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Dollar Car Rental Experience

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Mar 23rd, 2012, 10:24 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Dollar Car Rental Experience

A word of caution to everyone, who intends to rent Dollar/Thrifty cars in Germany. Dollar/Thrifty uses a licensee in Germany with very dubious, misleading, deceptive and fraudulent business practices. When you order the car on the Dollar or Thrifty website, you will receive the usual confirmation, which breaks down the rental cost in its subcomponents such as airport fees, VAT, road tax etc. Nothing was mentioned of a mandatory insurance premium of €20 ($28) per day. For every car I ever rented anywhere in the world, the credit card paid for the insurance premium. My AMEX Gold card specifically mentioned this coverage. It was the counter agent at the airport, who insisted on another €400.- ($560.-) insurance premium. It is highly immoral to spring this surprise on customer who just arrived on a sleepless trans-Atlantic overnight flight. It made this car the most expensive car I ever rented.

In addition, the car had no air conditioning and when I started phoning the agency on the 0700 number supplied on the rental agreement, I was constantly put on hold and transferred to other agents and found out later, why. The 0700 is not toll free number, but costs appr €1.- ($1.35) per minute. Should you be in the unfortunate position to have to call the agency for help, use their German direct dial number 0203-348-5422. It will still be a long-distance call, but infinitely cheaper than the 0700 number. I spent an additional $50 in calling the agency for help, which I never got. I drove around in an oven for 3 weeks with temperatures of over 30C (85F). It later turned out that the connecting hoses for the A/C were missing.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 11:17 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 19,722
Kemwel and Autoeurope indicate that one can have the CDW carried by the credit card. Next time you might want to use these brokers to get a sense of what is available in terms of rates and coverage, and then see if the individual rental companies will give you a better break.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 04:53 PM
  #3
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Every car rental company accepts the credit card for insurance coverage. I have rented dozens of cars in Europe and never paid an extra insurance premium. Dollar's business practices are fraudulent and deceptive, as the rental confirmation does NOT include any amount for mandated insurance. Only at the rental counter do they spring this surprise on the overtired trans-Atlantic travelers. It is the height of evil do do this to travelers.

In a prior year's rental from Dollar, the rental agent tried the same trick on me. I had a reservation with confirmed total cost and without warning, the agent added insurance coverage to my bill. I walked away and the lady called me back and made me an "offer I could not refuse": an upgrade to a Mercedes, if I agree to a 100 Euro insurance premium. I accepted this, as I paid for an upgrade and not for insurance. It seems to be the practice of Dollar agents to extract as much money as possible for unsuspecting cutomers, but they back off if you walk away. A devious and immoral business practice. Terstappen, the Dollar agent in Germany, ought to be ashamed to put this on customers.

My lifelong history of renting cars from Dollar has come to an end.
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