( Portland International Airport )
Dollar Rental Cars – Web Site
I’ve always been a BUDGET Rent-A-Car man, but this time I wandered outside of my usual to Carrentals.com and was lured over to Dollar for cost and a deal that had Budget quite beat. $67 Lock-n-Low special from Thursday late night through Sunday early evening. Since I’m not a credit card user, their web site said they only took a $250 hold on funds from your debit card vs. Budget’s $300 hold. I’m a budget traveller and that $50 difference is a world of difference for me. I completely disagree with the pirate-tactics of car rental agencies to lock your bank account funds in such a way when using debit cards instead of credit – but unfortunately the industry has us trapped. Dollar at least appears more sympathetic by having a lower hold fee. There was no line or wait at the Portland airport to pick up my car. The agent was very friendly (though tried to get me to add in extras) and hooked me up with a nice subaru (see above picture). The car was very new, clean, with heated seats, electric windows, sunroof, great sound system, and all the perks you’ve come to love in a vehicle. I loved my rental. The check-out process was streamlined. Oddly though when he checked me out, he stated you couldn’t leave the state of Oregon or Washington. It didn’t matter for this trip since I was just staying in Oregon – but in the future could see a problem with that. Unlimited Mileage and affordable prices. No problems with the car. It was a very nice ride. Check in was very efficient, streamlined, and got my receipt quickly. I had a very positive experience with Dollar. Thank you Dollar!
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. Well counted my blessings too soon: They took the $250 debit card hold and charged it, the day AFTER I returned the vehicle. No charge for the $67 has appeared on my statement as of this writing (2/3/10) but they took my $250 and still have not returned it. After this experience, I’ve become wary of Dollar. Especially since after an hour of phone calls with them yesterday (2/2/10) ending in no resolution. They said it could take 2-5 days before refunding the money they were supposed to get a credit hold on and release the day the car was returned but instead cashed and are holding out on crediting back. As of this point, the company has made a 2 out of 5 rating as of this date (2/3/10). Rating: 2 stars out of 5 ~ Trust not what the representatives state and be very wary of their accounting techniques. In addition, for the Portland Office – they manage their own accounting. The Manager “Reza” was rude and not helpful, argued with me that he indeed submitted the payback, which according to my bank has not been submitted. With staff such as “Reza” – Dollar is bound to be heading downhill.
The financial scam they pulled on me that caused great financial issues for my bank account:
Thursday, 1/28/2010: Rented the car for the $67 three day special. Agent tells me they will need to place a “hold” (not a charge thru) of $250 on my debit card which will be immediately released when I turn in the rental car on sunday.
Friday, 1/29/2010: No hold has been placed.
Saturday, 1/30/2010: No hold has been placed.
Sunday, 1/31/2010: Turned in car, and they said only $67 would be charged on my debit card. Gave me the receipt.
Monday, 2/1/2010: Dollar debited $250 from my checking account placing the balance to $6.00.
Tuesday, 2/2/2010: I discover their error, call national and they say the local Portland Airport office handles their own accounting. I call them and they insist they have submitted the charge back on monday. The manager was rude and hung up on me when I told them their error. I called my bank and National to see what can be done, they said will have to wait – it could take 2-7 days to process. Meanwhile endangering my bank account.
Wednesday, 2/3/2010: Bank still says Dollar has not released the funds. Dollar claims it was released on Monday. Told it will just automatically shift from $250 to $67.
Thursday, 2/4/2010: Same as Wednesday. No change. Meanwhile have incurred two overdraft fees. (ca. $70)
Friday, 2/5/2010: Dollar issues a credit of $184.14. Not doing what they said (once again) of shifting the $250 to $67, but a separate charge thereby creating issues with the overdrafts.
I think this is the last time I rent from Dollar, unless they change their methodology.