RENTAL CAR

For these car renters, no luck of the Irish

Ireland.

A lush, beautiful, green emerald island, steeped with history, culture and a few pints. Our couple, Nancy Heiman and her husband, had a great time visiting. Memories of quaint villages, small winding narrow roads, all turned a bit less memorable when they got back to the United States.

Can you guess why such a bountiful trip turned into a bollocksed nightmare?
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Rental car damaged after being cut off by a resort van

When Chuck Berg tried to maneuver his way back to the Le Méridien in Phuket, Thailand, on a recent visit, he ran into a little problem: a rock on the side of the road, which dented the side of his rental car.

Berg thinks Le Méridien should cover the $175 deductible because the accident wouldn’t have happened without an unfortunate series of circumstances to which the resort’s employees contributed.

Today’s “can this trip be saved” case will force us to draw a line between a hotel’s liability and a guest’s personal responsibility. And I should warn you, this is not an easy one.
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“I rented a car in Norfolk, but Hotwire changed the city”

Here’s a common complaint from travelers who book through so-called “opaque” sites like Priceline and Hotwire: A customer who tried to buy a particular flight, hotel or rental car, but ended up with a nonrefundable reservation in the wrong place.

That’s what happened to Michael Robinson when he tried to rent a car in Norfolk, Va., through Hotwire. His experience underscores the importance of making sure you get your itinerary right the first time in this day and age of nonchangeable reservations — especially when you’re dealing with the strict opaque sites.
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Priceline promised to bend the rules, but now it’s backtracking

Rules are rules, but what happens when a travel company promises it will bend them? That’s the question Rebekah Conlon wants to answer. Her rental car, booked through Priceline, was non-refundable and non-changeable, and she knew it.

But just before she arrived in Toronto to pick up the car, she got a troubling call. “A family member had passed away,” she says. “We had to abruptly change our travel plans.”

She continues,

I contacted Priceline within 10 minutes of when we were supposed to pick up the rental car and informed them of the death in the family. They said they would contact me with details about a refund.

Nice of Priceline to agree to bend the rules for her. But when Conlon followed up, Priceline backtracked.
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