#thrify car rental
Thrifty Car Rental in DENVER – Be Careful!
Cons: Poor and condescending attitude from rental rep at pick-up.
I have rented from several car rental companies over the past few years, including Thrifty, and never had any trouble until my recent trip to Colorado.
I made my reservation on-line, in response to a Thrifty promotional e-mail, with no difficulty. Their website is straight-forward and easy to navigate. I was able to compare the cars and rates quite easily. Once I made my selection I received an email confirmation with all the important information. For this trip I chose a mid-size car for $90 a week – adding taxes and other fees brought the weekly rate to $143.
I arrived in Denver on a Monday morning and quickly made my way out to the shuttle area for the ride to the rental lot. And waited. And waited. I saw vans for other companies circle more than twice before a Thrifty bus appeared.
At the Thrifty rental facility I had no wait. But that was the last good thing that happened. When the reservation rep pulled up my reservation he reiterated my information. Then he said that I wouldn’t be happy with a mid-sized car due to Colorado’s high altitude. Having grown-up in CO driving a little four cylinder Mustang when I was a teenager I knew I would get around just fine. He continued to try to get me to upgrade for “only $15 more a day” – double the cost of the mid-sized car! When I told him no for the third time he shook his head and gave me a sad look. His attitude was so condescending.
Then we discussed the toll pass system. When you pick up at rental at the Denver airport you MUST pay tolls there and back. You have an option of paying $8.95 each day you use the tolls or a on-time fee of $32.95 for a week. I told the rep where I was planning on going as I didn’t know where all the toll roads were in the state. He said I would definitely want the weekly rate so I agreed to that. Turns out that I only needed to pay tolls to and from the airport. The other side trips I mentioned were no where near toll roads!
Finally, the car. I rented a Ford Fusion – love Fords. The car was clean, spacious and handled well. I had some mechanical issues though – the cruise control slipped on hills and the oil change recommended light came on the 2nd day of my week rental on my way to South Dakota, then changed to oil change required while I was in a remote area and on the day before I was making another 4 hour round-trip. I called the 800 number and was told the oil would be fine and that if I was concerned I could get the oil changed and be reimbursed. I didn’t have time before my last trip so I told the phone rep that I couldn’t and that I wanted a note in my file that I had informed Thrifty of the problem.
Once home I wrote a detailed email to Thrifty about the issues: the rental rep’s condescending attitude, his possible deceit about the tolls, his attitude in general, and the car’s oil and cruise problems. In return I got an email back saying how sorry they were about my problems, not the experience they want for their customers, we’ll be sure to let the station manager know, etc. The toll pass, I was told, could have been declined so too bad there, but I was offered a few $10 coupons to use on future rentals. I replied that I felt I was deceived about the toll pass and wouldn’t have agreed to that option otherwise, and that their response was NOT what I expected from a national car rental company. They then agreed to refund the toll pass ($33) but have now rescinded the coupons.
In conclusion, when renting cars in Denver, be wary of efforts to get you to up-grade. It’s generally not needed if you have at least a mid-sized car. Check ahead of time to see what toll roads you’ll come across so you can make an informed decision about the toll pass. And though I didn’t address it earlier, don’t pre-pay your gas. It’s almost always cheaper at the stations close to the rental return lot.