When Matt Ginsberg found an undisclosed dropoff fee on his National rental car bill a few years ago, he disputed the charge on his credit card. It worked. His credit card company sided with him. Case closed. Or was it?
About a year and a half later, I walked up to a National counter to pick up a car I had reserved through an online travel agency. I was told that I had been blacklisted and that National wouldn’t rent to me any more.
This was quite a problem — I was in St. Louis for a business meeting and needed to get to it. I wound up renting from Hertz at a much higher rate. This happened to me again when I tried to rent from Alamo, since National and Alamo have apparently merged.
How do you get off the list? The best way is to ask. Nicely.
That’s what I suggested to Ginsberg. So he phoned National.
I just called National customer service and was told that on the basis of my driver’s license, I’m still blacklisted.
They said there was no reason in the record, but I don’t think it could be anything else (I have a clean driving record, etc.).
They said that my record included a phone number to call.
Ginsberg tried the number.
I waited on hold for an hour. A representative said that National had moved its headquarters in 2004 (when the original chargeback happened) and that meant that they would let me off.
Totally different from the last time I tried to sort this out with them but hey, it’s fixed. Thanks for your help!
National, and any of the other companies with similar blacklists, are well within their rights to refuse to do business with whomever they choose, of course.
But at a time like this, why would they?