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Unfulfilled rental :(

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Jan 21, 2020
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I made several reservations for vehicles for the above dates, 1/20/20 to 2/8/20, but settled on the Thrifty one. When I arrived at the counter I was told my Wild Card was a pick-up truck. I have a home in a community where pick-up trucks are banned. Our HOA fines us daily if one is parked in our driveway. The pick-up truck would not fit in my garage either so I asked for a different vehicle so that I would not have to pay a $50 fine daily.
Thrifty did have a Nissan Rogue and another similar vehicle but they wanted another $190 plus taxes, etc.to rent this. Adding this to the $485 my reservation was locked into, it became an extremely pricey rental, way out of my budget!! Thank goodness I had retained another reservation with another agency that I was able to use at an additional $60 cost. I am so sad and disappointed in Thrifty. I am a very loyal customer and rent from them at least 6 plus times per year. I was basically put on the spot into paying an additional amount of money which made me feel extorted. I book with Thrifty and Dollar to save money, not to be devalued as a customer. I have future reservations booked with Thrifty and Dollar and I am seriously rethinking these because as a customer, I need to rely on the transparency of my reservation and cost. This experience has put Thrifty in a very negative light based on this experience.
I spend thousands of dollars on leisure car rentals yearly and this has never happened to me in my lifetime. If Thrifty was totally out of vehicles, could they have offered me the consideration an overbooked situation calls for? However, they had a vehicle that would have complied with my reservation and the rules of my HOA. I am very unhappy with Thrifty and the manner in which my business is devalued. I also feel like a fish out of water renting from another agency other than Thrifty or Dollar.
In order to correct this situation and undo this unfortunate experience, I suggest making amends by refunding the additional $60 I had to pay because of Thrifty's unwillingness to fulfill my reservation.
I will also be renting from Thrifty, possibly, in March and December and I would like some type of promo code to compensate for the additional 90 minutes I spent trying to rent a car that I could afford and that I booked. I don't feel that I am asking for anything unreasonable. Let's work together, Thrifty, and see what customer service really means to you. I would be very lost (No GPS Pun intended) not renting from my regular, go-to agency, Thrifty/Dollar.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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You did get what you paid for — the wild card is an opaque booking— the renter saves money but has zero choice in the matter.

If you value transparency do not book an opaque rate — it is that simple.

And if you book an opaque rate do not try to game the system by saying I want X — not the car that was given to me. The company did not try and extort you.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,047
20,864
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Actually she is correct- a Wild Card Rental is for compact car or a free upgrade.

A truck is not a compact car rental and not the upgrade I would have expected- but it does say that the choice of an upgrade is subject to what is available and perhaps they didn’t have anything else that wasn’t already reserved. That’s why blind bids aren’t a great idea in all cases.

https://www.thrifty.com/OurCars/WildCard.aspx

We have company contacts for Thrifty on top of our pages- you can give them a try and see if they will refund the $60 but in actuality- they met the requirements because it does say they can upgrade you with their choice.
 
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Jan 21, 2020
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What is a Wild Card Rental? A blind rental that you don’t get to choose?
It is advertised as a "compact or larger vehicle." Never did I think a pick-up truck was in the mix. If it wasn't against HOA code, I would have taken it though.
 
Jan 21, 2020
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Actually she is correct- a Wild Card Rental is for compact car or a free upgrade.

A truck is not a compact car rental and not the upgrade I would have expected- but it does say that the choice of an upgrade is subject to what is available and perhaps they didn’t have anything else that wasn’t already reserved. That’s why blind bids aren’t a great idea in all cases.

https://www.thrifty.com/OurCars/WildCard.aspx

We have company contacts for Thrifty on top of our pages- you can give them a try and see if they will refund the $60 but in actuality- they met the requirements because it does say they can upgrade you with their choice.
I cannot drive a stick-shift either. If that all that was left on the lot, I would have to abstain. However, Thrifty did have cars that met the requirements that I could drive.
 
Jan 21, 2020
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You did get what you paid for — the wild card is an opaque booking— the renter saves money but has zero choice in the matter.

If you value transparency do not book an opaque rate — it is that simple.

And if you book an opaque rate do not try to game the system by saying I want X — not the car that was given to me. The company did not try and extort you.
CH, I am not trying to game the system. I was trying to rent a vehicle that I could legally park, not get towed and not get fined. Your attitude is unwarranted.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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I just tried to make a mock booking on Thrifty.

The Wild Card says Compact or larger and it is the cheapest rate — less money than actually reserving an economy or compact car.

Thrifty kept the SUV for people that paid more for that type of car.

The point of the wild card is that the place decides what car and the renter pays less —
 

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May 1, 2018
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I was basically put on the spot into paying an additional amount of money which made me feel extorted.
Sorry but I stopped reading at this line. The wild card guarantees you'll get a car, and nothing further. It's the cheapest possible options gives the rental location the flexibility to give you whatever they need the least. It's what you chose and it's what you received. Thrifty fulfilled their end of the deal. I don't see how any reasonable person could conclude this was extortion. You received exactly what you booked.

If you had specific vehicle requirements due to your overnight parking location, you should have made a booking accordingly.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Here is the Wild Card info from Thrifty:

Wild Card (Compact or larger, if available)
  • Rates equal to a Compact
  • Compact or larger vehicle, guaranteed
  • Location determines vehicle type at time of rental
  • Vehicle will have at least 5 seat belts
  • Room for 2 pieces of luggage or more
You got what you reserved, a Wild Card (Compact or larger, if available). It does not say you will get a car or a truck. You will get a vehicle with 5 seats. That is what you reserved and is what you received. If you need a car and not a truck you need to reserve a car

You did not do that and you were given what you accepted when renting.
 
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weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,407
3,007
113
Maui Hawaii
Sorry but I stopped reading at this line. The wild card guarantees you'll get a car, and nothing further. It's the cheapest possible options gives the rental location the flexibility to give you whatever they need the least. It's what you chose and it's what you received. Thrifty fulfilled their end of the deal. I don't see how any reasonable person could conclude this was extortion. You received exactly what you booked.

If you had specific vehicle requirements due to your overnight parking location, you should have made a booking accordingly.
"The wild card guarantees you'll get a car "--this is not correct. The Wild Card guarantees a VEHICLE.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,047
20,864
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
CH, I am not trying to game the system. I was trying to rent a vehicle that I could legally park, not get towed and not get fined. Your attitude is unwarranted.
I believe Christina is saying that when you book an opaque rental that has wording like this- compact or larger at compact rate- this is what can happen. It’s a highly discounted price and not subject to a choice on your part.

The terms leave it totally up to the rental location on what they will substitute. As I said, I wouldn’t have expect a truck but the way the Wild Card is worded, it can happen and it did.

This is actually a good post for anyone to see who books a car or even a hotel room with these opaque lower priced options. It might only cost a little more to do a transparent booking and being able to choose exactly what you want vs. a bad surprise like this turned out to be.

Please use our company contacts and give Thrift a try. You have nothing to lose by writing.
 
Nov 22, 2019
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I do not know for this case but try to rent from other companies like Hertz or Enterprise, they always been nice with me, and directly with them. If money is an issue (it is long rental, should be expensive), I know Hertz has a price match policy (with additional 10% off) if you find the same car rented by Hertz on expedia/orbitz at cheaper rate. Their loyalty program is also pretty good if you rent a lot as you said.
 
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