Payless Car Rental

247 ratings (238 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Disappointing
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Don't Use PAYLESS!!!!

Oct 1, 2004 (Updated Jul 25, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:None

Cons:Bait & Switch, . . .

The Bottom Line: Don't rent from Payless, they run a shady business by showing low low rates, . . . but you may pay more in the end.


This was the worst rental car experience of my life. We had a $15.50/day, unlimited mileage, full size car rate reserved direct from the Payless website. When our flight was delayed into Vegas and we showed up 3 hrs late, . . . we were told our reservation has been cancelled, there are no full sized cars, most of the other rental companies are out of cars too, . . . but we can rent you an SUV for $59/day.

No amount of negotiation would get the agent to move. However, before we signed the contract, a full size car was returned, so I asked for that car at the reservation rate. Was told I would have to pay full rate for that car at $48/day, . . . at which time she offered to lower the SUV rate to the $48/day so they would not have to re-write the contract.

Was then told that there was unlimited mileage, but in Nevada only. We were staying on the Nevada, Utah, Arizona border and there was no way I was going to accept that. They then modified the contract to include those states with a 1200 mile limit (which started out at 600 miles). Those living in that area know that the miles add on quick. A single round trip to the Grand Canyon is about 400miles (550 in our case due to wild fire road closure).

Be warned, your reservation means nothing to these people. They use reservations to hook you, . . . then they stick you. Even the fine print they used to 'justify' this is bogus. They quoted their 'hold policy' that says they can cancel the reservation if you do not pick up the car within 2 hours of the reservation time. The only thing their 'hold policy' says is that they can release the car they are holding for your reservation if you do not show up on time. Like they actually hold a car! There were 2 people in the office when we returned the car with reservations and there were no cars for them.

Stick with the well known brands, . . . where the brand name actually is important to them. This was a ~$200 lesson learned, . . . the hard way. BTW – I tried to dispute the charges via the charge card, but was told once I signed the contract I was obligated to pay the contract rate. Still working this angle, but it doesn’t look good.

UPDATE: I should have updated this awhile ago. After submitting more paperwork to my CC company to continue to dispute this charge, . . . I received a multi page letter from the local Payless office explaining how they were correct, and I was wrong. Finally, in the last paragraph of the letter, the said they would refund the disputed charges because of the pressure being applied by my CC provider. So, . . . after about 6 months of work, I eventually did get my overcharged money back on this one.

Although originally my CC provider took the stance that I signed the contract and was obligated to pay, they did agreed with me that Payless did not have a cancellation policy for late arrivals that allowed them to cancel the reservation. They too felt the wording was only a hold policy, and given a full size car became available while I was there, I should have been given that car at the reservation rate. A lot more work than the money returned, . . . but some times principles are more important.


Recommend this product? No


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