When booking a car rental by phone last November, I checked Avis and Budget (both Cendant Cos.) among others.I reserved with Avis, probably based on price as I remember. I was then offered $40 dollars in rebate coupons on gas purchases if I agreed to some very minor action, like being transfered to another operator that would quote me airfare,hotels,etc, at my planned destination. The words Travelers Advantage were mentioned ,but never Shoppers Advantage, and the operator certainly never mentioned any sort of membership or monthly charges on my credit card. I rec'd 4 $10 dollar coupons in the mail with a statement saying I could use only one per quarter, to be mailed to TA along with the gas receipt.It would take almost a year to get all $40, but that was just a" live and learn". But not the last one from Cendant's people.
This May in Branson MO we were lured under false pretences expecting an update on our RCI time share exchange program, only to be subjected to a rude, high pressure pitch for Fairfield Resorts( soon to be Wyndam Resorts), timeshare. All three are brands are owned by Cendant.
In June we found $11.99 monthly charges from both Shoppers and Travelers Avantage on my CC going back several months. I decided to Googles those names for more info, clicked onRip-off Reports, and only then did I discover that Cendant ownes all of the companys above plus many more that are household brand names in the travel and lodging industry
It is terrible to see Cendant debase these brands by choosing a business strategy that forces them to mislead and intimidate their customer base for short-term gains.
Worse yet is the practice of placing unauthorized, or under- autherized charges on anyones CC. This process is now known as"cramming" and I think CC companies should develope a method to stop it.
Cendant Corp lists itself in the top quarter of America's Fortune500. If true, it is another sad commentary on the state of our country's business ethics. However, Cendant's stock price on theNYSE has dropped over 25% in the past 12 months. Maybe the shareholders are wising up.