I purchased a car rental from Thrifty, in the Cabo San Lucas area, from an on-site representative at a resort I was staying at. My rental started on Thursday and was to be returned on Sunday of the same week, dropping it off at the airport. I purchased the rental at a good price and chose all insurance coverage available.
My credit card was pre-authorized for a little over $600 to be held until the car was returned. Seemed like a standard normal purchase- and then the nightmare began!
I checked out of the resort hotel on Friday and elected to stay at a hotel in downtown Cabo San Lucas for the remainder of my stay. Well, by Saturday afternoon all of my money was gone. Thrifty elected to increase my hold from $600 to $4,159.34- NOT PESOS, BUT DOLLARS!!!! Can you imagine this happening to you? For most people, holding over $4,000 of your money would likely ruin your entire trip… you would be wiped out!!! Well, it is three days later and this money is still being held, and this is only one of two major problems still remaining unresolved.
WHY did Thrifty decide to hold over $4,000 of my funds from me? Well, I went to the closest Thrifty office and they said they have been "trying to look for me." First of all, I had NO voice mail OR e-mail from Thrifty, so I don’t know who they were contacting, but it sure wasn’t me. Secondly, I had NO reason at all to report to Thrifty on my whereabouts. I was scheduled to drop off my car on Sunday, at the airport. This was Saturday. So, again, what was this company thinking? Obviously, they thought I possibly stole their car. The nerve! Even after several times of directly asking WHY, no one at Thrifty gave me a direct answer on why my hold was increased.
To make matters even worse, I had somehow lost the car keys on Friday night, between my trip to local shopping and back to the hotel. It is very possible that the keys were locked in the car, but this issue also remains unresolved. When I went to the Thrifty office, first to scream about the additional money they decided to hold without ANY notice, warning, or warrant, I informed them about my lost key.
First, they wanted to get to the car "right away." The Thrifty supervisor and an intimidating larger male co-worker drove me back to the hotel I was staying at, with a camera, took pictures of the car and then called the "manager." At this point, I felt like a prisoner and not a customer. I did nothing, but was being investigated. I cannot describe the feelings I had about this situation and this alone will prevent me from ever dealing with this company for the remainder of my lifetime.
THE WORST IS YET TO COME: Finally, even though I purchased all of the insurance available, including insuring personal belongings, I was told that for loosing the keys I will be charged an additional $380.00. You heard me correctly. Not only am I being treated like a criminal, but NOW Thrifty is stealing from me! There is no way that is will cost Thrifty $380 to replace a lost key (and it may not even be lost, but simply locked in the car).
The supervisor told me that the insurance does not pay for "negligence." Are you serious? Did she just call me negligent? Wow…. And, where in any fine print does it say that you should be responsible for anything after you spend the extra money to purchase all of the insurance. Isn’t that what insurance is for?
Again, I am back home and none of this has been resolved. Everything I have told you here is a fact. This is the 2nd time I have made the decision to use Thrifty in a Latin American country and it is the 2nd time that something "very shady" has occurred, where I end up feeling robbed rather than helped at a time of need.
I sent two e-mails to the CEO, the Senior Vice President of Operations in Latin America, and the VP of Global Sales and Marketing for the parent company of Thrifty Rental Car, who also owns Dollar Rental Car. No resolution from them; not even a reply back. I guess they care more about my $600 than how I was treated.
I encourage you to take this information into consideration when comparing Thrifty to other car rental companies. I can tell you, for me, I will always choose to pay the extra $10 per day, or to walk the extra few blocks, to work with a brand name that I can trust… not Thrifty Rental Car.