You remember the Alamo, don’t you? If you’re my 10-year-old daughter, and you sometimes daydream during history class, maybe not. “A San Antonio river adventure your family will never forget”
After Robert Reeve redeems 70,000 Hilton HHonors points for a car rental, he gets some unfortunate news: He won’t be able to use the nonrefundable certificate for the rental. What now?
“Help, my “free” car rental voucher doesn’t work at the airport”
Harold Nagase tries to add a day to his Hotwire car rental, but when the vehicle is damaged, his credit card company won’t cover it. Why not?
“Extreme card confusion on my rental car”
After a grill falls off her rental car, Alamo sends her a bill for $669. Does she have to pay?
Question: I’m hoping you can give me some advice about a damage claim that my car rental company states I am financially responsible for. I rented a car from Alamo in Reno, Nev., recently. The paperwork was signed and initialed as the person at the counter indicated. Then I was escorted to the garage where the cars were kept.
My husband walked around the car and didn’t notice any damage. I drove from the airport rental location directly to our hotel in Reno, where the car was parked for two days. Several days later, when we left Reno to drive to Las Vegas, I noticed that the plastic grill on the front of the car was uneven. My husband inspected and found that it was loose but still connected.
“A rental car bill I don’t think I deserve”
When Stacy Mills rented a car from Alamo recently, she says the vehicle had “several minor scratches” on the front right door of the vehicle. Although she tried to report the damage, an employee waved her off, telling her not to worry.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have taken this case after all”
Always, always, always take pictures of your rental car.
“Is the car rental industry’s damage claims process fair to travelers?”
Question: Please help me with a bogus damage charge by Alamo. We picked up our car in Kona, Hawaii, at dusk and saw numerous small dents and dings and scratches on the vehicle. We couldn’t find a form to report the damage.
“Do car rental companies make it too hard to report pre-existing damage?”
Question: I’m trying to resolve an issue with Alamo and have not been able to communicate directly with anyone at the claims department. Now they’re threatening collections and legal action. I’m in the process of buying a house and can’t afford a ding on my credit rating.
“A $481 bill for damage I didn’t do?”
Richard Hartman rented a car from Alamo in Montreal this summer. It’s a decision he regrets.
“When I returned their rental car on June 21st, the Alamo staff reported no damage after their inspection but,” he says. But a few weeks later, the car rental company changed its tune. It now claimed he owed $646 for damage to his car.
“No damage to rental car, but they called a collection agency anyway”
Question: I recently rented a car from Alamo, and I encountered a questionable practice that I wanted to let you know about.
I’ve used Alamo many times in the past, always returning the car with a full tank. Last month, after bringing back my rental in Tucson, Ariz., an Alamo attendant verified the full tank and gave us a receipt.
After we left, apparently Alamo felt the need to try and squeeze more gas in the tank, even after their employee confirmed a full tank, and charged us the inflated rental-gas price for two gallons.
They didn’t even try to notify us by phone, email or letter. This seems very sneaky and underhanded. I wrote them two emails, but never got any reply or explanation.
It’s not a huge amount of money, but rather the principle and the deceitful tactics to make a few extra dollars. I thought you’d be interested in this episode, if you haven’t heard of this practice, and perhaps could warn others in your column. — Stephen Farr, Sacramento, Calif.
Answer: When the car rental agent checked your tank and offered you a receipt, you shouldn’t have been charged extra. But if Alamo decided you owed it money, the least it could have done was to let you know — not find out when you checked your credit card bill.
“The Travel Troubleshooter: The needle may be on “F” but I’m not done paying”