Dollar raised my rate from $105 to $431 — but why?

Answer: That’s a bizarre bill you received from Dollar. The length of your rental period changed by only a few hours when your flight arrived early, but your bill increased by $326. Maybe you should have waited.

When you arrived early in Chicago, Dollar discarded your old reservation and made a new one at the walk-up rate, typically the highest price you can pay for a rental. The car rental industry is not the only business that does this. Airlines are more than happy to offer a walk-up rate if you’re a no-show for your flight.

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Fair? To the airline or car rental company, perhaps. After all they missed an opportunity to make money when you showed up early or late. But to you? Not really.

Executive contacts for Dollar can be found on this site. A brief, polite appeal to one of them might have helped.

Our advocacy team contacted Dollar to find out if your new rate had been calculated correctly. It had. But Dollar had second thoughts about charging you so much.

“Please accept my personal apology that the rate assessed on your rental was higher than your confirmed reservation due to the change in the time of pick up,” it said in an email to you. In an effort to “regain your confidence” in Dollar, it issued a $226 credit, which covers part of your rental. Not all of it, but enough to make you happy. And if you’re happy, we’re happy.