Category: Consumer Alerts

Travel “Rip-Offs” Or “Fair Deals”?

Travel “Rip-Offs” Or “Fair Deals”?

Q: Is “less” ever “more” when it comes to travel expenses?

A: Sometimes, and you aren’t going to be happy when it happens to you.

“You need to let us have your car for at least three days” the owner of the auto repair shop that I’ve used for years told me.

(Blue Mountain Local Studies Flickr Photo)

Aside from the repair bill estimate, which wasn’t good news, being without a car for that length of time meant I’d be under “house arrest” for half a week or more.

So to prevent myself from contracting “cabin fever” I arranged to rent a car for five days.

And that’s when I got good news: I’d get the discounted weekly rate from the car rental company even though I wouldn’t have the car for seven consecutive days.

Then came more good news: The shop finished the work on my car in a day and a half, so I walked two blocks to a bus stop, rode to the local transit hub, changed buses, and picked up my car at mid-afternoon.

But I got not unexpected bad news when I returned the rental car less than 48 hours after I had drove off in it: I wasn’t entitled to that weekly rate ($35/day) because I brought the car back too soon. So I had to pay the daily rate of $70! The good news is that I did end up paying $20 or so less than if I had used the car for the full five days as I had originally requested.

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