Insurance Scam, Bad Customer Service, Unreliable Roadside Assistance
This was my second time renting from Thrifty in Panama at Tocumen Airport and I will never do it again. I was born in Panama and I speak Spanish. These customer service agents are terrible and they are liars.
My first time renting with Thrifty Panama was in December 2015. I had rented with VIPCars.com and the rental is supposed to come with insurance. The customer service agent tried to argue with me that the insurance was not included in the quote and that I needed to buys Thrifty's insurance. I insisted that I would not get their insurance because my quote already included the insurance in the price. Finally after arguing back and forth with him, he put a $1,000 security hold on my credit card, which I preferred because it meant I would be refunded when I returned the car. I did get my money refunded.
Then the second time I rented was July 2016. There was a man ahead of me in line fighting with them about the insurance. It took one and half hours to get the issue settled and I told them about my experience in December. Finally the customer service agent also put a security deposit hold on his credit card. I was finally able to check in and they put a $250 hold on my card as a security deposit. The customer service agent didn't try to pull a fast one with me because I was outspoken the entire time during the other man's ordeal.
Then when my rental car's battery died, I tried calling Thrifty for assistance during a weeknight a little after 10 p.m. Nobody answered their phone, not the supposedly 24-hour roadside assistance, not the Tocumen Airport office or their main office in Via Espana. I couldn't get any help from Thrifty that night. I was lucky enough that the car went dead in a residential neighborhood and a neighbor helped to get the car started again. I called Thrift immediately the next morning at 7 a.m. to tell them my ordeal. They told me that their roadside assistance stops working at 10 p.m., but that's not what the pamphlet that they gave me said. I told them that they needed to change the car battery or give me a new car. More than 3 hours later someone met me and changed the car battery. Then I heard from a worker that Tocumen office opens 24 hours, but yet nobody answered while I repeatedly called to get help. I was lucky that the car stopped working in a residential area and not a highway or I would have been screwed.
Then when I returned the car, I brought it back with a full tank of gas. When I took the car out, it only had 7/8 of gas. They made me pay a difference of about $4 for the Panama Pass (like an EZ-Pass), even though I brought car full of gas, which I found utterly ridiculous. The 1/8 of the gas that I brought was certainly worth more than $4.