We visited Florida from 4th August to 20th August this year for our honeymoon and although we had an excellent holiday I must state that my wife and I were bitterly disappointed with Green Motion car rental. We have received superfluous charges, which I will expand upon below, and the experience added unnecessary stress to our trip.
Firstly on arrival to the USA, Green Motion failed to collect us on the pre-agreed transportation service. This was due to various contact numbers all going straight through to voicemail. Subsequently our only option was to get a private taxi to Green Motion direct, costing us $20. During the booking process, the assistant said that we would need to purchase a ‘toll transponder package’ at a cost of $15.99 per day.
For a 16 day vacation, coupled with airport and sales tax this equated to $298.05. This was not presented as a question - in sales terms it was an “assumptive close”. He said “there’s just the $15.99 for toll package”. My wife had to clarify that this was, in fact, per day.
As international travellers we are not fully accustomed with the nuances of the road systems, taxes and toll systems and, as such, we are reliant upon local knowledge and accurate advice provided by the salesperson –though this had never come up before in previous car rental trips in the USA including to Florida. He told us: 1. You can no longer pay cash at the tolls 2. If we went through a toll without paying we would get fined $50 for each offence.
This was implied as a ‘state’ penalty and he did not explain that this was a ‘Green Motion’ fine. The reality is that we could have skipped the toll approximately 6 times to equate to the near $300 we paid for toll-by-plate. 3. The toll fees would change according to how busy the traffic was and that you could easily spend way above $15.99 a day.
I would like to say that this information came readily, but in reality he was vague and my wife had to ask the same question in 4 different ways. We explained that we had been travelling through the USA before and were concerned at the high price of the ‘toll transponder package’. We queried this stating the following reasons: 1. Average toll prices are $0.79 to $5 2.
We were planning on parking the car at a private address for over 5 days and then a further 4 at hotels. 3. We were not staying in Miami itself This was already a tiring conversation having come from a 9 hour flight but my wife tried to explore what American car renters did. He alluded to the SunPass but at no point did he say that this was an option available to us as international travellers.
Finally, my wife said “so what you are saying is that there’s no other option?” and his answer was “no”. It didn’t take us long to discover that: 1. ANYONE can purchase a SunPass for $20 easily from a local store and register the vehicle online regardless of ownership of the vehicle 2. Even if you were reluctant to do that you could set the sat nav to avoid tolls 3.
State fines are only $25 plus the price of the toll and this issue would be negated if we purchased a SunPass 4. We didn’t pass through any tolls where you were not able to pay cash. 5. Your competitors such as Budget/Dollar only charge between $3.99 and $5.99 for toll-by-plate.
We researched online and with friends (both UK/US) who had also rented cars in Florida this summer and NONE of them were led to believe that this was a necessity and certainly they were not charged anything near $15.99 a day. We even tried to call Green Motion to cancel the ‘toll transponder package’ and get a SunPass but again there was no answer. What would have happened if we needed to contact you about a more serious matter like a collision/breakdown? I then became concerned that the additional top-up insurance we had purchased was completed pointless.
To add further stress and inconvenience, in Sarasota we were given a $35 parking fine because the yellow part of the plate on the car was out of date. This required us locating City Hall, queueing and taking more time out of our honeymoon to address this issue that was no fault of ours. I have since emailed Orlando branch direct and tried contacting them on their website on a few occasions. No joy, they just ignore you.
I never wrote a bad review in my life, until now.
Shocking, stay well away... : )
Product or Service Mentioned: Green Motion Car Rental.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $298.
Preferred solution: Price reduction.
I didn't like: Deceitfulness.