ALAMO LEFT US STRANDED

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Dec 2, 2018
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#1
We had reserved a vehicle from Alamo (through Costco Travel) for pickup Nov 20, 2018 at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. Reservation was made 2 months ahead of time (Sept 20). Costco conf #C35xxxxxxx, Alamo conf # 193xxxxxxx. Upon arrival at 10 PM with my family of 7 (including 2 small children), we were told they had overbooked and had no vehicle for us, and wouldn't until "next week". All other rental agencies at the airport were out of cars until later in the week. The agent at Alamo was rude and totally unhelpful when I insisted that she find us a vehicle as I needed to get my family to our vacation rental some 30 minutes away. Getting NO help from Alamo agent to find us a vehicle or call us a cab or anything to help at all, and after an hour of phoning we found a taxi to transport us. We were over a mile from the nearest grocery and had nothing to eat until late the next day. The following afternoon, after talking with Alamo at the airport and another location all morning, with still no success in finding a vehicle, we were fortunate to find something with Avis. So another taxi trip to the airport, and most of a day of vacation wasted. I also spent good deal of time talking with Alamo's national customer service - who did absolutely nothing to help, telling me I had to resolve my problem locally. What on earth is the point of reserving a vehicle if they won't hold it for you? And why on earth would they not at least had the courtesy to let me know ahead of time so I could have tried to find something else? How rude and uncaring to wait till I snow up at 10 at night with small children in tow to tell me they didn't hold my reservation? One of five days with my grandchildren wasted! Will never do business with Alamo again! We absorbed $310 in actual extra expense and over $400 in lost vacation time (cost of one day in condo). I'm requesting $700 in compensation from Alamo, along with an apology and explanation. I'm also requesting that Costco reconsider their partnership with Alamo - as they certainly are not up to Costco standards!

Edited by a moderator to remove confirmation numbers
 
Last edited by a moderator:

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,404
1,374
113
Maui Hawaii
#2
We had reserved a vehicle from Alamo (through Costco Travel) for pickup Nov 20, 2018 at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. Reservation was made 2 months ahead of time (Sept 20). Costco conf #C35xxxxxxx, Alamo conf # 193xxxxxxx. Upon arrival at 10 PM with my family of 7 (including 2 small children), we were told they had overbooked and had no vehicle for us, and wouldn't until "next week". All other rental agencies at the airport were out of cars until later in the week. The agent at Alamo was rude and totally unhelpful when I insisted that she find us a vehicle as I needed to get my family to our vacation rental some 30 minutes away. Getting NO help from Alamo agent to find us a vehicle or call us a cab or anything to help at all, and after an hour of phoning we found a taxi to transport us. We were over a mile from the nearest grocery and had nothing to eat until late the next day. The following afternoon, after talking with Alamo at the airport and another location all morning, with still no success in finding a vehicle, we were fortunate to find something with Avis. So another taxi trip to the airport, and most of a day of vacation wasted. I also spent good deal of time talking with Alamo's national customer service - who did absolutely nothing to help, telling me I had to resolve my problem locally. What on earth is the point of reserving a vehicle if they won't hold it for you? And why on earth would they not at least had the courtesy to let me know ahead of time so I could have tried to find something else? How rude and uncaring to wait till I show up at 10 at night with small children in tow to tell me they didn't hold my reservation? One of five days with my grandchildren wasted! Will never do business with Alamo again! We absorbed $310 in actual extra expense and over $400 in lost vacation time (cost of one day in condo). I'm requesting $700 in compensation from Alamo, along with an apology and explanation. I'm also requesting that Costco reconsider their partnership with Alamo - as they certainly are not up to Costco standards!

Edited by a moderator to remove confirmation numbers
You should talk to Costco who are very supportive of their reservations.

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/costco/

You can also contact Alamo but if you state "Will never do business with Alamo again!" they have no reason to want to help you. If you eliminate such language you may get a voucher for a future rental.

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/alamo/

Start at the first cust serv person and email, repeating WEEKLY if no/negative response. They will not reimburse you for lost time. You can request money you lost in extra expenses. If you ask for the lost time they may dismiss your request completely.

https://www.elliott.org/answers/how-to-fix-your-own-consumer-problem/
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
17,032
15,548
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
I assume you rented a van? Those are few are far between and this wouldn’t be the first time we have seen complaints here about non availability of a van or large SUV. No car can be guaranteed because if the car is in an accident, or is taken for a one way rental, or isn’t returned in time, the company can’t give you what they don’t have in stock.

What does the $310 in actual expenses consist of? Was that a difference in price between your Alamo rental and the cost of the new rental? I don’t think you will be reimbursed $400 for the condo rental day- you were there. Did you have any tours that day that you missed because you were looking for another rental?

It’s a lousy way to do business- I understand your frustration. Was there anyone else that would have been able to drive so you could have rented two cars? That would have been an easy solution.

We have company contacts on top of our page. Find the contacts for Alamo and then write to them using this information. Make sure in your letter you detail what you are asking them to reimburse for-don’t just say “out of pocket expenses”- detail what it was for.

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/

Let us know how you make out.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,911
7,796
113
San Francisco
#4
What an awful experience. What were the hours of the Alamo desk? If you arrived shortly before closing time, the local agents were probably getting ready to go home. Not an excuse, just a reality check. As Neil pointed out, there are a thousand reasons why a rental car reservation isn't honored, and the rental office doesn't seem to have the capacity to take initiative to protect their customers. I'm so sorry this happened, and I hope Alamo will make it right for you.

ADVOCATE ADVICE
It's always adviseable to have a Plan B if you're arriving anywhere to do anything after 7pm. Especially true if there are small children or elderly people involved. Things happen, agents don't bother to take care of a situation, they just seem to wait until the customer shows up and deal (not) with the situation then. With a vacation rental especially, it's always a good idea to book an airport hotel the first night so you have the flexibility to make sense of a bad situation. Even with a hotel res, if you're arriving after 6pm, it's vital to call the hotel and be sure the front desk knows you're on your way. So many people change their plans (willingly or not) that the travel providers become callous and don't address real issues.
 
Sep 27, 2018
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#5
Not to sound uncaring, but since this area had been crushed by Hurricane Michael only a few weeks before, did you call to confirm that they would have a vehicle for you, or that the office was even functional? A simple phone call could have made all the difference in the world by seeing if the rental was likely to be available, plus it would have let the office know you were still coming since rental cars still have lots of no shows. While the agent may have been rude, it could also be the result of stress from putting their own life back together, and dealing with lots of late returns. My best advice in those situations is to put on your happy face and puppy dog eyes and find some sort of solution.