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Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

Wollongong
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19 posts
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Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

Just a warning about the Dollar Car rental Office LAX.

I hired a car through Auto Europe for 20 days in L.A. Auto Europe are a Car Rental Broker and I am happy with their service.

It was an all inclusive deal,which included all Taxes ,insurance and local charges.Great way to book as USA car rental are a scam waiting to happen.Used this system a few times with not a problem untill a few weeks ago.

They sent me my voucher and I got stuck with Dollar Rent a Car.

Well after a 14 hour flight from Australia,the mind is not too swiched on and I reckon the sales people know it!

I was asked if I wanted an upgrade for an Extra $5.00 a day.I said fine,but I wanted a certain car,sales person said,no problem,go and pick one.I got the keys to a nice Dodge Charger.

I was told as I had a voucher and was pre paid,that there were no other charges ,except the $5.00 a day upgrade,so sign ,here,here and here.

So when I arrive home,on my credit card were charges for an extra $500!

The $5 a day had increased to $12.Then there was a thing called "Road Safe" at $107.At no point was I asked about this.This charge was for flat a tire or if you had an accident or break down,they would tow away the car! What if you don't have this,they leave it on the side of the road forever?If a car breaksdown,it is their car and their fault,why should I be insured for that?

Next was an airport recovery charge,$41 what is this suppose to be?I took the car back to the rental office Depot,they never had to pick it up from the airport!

I can understand that you may have to pay extra for taxes on the extra charges,but when the fast talking salesman says,$5 a day,you would think, $5 a day.

When you pay for all insurance to be inclusive,why would you need Road safe?

When I complained,they said I signed and agreed to the costs,so I checked and so I did.That is what you get for not reading the small print.

So it comes down to no matter how tired you are,always read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line,don't trust the Sales Person,I reckon they must get a commission.

This was Dollar LAX,so beware.

They did refund me approx $130,but considering the suprise extra charges,left me feeling Riped Off!

Love to hear if any others have had this problem with Dollar at LAX or Dollar Rental as a whole?

Mission Viejo...
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1. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

Sorry you had that problem. Unfortunately issues with rental car companies are common here in the USA, and I stick to first-tier companies like Avis and Hertz as they tend to be less headache. I realize you didn't choose Dollar, the car agency did. (BTW Dollar and Thrifty are usually fairly good, same corporate parent).

"Airport recovery fee" is pretty universal if you rent from an airport location. It's imposed by the city or airport authority and can add 10-25% to the base rental rate. You may have been justifiably charged that percentage on the $5 x 20 days but that's only $10 or $20, not $41. It sounds like you were double-charged a good portion of the ARF.

California law is very protective of travelers renting cars due to rampant abuses some years back. The contract you signed at the rental counter should have every possible "upsell" listed, and you explicitly have to initial each one with an indication of whether you opt-in or opt-out. Check your paperwork to see what you signed for the Road Safe.

It sounds like the clerk was either clueless or dishonest (a lot of their pay is commission on the upsells). Review your contract to get a "case" together, then email or write Dollar's corporate HQ here in the US. They will probably address your problem and it sounds like there's a good chance of getting the remainder refunded (less the $5/day, any taxes on that, and the $130 already refunded).

Here's a link to their contact info: http://www.dollar.com/Help/main.aspx

Let us know how this turns out if you pursue it. Lastly, have you contacted Auto Europe?

635
strathmore
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136 posts
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2. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

I am glad you posted this, I was just about to book a rental car thru Dollar but will now go thru Hertz or Avis, thanks

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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3. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

Wollongowolf said it best:

>>So it comes down to no matter how tired you are,always read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line, <<

635, all car rental companies will have fine print and will try to get you to buy more. None are any more trustworthy than any other one!

Pacifica, California
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for Pacifica
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4. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

I would mostly complain to Auto Europe rather than Dollar. Dollar doesn't give a damn about individual customers, but they might be more responsive if a big customer like Auto Europe is complaining on your behalf.

The only US auto-rental companies with decent reputations are Hertz, Avis and Enterprise. Everyone else = crooks.

Nashville, Tennessee
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5. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

Sorry you had this experience. I always rent from Dollar and have never had anything but a great experience.

Kenish, Dollar is a "first tier" company.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

Dollar and Thrifty are affiliated and there have been reports here before regarding Thrifty not accepting vouchers from European brokers as they are supposed to. Also there are several complaints online regarding AutoEurope. Apparently their rates are supposed to include all taxes and insurances but the individual car rental companies seem to have a hard time accepting this when you arrive at the counter. They tell you that you are not covered and they sell you their added insurance.

7. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

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London, United...
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8. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

I have a rental in three weeks with Thrifty booked and paid for through a UK third party. This thread worried me so I just spoke to Thrifty's customer service department and had it confirmed to me that if I decline everything offered at the desk (all optional and not essential to the hire or insurance of the vehicle) I will have nothing else to pay.

I brought up the one-way fee and interestingly was told that on pre-paid voucher reservations they never charge one-way fees. So these may well be rolled into the quoted price from the broker but shouldn't be added on at the desk or show up on a credit card after the rental.

Obviously only time will tell whether any of this is correct but it's put my mind a decent way towards being at rest.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

If you have any problem at the counter, call Thrifty customer service 888 400 8877 and let them deal with the counter agent. At the very least, get them to document in your rental record that you are protesting the new charge that the agent is advising of.

London, United...
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10. Re: Beware of Scam at Dollar car Rental LAX

Good advice, thank you.