Bad Experience with Thrifty Car Rental

Jun 21st, 2007, 08:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2
Bad Experience with Thrifty Car Rental

On Sunday, May 20, 2007 my wife and I picked up our rental car, a 2005 Hyundai Accent, in Dublin Ireland. On May 23, 2007 we were traveling through Killarney National Park when we parked the rental car and walked to see the Torc Waterfall. Upon returning to the rental car I tried to start the car and noticed the key would not turn in the ignition. I pulled out the key and noticed it was broke. The other half was in my pocket, where the keys were stored during our walk.

I immediately phoned Thrifty in Dublin to explain the situation. After several phones calls to Thrifty Dublin, Thrifty Cork and Thrifty’s Administrative Offices in Ireland we were told that a new rental car would have ti be towed to us as they could not get us a replacement key. After a six hour wait a new rental car did arrive and they towed our original rental car to Cork.

When returning the vehicle on Saturday June 2, 2007 in Dublin. The agent informed me that my file was flagged and Thrifty Ireland would be charging me 400-euro ($538.22) to replace the broken key. I told the agent that the charge was inappropriate and explained what had happened. After much deliberation back and forth the agent said that I could wait 1 1/2 hours until a manager came in, but as I had a flight to catch I could not wait. I then requested that he not process the charge until I could speak with a manager via telephone, but he said he had to charge it, and perhaps the manager would reverse the charge after speaking to me.

I did nothing out of the ordinary; the keys were stored safely in my pocket where I have stored my personal keys for 20+ years.

As of this date Thrifty will not even meet us half-way and we are disputing the charge with citibank. It is very difficult to swallow a $538.22 charge for a replacement key when the key was simply in my pocket.
etmjam is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 08:36 AM
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Rent from Hertz next time.
Lawchick is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 10:03 AM
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Thanks for posting this experience. I'll avoid Thrifty.
hawksbill is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 10:07 AM
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I've had disputes with credit card charges, and CitiBank has always come through for me.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you.
i_am_kane is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 10:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 895
Take a normal car key and try to bend it and it is difficult to do. It would take considerable DELIBERATE effort to break a key. There may have been something wrong with the metal. It is not possible to break it while it is in your pocket (which was of course empty and had no metal coins, etc in it.)

I would complain very strongly to the credit card company. They are normally OK but rarely I have had trouble with them when they can't be bothered so I will change to another card.

In the UK there is a financial ombudsman who sorts out such things if the credit card lets you down. Do you have a similar process available? The card company MUST tell you if you ask.
kaneda is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 10:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I have gone back and forth via e-mail with Thrifty Dublin, I have sent them an article that stated in 2006 the key for Hyundai Accents were re-designed to be considerably thicker (our rental was a 2005 Accent). I have sent all of the correspondence and information I could gather to citibank and now am awaiting there determination as Thrifty refused to remove the charge. I even told them I could totally understand if I were using my key to open a bottle (which I witnessed in a pub) but, I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. Very, very frustrating. Thank you all for your replies and advice!
etmjam is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,063
VERY VERY interesting - I have travelled for 20 year + and have never been scammed like I was last week by Thrifty Vancouver.

Arranged the car hire in the UK - top of the range SUV with a car seat for a 2 year old. I was quoted $10 full stop for the car seat. When I got to Vancouver I was offered a far smaller SUV than I had paid for - couldn't even get my cases in! I was also told that the car seat was $10 a day. After an hour and a half arguing I finally got the car I had paid for but still had to pay $165 for a car seat that costs £75 in the UK to buy!. If I had known this I would have taken my own seat (I have two). The staff were the strangest negotiators I have EVER spoken to in 20 years of business. They simply never listen to what your are saying but reply with what company policy is. This is irrespective of whther the policy they are quoting is relevant. They also answer questions with totally unrelated answers - VERY strange.

Basically I have complained but am getting nowhere - the company appear to have the most appalling corporate culture I have ever encountered - maybe we should uplift these posts to a world forum and see if anyone else has had similar expeiences?
markrosy is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
Car seats are always per day in my rental experience. And clearly noted on the US web sites. Perhaps, the UK site is missing this??
BudgetQueen is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 08:42 AM
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I did n't book on the internet but by phone - the opertor told me the car set was $10 and the contract said $10 not per day. The cost per day is extortion as the things only cost $180 to buy!
markrosy is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 08:47 AM
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>..the contract said $10 not per day.

In which case they were wrong to charge you and you should send a copy to your CC company.

ira is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 09:03 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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I would love to but unfortunately I had to sign the local contract in Vancouver as Thirty had me over a barrel. It was 6pm and I had no other way of getting a seat. The Vancouver outfir were simply not prepared to honour the contract issued by the UK set up.

The cash is not a great deal of money to me. What is a MAJOR issue in my life is the way I am treated ie with respect as a customer. I cannot tolerate company's which dodge, dive and avoid the issue when they screw up. I also did not like being insulted with the down grade I was being offered due to the car I hired not actually existing in their fleet.

In my opinion ANYONE would need their head seeing to if they dealt with this company. The whole farce took 1.5 hours at the start of an extremely expensive and well planned holiday.

They are simply a customer relations joke!
markrosy is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Markrosy - write a letter to the Vancouver Sun or The Province, as a letter to the editor, and CC that to Thrifty, AND file a complaint to Better Business Bureau in Vancouver. And for what it's worth, you can dispute the charge with yoru credit card company as well.
lmlweb is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2009, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Also had bad experience with Thrifty:
Steer clear of Thrifty. We rented for 10 days this month (March 2009). Nowhere in the emails did it tell us we had to purchase liability insurance for $19.95 per day. We purchased the extra Amex Premium Ins, but they say it's the law to have their special liability insurance, and they'd call a taxi to take us back to the airport if we refused it(we took their shuttle to Thrifty). No one in the long line was prepared for the extra $20/day either.
In Jaco, we found out that others, like Avis, charged $12/day.
Just FYI.
howardcarroll is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3
I am just back from a 1 week car rental with Thrifty at Dublin airport. I received a best price quote via Expedia and reserved a vehicle.
My quote was 128.68 euro but after they added in all the other costs it ended up at 407 euro.

I complained and wrote an email to which I had an unsatisfactory reply regarding an insurance reservation of 1200 euro to cover collision damage waiver. I did not have this amount to set aside on my card so had to pay this less excessive amount.


After feeling obliged to take the vehicle and with a large queue behind me I asked for a quote from Murrays car hire as they had no customers at the desk. It was 268euro for the same vehicle total price to pay.

I did not cancel the car hire with Thrifty as I felt sure there would be a cancellation fee.
Despite the extra payment for airport car rental the cars are not at the airport and you have to get a shuttle to pick it up.
I again voiced my unhappiness with the price and got an upgrade to a dirty Hyundai i30 which was explained that was how they came from the car wash, it was raining lightly so no further discussion ensued.

I was told I should have got a quote from Thrifty website, so I did, it was the same I had from Expedia.

I have had better deals with Avis and Hertz and won't be bothering with Thrifty ever again.

PS they will not allow you to waive the CDW with anything, better do more reading or you will end up with an unhappy experience like mine. fred ..
shell24a is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 03:47 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
To my knowledge, no rental company in Ireland or Italy will allow you to waive the CDW.

I usually don't like the revival of an ancient thread, but these posts seem to show problems with Thrifty in Ireland over time. I have never had trouble with them in the US.
Ackislander is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 04:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
I didn't read every posting, but if you're from the US, this is a perfect example of why to rent from AutoEurope. They're a consolidator and based in the US. If you have a problem like that, you can deal with them and they will deal with the rental company. They also guarantee the lowest price. Sometimes they seem higher until you add in the required insurance that is not mentioned by the other agencies.
Ann1 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2010, 03:59 PM
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shell24a topped two old posts to complain about thrifty. These are his/her only postings so I would take this with a grain of salt.
allisonm is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3
allisonm must not have a life if their only purpose is to criticise another persons experiences and warn potential renters of the problems they have experienced. Perhaps you work for Thrifty. Either way I am not interested in your back biting comments or reflecting further on your shortcomings. This is the first time I have used Fodor after googling for Thrifty problems. Sadly not every travel experience is a good one. One tries to get the best experience in life and now I have upset a loser.
shell24a is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2010, 10:10 PM
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"allisonm must not have a life if their only purpose is to criticise another persons experiences and warn potential renters of the problems they have experienced. Perhaps you work for Thrifty. Either way I am not interested in your back biting comments or reflecting further on your short comings. "

The fact is your credibility is in question. Maybe you had a bad experience w/ Thrifty, or just maybe you don't understand how rentals/insurance works in Ireland.

"PS they will not allow you to waive the CDW with anything, better do more reading or you will end up with an unhappy experience like mine. fred .."

That is not unique to Thrifty - credit cards (except for one very specific World MasterCard) won't cover rental cars in Ireland so you must pay for CDW.

I stand by what I posted on your other thread

>>Welcome to Fodors -- but topping old, moldy threads to vent may not be the best way to start out. How about a trip report? Surely you have more to say about Ireland than kvetching about your rental car . . . . <<

What did you enjoy, what did you see -- or are you just trolling travel websites to post your complaint about Thrifty??

(ps: no, I do not work for Thrifty)
janisj is offline  

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