Alamo rental cars

Discuss the best and worst companies and customer services in Chile including tips, tricks, rants, endorsements, and which businesses to avoid at all cost. If we talk about them frequently enough, we might just get the attention of the company. Help other Expats and Gringos find the good companies in Chile, and avoid the bad ones.
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MikieO
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Alamo rental cars

Postby MikieO » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:35 pm

After reading EEUU's post about Turbus, I recalled that I haven't passed on the experience we had with Alamo car rental in December.
I typically used Alamo as they are lax about the CDW insurance, which winds up cheaper for me. I usually get the car at the airport, returning it as I leave Chile.
Last time I was there, my wife left a week later than I did so she dropped me off and took over the rental.
A few days after I left, a friend noticed that a tire was going flat. He offered to change it. Surprise! :roll: the spare tire was bald and the wheel was from a different vehicle! He left the car on the jack, took the tire in his car and had the flat fixed. My wife called me with the news. I then called Alamo at SCL to be told "bring the car back to the airport" I explained that my wife was 1.5 hrs away at the coast and wouldn't drive it to Santiago without a spare in any case. He told me to have her drive it to Vina, a mere 1 hr away (a different franchise).
Ultimately, after she wasted several days waiting for the Alamo "roadside assistance" guy to come, (he never did) her time was up and she did drive to Santiago without incident.
I had already called and e mailed Alamo's corporate office in the US asking for intervention. I was told that they have no contact with the Chilean vendor and I should call their roadside assistance! :o
Bottom line, I think it's just a badly run franchise at SCL but whoever you rent from, while doing your "walkaround" check that spare tire/wheel!

Mark (below) had an interesting experience with Dollar too. Found it while looking for a car rental thread.



Just an update. I don't think I'd use Dollar Rental Car again. They have no office at the Santiago airport. My fault for not noticing that, and anticipating what it might mean.

The real problem was returning the car. The guy who gave me the car at the airport said it was better for them to pickup the car at the hotel because it's closer to their Vitacura office. They were supposed to pick it up today at 8:00AM (confirmed on the phone yesterday). By 10:00AM, and being given three more definite times between 8 and 10, which they missed, I left the hotel for Maipu (with the car that was supposed to have been turned in at 8:00AM).

On the phone, they acted like they were doing *me* a favor. So, I told them I'd take it to airport right now. Then they said "no, it's better for us to pick it up in Maipu." (The same thing the said a week ago about the hotel.). But, they couldn't tell me when.

So, I'm sitting here in Maipu with a car that was supposed to have been returned 4 hours ago, not knowing when (or if) they'll pick it up. And, they're blaming me for making this so difficult for them (even though they've said twice they prefer to do it this way). I guess I'll wait until 7PM and take it to the airport, park it, and lock the keys inside.

The thing that's really annoying about this (and causes me to warn people about doing business with Dollar Rental Car) is that this wasn't a simple misunderstanding, or the typical "8 in the morning means 8:30." It's been completely unprofessional, with them being unable to accept responsibility for telling me things. Every conversation I've had with them, it's like I'm causing problems for them. And, it's unreasonable for me to expect them to really be there at 8 AM (or one of the other 3 times they told me, and then didn't arrive).

The excuses have been incredible. They told me it's because they don't have an office at the airport. Any reasonable person would stop to think, "it's your choice to not have an office *and* rent to people arriving at the airport." But, the real kicker was when they acted like they were doing me a favor to pick up the car at the hotel, and then said (in the same breath) it's better for them to pick up the car in Maipu.

Anyway, I wouldn't recommend Dollar Rental Car. Their behavior with me bordered on dishonesty in their business dealings.

Mark
“Now, a lifetime of experience has left me bitter and cynical.” ~ Calvin & Hobbes

spanglish
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby spanglish » Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:19 pm

Last year, while in Chile, we rented a car from Alamo in Los Dominicos. The first car that greeted us was missing all kinds of things that help to make a car run the way you would like it to. It had no spare tire and was dirty inside, as well as the the fact that the radio/and or cd player was missing. My husband, chilean, went off on them and they were so shocked it was almost funny!! He told them that the car was a piece of s..t, how dare they insult him, they were a disgrace to their country, that they were giving a bad image to tourists and foreigners and on and on!!! I don't think anyone had blown up on them like that before, at least in that office..and in full castellano to boot!!

The upshot was, they told him to come back in two hours, which turned into three hours with lots of apologies, and harried phone calls back and forth, and with my husband threatening them some more, and then into four hours. When he finally returned there was a brand new white car waiting for him, totally and absolutely clean and with no vital parts missing. They let him give the car a full inspection and test drive and then gave him a much cheaper rate than they had originally said. And on top of that charged him no mileage. It was the cheapest car rental he had ever had. We ended up actually calling them to extend the rental for another 3 days after the initial weeks rental and they gave us the same terms for that extra 3 days.

We had a run in with a police officer shortly after we took of with the car on the highway. We got pulled over for not using running lights. The police officer came over and asked for licence etc. My husband couldn't find his international licence after telling him that we lived in Canada. Turned out it was in the trunk. He was ok about that but told my husband to put the running lights on. My husband didn't know where they were and turned on the windshild wipers by mistake, which threw water all over the officer. I started laughing but surprisingly, so did the officer. He said great, I feel a lot cooler now, thanks!!!! He showed my husband where to turn on the running lights and went on his way laughing....we always had good experiences with the police in Chile. I think they are a great police force for the most part. :D :D :D But we will never rent from Alamo again.

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MikieO
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby MikieO » Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:53 pm

Maybe it's the fact that I'm nursing a cold and have some time, but I'm going to take the time to alert the corporate office. I want them to know how the "good name" that they have built up in the US market is being eroded in SA, specifically in Chile. Waste of time and a stamp? Probably, but I've got both today. :alien:

Here's part of an exhaustive overview of the company.
The company markets its services primarily to leisure travelers; in addition, it serves corporate customers and people who need vehicles for local use. Together with sister company National Car Rental, Alamo maintains a fleet of nearly 300,000 vehicles. Alamo and National are units of Vanguard Car Rental Group, which was acquired by industry leader Enterprise Rent-A-Car in mid-2007.

http://www.answers.com/topic/alamo-rent-a-car
“Now, a lifetime of experience has left me bitter and cynical.” ~ Calvin & Hobbes

bebuiles
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby bebuiles » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:16 am

No budget no Alamo any suggestions for those who are just arriving to Chile and need to rent?

Beatriz

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MikieO
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby MikieO » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:41 am

Seems like most are happy with Avis. That's who I'm using next month.
“Now, a lifetime of experience has left me bitter and cynical.” ~ Calvin & Hobbes

j. Ro
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby j. Ro » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:46 am

I used Avis last time we were in Chile. No complaints at all.
Jason Roesler, AT

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otravers
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby otravers » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:06 am

I'm renting from E Kovacs in Salinas (on the Viña coast between the mall and Reñaca). Friendly staff (one of them speaks English), cheap rentals.

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davidbrucehughes
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby davidbrucehughes » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:00 am

What's the deal on TurBus? We are about to go overnight from Santiago to Villarrica with lots of luggage.

In Villarrica we plan to rent a car to look for a rental. So the consensus is that Avis is the best? Thanks in advance for any advice.
David Bruce Hughes (Gaurahari Dāsānudās Bābājī)
Esoteric Teaching Bridge Community and University of Higher Knowledge

oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya

JaX_Chile

Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby JaX_Chile » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:45 am

Anyone have experience with Econorent Car Rental? When I arrive on April 5, I will have my Boxers and large dog carriers with me, so we need to rent a pickup truck to get them home, plus we have some small furniture to move that day as well...

Any advice?

Thanks,
John :alien:

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mardy
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby mardy » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:27 pm

davidbrucehughes wrote:What's the deal on TurBus? We are about to go overnight from Santiago to Villarrica with lots of luggage.

In Villarrica we plan to rent a car to look for a rental. So the consensus is that Avis is the best? Thanks in advance for any advice.


Hi David, Tur Bus has a good website with prices (turbus.com) and various options on seating choices, its a fairly long trip from santiago to villarrica, around 10 hours, they have a large range of seat choices right through to sleepers with obvious price differences.

With regard to rentals there is Avis, Budget, Hertz all located in Temuco which is about 50 minutes drive from Villarrica so you could rent your car there, otherwise you are looking at smaller independent rentals here in Villarrica. Mind you they do have some decent cars and some Americans that arrived here the same time as us have rented off them a few times without incident. If you want to contact me when you arrive in Villarrica happy to have a coffee and point you in the right directions. Gives me a change to talk in english outside the house LOL. :)

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davidbrucehughes
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Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby davidbrucehughes » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:42 pm

@mardy: Thanks for the invite, we will take you up on it. We'll be arriving in Villarrica Monday morning and staying in a cottage right next to the Park Lake Hotel. Will PM you when we get settled.
David Bruce Hughes (Gaurahari Dāsānudās Bābājī)
Esoteric Teaching Bridge Community and University of Higher Knowledge

oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya

JaX_Chile

Re: Alamo rental cars

Postby JaX_Chile » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:45 pm

Geez... el p... what crawled up your you-know-what??

John :alien:


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