We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

Which Austin hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Waldorf, Maryland
2 posts
Save Topic
Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

Your taking a trip, you go online and request rental car quote for a car at your destination, request a full size car and see the words full-size car like a Chevy Impala or similar. When you get to the car rental location the car is a mid-size “smaller” car but wait you were quoted and are paying for a full-size car. Here is how it happens; Clearwater Transportation LTD runs Thrifty Car Rental / Dollar Rent a Car at Austin Berstrom Airport Texas, when they get car rental request for a full-size Car Chevy Impala, they gives you a Chevy Malibu, Toyota Camry, or Nissan Altima all are listed by the manufacturers as Mid-Size vehicles. How do you get less then what you were lead to believe your paying for? I asked them, and here is their answer: “There will always be a reference vehicle and will state “ or similar “ due to the fact that different locations runs different size, makes, and models in any given category. When you book a reservation we do not make any guaranty to a specific make, model, or exact specifications”. The Rental company can magically resize a vehicle from the what the manufacturer has stated its size Mid-size to the new Full-size. So what is next you order a full size 12oz steak dinner and get a 8oz smaller version and are charged for the 12oz because that all they have and that what we call our smaller steaks here the full size steak dinner.

How can Car rental company advertize car rentals of Mid-size cars as Full–size. The secret is in what you call it. I was told by that Car rental company manager “you better contact the renting location and find out what that company runs in it size class”. So you can’t believe or trust in what is advertized on National Car Rental web sites you have call the company and ask them so what do you call a Full-size car at your location. What is this a new version of the shell game, Car Renters beware you may not get what you paid for, trust no one, verify, then if they are playing word game go to someone else your money is good at the other guy store.

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
4,473 posts
207 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

I don't think this is unique to Austin. It happens at every rental car company I have ever used at any airport or off-site location all over the country. Its pervasiveness doesn't make it right, of course.

Corpus Christi...
Destination Expert
for Corpus Christi
Level Contributor
4,927 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

I requested a full size (Mercedes or similar) from Avis in Munich and got a Japanese car! I thought to myself, "I'm in Germany!" This, unfortunately, is accepted practice in the rental car industry. Definitely not specific to Thrifty or it's Austin agency. As the rep mentioned, call the specific office and ask what your possible options are.

Austin, Texas
Destination Expert
for Austin
Level Contributor
1,614 posts
54 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

I'm sorry you had a bad experience in Austin with car rental. Unfortunately, every time we travel we HATE dealing with car rental. We've used multiple companies in multiple cities and its all the same, be alert in all parts of the transaction.

RENTER BEWARE!

Again, sorry for the bad experience in Austin, but it truly isn't just Austin.

San Antonio, TX
Destination Expert
for San Antonio
Level Contributor
7,279 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

It sounds quite simple - You are following the manufacturers definitions and the rental company has their own, different, definition.

I've bought many items called "Heavy Duty" or lightweight" that didn't really meet my definitions.

With so many choices in the marketplace, I would write the company explaining your disappointment. I would be surprised if you did not receive a free upgrade on you next rental.

Edited: 12 April 2012, 21:14
Waldorf, Maryland
2 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

By the way I LOVE Austin Texas and the Hill Country, I was born and lived north of Austin for the first 18 years of my life, wish I still live there but my work is in DC. I did talked to a Austin Thrifty Carmanager on the phone and by email.It took a week and a half dozen emails to get a reply and his bottom line go some place else. So i'm taking his advice and my money to anyone else but Thrifty or Dollar car rental in Austin, they are also in San Antonio and I think Dallas, under the Name ClearWater Transportation. They act like the carpet baggers I have to work with In Washington not like the Texans I remember.

Edited: 23 April 2012, 18:46
Spokane Valley...
1 post
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

Dollar car rental in Austin will never get my business again.

When I arrived (2:00) I was rushed so I gave my standard spiel.

No insurance, gas, etc. I am covered by my company.

Grabbed the car and headed off to a meeting.

Half way there (10 miles) I noticed the gas gage was at 3/4.

I didn't have time to go back and forgot to call after the meeting.

On check in (5:00) I noticed they charged me for a full extra day instead of 3 hours $50 vs $18. When I ordered the car on travelocity it listed $6 per extra hour. This was fine as I was over. Talked to the clerk and she got it fixed. No problem, just a minor inconvienence.

Got home and started the expense report.

$160 for 3 different insurances. They say I requested it and don't want to refrund me. I want to see the original order. Been calling for 4 days and never a call back yet. We'll see what they say when I cancel the credit card payment.

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
365 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

Take em down Richard.

Corpus Christi...
Destination Expert
for Corpus Christi
Level Contributor
4,927 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

You have resurrected a very old thread about a different company than the one you are upset with. If you wish to be heard you may want to start your own topic. Don't misunderstand, I am sympathetic.

Corona del Mar, CA
Level Contributor
50,255 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

>>>When I arrived (2:00) I was rushed so I gave my standard spiel..... No insurance, gas, etc. I am covered by my company....... $160 for 3 different insurances. They say I requested it <<<

Old topic, but your "spiel" means nothing. You have to initial in several different places on a contract to decline all the insurances. If you were in a hurry and didn't read the contact, that is on you.

If you are a frequent traveler I can't imagine why you don't belong to the Hertz, Avis or National programs where you skip the counter and go directly to your car and where all your preferences are stored in your profile. You show your drivers license and contract (already in the car) on the way out. I haven't had a problem with a rental car company when traveling in over 25 years now.

I am somewhat lacking in sympathy when someone's first forum post is a complaint. We seldom ever hear from the person again.

Edited: 14 December 2012, 21:22
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
449 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Car Rental Shell Game - Thrifty Car Rental - Austin TX

I rent cars on an average of three times a month, and use Orbitz to price, then make reservations for the same car type at two or three differenct rental companies. When I get to my destination, I go to the first and ask what car I'm getting, and walk away if it's not what I like. I move to the second, see what they have for me, and then maybe the third if nothing suits me. You always have the reservations and no fee for not using it, so get what you want and allow for the time in your schedule to make the selecton process work for you.