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BEWARE of Advantage car rental

vancouver
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182 posts
30 reviews
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BEWARE of Advantage car rental

I booked my care rental for Maui directly with ADVANTAGE as it was the cheapest rate I could find and had rented from this company without any issues before they re-opened this summer after being bought out by Hertz.

I arrived in Maui on December 18th and waited less than 5 minutes for the shuttle to take me to the lot. The driver was very pleasant and helpful to bring our luggage to the front doors. I tipped him for his services.

My husband and I were the only ones when we got to Advantage but we still had to wait for about 5 minutes while three employees sat there at their kiosk looking like they were doing nothing. We had the VERY unfortunate experience to get GARY to take care of our car rental. He started out ok and as soon as we got going and declined the car upgrade his attitude changed. He kept pushing us to upgrade and said the car we had was way to small for us (I am 5'4 and my husband is 6' and normal weight). We stayed firm and declined. We declined the gas fill up and said we'd fill up our tank before we brought it back. GARY said, "That's stupid of you. It's cheaper to let us fill the car because you'll use the whole tank". I was a bit taken back when he called me stupid. Then he started pushing us hard on all the add ons and insurance which we also declined as we had full coverage that we had taken care of at home for the car rental. He would not back down and kept telling us we needed to take it (four times!!) and when I said we were sure we didn't want it and that we could move on, Gary got very angry with me and said, "Look, you are not on the rental agreement so I will only talk to your husband". He pushed across a laminated piece of paper and said, "read this and you will take the insurance". Again, I told him that we didn't want the excess insurance an he leaned over the counter and said, "Listen lady, you're this close to not even getting a car ". I was fuming but knowing that there was nowhere else for me to go at this time of year and knowing that cars were sold out at this time of year, I didn't even want to press my luck. Under different circumstances, I would have walked out and paid extra not to do business with Advantage.

When we finally got to the point of doing the paperwork and going over the costs, I noticed that the fee was about $100 more than what I had booked. When I asked about it, Gary snapped at me that it was close enough to my quoted price which clearly it was not. I showed him my printed reservation and pointed out that it stated that I wasn't paying more than that. Finally, after some pushing on my part and Gary wanting to get rid of us, he crossed something off and said, "this is optional but you needed to take it". It took us 65 minutes to get our car and Gary was such a jerk.

When we were packing up our car, I overheard a man come out to his wife and said that the car rental price was substantially higher than what he had booked. Sounds like it wasn't just me that was getting jerked around but this is what they do to everyone.

So, please make sure that if you do decide to book through ADVANTAGE to make sure that you double check very carefully your paperwork BEFORE you sign off on it.

I will NOT rent from Advantage again. It was the worst service and high pressure that I have ever had renting a car. I'll go back to Alamo, Thrifty or Hertz anytime and pay a little extra to do so.

ADVANTAGE car renters....be warned.

Maui, Hawaii
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1,150 posts
20 reviews
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1. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

I think a letter/email/phone call to Hertz is in order.

I would have demanded you deal only with the manager/supervisor/person in charge that day.

They only places I ever had a problem was with Payless at LAX and FOX at Orange County Airport (horrible)

On Yelp, Dollar at LAX is so low rated and I got SUPERIOR service and a GREAT vehicle at an EXCELLENT Price.

Mount Vernon,Il
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739 posts
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2. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

Denise,

You took it much better than I would have to say the least. I got mad just reading your posting! I can't imagine such an ordeal. I appreciate the warning. I will steer clear of them!!

San Diego
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452 posts
1 review
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3. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

Wow, that's crazy! I booked a car with them for July. I'm thinking I should look else where! Anybody else have problems with them??

Oregon
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4,367 posts
22 reviews
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4. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

I am wondering if other car rental companies use the strong-arm techniques during high season because they think or know that it works. Gary sounds like a real winner. The more I hear about nasty sales counter people, the more I want to deal with an electronic kiosk. I get pretty mad when I read this kind of stuff.

vancouver
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182 posts
30 reviews
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5. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

We come to Maui every year at Christmas time. We rented from Alamo last year and Hertz the year before and both were a breeze. Customer service with a smile and in and out within minutes. I was here in May for a month and October for a week and rented both times (NOT through Advantage!) without problems. I learned my lesson....stick with what you know and are satisfied with. It wasn't worth it to try to save $83 over a three week rental!! I'll NEVER rent from Advantage again. I suggest anyone who currently has an Advantage car rental on hold to reconsider as my experience was just that bad! Costco.com has some great deals and the second driver was included in the price. Advantage charges $10 per day for a second driver even if it is a spouse.

Louisville
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3,115 posts
40 reviews
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6. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

I have done both the fill up before you return or bring it back empty. You were not stupid. Purchase the gas you need and take it back full. They push the "Bring it back Empty" for you reason. THEY MAKE MORE MONEY, because you can' t bring it back EMPTY. And, you can't chance running out of gas. I would estimate that there is at least 3 - 5 gallons of gas in every car that is returned under that program.

We never get insurance, our insurance covers rentals.

We had a similiar problem with Alamo 5 years ago, the girl was just rude and more impressed with herself than we were of her.

I would write to company and complain. Probably won't do much good but you will feel better. Alamo didn't respond to my letter. Guess what I didn't do business with them this past Sept either. Cost them over $600 / 2 weeks of rental.

Island of Hawaii...
Destination Expert
for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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38,803 posts
4 reviews
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7. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

Wow, the things he said to you were so rude. I'm floored.

When I get treated badly like that (not often), I do call someone in authority and tell the story, just to see if the whole hierarchy is bad. Most of the time the experience is rewarding.

Writing a letter is good but I think doing the phone first and finding out who needs to get the letter helps, allows you to know you are heard.

People forget what customer service is supposed to mean and companies need to hear that customers will not put up with crossing certain lines, such as denigration ... and adding an item to the contract without express authorization, jeez ... I would flip out.

Lake Macquarie...
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3,714 posts
20 reviews
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8. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

Thanks for the warning. We'll vote with our feet and certainly rent elsewhere. I as well suggest a letter to the manager. Carpet stains like him need to be steam cleaned from any service industry. Lucky it wasn't me who's wife was being insulted, because I would have spent part of my holiday in lockup for smacking some manners into him...

Edited: 9:23 pm, December 25, 2009
Canada
1 post
1 review
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9. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

I read this review AFTER I had booked with Advantage in Maui. I was a little worried, but proceeded anyway. Gary was the only agent on duty when we arrived late in the evening. I can see how the impression noted above was made. He was aggressive and persistent and while he never called me 'stupid', was quite insistent that we should take their insurance, and said that the full tank option was their most popular. We just kept politely saying no thanks. He did 'accidentally' add a $50 benefit to cover lost key replacement and/or roadside rescue or something - but after pointing this out, he removed it. In the end, we got the car and it was actually $20 cheaper than what my reservation said. I was grateful to have read this review, and went armed with reservation in hand. While not a plesant experience, I felt the savings were well worth the little hassle - even if it was entirely unnecessary. A similar rental was at least $100 more at any of the other agencies. The checkin was a total breeze. Maybe too many people have read this and taken their business elsewhere - but the place was nearly deserted and we dropped off the car, caught the shuttle to the airport (all alone). Noticed some of the other lots (Enterprise was one) had huge lineups.

So moral of the story - it may be a small hassle, but be firm and polite and JUST SAY NO TO GARY and it will all work out well. Take the hundred bucks and buy a nice dinner for 1 on Maui.

Aloha.

ON, Canada
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13,230 posts
44 reviews
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10. Re: BEWARE of Advantage car rental

Rob ... Great that you were prepared and ready to battle it out with Gary. I think I would need to spend the $100 on stiff drinks after starting my holiday that way. :)

Denise, thanks for the heads-up on this one!