On April 9, 2003, my husband and I made an online reservation with Dollar Car Rental for a planned trip on April 12, 2003.
The reservation base rate for a full size car (Dodge Intrepid or similar) was quoted: $124.99 + $4.13(vehicle license fee) + $13.89 (apt conc recov fee) + $8.58 (state tax) + $2.78 (county rental tax) for a "Total Estimated Charge" of $154.37.
Great price... or so we thought.
With reservation in hand, we arrived to pick up our vehicle on April 12, 2003 as arranged. After waiting in line for over 20 minutes (one customer ahead of us), an unsmiling clerk informed us they had no Intrepids available, we'd HAVE to select either a Chevy Durango or Chrysler PT Cruizer... she offered no apologies or explaination, but rather acted totally disconcerned. (why the advance reservation???) Disappointed, but in need of a vehicle, we selected the PT Cruizer.
After taking our credit card information, the fast talking clerk went on to ask if we wanted full coverage, liability or basic insurance coverage. We told her we had our own insurance and she said/asked (if) we just wanted basic coverage... Having never rented a car there before, we simply assumed a comapany provided basic insurance was the norm... after all, we had the reservation quote of $154.37... duh us!!!!!
Ms Personality then shoved a paper across the counter, told my husband to initial and sign, she then snatched the paper back, gave us a copy, told us where the car was, handed us the keys and "dismissed us from her counter.
Upon arriving back at the scheduled time to return the car, we were hit with a BIG surprise... $124.99 (1 week) + $27.07 (ap conc rec fee) + $4.13 (veh lic) + $16.49 (state tax) + $5.50 (county rental tax) + $118.65 (loss dag waivr) for a whopping total due of $296.83... almost double the amount we had been quoted on our advance reservation.
The new clerk on duty (does Dollar train all their staff to have the same "I don't give a darn" attitude????) explained in a condescending manner that the extra cost was because of the basic insurance fee. We explained that we had informed the original clerk we had our own insurance, however this 2nd Ms Personality simply stated, in an exasperated tone, that we had initialed the acceptance of the charge, therefore it was valid and with that, she "dismissed" us without concern.
This was an expensive lesson for a couple of novices in the car rental "game". I feel as though Dollar Car Rental is very misleading, has very poorly trained staff and could use a serious course in customer relations.
I work in the hospitality field and am in a position where I recommend car rental agencies to clients often. It's safe to say, I will NEVER recommend Dollar and will tell everyone who'll listen about the experience I had with this company.