My mother's travel adventure/nightmare

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May 18th, 2004, 04:27 PM
  #1
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My mother's travel adventure/nightmare

My mother decides to venture off to Evansville, Indiana to visit her 70ish sister who just had knee replacement. My recently retired father decides to stay home, so Mom is on her own. She gets to the Avis counter to pick up her reserved rental car (my aunt lives over an hour away)and they ask for her credit card.....no credit card in purse, she left it on desk at home when making hotel, air and car rental reservations. Well, Avis said no car. Mom says, I'll pay cash. Again,
Avis says no car for you. Mom then calls a cab which cost her $80 fare to get to sisters town. Then, sister takes her 30 miles to closest town with car rental to rent a car for Mom (part of the trip involved Mom going to a quilt museum in Paduca KY)and they had to lie to the agent about who was driving it. The next dilema was the reserved hotel room. Looked at Mom like she was an alien when she said I'll pay cash. Still needed a copy of her driver license. The ATM card she had was her cash supply, but she said the whole week was stressful without that one piece of plastic! Moral, check before you leave!!
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May 18th, 2004, 05:04 PM
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I'm glad it worked out.
I'd be terribly afraid about lying about who's driving the car. Couldn't that nullify the insurance?
Anyway, a useful account of what happens without the trusty CCs.
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May 18th, 2004, 05:41 PM
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WillTravel, you read my mind. Yes, should an accident happen and the person driving not be an "authorized" driver on the rental agreement, your insurance coverage can be denied (whether provided by the rental company or a credit card.) Sadly, I learned this through experience once in my younger years. Better to pay extra to add additional drivers to the contract. But luugis, glad to read your mom made it through such a frustrating ordeal! Good reminder to always double-check for ID & credit cards, etc.
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May 18th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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I can relate, luugis. I typically pay cash for everything and rarely charge things if it can be avoided, although I have numerous credit cards. I was recently at a Kinko's in the US and was appalled that I could not make a freakin' copy by paying with cash. "Credit card only, ma'am." What the heck is the world coming to?
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May 19th, 2004, 01:40 AM
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I'm confused. Why didn;t your dad simply FedEx her the card - then she could have avoided all te problems from day 2 on.
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May 19th, 2004, 04:33 AM
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When my aunt was renting the car for Mom, they tried to add Mom on as a driver but Avis asked for her credit card, so she said I wont be driving then. The risk of no insurance, couldn't that have been covered by her own auto policy? And, yes, my first comment was the 'overnite the card', but for whatever reason, they didnt.
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May 19th, 2004, 04:46 AM
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cfc
 
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I assumed she was signed on as alternate driver -- and when I've done that they've NEVER asked for another credit card, just a copy of the driver's license.

I'm also a little surprised they didn't try calling the credit card customer service line and see if they (dredit card agents) could help, either by talking directly to the Avis and hotel agents to authorize the charges or to get her a duplicate card overnight.

But overnighting the card would have been less than half the cost of the taxi.....

(I have to say, though, that it IS kind of sad everyone reacts so badly to cash-only -- understand why, of course -- and that somehow people are reacting to luugis' mother as if she had a moral flaw for only having one credit card, leaving it at home, and not hustling to try to become a plastic-card-validated person a.s.a.p.)
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May 19th, 2004, 04:48 AM
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I made the same assumption, but the lady took an incredible risk by driving without authorization. Her insurance company would probably NOT have covered her in an accident, and the rental company would hold her liable for all damage AND she might have risked being charged with a crime. That's the only "moral flaw" here.
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May 19th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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The reason places ask for credit cards is so that they have a way to recoup their money when charges or damages far exceed what was the price. Hotels will often want a large cash deposit to pay cash. While I understand your Mother's frustration at having left her card at home, it does pay to check your travel documents and wallet before leaving home.

Her solution of lying to the car rental company is inappropriate. Car rental companies don't typically ask for credit cards from authorized drivers, but they thought your mother was pulling a scam. What on earth would she have done if there had been an accident? Why would her insurance pay for damages on a car she wasn't authorized to drive? If your Aunt wasn't with her, the car could even be reported as stolen. These are high prices to pay.
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May 19th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Glad it all worked out. Another suggestion to keep in mind. I have a zillion credit cards that I don't use and they are all stored in my desk at home. Even though I only use one card for everything, I always carry two -- just in case -- I've had credit cards denied when I was thousands of dollars below my limit just because of some quirky computer mixup. I know that's probably pretty rare, but I'd hate to have it happen when I'm on the road. Probably a good idea to keep one card in your purse and one someplace else as well, in case your purse is lost or stolen - I hadn't thought of that before.
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May 19th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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Never heard of a rental-car co. asking for the 2nd driver's credit card. As for the suspicion that the rental agent suspected a scam: So, two 70-ish ladies walk up to rent a car with a vaild credit card and driver's licenses, and the agent suspects a scam? Gimme a break, willya.
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May 19th, 2004, 11:34 AM
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K_999,

Here is the burbs of Chicago we just had a case where a 70's lady scammed about 5 dealers out of a new car each by either saying I will bring a check back soon or by writing a bad check. She does not deny the charges. The car dudes have red faces.

Now her lawyer is asking for mercy due to her age and health concerns....

Heck with that...throw away the key, I say!

Moral? Little old ladies can be criminals too.
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May 19th, 2004, 12:07 PM
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Avis is one of the major car rental companies who, in fact, do request that additional drivers have a credit card in their own name. I worked for Avis at LAX for years and they have trouble recouping losses when rentals aren't returned on time or are damaged and the renter claims the additional driver was responsible. By having a credit card on file for the additional drivers it gives them another avenue to try and recoup their losses.
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May 19th, 2004, 12:16 PM
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I belive there are a few Car rental companies that can use a debit card instead of a credit card? can't rember which ones maybe thrifty. I think thay charge extra. Alos - why not call the credit card company to try to help you out - sometimes they have a relationship with a car rental agency.

As far as the hotel goes - they should allow a cash deposit for the room if no cc is provided.
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