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Unread 18 May 19, 01:04 PM  
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mcfly
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Alamo Miami upgrade fraud

Hi all

This is a warning to all Dibb readers that are persuaded to upgrade at Miami airport. I was careful to book my car hire in advance. I used Alamo Brits as Id heard good things on this forum about them so I booked a large SUV (Ford Expedition or similar) for myself, wife and 4 kids. I prepaid $630 and I even printed my "skip the counter" voucher ahead of travelling so we could just pickup the car and go.

When we arrived at the airport we were shown to a line of approx. 10 vehicles in the class we had booked. All were a good size but none had enough space for our 4 suitcases. I asked "Jose" at the counter if any more vehicles would be coming soon and he told us yes and just to wait at the side. About 20 minutes later he fetched us and asked if we would like to take a Ford Expedition Max. We looked over the car and as it had a little more boot space than the others we went for it. He told us it was the next class up and would cost $45 extra. I thought that's fine so we went for it. He gave me a contract to sign and as I was signing I asked him if it was really $45 total - to which he said yes. The form did contain some extra charges so the new total was $748 - but he waived that off as incidentals (his English wasn't very good and he was rushing as there was by now a queue building). Even though this was an extra $118 I thought it was still a good deal and I just wanted to get out of there. I knew from looking before travelling that the extra class up was about $100-150 extra anyway so I was happy with that.

When I returned to the airport 2 weeks later (after a fantastic vacation) I was shocked to find that the charge was in fact $748 in ADDITION to the $630 I had pre-paid. At the time I couldn't argue as we had to catch a flight. Since then I have been fobbed off by Alamo US and UK - the initial response was that you have signed the contract and please go away and since then Ive had no response except that they will pass it onto a "manager".

Im sure Alamo are a good company and the car we did hire was pretty nice - but it wasn't $748 nicer. I feel that "Jose" cheated us on purpose. What is worse is that since I contacted Alamo they have shown absolutely no interest in listening to my complaint. I am disputing the charge via the credit card company using section 75 procedure but I am resigned to not getting this resolved in my favour.

Let this lesson be a warning to others to avoid the "upgrade" at all costs and do not let "Jose" or his ilk push you into anything and ask more detailed questions before you sign anything. I know this has been mentioned before on this forum - but I read those posts and I was still caught out.

McFly

Edited at 01:07 PM.
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Unread 18 May 19, 01:43 PM  
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Mr Tom Morrow
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OP. I feel your pain. I never trust the desk clerks but this is cold comfort for you.
Sad to say I don't think you will succeed in your credit card dispute as Alamo will produce a signed contract thus negating your complaint.

However, well done for posting as a warning to the unwary.
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Unread 18 May 19, 01:56 PM  
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What a shame. We had prepaid and when my husband went to the kiosk he had signed unknowingly for some extras after prepaying for fuel! Fortunately I noticed and we went straight back to get it changed. Please let us know how you get on.
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Unread 18 May 19, 02:00 PM  
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Northerndave
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$45 dollars a day = $720, looks like 'Jose' was taking the proverbial mickey.

However I'm struggling to see how you couldn't fit 4 cases into a standard 7-seater Expedition?
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Unread 18 May 19, 02:05 PM  
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The one and only time we used the counter we were offered an upgrade and told it was something like $40 (which seemed great), until I asked if it was total and she eventually said no per day, looks like hes done similar here and youve been stung with the day rate.

Sadly as Tom above has said, as you signed/agreed the contract at the exit they will use that as evidence of original agreement and youve also paid the charge on return (second agreement), so not looking promising IMO, but good luck.

Useful advice though for Dibbers to always check the paperwork before leaving the garage, especially after a long journey/trip, and if unsure or unhappy, sort it before you leave (same on return).
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Unread 18 May 19, 02:14 PM  
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I'm sorry this happened to you McFly - we had the same from Dollar at Orlando way back in 2006 when they said $10 total for next class up. Yes it was $10 per day BUT they absolutely sold it as $10 would be the total price. Lesson learned.

I highly recommend booking through discountflorida car hire for your next trip. We had an overcharge with Alamo (which turned out to be an innocent error on Alamo's part) due to rescheduling (twice!) because of Hurricane Matthew and all we had to do was email Andy who sorted it all out for us with no hassle.
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Unread 18 May 19, 02:33 PM  
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This is the reason I always refuse any upgrade at the desk ( I accept them in the parking lot of course when you dont need to sign another agreement )

Unfortunately this is one of those things to chalk up to experience and move on. However pursue with Alamo first but as Tom Morrow says they will produce a signed contract if you try going through he credit card route. My only dealings with Alamo like this is when they charged me for fuel but I returned the car full but after a couple of emails they refunded me.
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Unread 18 May 19, 10:15 PM  
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Originally Posted by Northerndave View Post
However I'm struggling to see how you couldn't fit 4 cases into a standard 7-seater Expedition?
There were no standard Expeditions available- hence my fury at having to pay $748 extra for the Max version. If they had given us the standard version then Id have had no need for an upgrade ☹️

Edited at 10:21 PM.
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