Thrifty Car Rental - Panama City Tocumen International Airport - PTY - Panama
Verified Renter reviews ®
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.
Tried to rip me off
I completed a minivan reservation in advance for our 9 day stay at Panama. The price quoted was $297.19. I planned on using my credit card and take full advantage of the car rental insurance it provides. I did my research and understood that the liability insurance in Panama is mandatory and the credit card travel insurance is ok with that as long as I decline the collision and theft insurance. The guy at the counter told me a whole bunch of made up policies. Thrifty needs a letter from the credit card company and that I could not decline the collision and theft due to the size of the vehicle I was renting (seriously?). So he quoted me 3 other amounts of $718.64 for basic, 759.58 for standard, and 891.79 for full, all hand written on a scrap piece of paper (huge red flag). Because this trip was outside of the US, I also had a second reservation with Alamo for $327.57, same vehicle class (just in case). Boy, was I relieved I did that. The person at Alamo did not give me any grief, and gave me the straight up scoop and I just had to pay the liability portion of about $117 (which I expected) - total $444.
Bottom line: DO NOT RENT FROM THRIFTY at TOCUMEN AIRPORT IN PANAMA. THIEVES
Unverified Renter Reviews
Worst service ever!!
Thrifty scam rental
Beware - Thrifty will lie to you to sell you the Insurance Coverage
I was quoted a total price online via PRICELINE for $391.59. When I arrived at the location, Thrifty Employee Abraham told me that under Panama law he cannot accept insurance provided by my credit card company Chase and I will have to purchase Thrify's coverage or he will not release the car to me. Accordingly I purchased this coverage to get the vehicle. Later I did online research and found out that Abraham misstated the facts to me and my credit card provided insurance would have been fine. Upon return, I saw Abraham and he flatly denied that he required Thrifty's insurance. He said that he told me that he could accept my credit card insurance and I chose to purchase Thrifty's insurance. Abraham simply lied to me . My online reasearch shows that this is the way Thrifty does buisness in Panama. I understand that this is a franchise but Thrifty's Brand Protection should take corrective action. Upon my return I called Thrifty's Customer Service and was told that since this is a franchise Corporate office cannot do anything about it. I am a lawyer by profession and I refuse to believe that Thrifty's Brand protection cannot take corrective measures. I ask that your office look into this and refund the excessive charge of $608.85.
Engañan! / Deceived!
Solicite la covertura minima necesaria y me engañaroj por no ser local!! Me cobraron add ups que no eran necesarios!! Primera y ultima vez que rento con esta compañia.
VIA GOOGLE TRANSLATE:
Ask for the minimum coverage required and I engañaroj not be local !! They charged me add ups that were not needed !! First and last time renting with this company.
Warning! Thrifty car at Tocumen is a scam! Rent somewhere else...
We were renting a 4x4 jeep for 3 weeks at Thrifty car rental at Tocumen int. airport, and when we returned it this really unpleasant dude (Miguel) stated that "the car was a mess" (which it wasn't), and that we needed to pay USD 150 for a car wash. This wasn't anything they'd informed us about when collecting the car, nor could they show us were it said so in the contract we'd signed.
We argued with them for a good 45 minutes and they finally agreed to return our deposit since they couldn’t prove that they had a clause about the demand to wash the car before returning it. Three days later when I checked my account back in Sweden I found out that douchebags at Thrifty cars had charged me USD 150 anyways...
I contacted my credit card company and asked them to dispute the transaction since there was no agreement. Thrifty tried to redo the transaction a couple of times but four month later we won this battle and the money was returned to us.
So my advice is: get a written document/receipt that they will return the deposit, then the whole appeal with your credit card company will run more smoothly,,, or DON'T rent from Thrifty cars.