I rented a car from Alamo (booked on their website not travel site) in Grand Rapids, MI from Tuesday at noon to Thursday at 1pm. When I dropped off the car I knew I was an hour over and expected to pay for the extra hour. When I looked at the receipt from the guy with the handheld printer, I was charged for TWO hours (additional $55+ dollars!). I pointed it out to the return agent and he said Alamo gives renters a 30 minute grace period on return time. So let me get this straight…Alamo tacks on an additional $55 for an extra 30 minutes of rental time? Keep in mind I was a little late because I searched for the cheapest gas (Gas Buddy App on iPhone is great!) and drove to the station with the best price to fill up (and avoid the extra gas charge on the bill).
The return agent told me he couldn’t adjust the bill and I would have to go into the counter to see if they could waive the charge. Of course the counter had a line so I decided to get checked in for my flight first and then came back to stand in line. The more I stood there thinking about it, the more perplexed I became. How many business travelers drop off their cars an hour late and never check the bill? (and find they were charged for TWO hours) I know I’ve done it dozens of times when I was running late for a flight. Alamo knows this and it appears they automatically program their system to add the extra two hour charge to the bill.
When I finally got to the counter, the girl told me “the computer automatically adds the charge for the extra hour.” When I pointed out the time on the rental agreement, she had nothing to say. They did issue me the credit (for the full amount), but I still wondered how much money they make from customers who never notice the over charge. Someone at Alamo must know this happens (the IT department has to program the software for the charge).
I can assure you I will be looking over all my future receipts much closer on future trips (and making sure I don’t arrive 1 second late). With ALL rental car companies having complaints of one sort or another, and the limited choices for rental cars, it makes it hard to say I won’t ever rent from companies who engage in this bad behavior. At the end of the day they all know this and that’s why it’s NOT going to change anytime soon…
Buyer Beware (Caveat Emptor)
Are You Upset Or Frustrated At A Business?
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