If a travel company does you wrong, you might be compelled to say you’re never going to do business with them again. But that’s a two-way street; if they don’t like what you’ve done, they might not want to do business with you again, either.
Almost every travel company out there has a “Do Not Do Business With These People” list. The Federal government has its mysterious Do Not Fly list. Hotels have their lists of people to not rent rooms to (that’s part of the reason why they ask for ID. Click here to read all the other reasons). And car rental companies have their “Do Not Rent” list.
The problem with car rental company’s lists of people not to rent to is that so many car rental companies are owned by other, umbrella companies. For example:
- Avis owns Budget and Payless.
- Enterprise owns Alamo and National
- Hertz owns Dollar and Thrifty
So you may have rented an Avis car and done something bad enough to get banned from them, but chances are good you’ll also be banned from Budget and Payless in the process.
The best thing to do is to not get on any car rental company’s “Do Not Rent” list. Granted, you have to be doing something wrong in their eyes to get on the list, and that may not be easy to do. But here are some pointers to stay on their good side:
- Only let authorized drivers drive the car. When you rent a car, you agree that only certain people will drive it. It could be just you. It could be you and an authorized driver. Whoever it is, don’t go beyond that. If they get a ticket or into an accident while driving the car, you’ll wind up on the Do Not Rent list. BTW, here’s why some rental car companies pay for extra authorized drivers.
- Pay your bill(s). Renting a car means you agree to pay for its use for X amount of time, and that you’ll be responsible for paying your share of any damage that happens to the car while you rented it, as per the contract you signed. If you don’t pay what you’re supposed to, why would they ever want to rent to you again?
- Pay all of your tolls. Lots of highway tolls are done electronically and don’t get sent to you until weeks or months after the fact. The toll companies take a picture of the license plate, discover the car is owned by a car rental company. Then you get a bill. If you don’t pay, the car rental company is held liable. You think they’re going to pay for that? Well, they might but they’ll also never rent you a car again. Here’s how to get an idea of how much your tolls will cost if you rent a car.
- Don’t dispute charges. People have become very cavalier about disputing charges. They think as long as their credit card is willing to cover you for what you’ve put into dispute, you’re good. Except you’re not. The car rental company will still know that you’ve put it into dispute and if it was for something that was really your fault, guess what? They’re not going to want to rent to you again.
- Don’t drive outside where you’re allowed. Your contract will tell you where you’re allowed to drive; don’t go beyond it – they’ll know from checking your GPS or if you wind up in an accident or break down in an area you shouldn’t be in. If they catch you, you’re going to wind up on their Do Not Rent list. Oh, and if you want to make a road trip out of state, you may not want to use this company.
- Don’t be belligerent. If there’s an issue, stay calm, cool and collected. If you threaten them or get up to the point where they’re going to call the cops on you, guess who is never going to be able to rent from them again?
- Don’t do anything illegal. Use a fake ID? Faked an accident for the insurance money? Drove drunk? Used the rental car to commit a crime? If you’re caught, you can say goodbye to ever renting a car from them again.
*** Feature photo: U.S. Air Force/Brian McGloin
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary