Recently, my partner in crime and I took some time in Orlando. Good occasion to grill your skin, run some flat roads and visit the some theme parks (better than racing them)! But getting around is difficult, so, we needed a car. So, I decided to search for the best deal. I used to take enterprise to rent a car. Easy and convenient, it also worked and never tried to screw me with any special deal. But as a member of the American Auto Association, I looked at the potential opportunities and found out that they offer good deals for renting a car with Hertz.
Let’s compare the deal: for a basic car (Kia Forte), Enterprise charged about $25/day whereas the AAA/Hertz deal proposed $16/day. So, why not give a try to take advantage of my membership? I booked the car online, the total for renting the car for 3 days was about $85 with taxes, insurance and all the additional costs. I never received any confirmation by e-mail. Never mind I thought they will find my reservation when I pick up the car. And worst-case scenario: I can always show up the Enterprise office at the airport.
Once I got to the airport, I was received by a screen when an operator guide you through the renting process using a camera. No “real human”, just a camera. This makes the process not really human-friendly and weird. But after all, why not taking advantage of the new technologies? Once I got there, the guy asked me some questions and showed me the quote. Total: $250.
I said this was not what I got and it turned out that the agent upgraded me from a Kia Forte to a sport/muscle car (Dodge Charger). Needless to say, it increased the price significantly. He also automatically add the insurance and the gas refill because “it is for your best interest”. In other words, the agent took the freedom to replace the complete quote I made online. Of course, I asked to stick to the quote but told me he was not able to find the quote (even if he got all my personal details using my credit card number). After changing the car type, the quote went down to $150. After wondering why I still have the gas refill even if I did not ask for it, he argued that “it was for my best interest”. Loving all the consideration I got for me, I asked to remove it and the quote was finally $100. Not the initial quote but a good discount considering the first one.
After signing the documents and waiting for the instructions, I was finally able to get the car. Once on board and driving my Kia Forte, I was not sure if I made the right choice for not taking the muscle car. On the other hand, I was sure about two things:
- stop to use Hertz and the aaa discount and stick to what used to work.
- report the issue to consumer association (such as consumer reports) and potentially to aaa, that might be interested to know that their partners do not honor their offers