car through Hotels.com/CarTrawler for pickup at the Seattle train station after taking the Empire Builder scenic train from Chicago. We were renting the car for one night to drive to Mt. Rainier National Park, where we had booked a hotel. We confirmed the reservation with CarTrawler as requested a few days before the trip. When we arrived in Seattle, we found that the Budget location no longer existed! It was now a parking garage, and we could not get a car on such short notice from any rental company - we sat in the train station for an hour trying them all. We lost the amount paid for our hotel, $230, because it was too late to cancel and we had no way to get there, and ended up having to spend the night at an expensive Seattle hotel before our flight home the next day.
CarTrawler refuses to take responsibility for the money we lost due to their error in booking us a car at a non-existent Budget location, and their idea of customer assistance was to contact the hotel and ask them to refund our money. Of course the hotel refused; this was not their fault and they were a small local lodging, not a huge third party car rental agent like CarTrawler! I am not done pursuing this, and will never use CarTrawler again, meaning that I will never use Hotels.com for car rental, because they work with CarTrawler.
Reviewed July 7, 2022
I rented a car with Thrifty through CarTrawler, which Alaska Airlines prompted me to do after I booked our flights. I never use third-party systems but I trusted Alaska and went for it. Prepaid over $600. Realized at the Thrifty rental desk my license had expired and contacted CarTrawler immediately to change the name on the rental to my husband’s name. This was done and I received an email confirmation on the spot. But Thrifty still wouldn’t give us the car because the name didn’t change in their system. We spent hours in the Chicago airport with two small children late at night trying to figure this out.
I contacted CarTrawler for a refund and they have refused. There is no way to contact a real human, I believe most of my interactions have been with a bot. This service is terrible and not only will I never use them again but this has tarnished my view of Alaska Airlines, a company I felt loyal to before. Still planning to contact them to share this experience and will continue to try to get my money back but I feel like it is futile. I feel scammed, honestly.
Reviewed June 26, 2022
Booking Ref: **. Case Ref: **. Loss of 304,11 euros and 8 hours of my holiday due to this company. Rental DOLLAR could not read my credit card with sufficient funds (unreadable). Because evidence provided contained a different name of driver than credit card refund is denied. This is not reflecting what happened at all at the rental place and Cartrawler is hiding behind policy to not pay me back. Never with this company again.
Reviewed June 19, 2022
I booked rental car with Thrifty through intermediary CarTrawler. Upon arrival in Canada I realized I had forgotten my driver's license. My fault. But the problem was that I could not change the contract to my wife's name with Thrifty because I had booked through CarTrawler. CarTrawler could not be reached. I had to take out new contract for the same car in my wife's name and pay again. In the following days I engaged CarTrawler explaining that although my fault initially I was unable to change the contract upon arrival with the rental company. Car Trawler would not reimburse me, not even partially. Lesson Learned: contact car-rental company (Hertz, Alamo etc.) directly, do not use intermediary such as CarTrawler.
Reviewed June 14, 2022
ATTENTION TENSIONERS AND THIEVES. The day before departure to Catani in Sicily at 9.30 am I booked a car for 6 days and purchased PREMIUM insurance. I made the payment with the Maestro Debit card. After making the reservation, I received an e-mail that I need a CREDIT CARD (which I do not have) to pick up the car, but if I do not have one, I should not worry because they will help me. That he can not help me because it is Saturday 2.30 pm .... I stayed with the reservation paid, without the right to a refund, with my wife and 5-year-old daughter in 37 degrees heat .... THIEVES.
Reviewed May 1, 2022
I booked a car rental through the airline Westjet. They use the service of CarTrawler. I booked my reservation on Feb 18/2022 for a July 2022 booking in San Francisco. Charge came out to 305.00 Canadian dollars. I recently checked the reservation, found out my reservation "was abandoned." Yep. We called and spoke to various customer agents with CarTrawler. They explained that when I placed my reservation, the "rates were changing at the exact time I placed my reservation." THAT WAS THEIR FINAL EXPLANATION. After other feeble attempts staying, credit card etc.. As such they couldn't do anything for me, my NEW RATE 590.00 for three days. We also contacted Westjet, who uses them. OOPS, not their problem... sorry.
Reviewed April 11, 2022
Booked an airport taxi transfer ride with them in Amsterdam. The taxi driver arrived 2.5 hrs earlier than the pickup time (He came at the flight arrival time instead of the pickup time on the confirmation). He then waited for an hour and reported me no-show. Didn't get a refund. Trying to get my bank to do a credit card chargeback now.
Reviewed March 22, 2022
The worst ever!!!! I booked a car through Emirates and ended up having to deal with this broker, who then outsources to another car rental company in Dubai. On the booking date, I was denied the car as they requested an international driver’s license while the voucher clearly specified that my driver’s license category didn’t require that. I was charged the full amount without being given a car and despite many complaints, back and forths, they didn’t want to budge. They even recognized that the requirements were fulfilled but that they needed the final rental to agree to it. NEVER HAPPENED obviously. They do everything to keep the money. HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE and Emirates should not use such a bad provider without being clear that it is on your own risk.
Reviewed March 21, 2022
The confirmation number of the reservation is: **. I´ve booked a Pick-Up Truck to a trip in Panama with CarTrawler. When I arrive at the rental desk (Thrifty) the guy told me they have no Pick Up Truck and we tried to fit our 4 bikes in the car that they offered me in the place of the Pick up truck. As much as we tried the bikes didn´t enter the car, so I have to cancel it with Thrifty (and they confirmed to me that they cancelled and sent a message to CarTrawler explaining what happened). As I was in an Expedition and couldn´t reach CarTrawler by phone, I´ve sent 3 or 4 emails the following days but no answer. When I get back to Brazil I tried again and they finally answered me saying that they could do nothing for me. For me, it´s robbing. They get back the money from Thrifty but are not giving it back to me.
Reviewed March 17, 2022
I called CarTrawler and was told too bad that since I didn’t cancel 24 hours out I don’t get a refund even though they were receiving a full refund from Dollar. It’s pretty bad when dollar rental car will reimburse the full amount because of my trip delay. But they keep all the money and will not give any back. I explained this to the individual and all he said was yes that is correct. That is the worst customer experience I have ever received. They’re anything but customer oriented.
Reviewed March 1, 2022
I made a car rental reservation with Alaska Airlines rewards program & they use Cartrawler 1.5 months in advance. I prepaid w/ Visa debit & was charged w/ promises of no added fees. When I arrived to Hertz they said I have to pay w/ credit card only & they refused to give me a refund or honor the rental charges I was given. They told me I had to call AK Airlines. I did. Then AK Air told me to call Cartrawler. Well the person at the other end told me that yes they only take credit cards & I should've read the fine print! It accepted my visa debit, when it should've declined! Cartrawler or Hertz should've emailed me & told me so. Or since they don't accept debit cards-why did it not decline when the charges were applied! I will get my bank to get that $ back cause as long as I have proof I was charged twice they will get my money back!
Reviewed Jan. 17, 2022
Rented my car from Alaska Airlines website, assuming this was a reputable company. At the time of purchase, there was nothing to indicate that the voucher did not include rental taxes and fees (like other 3rd party vendors such as Hotwire). What a surprise that my $649 rental became an $897 rental. Even when I asked CarTrawler to investigate, they didn't state that their voucher/price didn't include taxes and fees. It was only when I called Thrifty that they explained that to me.
Reviewed Jan. 4, 2022
Booked through Alaska Airlines for a car in Detroit. Upon arrival the company they booked me with had discontinued operations in Detroit over 6 months prior. CarTrawler Rep said to just get alternative transportation and they would refund the cost. When I returned from the trip and filed for a reimbursement, they denied it saying I needed a transcript of my conversation with the car rental desk in Detroit; the one that did not exist. Very disappointed that Alaska Airlines brands this as "Alaska Airlines Cars" but it you call Alaska they say they can't help. BTW, the reps were also rude and insulting. Worst experience with any company ever.
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2021
I made a car rental reservation through Emirate's website while booking my trip. I was thinking, Emirate Airway booked my car from third party, but I receive a confirmation email from CarTrawler. Few days later, I received a WhatsApp Msg asking for my Passport, DL and other legal documents. My entire travel history, no one ever asked me for all these docs well before car pick up, it’s always over the counter. I though it is spam and ignored it. The booking was made including pick up from airport to location. In their, pick up policy, I must inform about my arrival, so they arrange pick.
During Covid-19 time all domestic and international flight’s schedule were uncertain, so we decided to contact once we land to destination. When I landed and call for a pickup they couldn’t find reservation, after lengthy discussion, they were able find reservation, and told us someone will be there shortly. We waited for 2+ hrs and no one show up for to pick up. I called again, they inform me to come to pick up location to get rental, I denied and ask them to cancel reservation. They didn’t cancel the reservation and charged me for 4 days rental. When I dispute the transaction with my CC company, CarTrawler issue no refund based on their "No Show" policy. If they have responsibility for pick up, how come it’s No Show? They are cheating people in name of “POLICY”.
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2021
I write this review, weeks after the actual experience. Mainly to inform others that CarTrawler is NOT a Rental Car service, nor do they have any Cars to rent. After a thorough review of their business history, it is clear that CarTrawler is not at ALL, a service but instead a Reservation Middle-man. I give them 1 star, because I can't give them any less. On Nov 15th 2021, my father in Washington was displaced by the flooding that happened in NE Washington. He lives in Sumas which is about 2hr drive from Seattle. On November 18th my father contacts me to tell me he isn't doing so well, which prompts me to book a flight and a rental car through Alaska Airline's website. In the process of booking my flight, I am offered a "convenience" service to book a rental car. Normally I would book directly through Enterprise Rent a Car service, but took the opportunity for a cheaper discounted "voucher" service through Alaska Airlines portal.
On Nov 20, I book everything, and given a Reservation Voucher number for a Thrifty Rental Car service. What I hoped would be a simple and straight forward process. On Nov 22nd, I land in Seattle, everything go fine so far. I prepaid for everything, food, seat, and car rental. However once I arrived at the Thrifty Rental kiosk, I am presented with "we are sorry, but your voucher did not come through". In which I was informed that I would need to pay the total amount of my reservation, and that the voucher wouldn't actually pay for the service until AFTER I've returned the vehicle. This to me was nearly an additional $800 on top of my prepayment of $350+ (fees, and such).
Since CarTrawler wasn't actually a service, Thrifty did not rent me a vehicle. Leaving me stranded in Seattle for the evening, having to book a hotel room on my dime. Nov 22, 10pm, Alaska Airlines customer service informs me, that I did not book a rental through them. But through a third party service provider. CarHire =/= CarTrawler. Nov 23rd, I contact CarTrawler customer service to be informed that what happened to me, is unique and that they will have to review my case over the next 20 days. Nov 23rd, I go ahead and contact the insurance provider that I paid $88.00 to cover my rental, only to be informed that my situation wasn't covered since I did not receive a rental car through CarTrawler. Essentially telling me that CarTrawler isn't a car rental service but a booking service and my insurance payment wasn't covering anything.
Nov 25th, I contact CarTrawler service again, to inquire about a refund or to cancel my booking due to the missed pickup date. CSR (customer service rep) tells me again, nothing they can do, but give me a reference number to my complaint. Dec 1st, After dealing with my fathers situation, I am without any refund. and I receive a email from CarTrawler asking me to describe the situation to them. I detail this story, in similar words only to be told I will have to wait their 20 days to review my complaint. Dec 15th, I receive a email from CarTrawler asking me to provide them bank statements, photocopy of my debit/credit cards used, and pretty much saying there will be another 20 day delay in reviewing my case. At this point, I have already returned my Enterprise Car Rental, and have helped my father in obtaining a new vehicle to drive with. So at this point I don't need any rental services.
Since the email on the 15th was essentially asking for a photocopy of my credit card/debit. this raised red flags. ALL STOP. At this point, just file a dispute or a chargeback with your financial institution. CarTrawler has absolutely no intention on refunding the voucher reservation costs. If you paid any additional costs to insure or protect your "voucher" purchase, you would have pretty much paid CarTrawler's $57 cancellation fee. At this point I sent CarTrawler multiple emails describing the situation, only to be told there is nothing they can do. CarTrawler is NOT a car rental service, they do NOT have cars, but they are ONLY a reservation/booking service, pretending to be part of the company you used to reserve through.
A brief history of CarTrawler shows the company has been sold multiple times in the past four years alone, as a business investors group. They make their money off of the fees, and forgotten refunds to help drive up their profitability. Again, I warn anyone NOT to ever book your services through any 3rd party company like CarHire or CarTrawler. I should have known it was a scam back in Nov 20th, because my financial institution locked my payment card when I initially reserved my rental. I had later on realize that CarTrawler is based in Dublin Ireland. It is NOT an American company. I am copying and pasting my review across various consumer reporting services. Considering since actual reviews from people are negative... any positive review is suspect.
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2021
I thought I rented a car through Budget, but apparently it was through Cartrawler as a third party. On the website it was not clear that you needed a credit card to rent a card, but this information was written in an email right after I had pre-paid. I did not have a credit card, so I called the company immediately to cancel. I was then told by the man on the phone that I would get a full refund since I cancelled within 24 hours, and that he would do the cancellation for me. I double checked that I would get the full refund, and he said all my money would be back on my bank account within 20 days. It has now been one and a half month, and I have still not received my money. I have tried to contact them via mail and on the booking website, but they do not answer. I am now 300euros short, something that have made it hard for me to pay my bills since this whole ordeal started. Do not trust this company with your money.
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2021
I have never been cheated before with car rental; Do not - and do never - use CarTrawler!! We prepaid a one-week car rental in Sicily through CarTrawler with a visa card. When we arrived at Sicily, we were taken to this far-away rental shop ("OptimoRent"), where they blankly refused to give us the car on grounds that we did not present them with a Credit card (i.e. MasterCard) in the driver's name because they wanted to get a €1000 deposit additionally on that card. We did present them with such a card, and with multiple Visa cards (Debit), but they would not listen, and they basically threw us out of the shop (and they did the same with another traveller in the same situation) and took all our prepaid money. CarTrawler was just saying blah blah blah to our complaint. Searching the net, I can see that multiple people have been in the same situation with CarTrawler. This company is a scam and I will pursue to get this stopped.
Reviewed Nov. 10, 2021
I was not sufficiently informed when the car pick-up wanted to pick up later. Car rental was canceled. Entire booking amount was retained. Not acceptable. Missing information, missing car, so my vacation started badly. Still no refund.
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2021
I would give this 0 stars but wasn’t able!! I thought I was renting a car in Florence, Italy directly from SIXT rental but soon realized after being immediately charged over $1000 upfront that this was not the actual car rental agency but a third party. When we got to the rental agency the next day to pick up the car we found out I needed an international driver's license with SIXT so they said the voucher that Cartrawler submitted would not work.
So to remedy the problem my friend who was traveling with me had one but they needed Cartrawler to transfer the voucher to her name (especially since I had already paid for the voucher!)...The car rental agency got on the phone (very hard to get their number and their website was down for a day so I didn’t even have the voucher number!) and they refused to change the voucher and their excuse was that I was “late” picking up the car (that was already paid for and waiting for me!)….They have even disputed my dispute with AMEX about the charge saying I didn’t show up!! This is an absolute fraudulent site. Be aware of them when on sites like KAYAK. We had to recharge the rental with my friend and it was 25% cheaper direct with SIXT and they didn’t charge her card until after the trip was completed.
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