BOOKING.COM ECONOMYBOOKING.COM in collusion with THRIFTY CAR RENTAL are MAJOR SCAMMERS Riga!!. CAR RENTERS BEWARE – NEVER BOOK ONLINE WITH THRIFTY or get DUPED. I had the misfortune of booking a car rental online with THRIFTY CAR RENTAL for pickup at New Orleans Airport. Upon completion of reservation the website directed me to a webpage for payment of almost $200 USD and advised an email confirmation. Next day I receive a confirmation from BOOKING.COM a/k/a ECONOMYBOOKING.COM for payment for the reservation, processed in Euros to a bank I did not recognize in RIGA, LATVIA. I got suspicious immediately and called the THRIFTY pickup location who confirmed that I had made a reservation ONLY and not paid for it – and that payment would be due at pickup. After some digging I managed to reach the BOOKING.COM office in Latvia who also confirmed the reservation and receipt of payment and gave me a story about how funds would transfer to THRIFTY upon the return of the car and therefore payment does not show up on the THRIFTY system yet. Having never heard much BS before, I challenged their story, upon which they purportedly ‘connect’ me to THRIFTY directly. Some lady (with a strong Russian accent) “claiming” to be in THRIFTY Corporate office then assures me everything is OK. A second call to THRIFTY at NOLA and a senior Manager reconfirms my reservation but NO payment. I would pay at pickup or NO CAR!! Getting very frustrated with this contradictions I decide to cancel altogether rather than face uncertainty at pickup. A second call to BOOKING.COM (unbelievable 50 minute hold each time) and a rude associate finally agrees to cancel immediately and refund full funds without any penalty. Two days later, get email confirmation from ECONOMYBOOKING.COM that reservation was cancelled for “issues with payment processing” as their purported reason. Phew, issue resolved – OR SO I THOUGHT. A few days later, check my credit card account and there is the full charge ran a day BEFORE the so-called cancellation above. Call BOOKING.COM and get the classic run-around for days. No refunds coming and no reasons offered. They laugh and HANG UP!! Called THRIFTY CAR RENTAL and learn that they are aware of this practice in their name but choose to do nothing to help the Consumer. Denials and “tough luck” all the way up the Corporate ladder. Finally logged a Fraud Report with my card company and hope something comes of it. As a lowly US citizen, I am now looking to engage the FBI (and maybe Interpol) to shut down these SCAMMERS (for now). All practical suggestions welcome. CAR RENTERS BE WARNED: DO NOT RENT at THRIFTY CAR RENTAL and if BOOKING.COM or ECONOMYBOOKING.COM disclaimers shows up on any page on ANY other site, ABORT immediately or say goodbye to your money!!

This review (BOOKING.COM) was originally published at Skeptic Files.

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