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Auto Rental, Frankfurt Airport

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!! Dollar/Thrifty Rental Car Warning, Frankfurt AP!! [agent: Buchbinder]

I've belatedly read previous reviews on other sites of this rental agency and see much of my own bad experiences with this Dollar/Thrifty agent.

After a long transatlantic flight, expecting to pay $183.06 for my rental car (for which I had researched the best price online), I was instead charged $570 for the rental, and with a $380 deposit. Among the extra charges (it was in German) was one for winter tires even though the weather was quite temperate in mid-October.

Shocked, I asked the agent why the price had gone up so high. She replied that I had to have their insurance, which accounted for the increase. She said the fact I already had insurance with my VISA card was not relevant. They said I also needed a letter from the CC company.

Although I had specially selected a VW Golf for economy, they didn't' have one of those, and "upgraded" me to an Opel Zafira mini-van. I had no recourse but to take the car and the rate since being stranded at the airport was not an option.

I had to inspect the car in a dimly lit garage in the airport. Fortunately, I had a little penlight, and found some scratches and dings which I used my smartphone to photograph. I called the attendant over and showed him the blemishes I had found which he dismissed as nothing. I made him record them nevertheless.

When I returned the car (full), the agent paid little attention to inspection. I suspect that they make so much money on rentals that they need not worry about the cars too much.

After I got my last credit card bill, I saw that the agency had kept about $40 of my deposit. It was their farewell picking of my pocket.

Buchbinder should be charged with posing as a rental car agency when they are really a (bent) insurance agent. No doubt that's where they make most of their money.

I've had good experiences with Dollar and Thrifty on many other occasions outside of Germany, but I'll never rent from them again.

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