Be Careful About Returning Rental Cars During Late Hours…
I have already cautioned about returning a rental car after hours during the time when a rental car facility is closed, which is based on my personal experience; but you should apparently also be careful when returning a rental car during late hours when the rental car facility is open as well.
Be Careful About Returning Rental Cars During Late Hours…
No one was available at the rental car facility at Orlando International Airport when the Range Rover vehicle was returned at 10:00 in the evening; so FlyerTalk member CloudsBelow simply followed the instructions on a sign after driving into the area at which rental cars are to be returned: “After 9pm, leave keys in vehicle.”
Because simply leaving the vehicle with the keys in it felt uncomfortable, CloudsBelow wanted some closure pertaining to the rental. “Went to the Canopy area where cars are assigned as I wanted some closure on the rental”, CloudsBelow posted. “Place was busy and the agent said she’d check it in and email me receipt.”
Five days after leaving the rental car facility at the airport, an automated message arrived from the rental car company, which informed CloudsBelow that “the car is overdue and needs to be returned.” Despite explaining the situation to at least three different representatives of the rental car company, “no one seems overly competent nor able to do anything. They’ve left messages for the manager in MCO to no avail.”
After wasting at least two hours dealing with customer service representatives, CloudsBelow recalled that “the laissez faire responses got me frustrated. Told them to find where the car is and close my bill. some manager said she’d take care of it. I asked, ‘how will you know when it was dropped off’. she replies, ‘we have our ways’. I say, ‘why don’t you use those ‘ways’ to validate a car was not returned before you start with the threatening voicemails!?’”
The issue was finally resolved — but with a nasty little twist: “1 week after the car was actually dropped off, I get a receipt saying the car was checked in ~10 hours after i dropped it off. aaannnnd, of course, the miles used was listed at ~75 miles more than I dropped it off at. This triggered 75mi * 75c charge.”
Other FlyerTalk members posted similar experiences in this discussion — including FlyerTalk member missingcolours, whose experience was at the same rental car facility at the same airport.
What You Should Do If You Find Yourself in a Similar Situation
These seven tips should help you to avoid the experience which CloudsBelow endured.
- First and foremost, do everything you can to return the vehicle to a rental car facility during normal business hours if it is at all possible — but keep in mind that if you return the car late enough, you might encounter a facility which is barely staffed.
- Never leave the car with the keys in it unless specifically instructed to do so by a member of the staff or an employee of the rental car company. The rental car facility may be staffed — but if no one sees you leaving the car with the keys, anything can happen.
- Do not use the key drop if at all possible. Although you will likely have no problem with it, all you need is an inept employee to commit one error which can trigger unexpected problems or issues for you.
- Gently rub your finger or use a cloth against a small anomaly, as sometimes a simple spot of dirt or dried mud can emulate a chip in the paint. You do not want someone who works for the rental car company to mistake it for damage, which can cost you money — even if it does not cost the rental car company money.
- Take photographs and video of the vehicle, with time stamps imprinted on them. This will not only help to protect you in the event that the vehicle cannot be found; but photographs will also prove the condition of the vehicle upon its return in case employees of the rental car company decide to hold you responsible for any damage on the vehicle which was not caused by you.
- Ensure that the vehicle is scanned by an employee, as that indicates that it has been returned to inventory to be prepared for the next customer.
- Finally, get a physical paper receipt which shows that the rental amount was paid in full. If you are contacted by a rental car company that the car is overdue and needs to be returned — or for other problems and issues — all you need to do is provide a copy of the official receipt.
Renting a car is usually uneventful — but when a problem occurs, it can consume valuable time, effort and even money to ensure that it is finally resolved.
Other articles which I wrote pertaining to renting a vehicle which offer potentially valuable information for you include:
- 13 Steps to Prevent Your Rental Car From Crime at Gasoline Stations
- 14 Tips on What You Can Do to Prevent From Being Scammed by a Rental Car Company
- Warning: Ensure Your Rental Car Reservation is Indeed Canceled — Otherwise…
- Warning: Rental Car Companies May Automatically Pay Violations — and There Is Little You Can Do About It
- Warning: What You Must Know About Connecting Your Device in a Rental Car
- 7 Tips on How to Avoid Being Charged for Fuel When Returning a Rental Car With a Full Tank of Gasoline
- 6 Problems Why You Had Better Hope Someone in a Rental Car Does Not Damage Your Property
- Be Careful About Returning Rental Cars After Hours…
- How I Saved Hundreds of Dollars on One Car Rental
- Stupid Tip of the Day: Why the Lowest Rental Car Rates are Not Always a Good Value
- Stupid Tip of the Day: Have Vehicle Damage Officially Recorded Before Leaving the Rental Car Facility
- Stupid Tip of the Day: Watch Out for the Rates of One-Way Car Rentals
- Stupid Tip of the Day: The Side on Which to Pump When Refueling Your Rental Car
- Are Fees Out of Control for Electronic Tolls Using Rental Cars?
- Are Rental Car Companies Taking an Electronic Toll On You — Literally?
- Electronic Tolls and Rental Car Companies: Outrageous Gouging?
- The Pain of Electronic Tolls is Felt by More and More FlyerTalk Members
- Electronic Tolls in South Africa: Economic Apartheid?
- $17,000 Fine For $36 in Unpaid Electronic Tolls?
- Hertz Sued by San Francisco Over Fees For Electronic Tolls
- Urgent Reader Question: Return Rental Car to Closed Facility on Holiday Weekend?
- Advice on How Not to Be Hit With Loss of Use Fees on a Rental Car After an Accident?
- Is Loss of Use a Legitimate Charge By Rental Car Companies When Vehicles are Damaged?
- How a $39.95 Rental Became $254.42
- Do You Pay In Advance for Fuel For Rental Car — or Do You Decline?
- Car Rental Company Allegedly Added Fees Without Consent of Customers
- Express Fuel Option: Hertz to Charge You if You Drive That Rental Car Fewer Than 75 Miles Without Refueling
- Express Fuel Option Has Spread to Dollar and Thrifty: Charged if You Drive That Rental Car Fewer Than 75 Miles Without Refueling
- How Much Does This Scratch on the Wheel of This Rental Car Cost?
- Not Paying a Toll Can Take a Toll — On You
- Photographs of What NOT to Do With a Rental From Enterprise
- Could Rental Car Rates Rise in the United States? 8 Tips on What Can You Do
- Rising Rental Car Rates in the United States: What Can You Do?
- Why I Do Not Like Alamo Better Than Other Rental Car Companies
- Why is One Weekly Car Rental $128.84 More Than The Other With Exact Same Criteria?
All photographs ©2013, ©2015 and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.