Queens Zipcar Runs Out Of Zip For Second Consumerist Reader

Queens Zipcar Runs Out Of Zip For Second Consumerist Reader

Well, isn’t this a coincidence? Yesterday, we posted a story about the experience that Jen and her friend had with their Zipcar rental car with a faulty electrical system, which broke down three times and nearly left them stranded on the mean streets of Hartford, Conn. (Really. They’re pretty mean.) A few hours later, we heard from Matt, who apparently had a similar experience four days later. With the same exact car.

Yellow Light At The Intersection Of Zipcar And Local Government

Yellow Light At The Intersection Of Zipcar And Local Government

It’s over between Warren and Zipcar. He’s had a lot of little annoyances with their service, but the last straw was when they automatically charged him for a moving violation ticket, plus their own administrative fee, when he had already gone to court and paid the ticket.

Car Rental Tips From A Pro

Car Rental Tips From A Pro

Reader P. works for one of those big national car rental companies, on the customer service front lines. She has some insights for how to get on the good side of car rental employees, how to make sure the car you ordered ends up where you need it, and the potential hazards of online reservation systems.

Budget Slaps Customer With $500 Repair Fee Months Later

Budget Slaps Customer With $500 Repair Fee Months Later

When Sean returned a rented truck to Budget Truck Rental nearly a year ago, he went through the standard inspection with an employee, who then signed off on the return. Now the company has sent a $500 bill to collection for damage they refuse to provide evidence of.

Chairman Of Advantage Rent-A-Car Investigates 49-Day Repair Claim, Waives It

Chairman Of Advantage Rent-A-Car Investigates 49-Day Repair Claim, Waives It

Earlier this summer, we wrote about how Paul was being gouged by Advantage Rent-A-Car on repairs that had to be made after his rental was damaged in a hit and run. Paul was willing to pay the repairs on the vehicle, but Advantage wanted almost double the amount. After we posted his story, Paul was able to get in touch with a higher-up at Advantage who passed him along directly to the Chairman. Here’s what happened.

Advantage Rent-A-Car Says 49 Hours In Shop Equals 22 Days

Advantage Rent-A-Car Says 49 Hours In Shop Equals 22 Days

Paul is being cheated by Advantage Rent-A-Car in one of the most transparent, odious scams we’ve seen a rental car company try to pull. After a thief damaged his rental on a recent trip, Advantage says because the car was in the shop for 49 hours, he owes them 22 days worth of rent. “I asked how they got that number and they said they use a 4 hour work day, which is laughable! Even with that it would only be 12 days. Even if you are generous and give them 2 weekends it only gets to 16!”

USAA Lays Smackdown On Shady Enterprise Rental

USAA Lays Smackdown On Shady Enterprise Rental

USAA is like a unicorn in a pack of walruses: a financial services company that truly cares about its customers and really helps them out. Not as some kind of lucky exception, but as a matter of policy. Reader “Mary Marsala With Fries'” story, about how USAA opened up several cans of whoop-ass on an Enterprise facility that was trying to screw her over on charges, is yet further proof.

Save When Renting Cars

Save When Renting Cars

ABC has some good tips on how to save when renting cars. For instance:

6 Confessions Of An Alamo Car Rental Agent

6 Confessions Of An Alamo Car Rental Agent

After reading these six confessions of a current Alamo car rental agent, you will learn:

Dollar Rent A Car Charges $2.00 "Top Off Fee," Even If You Return With A Full Tank Of Gas

Dollar Rent A Car Charges $2.00 "Top Off Fee," Even If You Return With A Full Tank Of Gas

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Steven Dentali, who was charged the fee in October after renting a car from Dollar Rent A Car in Manchester, N.H. “I said to them, ‘You’re telling me I’m penalized no matter what? There’s no way around me having to pay something?'”

No Rentals Left? Pricematch With A Rival

No Rentals Left? Pricematch With A Rival

During my break I made a reservation to rent a car from Enterprise. My flight was delayed and when I got to my destination, all Enterprise’s cars were gone. However, they did tell me that AVIS was price-matching Enterprise’s rates and so I was able to go over to the AVIS desk and get a car for roughly the same price. This was a good thing too as it was holiday time and otherwise I would be paying roughly triple. So, something to remember if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, call up one of the rental places “co-optetitors” and see if they’ll give you a similar car for similar price. As for the logic behind them taking your reservation only to sell it out from under you, well, that’s a story for another day.

Budget Settles With FTC Over Bogus Fuel Fees

Budget Settles With FTC Over Bogus Fuel Fees

Budget Rent-A-Car settled with the FTC over its illegal charge of fuel fees even for customers who returned the car with a full tank of gas. Budget claimed in its advertising and in-store signage that customers would not be charge for fuel if the car came back with its tank full. In reality, Budget would charge customers a $5, $6, or $9.50 fuel fee if they drove fewer than 75 miles and returned with the tank full. The only way to get the fee reversed was to present a gas receipt, a procedure Budget didn’t disclose in advance. Under the terms of the settlement, Budget will have to stop doing this crap.

Alamo, Rudely, Doesn't Honor Costco Discount

Alamo, Rudely, Doesn't Honor Costco Discount

Due to the Costco membership second driver discount, I suggested that my parents use Alamo on their trip to visit me. When my mother told the rep on the phone and again at airport pickup that she was a Costco member for the free additional driver, they told her there was no such thing and they had never heard of it. I have used this discount, and it was the only reason I recommended Alamo. Rather than contacting someone else who might know of the partnership discount or listening to their customer, they were rude to my mother and she left with no second driver rather than pay the additional $9/day they were asking for.

Look For Travel Bargains On Country-Specific Websites

Look For Travel Bargains On Country-Specific Websites

When you’re looking online for flights or car rentals, consider trying the country-specific versions of popular travel websites, suggests the New York Times. In at least some cases, the price difference can be more than 50%.

385 Car Rental Discount Codes

Here’s about 385 working discount codes and coupons for National, Enterprise, Budget, AVIS, and HERTZ, courtesy of Fat Wallet. The post says they’re all tested as of 6/30/07. If you have trouble using any of the codes, read through the pages of messages for tips and pointers.

Editor Experiences Pleasant Enterprise Car Rental

Editor Experiences Pleasant Enterprise Car Rental

We rented from Enterprise this weekend and, despite being located in what was basically a trailer with a parking lot enclosed by barb wire, they had really good customer service.

Dollar/Thrifty's Unwritten Rule For Mechanics To "Find" Problems Covered By Warranty And Bill The Manufacturer

Dollar/Thrifty's Unwritten Rule For Mechanics To "Find" Problems Covered By Warranty And Bill The Manufacturer

An unverified reader report has an interesting claim that should grab the attention of every auto-maker. Dudes, Dollar/Thrifty Group car rental is totally ripping you off.

Rent A Car Under 25 Without Massive Surcharges?

Rent A Car Under 25 Without Massive Surcharges?

Upgrade: Travel Better says most car rental places will charge drivers under 25 an additional $25 per day, but there are a couple of things you can do to reduce the ding.