Thrifty Car Rental Problem - arbitrary fees

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Oct 19, 2017
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#1
My own car broke down in North Platte, Nebraska, on a road trip to the west coast, and I was forced to rent a car. I went to the Hertz/Thrifty office at the North Platte airport and was able to rent a Hyundai Sonata. I originally rented the car for a week, July 8, 2017-July 15, 2017, for an estimated charge of $271.40, to which I agreed.

At that time, I asked the agent, Jill, if this could be extended if need be. She confirmed that this was possible, but to call the agency to check when I knew for sure. She also pointed to the policy of 450 free miles per day. I let her know that I was traveling with a dog (which was standing with me at the counter at that time), and she indicated that this was fine, but that there might be extra charges for cleaning the car. I agreed and signed that contract.


On July 12, I called to see if I could extend the rental for another week, until July 21, 2017 for a total of two weeks. The agent on duty let me know that I could, and that the total charges for two weeks would be $542.80 I assumed that the daily limit of 450 miles (on the original contract) was still in place.


I returned the car on July 21, 2017. The agent on duty checked the car, and let me know that they might indeed have to charge a cleaning for dog hair on the floor of the back seat. (I had a waterproof cover on the seat itself to protect it, but not the floor.) I asked how much that would be, and she indicated about $100 (but it depended upon how long it would take to clean). She said she would give me a call and let me know. I paid the bill for a total of $542.80 with a credit card and departed.


A few days later, I got a call from Jill who indicated that not only would there be a cleaning fee, but that I would be charged for going over 3000 miles total on the trip and that in addition I would be charged for a full month’s rental rather than for the two weeks that I had agreed to. Stunned, I asked to speak to the supervisor and was directed to the Thrifty manager. He explained to me that once I extended the agreement, I was subject to "changes in the agreement." But I was never made aware of those changes. I was never told about the 3000 mileage limit and never agreed to a monthly rate. I only had the car for two weeks and my average mileage was well under 450 per day.

To restate: I never agreed (orally or in writing) to this new "contract" that the manager sees as legally binding. He added two additional charges to my credit card ($542.80 and $255.70) without my permission. He essentially charged me the monthly rate ($920) for two weeks rental.

I complained to Hertz/Thrifty Customer Service and received a revised bill and a letter of apology from Hertz. The revised bill indicated that I owed $542.80 for the two weeks, which I had already paid when I dropped off the car. But that seemed to go nowhere and the extra charges remained. I also complained to Hertz Executive Customer Care at the same time. A week or so later, they called and let me know they couldn't do anything because the car was leased from a Thrifty "licensee."

I contacted the credit card company to dispute the extra charges. The charge for $255.70 (apparently for the car cleaning) was reduced to my satisfaction. But the additional $542.80 remains. My last message from the credit card company indicated that they had heard from the Thrifty manager and that the dispute was resolved and that the $542.80 would be put through and charged to my account. There seemed to be no indication that the credit card company paid attention to my explanation.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,655
12,680
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Oh boy- did you write down the name of the person you spoke to when you called to extend? It sounds like perhaps the clerk didn't know what she was talking about.

We have company contacts on top of our page. Get the contacts for Thrifty and write to the customer service email address. State the info you posted here along with the name of the person you spoke to that extended the rental.

Give them a week to reply. If they don't respond or refuse to help, write to the first executive shown. Tell him/her that Customer Service wasn't able to help or didn't reply. Give the executive a week to reply. If necessary, repeat weekly going up the chain of Executives one at a time. If you get all the Executives with no help, come back here and let us know and we'll
Tell you the next step. Make sure you keep all the emails as you'll need to forward them to the writers if they need to get involved.

Good luck and let us know what happens.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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St Louis
#3
@Neil, not sure but @Darsie Bowden may have already gone to the execs. Check out the second to last paragraph. And a credit card dispute has already been lost. So Darsie, you've been charged $542.8 twice now, correct? I think you need to shorten this down quite a bit. It's wordy and the people you need to contact likely have a few minutes to understand the situation and what you want done. Please confirm what steps you've already taken so we can further advise you.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Oct 19, 2017
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#4
@Neil, not sure but @Darsie Bowden may have already gone to the execs. Check out the second to last paragraph. And a credit card dispute has already been lost. So Darsie, you've been charged $542.8 twice now, correct? I think you need to shorten this down quite a bit. It's wordy and the people you need to contact likely have a few minutes to understand the situation and what you want done. Please confirm what steps you've already taken so we can further advise you.
 
Oct 19, 2017
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#5
Yes, I have contacted Customer Service. First, I sent an email to Gregory Crum (listed as the top executive to contact on Elliott's website). I did not hear back from him, but got a phone call indicating they (Executive Customer Service) couldn't do anything about it because the Thrifty location was a "licensee" (I assume this is a franchise). At the same time, for good measure, I posted a complaint online. I did hear back on this--the agent, Yalonda, sent me a revised bill and an apology. But that was where it ended.

And yes, I was charged $542.80 twice.

I'm not sure what to simplify. Everything I tried lead to a dead end. In other words, the manager at Thrifty North Platte seems to have all the power here. Suggestions?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,655
12,680
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
I think you might be confused about being charged twice. You were charged first. Then you filed a dispute. When you file a dispute, you received a provisional credit until the dispute is resolved. If it is resolved in your favor, the credit remains - which zeros out the initial charge.
If you lose, they removes the credit they initially gave you - in essence just zeroing out the provisional credit that you lost in the dispute.

So it might seem like you were charges twice but you weren't actually because you received a provisional credit.

So you used all the executives we have listed at Thrifty? If you have gone up to the CEO - I don't think there is much more we can do, especially if the credit card company did not find in your favor.
 
Oct 19, 2017
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#7
Sorry for the confusion. I paid the first charge ($542.80) when I dropped off the car. Then I was charged an additional $542.80 a few days later. The second charge is the one I disputed. I was ultimately charged DOUBLE - a total of $1085.60 + an additional fee for extra cleaning.

Wow, so companies can get away with this?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,655
12,680
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
No- and if the credit card company did not allow you to dispute the double charge, something is wrong. I totally misunderstood your issue.

Have you asked to speak to a supervisor at the credit card company to explain you are disputing a double charge?

What credit card did you use?

We have company contacts for some:

http://www.elliott.org/class/credit-card/