Thrifty, The Smiling Assassin and Debit Cards

I hired a car today from Thrifty.

Of course I used Tripcover to cover my excess and reduce it to $0 for $13.60 per day.

When I got to the Thrifty rental desk I was told that if I wanted to use my MC debit card that they would need to take the $3300 excess out of my account right now. Otherwise I was going to have to take out their very expensive $27 or $33 excess cover. I told the guy that I did not have $3300 in my account and he simply smiled and said “I knew that, as most people usually don’t”. Ca-Ching!! His eyes lit up with $  $ signs.

I told him that I already had insurance with Tripcover and he smiled again and said his hands are tied. Finally When I told him that I thought that this was outrageous he simply smiled again and said ” I know!”

I think Thrifty should make their policy clear with regards debit cards as the car rental company knows that once we get to the desk we have little or no choice at that point.

PS. When I returned the car I pointed out that their terms and conditions on their website
did not indicate this new policy. I was told that it was so new that it was not on their website. Go figure! I am supposed to know about their new policy by rolling up to their desk and get informed on the spot. I think this is why the ACCC has targeted the car rental industry because of this type of treatment of their customers. Although they were apologetic this time, I will be calling their head office and requesting a refund of my $27 extra insurance that I was forced to purchase, with no mention in their T&C.

PPS: Yeah! I got a response from head office and all is good, I think.

Good afternoon Mr Sherlock and thank you for taking the time to get in touch with us.

As a Blue Chip member no bond is payable from you at any time.  There has clearly been an issue with our staff member on front counter misinterpreting an internal directive and I hope that you can accept my apologies for any confusion and any pressure to reduce your damage liability against your wishes.  I have today directed our accounts department to refund $27.94 back to your debit card.

Once again, I do apologise for any inconvenience.

Kind regards