Dollar Rent A Car – Tampa Airport Tampa Florida


Complaint: this is a copy of the letter i sent to Dollar Corp. after the fact To whom it may concern, Please allow me to share with you my recent experience of renting a car for a week from Dollar Rent-a-Car at Tampa Airport. I normally drive a single cab pickup truck; with only three people in my household this is normally adequate for my needs. However I had my two children from a previous marriage from Texas staying with us that week and needed a car with more seats to accommodate everyone. I made an online reservation with Dollar for Saturday, August 17,2013 around noon for a full-size car for one week at the total rate of approx $145.00. We arrived at the airport about 11:15am, after about an hour in line we made our way to the rental counter. Everything went well until we got to the prepaid fuel plan. I objected to it and was told it was not optional and could not be removed. Then we moved on to the optional insurance, again I was told it was not optional. I told her I absolutely would not take the insurance because my credit card already provided rental car insurance. To which she stated u201cyes, but that doesnu2019t cover liabilityu201d confused, I asked u201cyou mean you donu2019t have liability on your vehicles?u201d to which she said most peoples car insurance liability doesnu2019t cover rental cars and if I wanted to rent the car I needed this coverage. At this point I said u201cI donu2019t think this is going to work, because the available credit on my credit card is only $311.00 and we are already well above thatu201d She says u201dDonu2019t worry, I can fix itu201d Then she proceeded to remove the previously u201cnon-optionalu201d prepaid fuel from the agreement and came to an amount of around $263.00. Worried that I would not get a car at all and thereby ruin my sonsu2019 time with me this week, I took the bad deal against my better judgment and she submitted a pre-authorization for $304.00 to my credit card. I left and went to the garage to get my car. Fast forward to August 22, 2013 two days before the car is due back. In a telephone conversation with my mother, who spent over 20 years in the car rental industry, including as Budget Rent-a-Car controller at LAX, I relayed to her what had happened and asked for her input. She said this is a common problem in the industry because agents routinely are paid commissions on add-ons like this, counter agents regularly present these things as non-optional, only removing them on the most persistent objections from the customers. She also said that it was unconscionable for her to have presented the liability in such a way as to suggest that the only way I would have been able to rent the car is to buy this policy. I spent the next few hours researching this topic and came to believe this was at the very least a hard sell against an unsuspecting customer and at the worst a criminal use of deceptive business tactics. So I went into the location on Saturday morning August 24, 2013 fully prepared to argue my case to whoever needed to hear it. In the intervening time, the pre-authorization fell off of my credit card and I maxed it out doing other things with my children. Having received a paycheck on Friday the 23rd I was not concerned about this as I intended to try to pay cash for the rental, assuming this may actually work in my favor and give me a little leverage in the negotiations. After driving into the garage and returning the car I told the attendant that I wanted to pay cash and had a few concerns I needed to address before we completed this transaction. She gave me a receipt for the drop off and pointed me in the right direction to the Dollar check-in counter walked in and was promptly greeted by a very nice woman asking u201cHow was everything?u201d I immediately launched into my story, and was stopped once she got the gist of what I was getting at. She said, u201cThis is beyond me, Let me get someone on the phone who can help you.u201d She dialed the phone and spoke a few inaudible words to whoever answered, then handed me the phone. The woman I spoke to did not identify herself and was direct and to the point, u201cWhat seems to be the problem, sir?u201d I laid out my case in a calm and logical manner and at the end she just as calmly said to me u201dThe charges are not coming offu201d, at which point I told her of the condition of my credit card and I was paying cash and would really like to see a little movement on her part. Her response was again to calmly state u201cThe charges are not coming offu201d My reply was u201dYouu2019re telling me that Dollar would rather screw me out of this 120 dollars, than get any more of my business ever again?u201d her reply was to calmly repeat u201cThe charges are not coming offu201d Suspecting that what I had mistaken for a calm dialog was in actuality a canned response she had used on many irate customers. I said u201cOK, your position is clearu201d and handed the phone back to the counter agent. I dropped the rental agreement and fuel receipt on the counter in front of the clerk at the counter and said u201cI guess weu2019re going to work this out in court.u201d And I left without another word. It bears mentioning that while I was on the phone with the unidentified supervisor a short Italian man with a heavy New York accent came into the office behind me and began cussing and raising all manner of hell about them adding the insurance to his agreement without his knowledge or consent. So, I donu2019t think it is just me having an issue with Dollars practices regarding so-called optional items on the rental agreement. I look forward to hearing from someone on this issue. I am still willing to pay the rental charges of approx $145.00. But as I returned the vehicle a couple hours early, undamaged, full of fuel and was sold an insurance product I did not want or need by deceptive means, I absolutely will not pay more than that. Furthermore I believe the business practices of this location demand at the very least an internal investigation by Dollar. In the absence of a satisfactory response from Dollar within 7 days, I will be forwarding this letter to the Florida Attorney General Office of Consumer Protection and the West Florida Better Business Bureau. Thank you for your time and swift attention to this matter,

Tags: Local Transportation

Address: Tampa, Florida USA



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