Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd – Thrifty Car and Truck Rental – Experiences

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

These include…
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.

Additional Notes

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:

<redacted>@thriftyvic.com.au

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)
  • Brighton.

 

Lawrence Vic Pty Ltd – Thrifty Car and Truck Rental – Experiences

Influenza shot efficacy questioned.

After receiving the flu shot for as long as I remember, the episode last weekend represents perhaps the 4th year in a row that I’ve come down with “Flu like” symptoms. The distinguishing symptoms of Influenza (vs the common cold) as advised my by GP would be Fever (in my case, 39.1°C at the armpit, normally 36.8°C), Chills, Body ache, headaches and stomach upset which I all experienced over a week.

  • The GP mentioned The Flu Vaccine was perhaps not the best match for the current circulating strains this season.
  • The manufacture by way of Fresh eggs have been implicated as a potential issue possibly causing the Vaccine to mutate too much from the targeted strains. (Link)
  • For some certain strains in any given Flu Season, the Vaccine may only be minimally effective. (Link)
  • In terms of efficacy of the Influenza Vaccine in general season by season, the average success rate of clinically confirmed influenza would appear has been placed at roughly 40-50%.
  • There is also the odd paper from studies suggesting that getting the Vaccine every year could blunt immune response for subsequent seasons. (Link)
  • Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there is a section of unspecified “colds” and other respiratory ailments that very closely mimic the flu medical research has yet to uncover.

While I still support the idea of as many people getting the flu shot as possible, (if not for the benefit of one self, but the protection of the collective so to speak), it would behoove manufacturers to actually drastically improve on this vaccine… Admittedly, after 4 years of Flu shot failures, it does get tiring.

This is not a shot against vaccines in general at all, and is specifically about the flu shot only. People who misconstrue this as an Anti Vax article ought to have a clip around the ear

 

Influenza shot efficacy questioned.

Social Media Strike

(Note: I Will still be contactable via phone and SMS)

Larry Sanger, one of the co-founders of Wikipedia, is calling for an Social Media strike for this coming 4th and 5th of July through his personal blog here.

I don’t use the main commercialized social media sites much at all as it is, so the 4th and the 5th of July will just be otherwise a normal day for me. Will probably go one step further and abstain from the Internet completely on 5th Friday 2019 NZST (in an admittedly vain personal individual protest at the direction that us netizens of the world are willfully choosing to take the Internet)

Was going to post the following to the “Freedom From Facebook” Facebook page last month but thought what is the point? (This was before I heard about the so called Social media usage Strike)

Right, time to break out of my mold.

Folks, Facebook’s power will continue to grow unchecked if people keep finding excuses to rely on FB as the primary medium of communication between friends and family. This includes the likes of WhatsApp and Instagram who are also owned by Facebook.

Instead of waiting for the government to break up FB, take the initiative your self by learning about and then establishing your presence on other platfotms (preferably federated / decentralized) such as Mastodon (Twitter Like), PixelFed (Instagram Like), Matrix (Messenger Like). This applies especially so to the more Tech savvy of us.

Suggest don’t delete your Facebook Account, Instead use it against FB and “sign post” people to your new home. In your summary, you could say “This account is no longer actively used, I can be followed at (Site)” and make a single public post explaining why you are no longer active on FB.

You can detail concerns such as…
– Too much power over our lives being increasingly concentrated in the hands of a single For-profit entity who are ultimately unanswerable to their owners, ahead of any wider social concerns and ahead of concerns for their users.
– Ongoing Track record of Facebook’s behaviour as a company.

Having got that off my chest, I will step down from my soap box. Just annoyed, dismayed and bewildered to see my prediction, which was criticized for being overly pessimistic over a decade ago, is now becoming true.

BTW, I see NASDAQ:FB is reaching almost 200 USD a share again. (To the Facebook addicts of the world, thanks for the capital gains)

Social Media Strike