unfair practices with car bookings for "Rent A Wreck" agency via orbitz.com expedia cheaptickets car booking

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Aug 13, 2018
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#1
Hi

I want to draw to your attention "what I think" are some unfair practices - please read on

Please see attached pdf for screenshots - please be aware that you need to keep trying this regularly on the Orbitz (and other websites mentioned below) to replicate what I am showing you in the PDF
  1. search for cars at MDW (midway chicago) 30-Aug-2018 (pick up 6pm) to 03-Sep-2018 (return 6pm)
  2. You will see some results - filter for midsize - you will get cars at 28 dollar per day - See Image 1 in PDF -- at this stage, the orbitz page will say 150 miles per day
  3. When you hit "Reserve" an intermediate page will open up - Image 2 in my PDF - there on this intermediate page, click on "Rules and Restrictions"
  4. This will take you to a page -- Image 3 in my PDF -- there it will state "150 total miles" -- In other words, it does NOT state 150 miles per day
  5. I could confirm the above discrepancies when I got my confirmation email
I could replicate these results via Expedia.com, cheaptickets.com

In all 3 cases, the car agency involved is "Rent A Wreck" Car agency

I thought I will bring this to your attention so that you can post it on your website/forum and help passengers avoid this trap

I did call up Orbitz after I found the email to state completely different rules from what I saw on the 1st page (Image 1 of pdf) - after about 2 hrs on call with them, they refuse to believe that it is a fault (somewhere someone has to be responsible for this)

I ended up calling orbitz, being on customer service for close to 2hrs with no resolution. The agent keeps saying "this reservation is pay at the counter, nothing is being charged by orbitz, so you can cancel it". What I have been arguing with Orbitz is "I understand I did not pay for this yet, but this is unfair wherein Page 1 says 150 miles per day eligibility and then the confirmation email does NOT state it is 150 miles per day, it is just ambiguous and says 150 miles"

What is even more irritating is that the Orbitz customer service rep kept on arguing that he is not able to replicate what I am showing (in the pdf) - I keep mentioning to him the Orbitz policy (and other websites policies) that prices are always dynamic and hence if you keep trying it out, you will see what I am seeing (and showing in the attached pdf on this thread)

This is what I find really Interesting - I called up Orbitz's help desk number 312-279-7740 and after about 40 mins the call got disconnected. Immediately I got a call back from 480-401-3863 and I have the Hiya Caller ID app which identified the 480-401-3863 number as Expedia.com. Why I find it interesting is this: I kept telling the Orbitz customer rep that if he cannot replicate what I am doing on Orbitz, he can do so on Expedia (and CheapTickets) as all 3 websites are essentially the same backend. The Orbitz rep kept denying this claim of mine. The content in this paragraph (along with the Hiya Caller ID app details) actually vindicates my claims that Orbitz, Expedia CheapTickets are all the same.

The resolution I want: I want Orbitz to email me that I can rent the car (with RentAWreck as per my original reservation) and I can drive 150 miles per day (total of 600 miles over 4 days) and in case the rental car agency charges more than what is quoted in my email, then Orbitz will refund me the difference and also an additional 50% on that difference



 
Last edited by a moderator:

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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St. Louis
#2
Looking at the Rent A Wreck of Burbank's website, it appears the 150 miles per day is the terms of their rentals, so that may not be a problem. The one issue that may be a problem though is that you can't make a reservation on their website to drop it off on the 3rd (Labor Day) as it states the location is closed. My recommendation is to call the rental agency to verify the mileage and that they will open that day to accept the vehicle at drop off.

Better yet, drop the middleman and book directly with the company. Our recommendation is to always book directly with the company, as it makes resolving any issues much easier. Also, in cases of reduced inventory, it is more likely they will honor a reservation made directly rather than through a 3rd party booking site.
 
Last edited:
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
I agree with Duane why not check with the car rental agency to see what the mileage is? They are the ones that set the restriction. And it looks to 150 miles per day at the Burbank IL location.

It seems that what is being offered is consistent with what you bought.

When dealing with a 3rd party if there is ambiguity it is best to go to the service provider — instead of spending hours on the telephone -or better not use the 3rd party.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
You can always write to the company execs and say the language is unclear but avoid use of unfair practices and this entire Hiya app thing which is distracting —
 
Jul 27, 2016
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#5
1. It's pretty clear it's 150 miles per day. That's the RaW policy from their website. I agree it's a big ambiguous in the Orbitz confirmation email, but the fact that it's RaW policy, and very clear on the booking page, would make me comfortable that it's 150/day.
2. The second PDF is for a different set of dates (9/4-9/10) than what's mentioned in the text (8/30-9/3). The latter wouldn't be possible with Rent a Wreck, since they're closed on 9/3.
3. If you're at all uncertain, why are you pursuing this? There are lots of car rental places to choose from.
4. My recommendation would be to get a quote through Autoslash (www.autoslash.com/quote). They search a wide range of discount codes (that are available for public use) and will very often find a notably cheaper rate than Expedia/Orbitz/etc. will. Doesn't cost anything to check, and the reservations are "pay on arrival."
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
403
515
93
St. Louis
#6
1. It's pretty clear it's 150 miles per day. That's the RaW policy from their website. I agree it's a big ambiguous in the Orbitz confirmation email, but the fact that it's RaW policy, and very clear on the booking page, would make me comfortable that it's 150/day.
2. The second PDF is for a different set of dates (9/4-9/10) than what's mentioned in the text (8/30-9/3). The latter wouldn't be possible with Rent a Wreck, since they're closed on 9/3.
3. If you're at all uncertain, why are you pursuing this? There are lots of car rental places to choose from.
4. My recommendation would be to get a quote through Autoslash (www.autoslash.com/quote). They search a wide range of discount codes (that are available for public use) and will very often find a notably cheaper rate than Expedia/Orbitz/etc. will. Doesn't cost anything to check, and the reservations are "pay on arrival."
I added the screenprints for the OP, I just pulled up an example from the website. I've added the correct screen print.
 
Likes: Just A Guy

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,856
6,779
113
San Francisco
#7
Book travel arrangements directly with the airline, hotel or car rental agency. Don't do business with a company with the word "cheap" in its name. Call the travel provider directly with your questions, verify the answers in writing. You cannot take anyone's word for anything any more, it all has to be in writing directly from the travel provider.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Aug 13, 2018
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#8
Thanks all for your inputs. I followed your suggestions and here is where I am right now:

I had a call with "RentAWreck" and explained my situation (booking via Orbitz, etc). The RentAWreck agent said "we are not responsible as to what Orbitz quotes and says". However, he confirmed that the car will be 150 miles per day. However as Dwayne Coward mentioned in a reply above, RentAWreck is closed on 03-Sep-2018 for Labor Day but Orbitz was able to give me a reservation where I could return the car on 03-Sep.

Therefore the dilemma I face is this: If I were to make a booking via RentAWreck, I cannot make a reservation to return car on 03-Sep and my flight is at 6pm from MDW on that date. I do not want to book for an additional date (via RentAWreck) as it is of no use to me. I am trying to get an email confirmation/guarantee from Orbitz that I can return the car at RentAWreck on 03-Sep and there won't be additional charges on a later date (like additional day added because agency was closed).

I would appreciate any more suggestions on this.

And once again, thanks for all the help.
 
Jun 30, 2017
378
406
63
Maui Hawaii
#9
If Rent a Wreck will not give you a Sep 3 return I would not trust anything that Orbitz tells you on the phone or in an email about return on Sep 3. If RaW is closed Sep 3 you can expect an additional charge, as well as being responsible for any damages to the car in the time between return on Sep 3 and their reopening on Sep 4 since you may have to park in an unsecured lot. This could be a very expensive way to save a few dollars. Use autoslash.com as suggested above. BTW Rent a Wreck gets 5/10 ratings. Would not trust them.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,373
13,044
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
I think you need to find another car rental company. Cheap isn’t always better. Use OTAs for pricing and turn go directly to the car rental company to book.

You are going to get stuck in between finger pointing if something happens. And this already is a problem.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
403
515
93
St. Louis
#11
Thanks all for your inputs. I followed your suggestions and here is where I am right now:

I had a call with "RentAWreck" and explained my situation (booking via Orbitz, etc). The RentAWreck agent said "we are not responsible as to what Orbitz quotes and says". However, he confirmed that the car will be 150 miles per day. However as Dwayne Coward mentioned in a reply above, RentAWreck is closed on 03-Sep-2018 for Labor Day but Orbitz was able to give me a reservation where I could return the car on 03-Sep.

Therefore the dilemma I face is this: If I were to make a booking via RentAWreck, I cannot make a reservation to return car on 03-Sep and my flight is at 6pm from MDW on that date. I do not want to book for an additional date (via RentAWreck) as it is of no use to me. I am trying to get an email confirmation/guarantee from Orbitz that I can return the car at RentAWreck on 03-Sep and there won't be additional charges on a later date (like additional day added because agency was closed).

I would appreciate any more suggestions on this.

And once again, thanks for all the help.
Unless the rental agency provides the 3rd Party booking site with their closure information for that date, they won't have it in their system. This information and their booking policies are provided in the reservation system by the vendor. In the end, you will be the one that will have to deal with the issues, and booking it through the OTA is just going to compound the problem and any resolution. As suggested, it is better to book it directly.