Thrifty Car allegedly pushes thrifty tire buy on customer
COMPLAINT: Carolyn Mackenzie, Washington, D.C.
"I rented a car at the Thrifty Car Rental at the Indianapolis airport to drive around the city and on a business trip to Illinois. When I was in Illinois, I noticed the car's front left tire had considerable wear. On my way back to Indianapolis, I noticed a section of the front left tire was worn down to the threads.
"I called Thrifty's roadside assistance, and after being transferred, I spoke to an employee at the Indianapolis airport location. I told them that under no circumstances would I continue to drive the car on the highway. They said they'd look into it and call me back.
"Twenty-five minutes later, they hadn't called back, so I called again. This time, they told me to put on the spare tire, drive the car to a tire dealer and buy a replacement tire. If Thrifty agreed that the tire I was replacing was unsafe, they'd reimburse me for the replacement tire. I asked to speak with a manager, who gave me the same instructions and told me to buy the cheapest tire possible.
"I found a tire dealer, who was appalled at the condition of the tire and told me if it had blown out on the highway, the car would have swerved to the left. Given the speeds and volume of traffic on the interstate, a blowout could have caused a serious accident. The dealer installed a used tire that was the correct size and in excellent condition.
"Two hours later, I was finally able to continue my trip, but I nearly missed my niece's graduation due to the delay. When I returned the car, the manager agreed to reimburse me for the tire I purchased, but chastised me for buying a used tire. I reminded him he specifically told me to buy the cheapest tire possible.
"He said someone must have switched the tire because they would never send a car out like that. I reminded him they did send the car out in that condition. I also asked for a refund for the car rental, but they refused to refund anything more than the replacement tire's cost."
DESIRED RESOLUTION: "I want them to refund the $169 rental fee."
STATUS: Penalty Box