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Car Rental - Advantage

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Dix Hills, New York
posts: 119
reviews: 5
Car Rental - Advantage

Has anyone used Advantage car rental? We are flying into West Palm on Aug 15, and flying out of Fort Lauderdale Aug 20. Need a minivan, as we will be moving son into college dorm in Miami. Prices are exorbitant at all the major rental companies (over $600), yet Advantage is only $251 for the week. I have never heard of Advantage, am a bit nervous, although I did book thru AAA. Any experiences with this company?

13 replies to this topic
West Palm Beach...
Destination Expert
for West Palm Beach
posts: 674
reviews: 9
1. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

Sorry, I have never heard of it. If you booked through AAA I would not worry too much about it.

London, United...
posts: 28
reviews: 2
2. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

Don't worry , Advantage is the budget brand of Hertz . The cars are slightly older or more basic models but still the same assurances that you receive renting through Hertz

Baltimore, Maryland
posts: 1
reviews: 55
3. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

Too late to be helpful, but for the next person thinking about renting from Advantage:

So I picked out this car rental company (and, indeed, planned my trip to fly in and out of PBI rather than FLL) because, according to Travelocity, its rate was much, much lower than any of the other car rental companies. Turns out there are reasons for that.

Car rental was actually just fine until I returned the car. Signage was not great, but I remembered enough from when the shuttle dropped me off that I could leave the car in approximately the right place in the parking lot, and then headed in to the office to check in. Three employees were sitting there, and one hopped up immediately to help me.

Just as I opened my mouth to say that I was returning a car, the phone rang and he answered it, which I thought was a little odd: there were, after all, two other employees who could have answered the phone, but whatever. I made hopeful eye contact with the other two employees, who merely smiled blandly and said, “He’ll be right with you.”

So I waited about fifteen minutes while Employee #1 was on the phone, and Employees #2-3 sat, not waiting on me, saying every few minutes, “He’ll be right with you.”

Employee #2 eventually decided that maybe Employee #1 was not going to be right with me, so he did get up and help me return my car. I said, “and we need a ride to the airport”, and he said, “of course”, so I went and sat in the driverless shuttle.

After a few minutes of waiting and not going anywhere, I looked at my bill. The rate was a bit steeper than I remembered it being, and close inspection revealed that I had been charged for insurance that I had specifically declined when I picked up the car. Because it was clear the shuttle wasn’t going anywhere, I went back in to try getting it sorted out.

Employee #1 was off the phone and now helping another customer, whom he immediately dropped to answer my question. (Employees #2-3 were sitting in the corner again.) He told me there was nothing he could do, and gave me a phone number to call. I asked two more times for a ride to the airport, and he said, “of course”, and went back to the customer he was supposed to be waiting on. By now, about thirty minutes had elapsed since I first arrived to drop off the car. I went up to Employees #2-3 and asked, again, for a ride to the airport. Employee #3 then happily jumped up and drove the shuttle.

I called the phone number Employee #1 gave me several times, at several different times of day, over the course of the next few days, and no one ever answered (not even an answering machine). I emailed the company, and no one answered. I emailed Travelocity, who very promptly and politely responded that there was nothing they could do. I found a different phone number for Advantage Rent a Car and called them. After being on hold for about ten minutes, someone answered who firmly, although not rudely, informed me that there was nothing he could do, and told me to call the West Palm Beach location. I called the location, started to leave a message on the answering machine, at which point Employee #4 picked up the phone mid-message, and told me that she had only been working there for a month and a half and didn’t know what to do, and told me to call back the next morning and talk to Alma, who had been working there the longest.

So the next morning, I called Alma. I gave her the rental number, which she said was not helpful, then gave her my name and started to tell her my story, at which point she said, “You are the most [unintelligible] person in the world, honey!” and hung up on me. I called back a few times, but no one answered (possibly using the answering-machine call-screening technique employed by Employee #4).

So if, after hearing my story, you would still like to patronize the West Palm Beach Intl Airport Hilton Hotel Advantage Rent a Car, a few words of advice for you:

1. The fare may look very inexpensive, but it may also include hidden fees (even if they don’t charge you for something you didn’t ask for, you’ll have to pay a “concession recovery fee”, which makes up for the discount displayed by Travelocity), so make sure to allow for that in your budget.

2. If, when you land at the airport, and you don’t see a shuttle, call and ask for it to pick you up: it might not ever come otherwise.

3. When picking up your car, read every word of the rental agreement before you sign anything, just in case they deliberately added something you didn’t verbally agree to. (Every other rental car agreement I’ve ever signed also required additional initials next to the insurance agreements, to make sure the customer understands they’re optional: there were no such initial locations in this agreement. So seriously, allow the extra forty minutes to read the entire fine print.)

4. When picking up the car, ask for a print copy of your agreement; you might not get one otherwise.

5. When returning the car, allow plenty of time.

6. If you need a ride back to the airport, make sure you specifically ask each individual employee: one of them might be the shuttle driver, and no one might otherwise tell the shuttle driver that he is supposed to be driving the shuttle.

7. If, for some reason, you ever want to send the company an email, don’t bother; they won’t answer.

8. If, for some reason, you ever need to call them on the phone, keep prattling on the answering machine until someone picks up.

9. Don’t get angry when they call you “honey” or “sweetheart”. Apparently being treated with respect is one of the frills you give up when dealing with a discount car rental agency.

Myself, I will never again use a car rental agency that doesn’t come with a testimonial from someone I know personally.

posts: 7
reviews: 416
4. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

We had a very good experience at Advantage rent a car in west Palm Beach, FL with a Ford Focus for an eight day rental. Sharon helped us with the rate to make it economical.

Airport pick up was a little slow.

The car was in good shape, except for the car alarm issue.

I would us them again.

posts: 5
reviews: 53
5. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

Agent at counter tried to cheat my wife by claiming she was required to buy the fuel puchase option (Full tank of gas). Later I called advantage home office and they were no help. Said I need to take it up with the PBI location - but they could not give me managers name and the phone number they gave me was out of service. When my wife returned the car she brought it back full tank and told the guy to take charge off, so he did. Wasted a lot of time. Untrustworthy organization.

New York City, New...
posts: 1
6. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

Deceptive Bait & Switch Sham run out of a coat check room in a hotel. Run!

7. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

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Removed on: 4:27 pm, November 30, 2013
posts: 1
reviews: 10
8. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

Arrived at West Palm Beach Airport at 9:30 PM and waited for the pickup van. When none came, I called and no one answered the phone. My reservation clearly stated my arrival time, but they obviously closed early. Exhausted from an unusually long flight due to bad weather, I hopped on a van to Dollar Rental.. Although their price was higher, they honored the Advantage rate. I was told, off the record, that this is normal behavior for Advantage in West Palm..

I would strongly recommend not using them.

posts: 1
9. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!

I wish I could give this place negative stars. This was the worst experience I have ever had. I ordered a rental car with an infant car seat rental weeks in advance on their website. The infant car seat rental was $12 a day. When I showed up to the facility the employees gave us an infant car seat without a base. Meaning it could not safely be hooked into the car. Not only is this completely unsafe but it is also illegal to drive a car with an infant without a functioning car seat. This was not a functioning car seat. The employees seemed completely unaware of the equipment, how it worked and did not even understand it was missing a piece. I was forced a midnight to plead with another car rental company to rent me a car with a car seat. Thankfully they were much more professional and offered safe options for my daughter. Also when I complained to corporate about this situation the best they would offer me were coupons for a future car rental. I will never use this company again as they cannot provide a safe means for my daughter to travel, something I was paying them to do.

Dunnellon, Florida
posts: 2
reviews: 9
10. Re: Car Rental - Advantage

I will never use Advantage Car Rental again. Here's why:

I recently rented an Advantage car through CarRentals.com. The price quoted to me by CarRentals was $133.92, which included all concession fees, taxes, etc. The rent was also non-refundable, which I agreed with. I had waived the car rental insurance because my credit card has this travel benefit. When I arrived at the Advantage counter, the rental price was $133.92. So far, so good. Then, the extremely rude young woman at the counter (yes, other customers in front of me, she rolls her eyes as soon as you walk away and makes rude comments about you) asks for proof of insurance. Fortunately, I had my insurance card in my wallet, but I have NEVER been asked to show this at any other car rental counter. After asking me a few questions about my insurance, she says that it's not adequate and. . .because I'm a Florida resident (even though I live 300 miles north of WPB). . .I will have to buy their coverage at $22/day!!! She also informed me that Advantage no longer honors the credit card insurance waiver. Do the math: $133 for car rental; $206 for insurance! I was stuck because the rental fee through CarRental.com is non-refundable! They also put a $200 refundable hold on my credit card just in case I didn't return the car!!! To make a long story short, I contacted my credit card company and they are handling a dispute for me to get my $206 refunded. I was never informed up front that I would have to pay for insurance, and my credit card company has never heard of this policy. Bad, bad, bad customer service all the way around. The folks at the West Palm Beach counter should learn some manners. I'll never go back again and advise anyone reading this to BEWARE!!!

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