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Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

Edmonton, Canada
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4 posts
39 reviews
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Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

We were quite surprised and disappointed by a number of things when we rented a car in Puerto Montt. We had arranged it ahead of time, through Alamo’s North American web site and assumed we were getting the same level of care & service & product that we’d experienced in the past.

While they DID have our reservation, and a car DID exist for us when we arrived on our flight, and the booth was open (it does have limited hours, we found out later), there were a number of disturbing things that happened! When all was said and done, it turned out okay for us, but we felt like we dodged a bullet, so to speak.

The car was in terrible shape. All hub caps were missing along with most caps on the tire valves. Scratches and dents were everywhere. There was a cracked windshield with a huge chip repair right where the driver’s left eye looks straight ahead. There was a slow leak in the front passenger tire. It was a standard, not an automatic. But we were told that there were “No mas carros” (no more cars) the day we arrived. The Alamo employee spoke no English whatsoever. There were no English translations of any documents. No instructions of what to do or who to call should we break down or have trouble. We have no idea what we signed, but we were assured it was all ok. [Whew! What were we thinking, driving away! Blame it on 4 hours of sleep the night before, I guess!] We filled out a detailed picture/diagram with everything we noticed. Tested the brakes. The attendant showed us where the spare tire & jack were. And we drove away.

We had to fill the tire with air occasionally. And we DID made it back to the airport after 5 days of using the car. We didn’t have to pay any extra charges for any of the previous damages to the car at the airport. It seems there were no hidden or shady charges. But next time, we’ll make sure some of these things (like the paperwork in English) are dealt with before we leave home.

Now we're not home yet. I'm hoping extra charges don't appear on our bill. We'll see....

San Francisco
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114 posts
28 reviews
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1. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

Thank you for posting the information. I will be in Puerto Montt in a couple weeks and be picking up a rental car from Avis. It was a choice between Avis and Europcar. Did you see any problems with those companies while you were there?

Montreal, Canada
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334 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

Apparently you didn't read all the information previously posted in Tripadvisor about Alamo. Too bad, it would have saved you a lot of headaches:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294291-i1357-k326…

Edmonton, Canada
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4 posts
39 reviews
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3. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

Sorry. No, I didn't notice anything. We were the only ones renting a car at the time we arrived. And we were the only ones returning when we went back. but I'd encourage you to contact the car company ahead of time and get them to send you documents that you will be signing thete in English & Spanish. And be very careful filling in the picture diagram of the car.

Santiago, Chile
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1 post
9 reviews
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4. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

We also had a terrible experience with Alamo in Puerto Montt.

I had booked a car from Alamo via VIPCars.com months in advance of our trip and paid a deposit. Upon arrival at the front desk, however, we were informed that as it was a long weekend, there was no car available for us and we would have to try our luck with another agency! When we told the (very unhelpful) staff member that we had paid a deposit, that seemed to change matters and he said that a car was now available!

The car itself was rubbish and had dents everywhere and was still dirty. It also had the spare tyre on the front wheel and the windscreen wipers were certainly not roadworthy (which is not very helpful in southern Chile in May).

When we booked the car, we had arranged to return it at 11:30am (and we were provided with a quote on that basis). We nevertheless had to argue with the attendant over this point (he insisted that it had to return it by 10am) even though we had documents from VIPCars.com indicating that the return time was 11:30!

When we returned the vehicle, we were 10 minutes late (11:40am). The same staff member conducted a lengthy inspection of our car and returned at midday, and then told us that we were 30 minutes late in returning the car!

Overall, it was just unbelievable how terrible the service was (even for Chile which tends to have a pretty bad service culture). I would steer well clear of Alamo!

Yorkshire
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319 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

Oh Gosh! Alamo at Puerto Montt! Only one thing to say: DON"T. I booked on the internet a car for a week with Alamo - even paid in advance - yet when we arrived at the airport there was no record of our booking and the Alamo desk and their international telephone people could do nothing. Fortunately a friendly local person took us into town and we used a local company.......... My experience with the other 'majors' in Chile has been oK.

Dublin, Ireland
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6 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

Another Alamo Chile problem. I suggest that you complain to Alamo in the USA as clearly the franchise in Chile isn't up to expected standards. Hopefully, Alamo will close down this outfit and get a more responsible operator in Chile. For our experience with Alamo see the thread tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g294305-i2020-k6…

Martin

EF9
4 posts
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7. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

WARNING: ALAMO CHILE are THIEVES! I also picked up a car in Puerto Montt and returned it to Santiago. They overcharged me by $150 USD, provided no receipt and no documentation for why the charges. I had made the reservation months in advance and when I arrived to pick up the car, it was dirty and only had 1/8 of a tank of gas. After I protested, they gave me a "cleaner" car with 1/4 a tank of gas! They charged me the drop off fee immediately and forced me to give them a blank imprint of my credit card (WHICH IS AGAINST MASTERCARD POLICY!). Later, when I returned the car to Santiago airport, the guy at the desk was too busy reading his book to listen when I told him that they had already charged me a portion of the fee and that I never received a full tank of gas. He was so unconcerned, that I came back and repeated myself. "Don't worry, it will be fine" is what he said and, of course, later they CRIMINALLY overcharged me, will not respond to any emails, and have gotten away with it! I REPEAT: THEY ARE CRIMINALS! DON'T RENT FROM THEM! THEY WILL STEAL FROM YOU!

London, United...
7 posts
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8. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

Due to persistent complaints pertaining to Alamo Chile, we have stopped working with Alamo Chile and are no longer offering their cars to customers. We have also notified the top management about this and they are already planning an action. Following the same, there will be many others who will eventually stop working with them due to their poor service and inhospitality.

We do understand that after landing in an altogether new country, and getting to have this kind of bad experience right in the first place ruins everything for the entire trip.

Keeping in mind the same, our association with Alamo Chile has been indefinitely withdrawn. We'd recommend using Sixt, Europcar and Avis for a complete peace of mind.

Edited: 2:49 am, July 19, 2013
Puerto Varas, Chile
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11 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

It's best to lease to local companies that are very good and more humane than large companies. Terra Outdoors recommend in Puerto Varas, Puerto Montt airport. They deliver the car at the airport at no extra cost. Very good service

Albuquerque, New...
1 post
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10. Re: Beware Car Rentals from Alamo at the Puerto Montt Airport

I just booked a car with rentalcars.com and did not learn until the process was over and paid for that my booking is with Alamo. Has anything changed with the Alamo situation in Puerto Montt since the last posting in July 2013?