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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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04.25.08         customer service  

Thrifty Car Rental on Maui


Its been a crazy busy day, but I know I needed to come in here and make a post. This one is about customer service and as many of you know I have a love/hate relationship with rental car companies. I cannot stand all their little games, extra insurance, pre-paid gas, etc, etc. I ran into a new scam with my car rental on Maui and just wanted to throw this out there for anyone planning on using them anytime soon. I dont have a problem paying for anything when it is what they say it is. I do have a problem when someone tries to trick me or someone else, even if its not that much money. I HIGHLY doubt this is company policy and it is an isolated incident, but be aware of these games.

When we arrived on the 14th, we had originally booked the car for a full week and when I picked it up, I asked the lady at the counter if I could extend it 3 more days as I was staying longer and she said that would be fine and I would be charged the daily rate of $18/day, (for a Dodge Magnum which I must say was cooler than I was anticipating).

Long story short, I return the car, full tank of gas 2 hours before it was due, and the receipt said there was a $43 late return fee. This confused me, so I went to the counter to ask them about it. The first words out of their mouths were

"There is nothing we can do about late returns we are sorry."

Me: "Maybe there is some kind of mistake, I just returned it 2 hours early"

The two girls at the counter started to check their computer, one of them says: "you picked it up at 10am"

Me: "Uh...no...I picked it up after 7pm, look at the receipt. Our flight didnt get in until 7 anyway."

They go back to their computers and then reluctantly spill it..which I thought was VERY SNEAKY:

"Your original reservation was for a week, because you decided to extend the rental 3 extra days, this pushed your reservation over the return date by three days, which we charge an additional $12 per day." This was the scam.

Thrifty on Maui actually had the nerve to PRE-BILL a late return fee and then say the rental was only $18 per day, when it was really $30. The kicker is they also have a fee for returning the car early, so either way you are screwed.

Me: "Is this legal?"

Them: "We do it all the time." And she had this very smug look on her face.

Me: "Just because you do it all the time, doesnt make it legal."

Them: "Everyone here does it."

Me: "This is the first time any car rental company has pulled a stunt like this...." (raising my voice)

Them: "We will refund it this time only as a courtesy for you."

.....uh huh

Another part of the scam, most visitors are in too much of a hurry to look at their receipt and see they have been burned. If they do see it, it may not be until after they are back on the mainland.

Something similar also happened at the Outback in Kihei, we were over charged about $200 on a meal for the clan, and the computer even added up the items incorrectly. Not to mention it had the wrong sales tax, almost 1% higher. It was bizarre.

It is possible that some of these companies are intentionally over billing EVERYONE, most people dont check their receipts and add everything up, and IF they catch the company....what happens? They refund the money, and the other 95% are still burned.

Keep an Eye out for it...check your receipts when you travel.



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