About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

14 January 2016

Thrifty Car Rental - No Frills Danger

Thrifty Car Rental is quite well known for promising no-frills, highly competitive car rentals. And it was exactly what it looked like when I booked online for last December - they had a number of well designed options, which led to a very competitive rate. 

The veneer started to come off at collection. Despite a confirmed, partially prepaid, reservation - the reservation was nowhere to be found on their systems. After about 15 minutes to fiddling, the agent proceeded to create a new booking; highlighted the same charges as per my booking on the printout, took the remainder of the hiring fee noted in my reservation document (plus the deposit off course); and we were on our way.

The trouble began after the return of the car; when I noticed a hefty charge deducted from my card. Upon enquiry, it seems that the new reservation was actually on a higher day rate than what I had actually booked. I looked closer on the printout, and it was true; although it was not highlighted. Suddenly, the well priced, competitive car rental turned out to be quite an expensive rental - one that didn't come with air miles that the "high frills" competitors provided, now at a lower cost. 

Given that I had signed the rental - I have no real recourse. When I mentioned my experience, at least 2 others mentioned similar experiences with Thrifty. Perhaps it is their business model - who knows. I have learnt my lesson with no frills competitors, it is easier to just stick to the high frills car rental agencies. I know what I will get, and in either case, I have always have consistent service and never had billing errors in the past.