The following is a copy of a review I posted to Google Reviews regarding a recent car hire experience back in October 2018, with Thrifty Licensee, Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd headquartered out of a Melbourne Suburb called Dandenong…
While I have had several rather positive and smooth car rental experiences with Thrifty (as a brand), A number of irregularities I felt were encountered during the hire in October 2018 with this specific franchisee, Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd while renting out of their Mickelham Rd branch
1) Failing to provide a copy of the agreement (normally provided to you in a Blue Thrifty folio) at the initiation of the hire requiring me to chase this up with the franchisee after returning home to New Zealand. Anecdotally, this did not appear to be an isolated case of forgetfulness.
2) Upon finally obtaining a copy, It was discovered “Recovery Plus Protection” Which I never requested was, I personally feel, deliberately snuck on and buried in middle of the agreement
3) Upon picking up the hire and on presentation of a foreign (NZ) Driver’s license, the agency demanded a physical contact AU address and two (2) AU contact phone numbers. This has never been requested before from any other Thrifty Agency and was not indicated upfront as being required on the Unified AU Thrifty Booking system.
4) Reps should not discourage or otherwise impede hirers from checking over the vehicle themselves prior to driving off. While this may be an isolated incident, this was never experienced with any other car rental Agency (Thrifty or otherwise)
5) I feel there was a clear failure to adequately disclose and detail transaction fees and admin fees both verbally and in writing within legal documentation. When staff mentioned that my credit card will be charged x amount, on both occasions, they failed to mentioned the unavoidable Admin and (their own) CC fee on top.
6) When Querying a number of items with Dandenong HQ thinking these will be easily cleared up, I was instead met with what I feel was rather incomplete + cagey answers, and a defensive attitude as if the rep was trying to hide something. (I hear the staff member in question has since left the organization anyway)
7) To top off the perceived irregularities, when coming to place a review, I discovered the names of known personnel in the employ of Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd against a few of the positive reviews / testimonials on Google and FB (posted without disclosure). This I believe is called “Astroturfing” and I believe sufficiently breaches ACCC guidelines and further reinforces my disappointment with this specific hire experience and of the franchisee’s conduct.
I have been in contact with Thrifty AU Head Office (Kingmill Pty Ltd), who to their credit have been very responsive and receptive, in order to relay my concerns with this Franchisee’s conduct. They have subsequently worked with Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd to gradually remove the offending reviews. They have also advised that they have referred the matters as listed above to their compliance team for ongoing monitoring.
Knowing how difficult and very challenging it can be to run a business, I do not leave negative reviews lightly at all. It would be fair to say however this particular (car hire) experience is probably the most disappointing consumer experience I personally have had with any business I dealt with either side of the Tasman.
Have since continued to rent through other Thrifty agencies without issue.
Was just given this to read… From Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd’s ad on Seek Australia (a job search site), the bold text is their own…
THRIFTY CAR RENTAL
SALES- RESERVATIONS AGENT
FULL TIME – CAREER POSITION
CAR RENTAL EXPERIENCE PREFERRED BUT NOT ESSENTIAL
CALL CENTRE EXPERIENCE PREFERRED BUT NOT ESSENTIAL
FULL TRAINING PROVIDED
Do you love a busy, fun and energetic sales environment? We’re on the hunt for outstanding sales agents to join our team. Bring your passion for providing top level sales and customer service to our leading brand.
Thrifty Car Rental is looking for self-motivated and experienced car rental, customer service sales professionals to join its Central Reservations team. Due to expansion and an increase of business, positions are available at our head office located in Dandenong. This role compliments a network of Thrifty locations in Victoria and South Australia.
The successful applicants must be very well presented and have the ability to think on their feet whilst working in a fast paced team environment. You will primarily be responsible for selling Thrifty products and services whilst demonstrating outstanding customer service, and communication skills.
This position would suit individuals with a sales ability to think outside the square and who are totally focused on achieving targets and budgets individually as well as working as part of a team. Must have an eye for detail and have fast accurate typing skills.
Industry training and ongoing support and development will be provided. Thrifty provides a professional company uniform and a great monthly bonus scheme.
These positions will report to the relevant Central reservations Manager and as we are open 7 days a week on a rotating roster will apply.
Apply for this fantastic career opportunity NOW.
Applicants that are successful must provide a Police Check.
Previous applicants need not apply
Please apply in writing to:
Note the key line…
“who are totally focused on achieving targets and budgets”
This I feel may go at least part way to explaining how “Recovery Plus Protection” got snuck on unbeknown to me along with why a physical copy of the agreement was not provided. Can’t help thinking may be the Thrifty Rep serving me may have been under pressure from Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd bosses to meet his monthly sales target and perhaps concealed the issue by conveniently forgetting to hand me a copy of the Agreement (usually otherwise placed in the Glove box of the hire vehicle)
It is also in my view that job ads from other car rental agencies (Thrifty branded or otherwise) on SEEK don’t emphasis the “sales driven” nature of similar front-line rental agency employment openings (being Rental service officer, reservation agents, etc) as vigorously as Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd have I feel.
Needless to say, With the perceived irregularities personally experienced, combined with management of the said agency caught posting fake reviews, I personally won’t be in any hurry to give my custom to Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd again any time soon.
Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd operates many (probably the majority) of the Suburban Thrifty branded locations around the Greater Melbourne Area and in Victoria. As far as I know, the following Thrifty outlets and locations in Melbourne are not operated by Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd…
- Melbourne Airport
- Melbourne City (Central, Spencer St)