With our fishing vacation coming up in about 6 weeks, about the only thing left for Veronica and I to do is to get a rental vehicle in the Minneapolis area.
We are planning on flying into the Minneapolis/St.Paul Airport, picking up our rental car and then driving up to International Falls for the night. The following morning we would do our grocery shopping and then drive the remainder of the way to Stanley's Resort on Eagle Lake at Vermilion Bay Ontario Canada.
It has been a very long time since the last time that I have rented a rental vehicle and based on my last experience it appears that things sure have changed in the car rental arena.
After doing some basic shopping around at various web sites on the internet, I settled in on Priceline. I attempted to get a vehicle via their bidding process but unfortunately had no luck at the price level that initially interested in.
I then moved onto another site that I found doing a Google search...AirportRentalCars.com.
This site was a brokerage web site that handles rental vehicles from several different companies.
I found a couple of vehicles from Economy Rent-A-Car that met the budgetary criteria and the size of vehicle that we would need. I narrowed my focus on one vehicle and size in particular...
A Mid Sized Car...Toyota Corolla...automatic....4 door...a/c...the usual stuff. Price at this web site was $190.00 per week/about $377.00 total with everything included..taxes and all fees
The other possibility was a Compact car...Nissan Versa...same basic features as the Corolla but the price of this one was listed as $180.00 per week about about $350.00 total with all of the taxes and fees figured in.
I decided to give the Minneapolis Economy Rent-A-Car office a call at 651-788-0808.
I spoke to a male who I will call Micky for the sake of this blog entry. I had several questions for Micky which he politely answered. Micky told me that the Economy Rent A Car works out of a Ramada Inn about 2 miles from MSP airport.
I told Micky that I was online at a web site and was looking at a couple of specific vehicles to rent. I gave Micky the pickup and drop off dates and ask him if he could do any better than the rates shown on the web site.
Due to Micky having some customers that he was helping out at the time of my telephone call, he said that he would call me back in about 10-15 minutes.
After more that 1 1/2 hours had passed, Micky finally returned my call and told me that they did not have Toyota Corollas nor Nissan Versas but that they did carry VW Jettas that he could rent to me for a price that he gave me...which was the exact same price as on the web site or that I could rent a Dodge Caliber instead of the Nissan Versa for a price that he gave me....which just happened to be the same exact price that was on the web site.
Micky even quoted me the dates and times of pick up and drop off to make sure he had the correct info...which he did.
I thanked Micky for the info and told him that I would talk to my wife about the vehicles and price and get back with him.
After talking to Veronica, we decided that we would go with the Dodge Caliber because if had a hatchback and the back seats folded down flush to make a nice sized flat cargo area in the rear of the vehicle and the price was fairly decent compared to other prices that we had seen out there.
I placed a call back to Economy Rent-A-Car at the number previously mentioned and spoke to a young female who told me that Micky had just stepped out for a minute and she offered to help me.
I gave her the pickup and drop off dates and times along with the vehicles that Micky told me about and I quoted back to this female the prices that Micky had given me.
All of a sudden, within a couple of hour time period, the prices had somehow jumped up drastically.
This female quoted me the prices for the VW Jetta as now being $240.00 a week and 469.18 total with all taxes and fees added in.
And as you expect, the Dodge Caliber price had also gone up. I was quoted a new price as being $200.00 per week and $403.44 total with all taxes and fees figured in.
I told this female that these prices were not even close to what Micky had quoted me. She told me that the prices always change and that they have the lowest prices around. I requested that she have Micky give me a call when he gets back in and this female told me that Micky will quote me the same prices that she had.
A little while later I received a call from Micky. He went over the pick up and drop off dates and times to make sure he had the correct information...which he did...and then he promptly quoted me the price that the female quoted me.
I asked him what happened in a couple of hours that would cause the prices to change from what he had quoted me earlier. He said that he must have put in the wrong dates and times for pickup and drop off information. Micky claim that it was caused by....and I quote..."human error".
I told Micky that i was on this web site at this exact moment and they were showing the previously quoted rate that he had given me and that because there was such a huge difference in the price he had quoted me versus the one he was quoting me now and what was being shown on the AirportRentalCars.com web site, that I was taking my business elsewhere. I thanked him for his time and told him to have a great day before hanging up on him.
After having this experience with a really questionable rental car company, we ended up doing Priceline again and ended up with a Nissan Versa through Hertz for a little more money than what we would have paid at Economy but I will tell you this much, we feel much more at ease and comfortable with our rental car contract through Hertz than we did with our short encounter with a very questionable rental car company called Economy. I guess that there is a reason that they chose that name. My recommendation for anyone looking to rent a vehicle, do a lot of research and shopping but first and foremost...stay away from Economy Rent A Car ( Economy Rent-A-Car ) .