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Economy Car Rental .. Sabanam Norte.. hands in my pocket??

san jose Costa Rica
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2 posts
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Economy Car Rental .. Sabanam Norte.. hands in my pocket??

Well, here is yet another bad review of Economy Rent a Car.. they are the same outfit at the airport or downtown...

I live in San Jose much of the year and usually rent a car several times.. not so much this year. One recent Sunday I spent much of the day calling agencies to get a quote on an economy car for 1 week in late February. Many agencies were 'out of cars' for the 2/21 to 2/28 period. I finally wound up talking to Marco at Economy Car rental!!! who quoted me $267.00 for the week all inclusive for a Nissan sentra or equivalent.. picking up and dropping off at the Sabana norte office, next to the Toyota dealer.

On the day of the rental.. I had to call 3 times to see if /when my rental would be ready... no one called me back.. finally I took a cab there as they did say the car would be ready upon my arrival.

When I got there.. the first rude surprise was/// no Nissan sentra or equivalent.. but a Toyota Yaris sub compact car which had surely seen better days... over 70,000 miles and dents and dings everywhere.. radio aerial was broken off, so .. no radio reception.. car smelled like smoke.. I will say the staff was courteous and well spoken.. but had no explanation/recourse for my getting a lesser vehicle than the qoute.. the did go through a lot of song and dance to try to get me to pay more for various insurances, but I firmly declined as I've been down this road before.

THe next insult was the old 'seven eights full gas tank' trick.. used to be popular in the states with marginal agencies, more so when gas sky rocketed.. now not often done anymore by the 'regulars'...

How are you supposed to bring a car back with 7/8's of a tanque?? if it's not up to 7/8's they fill the tanque and charge you an unholy premium per liter even more than the gas stations do

THe last insult was upon returning the car.. although I authorized US 267.oo as my rental charge..they charged me 138,840 COLONEs which came out to $286.91 US $ on my credit card.. so they managed to squeeze another 20 bucks out of me even though I was able to manipulate the gas thing and bring it back same as I left, even though I put on a few hundred miles (no radio).. :>(...

This kind of trickery is the worst sort of customer relations tactic I can imagine.. I wouldn't rent from these guys again if they gave a 50 percent discount... I will continue to find an honest, up front agency (that actually has a car when I want one) in future and stay far, far away from ECONOMY... cause it ain't!!! JW

San Jose, Costa Rica
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47,524 posts
35 reviews
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1. Re: Economy Car Rental .. Sabanam Norte.. hands in my pocket??

Sorry canamjay...very sorry...they are a tough cookie!

roadadvisor

Tamarindo
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533 posts
22 reviews
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2. Re: Economy Car Rental .. Sabanam Norte.. hands in my pocket??

I have rented from Economy, Mapache, Alamo, Europcar and Hola rental cars. I have good and bad things to say about all of them. Its pretty much a crap shoot on what your experience will be like at any of these agencies.

As far as the extra $20 on your credit card, that's a pretty common scam in Costa Rica. They quote you a price in USD and then run your card through in Colones at a ridiculous exchange rate. Its a scam because they should be quoting you in the local currency if that's what they will run your credit card in. So for instance, they say the car is $80 and then run your card for 47,000 colones. If they told you 47,000, you would divide that and find out the cost of the car is actually $91. Therefore, its an intentional misquote.

I was in a car rental office just last week and they had a sign saying the exchange rate is 535, when the bank rate was 508. Its not uncommon for an exchange to be higher (hotels do this all the time), but you are not exchanging US dollars for colones, they are actually charging you in the local currency. The only exchange is from the price quote. This is a deliberate scam and I suggest people should demand the up to date conversion or to know the price they will charge in Colones so you know how much you are actually being charged in dollars. Sorry for the confusion.

Greensboro, North...
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3. Re: Economy Car Rental .. Sabanam Norte.. hands in my pocket??

Never ever this company! Booked a car for 5 persons including luggage. Got a 10 year (!!) old crappy car with a broken suspension, rust, etc. Had to take this car because we were in a hurry.

The next morning it didn't start, we called them and they told us to have a new car ready (San Jose, near the new stadium). We were happy but on our way to San Jose we got a flat tire 5min before we arrived to the rental station. We tried to call be they always hang up as we told them we have a flat tire. So we had to change this tire on our own. The tire was very old and worn out because of the non-existing suspension.

However we arrived there just to figure out they had a car but not for 5 people. Their 'manager' argued with us that it fits 5 persons incl. luggage. Even as he tried to get all our luggage (4 regular bags and 2 carry on bags, which is less for 5 people) into the car it didn't work. But this 'expert' insisted that this would be our car and we have to take or leave it. It was a category smaller than the one we had in our contract!!

They had another car in the back but the 'manager' said it is not for us because somebody rented it (after we called!!) and besides that we didn't book a NEW car !!!

Of course, I need to tell a Car Rental company that I don't want to rent a 10 year old piece of junk which is life threatening to drive (and Costa Rica has a lot of steep mountain roads)!!

We decided to leave this piece of sh.. there. The 'manager' laughed (!!) at us and didn't take us seriously. I guess he never heard anything about customer satisfaction or completion of a contract.

We went to DOLLAR, they got us the same car but it was new, it worked and it was even cheaper ($200).

We still struggle to get our money back but for luck there are enough lawyers around.

If you wanna have a nice vacation, have a nice working car for a fair price and service and you wanna be treated like a customer NEVER go to Economy.

Tamarindo, Costa...
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4. Re: Economy Car Rental .. Sabanam Norte.. hands in my pocket??

This problem with Economy has been going on a long-time now. They've had far more complaints on this Forum than any other car rental company. However, there are problems with so many of them. I'm just waiting for a marketing manager to realize there is an opportunity to greatly increase market-share by offering good service, fair prices and good tires. Here is another recent Post about the subject.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g291982-i813-k4070…

San Jose, Costa Rica
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47,524 posts
35 reviews
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5. Re: Economy Car Rental .. Sabanam Norte.. hands in my pocket??

Just incredible...how they keep taking money form decent people...

roadadvisor

6. Re: Economy Car Rental .. Sabanam Norte.. hands in my pocket??

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