Just don't rent your car from Economy in Costa Rica! Specifically the one at SJP airport. We had reservations for 3 cars over Christmas for $1665 total. Not only did they not have the cars we reserved, they first tried to blame us for not being there within 1 hour of our flight landing. Not only were we there within one hour of our flight landing, but our email confirmation stated that we only needed to be there within 2 hours of our flight landing to honor the reservation. Once it was established that this was not a valid argument, we were finally told the truth that they were just out of cars because they had oversold themselves.
After more than 2 hours, we were eventually extorted to pay over $3,000.00, yes, DOUBLE the original price for ONE 1989 12-passenger diesel van with a manual transmission and a battery that had to be replaced 5 days into our vacation. (We were nearly stranded at a beach at 7pm on New Year's Eve.) This was "all they had" and the"best they could do". They had no other cars. We called every other car rental place in Costa Rica. They had no cars. We were stuck, in a foreign country, with 9 people and 2 infants, and they knew it. So Economy capitalized on us. To top it off, we paid extra for a GPS, only to learn a couple hours later when the battery needed to be charged, that the cigarette charge in the van did not work either. (We eventually named the comically van EstaVAN, after the ridiculous, criminal, "manager" Esteban)
Before we go any further, let me say that I work in hospitality. I understand revenue management. I understand that you need to oversell inventory in order to maximize profits. I teach a class on this concept at two Chicago universities. I am not at all offended by the fact that Economy made a mistake in their forecasting and oversold their inventory. What Economy doesn't seem to understand is how you are supposed to respond in this situation. At hotels, when you don't accurately calculate no-shows or cancellations and you do not have a room for someone who shows up at the front desk, the hotel will make you reservations at another comparable hotel free of charge and pay for your transportation to/from the other hotel. When an airplane oversells seats, they take volunteers to take the next flight with free travel vouchers as an incentive. The burden is placed on the company who made the error in overselling their product, NOT extorted from the customer by forcing them to pay double the price for something they did not reserve and providing no other options. It might as well have been highway robbery.
Please readers, beware, and do NOT book Economy Rent A Car. Maybe other locations are better, but it's worth paying a higher price to book elsewhere in San Jose Costa Rica, because at least that price will be honored.