Why I Won't Rent From Dollar Again

With the help of a wonderful travel agent (you should email me, I'll give you his info), I booked a rental car for my recent European speaking trip. With Dollar. Never again.

When I arrived at the Frankfurt, Germany, airport, my host met me (and the lovely Robin). We went to the rental counter in our arrival terminal. No Dollar counter there. Turned out the only Dollar rental counter was in another terminal (coulda rented from Hertz, Avis, Budget, you name it, from that terminal...but not Dollar).

So the three of us took a train to the next terminal, and found the Dollar car rental counter. I was greeted by a surly clerk, who clearly had better things to do than to spend his time talking to me. He looked up my reservation, and soon proved he was not always surly. He could also be condescending.

He asked me if I had read the terms on their website. I answered something like, "Sure, why not?" He wasn't amused.

He told me that unless I had a Gold Mastercard to pay for the rental, I would be required to pay $20 extra per day for insurance. I told him I was well insured as a driver, even for overseas rentals. Didn't matter. I told him I had an American Express, Visa, or Mastercard he could choose from. He said only a Gold Mastercard would work.

My host spoke up, in German, offering to place the charges on his credit card. Nothing doing.

I was tempted to go to another rental company and seek better terms. If it had been just me and Robin, I would have. But my host, who had left home at 5 a.m. that day, was very patiently waiting to lead us out of the airport and to our hotel, an hour away. So I agreed to the charges.

On my return, I contacted Dollar, and told them the story. They sent me a terse response, saying, basically, "Sucks to be you."

So I won't book another rental from Dollar. Ever. I'm sure it won't hurt their bottom line. But it won't hurt mine, either.

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