About Thrifty Car Rental
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If I could give less than one star I would. Absolutely horrible business, stay away. Do not rent from Thrifty, Dollar or Hertz. They’re all owned by the hertz corporation and they are all equally terrible. TLDR: Thrifty, Dollar, Hertz all suck. I would have missed the rehearsal dinner because of them. Go with Enterprise, they saved the day.
I’ll try to keep my story concise here. I booked and paid for a rental car from thrifty three or four months ago for a weekend wedding in Baltimore in which I was a groomsman. I booked through Expedia which was a whole problem in itself. (They double charged me and then gave me the runaround until finally giving me a full refund about a month.)
I arrived in Baltimore on time for my reservation and found the thrifty rental car counter was closed (Dollar was closed as well) and a sign that directed all customers to the Hertz counter. I waited in line for over an hour before I was helped. They announced it would be another 2 hour wait AFTER getting “helped” at the desk. I was close to the front at this point and decided to just tough it out (after all, I’d already paid). Upon finally getting up there I was told that they needed a $500 deposit for a debit card. Trying to pay the deposit they told me that they would not accept my card because it was not “a brick and mortar bank“, which is ultimately ridiculous. I tried to ask if my wife could pay the deposit. That was not a possibility either because the reservation was not in her name and because I had already paid, they could not change the name on the reservation.
Hertz employees were not helpful, sympathetic, or apologetic in the slightest. The woman that was “helping” me was indifferent and borderline rude to me and my wife. We tried to ask what they could do to make an exception or help us and explained that we were trying to get to a wedding celebration on time. There was no care for us or good customer service and they told us that they wouldn’t help us. The woman told me I have to call either thrifty or Expedia in order to change the name on the reservation, since I had already paid, as she so graciously explained to me.
Finally, exhausted and frustrated (livid at this point) I gave up. Defeated, I walked over to the Enterprise counter to ask if they had any cars available, anticipating the price being far greater. To my surprise, I received a rental car within five minutes which was somehow less expensive and also a better/bigger vehicle than my original rental. Because of Thrifty and Hertz I had to miss all of the bachelor party celebration for my friend's wedding and I barely made it to the rehearsal dinner. It was only because of Enterprise that I made it.
We had a reservation for a pick up Sat in Downtown Seattle. We were told by staff, at that location, to be there by 12:30 as they closed at 1 pm. We arrived at 12:08 to find the staff leaving as they said they closed at noon and they said they didn't have any cars anyway. The official Thrifty.com website says they are open until 2 pm! We even double checked the day before to clarify their hours as various websites show different hours. The staff was dismissive and unhelpful. AND our credit card was charged later that day. No help was forthcoming when we complained by phone to that location NOR at the customer service phone number. They passed the buck by saying our card was charged by a third party through whom we rented the car (how does one know there is a third party involved?). But there is no excuse for rude and misinformation by staff.
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Definitely the worst experience I have had in my life!!! Sneaky and fraudulent staffs at 133 Weber Street North location!! On Nov 16, I needed to rent a car urgently for Nov 17, I had reach out to Enterprise and unfortunately, they had no vehicles available. I googled car rentals near me and thrifty came up, so I booked a car on there for pickup at 8:30 on Nov 17th to return at 9:30 on Nov 18th.
I got to the location on Nov 17th (133 Weber St North, Waterloo) and couldn’t find Thrifty anywhere, my boyfriend who was dropping me and I went round the plaza twice and were still lost as there was no sign board or anything indicating that the company exist in that plaza. I called Thrifty customer service to verify the address and get help locating the rental office, the representative had no idea and kept on putting me on hold. We finally decided to check each store in the plaza and then we found Hertz, entered, and they confirmed that Thrifty, Dollar rent a car were all in one office (meaning about 4 companies are using one small office), I mentioned that their website of google page should be updated so people know to find their store.
The representative asked for my confirmation number which I provided, he brought out a key, said I needed insurance which I declined, he then said he needed to put a hold on my credit card for $360.21 as a regular process for renting a car, I accepted and gave him the credit card information. He later said the car was ready and we could come along with him to pickup the car.
Getting to the car, it was parked with the trunk facing the wall, We stood at the driver side and the representative said he would check the vehicle (silver Toyota Corolla 2022 model), he checked and said “I have checked the car, it is all good to go, the tank is full so you are expected to return with full tank”, I replied and said “thanks”, he handed me some paper folded, I put it straight in my handbag, got into the car and left.
On Nov 18th, I went to return the car at 8:40am since my return was for 9:30am, my boyfriend and I went together because I couldn’t drive two cars at once, so I needed someone to drive mine behind me, so I have a car after returning the rental car. I had filled the tank before going in. I handed the key to the representative I met there, and he said he would go check the car, he comes back a few minutes after and says “I’m sorry but the windshield is damaged”. I was confused, for the first 40 seconds, I was trying to remember what he meant by windshield, we both said that’s impossible and asked to see the vehicle.
We get to the car and are looking at the windshield and can’t see any damage, then I say, “we can't see anything”, the representative then goes to the passenger side of the car and points out a long crack on the windshield, I was shocked, I knew this wasn’t from me, or during my rental period. He then says, “there is also a dent on the car”, I said where, he shows us the dent and it’s on the door of passenger seat at the back, once again, I was confused. He immediately said “oh, that dent was there when you picked up the car”, I replied “you mean this car has a dent yesterday before I picked up? Why wasn’t I informed?”. The representative says “well, it was marked on your paperwork”. I’m like which paperwork?
Apparently, the guy who inspected the car had marked the dent at the back of the car and purposely refused to mention it to me because he knew that would trigger me to do a personal inspection on my own. I then said, both damages are not on the driver side of the vehicle, I didn’t go to the other side at all, the car was damaged before I was given. The representative immediately said, “it's winter, it happens all the time, this is also not a stone crack”. I asked, do you have a personal car? Is the windshield damaged? How do you know this is not a stone crack? So, you are aware of what cracked the windshield for you to make such statements? He couldn’t answer any of my questions but said, "What’s your insurance, we would need to contact them to fix this after we get a repair quote from Speedy Auto."
I was furious, what sort of fraudulent organization do you run, why employ thieves as staffs who are very keen on ripping people off. The second representative who was present was fidgeting at this point (he was the one who inspected the car on the rental day). I told them I am not paying for a damage that was on the car way back, they are looking for who to pin this on.
I called 911 to report the situation, dropped the key and left for work because I was already an hour late. I have been calling Hertz, Thrifty customer service line repeatedly since Nov 18 and no resolution has been made, on Monday, Nov 21, the Thrifty store called to inform me that they got a quote of $861.27 from speedy and asked me to pay when this is unsolved. Today, Nov 24, I realized my credit card had been charged $861.27 by Thrifty and I am confused. How do you charge me for something that you know was already there, how can you allow such corporate theft, I have read so many reviews and not one is a positive review, this is ridiculous. Why the corrupt system and extortion? I want my money back because this is unfair!
I made a reservation about 1 week in advance. 1.5-hour delay in picking up a car as "there are no cars available at the moment". Agents did not share the length of the delay; I went back and asked again. This forced cancellation of my plans on day 1 so I got no value from the car. Others in line with reservations had even longer waits of 2 hours or more. Reviews of Thrifty show overbooking has been an issue dating back over 3 years or more. As Seinfeld said you know how to take the reservations but not hold the reservations.
If you are going to continue overbooking as a business practice and way to maximize your profit you should compensate people when you mess up. Agents gave the impression that waits this long were either the norm or no big deal. Why do you not empower your agents to make small $ compensations? What does that say about what you think of your people? Vouchers for future use only add work for everyone.
When I finally got a car, the system did not recognize three of my credit cards even though they were active and recently used. Hold times for customer service on the phone exceeding 20 minutes. Convoluted phone tree. Thrifty agents mis-transferred me multiple times. Tried to discuss/resolve issues over the phone but Thrifty systems do not empower phone agents to see necessary information if it is not in their silo. If you are going to overbook to make extra $ at least streamline your processes for customer service when people run into issues due to your business practices. I asked several agents to make notes in my file several times because I had questions and concerns about the rental conditions-they said they would. On checking later there were no notes. A very, very, frustrating, and unprofessional experience. In future, I will avoid Thrifty whenever I can.
My pick up time was 10am at the DFW counter. When I got to the Thrifty counter, a sign said report to the Dollar counter. There were at least 40 people in line at Dollar. 45 minutes later I got to the counter for the paperwork. Then was told it would be a hour wait for my car. I asked if they overbooked, and the lady said it just time to wash the vehicles and get them here. Still waiting for the car to show up.
I paid around 700.00 to rent a 7 passenger vehicle for 5 days. When I arrived at Orlando airport it was determined I needed to upgrade because of luggage space. That cost me an extra 500.00 plus the full tank of gas I pre paid….They lied about the current price outside the airport, and 71.00 for an additional driver. I chose to pay the tolls in cash since we were staying right outside of Disney and I only needed the tolls 2 days. Then Ian happened. We had to evacuate to West Palm Beach since our flights were canceled out of Orlando. Driving across the state, there were big signs lit up saying there was a suspension of tolls. The booths were closed.
When we went south a couple of exits on the Florida tpk, they billed the plate on the car. For 12.60 in tolls, they billed me 72.54! Administration fees!!! Not to mention the countless hours I spent on the phone to fight the tolls, as well as trying to put it on my NJ Ez pass, this was a horrible rip off!!! Thrifty has no compassion and no acceptable solutions. Spending around 1,300.00 for a 5 day rental is absurd and to add insult to injury!!! This is a brutal and unforgivable example of lack of customer care! There was a toll suspension in the state. We never planned on having to evacuate to our friends house slightly to the south. There was no way to pay at any booth! I sent them a check for the tolls minus the service fees and they returned it to me and billed my CC for the additional 72.54. I will not rent from them or any of their affiliates again!
I was charged $15 per toll booth I passed in addition to the charge of the toll. There was no option to stop at a booth and pay the toll. A one time admin charge of $15 may have been acceptable but $15 per booth was outrageous!
I was charged $38.69 for fuel after the return of my rental car when I refueled and returned the car with a full tank. After multiple phone calls I received an email stating the local office confirmed it was for fuel and unfortunately no refund would be given. I guess it’s my word against theirs, but I refueled as instructed and will never use or recommend this company again.
I reserved a car from Thrifty in the Atlanta, GA airport. I waited in line an hour to be told that I could not use my credit card because my last name didn't match my license (divorce) and I offered my debit card which showed both my married and maiden name. They wouldn't accept this as proof my credit card was mine and would not allow me to use my debit card because I flew in with a one way ticket (to buy a vehicle) and said even if I could use a debit card they would have to run a hard credit check. The immature staff were taking pleasure in denying rentals. Also, they were making people wait in line an hour and then after paying they were being told 1-1.5 hour wait to get the actual car. The employees were saying they always make people wait over an hour on weekends. I'll never use thrifty, dollar, or Hertz.
On Oct 8 2022 my wife rented a car from Thrifty in Chicago. After telling the agent several times she was not interested in insurance, he included it anyway resulting in an overcharge. After reviewing the rental agreement I find no place to decline the insurance charge. Why the insurance was included in billing we do not know. We only know for sure my wife told the agent several time she did not want the insurance.
Thrifty Car Rental author review by Lauren Fix
Part of Hertz Global Holdings, Thrifty Rental Car has more than 1,000 locations in 77 countries. It focuses on serving cost-conscious consumers and business travelers.
Best-rate guarantee: Renters may book on one travel site, only to find the same terms on another site at a lower price. When booking on the Thrifty website, the absolute lowest price on all rentals is guaranteed.
Airline loyalty program: Thrifty Rental Car partners with airline rewards programs to offer miles or points for every rental.
First-time rental guide: The first-time rental guide on the Thrifty Car Rental website walks customers through how to make a reservation and what to expect.
Contact: Call or email Thrifty Rental Car during normal business hours for fast service, or use its urgent contact line in the event of an emergency.
Loyalty program: Blue Chip Rewards loyalty program comes with benefits like shorter lines, faster reservations, faster drop-off services and members-only discount offers.
Get more for less: Pay for a compact car rental and get something larger with the Wild Card rental. Any reservation with a Wild Card is guaranteed at least a compact car, but it may be upgraded at no additional charge.
Thrifty Car Rental Company Information
- Company Name:
- Thrifty Car Rental
- United States
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