This company tried to charge me $300 for a single day’s extra car rental when the agreement clearly stated $49.90, and the clerk had told me just to return it a day late if I needed it an extra day for that plus an $11 “fee.” When I returned it suddenly the extra “fee” was $300! They claimed that’s what the “computer put down” and they couldn’t change it even though they agreed with me it wasn’t what was in the agreement. So I told them to override it and they said the computer wouldn’t “let” them. Well fix your stupid computer! Finally they told me to call corporate customer service. But it turns out Alamo/National’s customer service is a call center in India! They just have scripts to read and they had no script for “override incorrect charge,” just “make new reservation” or “change existing reservation.” I had to call several times first to get people I could understand through their thick accent, secondly to see if someone knew what to do, but every time I’d hear the same script. They kept repeating if I wanted to make a new reservation, or change an existing reservation. Finally the supervisor there (who had the thickest accent) told me to call the “local” office while I was standing right there at the local office. The clerks seemed friendly and sympathized with me, but were just powerless and clueless to fix anything. The fact Alamo would operate their business without training their personnel, and that their method of fixing incorrect charges is to wait for people to chargeback the full amount every time on their fraudulently charged credit card means they must be losing a ton of money since they end up with nothing after the chargeback. The other shady business practice is they don’t have you sign or initial anything to rent the car. So how does that constitute a legal agreement on anything? They just give you a printout with “terms and conditions” they declare and a list of fees they arbitrarily decide to add and declare you also owe. And they don’t even give you a pre-existing damage report so you can agree on the condition of the car before you leave. Our car had a big scratch on one of the doors which I told the attendent about and he shrugged and said “don’t worry about it.” Huh? So I return it and you charge me $500 for damaging the door? Finally he said he’d “put it in the computer,” whatever that means. I asked if I could write it down on my form and he’d initial it so I’d have it in writing that the damage was preexisting and he said no he can’t do that, he has to “put it in the computer.” More like the customer has to hope they remember to “put it in the computer.” I drove off steaming. And of course when I returned it they told me I damaged the door and I was ready to explode — I told them it was preexisting and told them the name of the attendent from the previous week and to bring him over and say to my face he didn’t remember me from last week making that fuss. Then the clueless kid checking my car just shrugged and said “that’s ok, never mind” and didn’t put it in. How can a company operate like that? What if I really did damage the door, they leave it up to a kid to decide if the person is telling the truth? Alamo/National is either completely clueless about standard practices in the car rental business, or they’re about to go bankrupt and all management has given up or bailed out leaving just some $8 an hour customer service clerks and a group of people in India reading scripts to keep the charade going as long as possible. The result is a mess of a company that apparently has no way to fix their mistakes other than you getting your credit card company to reverse the charges. Not worth the hassle just to rent a simple car! (Which, by the way, was dirty). John Baltimore, MarylandU.S.A.
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