Got a travel problem? Ask and you shall receive

Robert/Shutterstock
Robert/Shutterstock
After Linda Grimes accidentally cracked the windshield on her uninsured Enterprise rental car, she imagined a worst-case scenario unfolding, including months of back-and-forth between her and the company’s legendary claims department.

She says that the car was damaged under innocent circumstances. As she tried to adjust the seat and the rear view mirror, “I heard a crack,” recalls Grimes, an Air Force retiree who lives in Little Elm, Tex. “There was an arch-shaped crack around the rear-view mirror. I was stunned.”

Sure enough, even after a representative assured her that the damage was “no problem,” she received a repair bill from the car rental company that covered damage and then some, including $311 for a new windshield and a $50 administrative fee.
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Did Sprint break its “buyback” promise?

Cellular tower, waiting to be disconnected. / Photo by Gary Lerude - Flickr
Gary Lerude – Flickr
Question: I need your help with Sprint’s buyback program, which lets you receive credit for your old cell phone. I recently had to cancel my Sprint account because I moved to an area where I didn’t get service.

When I canceled the contract, I agreed to pay a cancellation fee, but the rep on the phone said I could go through Sprint’s buyback program and receive a $177 credit for my phone directly on my account.

But when I went into a Sprint store to return it, a representative told me I had to mail it back for the credit to go to my account. I went to Sprint’s website and did an online chat, and I was told the credit would not go onto my account, but I would have a check written to me.
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Why does one day less cost three times more?

alamobusQuestion: My car rental company has more than tripled the rate it charged me, and I don’t know what to do. I had prepaid $390 for the car through Alamo’s Web site. When my flight was canceled, I called Alamo to tell it I could not get the car until the next day. I was told that my reservation would be held for 24 hours.

I picked up the car the next day and returned it on time. When I dropped off the rental, a representative said the computer system was down. But when I got my bill the next month, there was an additional $1,116 charge because of the late pick up.

I believe this additional charge to be unfair and am requesting a refund. I believe Alamo should honor its promise of the prepaid amount as well as the representation that my reservation would be held for 24 hours. Can you help? — Alexandra Seldin, San Diego

Answer: So Alamo is charging you another $1,116 even though you rented one of its cars for one day less. Where’s the logic in that?

The answer: It’s airline logic. Air carriers have figured out a way to quadruple the price of a ticket depending on the time you bought it. So a “walk-up” fare purchased at the last minute can be hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars more expensive than an advance-purchase fare. But you’re getting the same seat.
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