Monday, October 09, 2006

Shady Rental Car Tactics

What’s up with rental car places always trying to rip you off with the stupid insurance scams? Let’s see, $29.99 a day for the car and $15 a day in optional insurance payments?!?!? If you pay with a platinum credit card, why aren’t they obligated to tell you that you’re giving them money for NOTHING since platinum credit cards have automatic rental car insurance coverage? Shouldn’t that tell you something if your credit card company is willing to just throw it in for free? The woman at the Alamo counter at SFO this past weekend had the gall to ask, “So did you want the premium insurance or are you OK with just the basic?” Of course, this was a trick question since the right answer is to decline all coverage including the basic package. Once, an agent asked me, “Do you want to purchase supplemental insurance coverage?” I replied, “No, just give me the car.” I was in a hurry and didn’t bother looking at the contract until I had pulled out of the parking lot. The agent had taken my reply to mean, “Please take that answer out of context and charge me an extra $10 for car liability coverage.” I complained to the site manager when I returned the car. He told me it was a simple misunderstanding and unfortunately, there was nothing he could do since I had purchased potential liability protection and piece of mind which technically I did receive. I asked him how commonly this “misunderstanding” occurred and how much spiff payment the agents get per unnoticed “misunderstanding”. He promptly refunded me my money and told me to have a good day.

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