I own a travel agency and have been offering advise to travelers for over 20 years. I thought I knew all the rip off tricks applied by car rental companies. Well I just got "caught" and with my experience, I really did not think it could happen to me.
I usually stay with the larger car rental companies like Hertz, Avis or Budget. On a recent trip to Berlin, I saw a super low rate with Thrifty of 140.00 euros for 14 days, for a full size car. I was skeptical, but it was confirmed by Thrifty's US 800 # and I also called Thrifty in Berlin, they both confirmed the rate, I also informed them that I would be paying for the car with my Chase Ink Bold credit and that I would be waiving the CDW, again both Thrifty agents, US and German confirmed that all I had to do was to show proof that my credit card covered the CDW.
So here is their SCAM. to waive the CDW you must bring a signed letter from VISA with your personal details, Credit card number, name and address etc on the letter and signed by VISA stating that your credit card covers the CDW. I had brought the Chase Ink Bold rules booklet which clearly states that the CDW was covered in Germany. They refused to accept it and would not give me the car unless I purchased the CDW. I informed them that the CDW was optional, they said it was not optional and I was not getting the car unless I paid for the CDW.
The Euro 2012 soccer finals were on and every car rental company was sold out. So I had no option but to surrender and pay for the CDW.
My rate went from 140 euros to 619 euros
My Chase Ink Bold rules booklet clearly stated that the CDW was covered, but Thrifty have insisted on something that 99% of people would never request from Visa, I am not sure VISA would even issue a letter like that.
AVOID this Company.