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Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Los Angeles...
3 posts
2 reviews
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Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Don't rent a car from Economy Car Rental in Liberia or anywhere in Costa Rica. You pay upfront for a certain number of days and get no credit back if you return early. That includes the car rental AND any insurance you purchased. Buried in "an authorization" is the sentence saying no refunds, but I missed it and you have no recourse. Very obnoxious staff as well. It's a real, old fashioned rip off, so be careful!!!

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,644 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Dear tan,,,

So sorry to heard about your problems with this people...they are really somenthing else...no idea how they still renting cars...embarrising company for the Costa Rica tourism industry!

roadadvisor

Los Angeles...
3 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

To Roadadvisor,

It looks like you are very active on this list and know about Economy Rental Car. How do we REALLY draw attention to this horrible company? I love Costa Rica but they have a lot of contact with tourists and their practices continue to be a very bad reflection on the country. It seems this may be unique to the CR franchise, but I can't find out for sure as the company is very secretive. I know they are a Greek company but it's almost impossible to find out more. Any ideas??

Grecia, Costa Rica
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916 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Economy is a franchise operation, but the other recognized firms, Hertz, and Budget take their fair share of criticism here on the Forum as well. Some, like roadadvisor continue to recommend the larger firms as he believes you stand a better chance to collect your overpayment or refunds from them, and not smaller locally owned companies...which in actual fact, isn't true. It's rare to find a complaint here on the Forum for a company like Tricolor http://www.tricolorcarrental.com/ yet RA continually ignores them in favor of the big names.

I would also suggest, IMHO, that car rental companies are competition for him, as he operates a small company offering private driver services, so if a rental company messes up, it's a chance for him to make a booking.

If you truly want to make an impact with Economy you can always consider legal action against them, however that's a large time and cash commitment on your part, the alternative is to do what you are doing, watch the Forum and make your unfortunate experience known.

Thanks for sharing your experience, I have no doubt you have made a difference and given some future travelers a reason to pause before doing business with Economy.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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46,644 posts
35 reviews
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4. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Dear tan

Thank you for your nice question...it is a big problem with some rent a cars...mostly small rent a cars own by expats and protect by expats...that they know that in case of any dispute you most be here in Costa Rica to represent you...that is so terrible..

In my case I do recommend to dealt as much as you can with the big guys...as they are part of a franchise and most of the time you have better chances to get some money back or a least somebody answer your questions...

I promote rent a cars all the time...in any way they are direct competion for me... or my company...

Maybe nice of you to try to get in touch with ICT legal dpt...and ask them what to do...ICT is our secretary of tourisme!

Sorry about some non sense answers...incredible embarrasing for the dignity of our country and our tourism industry...but we live in a great FREE country...anybody including expats with no idea about anything do have the right ot speech...

roadadvisor

Tamarindo, Costa...
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490 posts
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5. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

I'd also like to mention that it is extremely difficult to run a rental car company here in Costa Rica. With all of the import taxes of new vehicles (a car can be almost 50% more expensive here than in the United States), high cost of repairs (I've waited three weeks just for a set of bearings for my nissan truck), and very high instance of damages on cars, most rental car company's are stuck trying to defend themselves from an almost never ending list of problems. And, on top of that, all rental car companies are subject to the nationalized insurance company, who will refuse to pay out a single dime if the company fails to execute even one step in their laundry-list of procedures. The most annoying procedure being "DO NOT MOVE THE CAR IF YOU GET EVEN THE SLIGHTEST DENT ON IT, CALL THE NUMBER AND STAND AND WAIT THREE HOURS UNTIL AN INSURANCE AGENT COMES TO DOCUMENT IT".

Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't rent a car here, I'm just saying that if you read the rules and regulations carefully and realize that you cannot approach renting a car here like you would in the US, you should have no problems. As for the above discussion of franchise car rentals versus non-franchised car rentals, just remember that the system in which they operate under the same difficult conditions. I have heard of these similar situations from both large and small rental car agencies.

Grecia, Costa Rica
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916 posts
15 reviews
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6. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Thank you BW for clearing up and helping us understand the mess that is the car insurance industry here in Costa Rica.

Los Angeles...
3 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful and helpful responses. I have rented a number of cars in Costa Rica, having been here off and on for the past year. However, my complaint is specific to Economy because of the apparently unique clause in the contract about "no refunds", even for the pre-paid insurance. This is all very deliberate and intended to rip-off the naive consumer like me. The national rules and regulations apply to everyone for a reason but are not an excuse to defraud the consumer. These policies start with the franchise owner who is obviously a crook. I won't do anything legally because I don't have the time or inclination, however, I will contact the Ministry of Tourism as I feel someone needs to do something about this.

Tamarindo, Costa...
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490 posts
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8. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Hey Tan C,

I think I ought to clarify a couple things here as well... Unfortunately, if you did end up signing a contract with the company, you will probably have no success on a legal level. I know that you might feel ripped off (and I most certainly would as well) but you did, in fact, legally agree to those terms when you rented the car.

Now as for a business using unfair (albeit legally sound) practices, I believe that Darwin's Theory of "Survival of the Fittest" will eventually hold true for businesses as well. If a company chooses enforce/enstate policies that do not please their customers, then that business will eventually earn a poor reputation, lose customers, have to cut costs, lose more customers and eventually fail. Websites like TRIPADVISOR have streamlined this process and really do offer a great service to consumers. Just be objective when writing reviews and try your best to review you global experience not just focus on a 1-star review due to a single hiccup in the entire process...

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
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7,995 posts
43 reviews
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9. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Yea, these guys have a really bad rep here and have for years. I have used Adobe Rental cars often over the years and they always treated me great. Not sure if that's a franchise or not but they are awesome. Sorry to hear about your troubles.

Phoenix, Arizona
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1 post
33 reviews
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10. Re: Do NOT rent a car from Economy Rental Car in Costa Rica

Economy rent a car is a fraud. I called before making a reservation to confirm that my American Express card would provide full insurance coverage and was assured by Economy that it would. I put a note in my reservation confirming this assurance with the name of the Economy employee providing the assurance. Upon arrival they would only rent the car (2 weeks, originally for $374) if I purchased supplemental insurance, doubling the price of the rental. Thus I paid $372. They lie through their teeth and I'm guess when I return the car on Monday that they'll try to charge me for extras in addition. DO NOT RENT FROM THIS RIP OFF COMPANY!