The most horrible place I am so unfortunate to have to deal with. I am a businessman from Thailand, but it would be shameful to call this car rental a “business”. If all the questions I posed below in the detailed report are not answered satisfactorily, I will assume that the Dollar employee(s) at LAX stole our belongings right before our eyes, and think they will get away because we are tourists and have no recourse.
I have tried to get the “management’ to take notice of the incident, but I believe they don’t care. All they have to do is to investigate the incident and look at the surveillance footage from cameras around the premise, and they will find the thief(s). However, so far, there seems to be no real action except some pass the buck b.s.
Anyway, for those interested to know what happened, the report below is very long but will shed light into why you should stay away from them.
Customers :-Chalermchai/Pavaree Wongwaiwit
Dollar Express number: 01000953609
Rental contract number: 596024321 out of Dollar LAX
Booking reference number US976821200
Confirmation number: H672341308
Rental period June 8th-25th
Final rented car: Kia Sedona minivan, license plate: CA 7SOM 360
Inglewood Police incident report date 6/18/18, number: 18-41358 Officer Mandujano #1028
•Friday June 8th 11:45am. Customer had to take car out 3 times.
•1st was wrong type of car because it was parked in wrong area
•2nd car was supposedly defective and due for maintenance, but parked as ready for rent.
•While customer was looking for another car, a Dollar employee suddenly drove off the 2nd car with all the belongings still inside.
•Customer ran to stop the car about 70 yds out.
•Another Dollar employee helped carry 4 luggages back to third car.
•In the confusion, one sports bag carrying an expensive Hermes designer bag ($15,000) was left in the backseat of 2nd car.
•Customer went back early next morning, a person named Samantha said the car was sent out for maintenance and couldn’t be located. She needed 2 hours to locate it.
•Customer left phone numbers but never got any call back.
•Evening after reporting loss, we called another employee and she told us they still couldn’t locate where the car was sent to???
•Customer’s son called Samantha on the 11th but she said she located the car on the 8th and looked into the backseat and found nothing. (But that was before we even reported the loss in the 9th!!)
•Customer went back with LAX police and the manager and a man named Tido Sanchez said the car was re-rented out the same afternoon of the 8th to European customer, and they couldn’t be contacted!!!
•With all the conflicting accounts, we suspect there’s a crime committed and believe all the proofs are in the surveillance camera footage and would like an authority to look at the event around the car.
Timelines and details :-
Friday 8th 11:30 am.
After 20 hours flight from Thailand, we arrived at Dollar rent a car and were told to take any car from the parking area on the right side of the lot.
First we put all our luggages (4) and one sports bag (Tommy Hilfiger) containing a brand new Hermes designer handbag costing US$15,000 in a blue Toyota Armada and tried to exit the gate at approximately 11:40 am. However, the guard told us it was a wrong type of car since we rented a minivan, not a SUV. (We didn’t know because it was parked in the minivan area).
We re-parked the SUV and moved all our luggages into the trunk of a Nissan Quest minivan and my wife put the Hilfiger sports bag in the 2nd row back seat. We asked an employee named Yvette how to fold down the 3rd row backseats. When we arrived at the gate, we were told by the guard that the Quest had a sticker on it because “There were too many complaints with the car”, and we had to return it. So we had to bring it back to re-park in the same minivan area.
While we were looking for another minivan, somebody suddenly drove off with the Quest with all our belongings inside. I had to run after the Quest but the driver stopped at another line of parked cars about 70 yards from the minivan area and just walked away.
Yvette saw the incident and helped me carry the 4 luggages from the trunk of the Quest and put them in a Kia Sedona which we finally was allowed to take out. In all that confusion my wife thought we removed all belongings from the Quest, but I didn’t know she put another bag in the second row back seat, so we left the rental place with the bag still inside the Quest.
Later that evening when we arrived at our second home in Westlake Village, my wife realized we left the Hilfiger/handbag in the Quest, but the Dollar office was already closed.
Saturday 9th 7am.
Very early in the morning, we went into the Airport Dollar location and had to wait until 9am for someone from lost and found to come in.
9 am. we met a woman named Samantha who exclaimed “Oh! You are the ones they talked about yesterday”. She told us to wait and went inside the back office to look for the bag. At the moment we were hopeful they had the bag because she knew about us. However, after about 10 minutes she came out empty handed and told us the car had left the lot for maintenance, but they didn’t know where it was because they have 3 possible lots it could have been sent to!!! They needed 2 hours to track it down!
Samantha told us to go to the lost and found website to file a report (which we did immediately), and told us to wait while they track down the Quest. We gave her our 2 US phone numbers and she said she would let us know when they find that car. She went back inside.
We went outside into the lot to try to ascertain that the car was not really still there. We met Yvette again, who was very sympathetic to us, so we asked for her number in case she found out anything. When we came back into the rental office, we saw Samantha just standing outside the back office having coffee with one other employee.
We had to go out of town that Saturday and were waiting to hear from Samantha in what actions they might have taken to locate our bag, but the whole day there was no call from her. However, we got a call from Yvette to ask if we knew the license plate number of the Quest, but we didn’t. We told her Dollar should be able to find out through the surveillance cameras both at the rental area and the gate. She told us they were still looking for the car.
Later that evening I texted Yvette to ask if there was any progress? She texted back that someone named Jeremy spent the whole day looking at the camera and finally found out which minivan it was, but the car was out in possible 3 lots, but they were not sure which one!?
Until Tuesday there was still no call at all from Dollar on what actions they have taken to try to locate the bag. We kept looking at the website to see if our item was listed. One item turned up at Thrifty on the 10th under “handbag/purse”, so on Monday 11th my son who is a better English speaker called the lost and found to see if it could have been ours. He first talked to someone called Stacy, but later transferred to Samantha. My son tried to see if the “handbag/purse” shown up at Thrifty could have been ours? After trying to match the description to the vague detail in their report, Samantha said she would check and call our son back. She never called back until our son called again. Then Samantha said the “handbag/purse” did not match our description, but then told my son that she located the Quest and she personally looked on the back seat and found nothing!!!!!
Wednesday 13th 2pm
We went to the LAX Police department to file a report. The assigned officer tried to help us contact Dollar on the phone, but was transferred everywhere but the actual location. He decided to accompany us to the location, but later found out the area was under Inglewood police’s jurisdiction. So the officer could only help us communicate with the office manager.
Here comes the real twist. We met the shift manager and were told the Quest was re-rented out that Friday 9th afternoon to a “European customer”!! So we asked why we couldn’t take it out? Another man named Tido said our rental period was too long (until 25th), but the European customer’s was shorter so he could take out the Quest. We asked until what day the rental period is, the answer is 22nd!! We asked what time on Friday the car was re-parked and rented out, Tido went into the back and very shortly came out to say 3pm.
We asked how it was possible that the car we couldn’t take out because it was defective and due for maintenance be re-rented out 3 hours later? Mr. Tido said it was the “system” of Dollar which sometimes does that!!!!
Tido said there was no way they could contact the European customer and we had to wait until the 22nd when the car is returned and hopefully that customer would return the bag, otherwise there’s no recourse.
The officer then asked who was responsible for lost and found, Tido said Samantha and she was not in there at the moment. She was working at Thrifty nearby and nobody had the key to the lost and found room! However, a few minutes later Samantha unknowingly walked out from the back office and saw us, but kept walking by!!
Tido was trying to say that Dollar cannot be responsible for lost item in returned cars. However we said our case is totally different. The bag never left the premise and the Quest was still under possession of Dollar. The proof would all be recorded by the surveillance cameras pointing directly at the rental area and the gate. Then we asked how many days the camera footage would be kept, and someone there answered they make and keep copies for everyday.
Thursday 14th 10am.
Samantha called my son, and then me to ask for our rental contract number and said somebody or her would call me again shortly. But we never got any call back and it all went quiet again.
Monday 18th 3 PM.
We contacted Inglewood Police that has jurisdiction over 9150 Aviation Blvd. (Dollar’s address). Officer Mandujano accompanied us and spoke to Sheryl, who later claimed to be the manager, said somebody already went through the footage with the police officer from last time. This was simply not possible because the LAX police officer couldn’t do much because it was out of his jurisdiction and he left with us. However, Sheryl insisted some policeman already spent the whole day going through the camera footage and called Mr. Jeremy. However, Mr. Jeremy said there was no camera footage because the whole security camera system was down and under maintenance!!!
We called Mr. Tido back to speak with us, he said the Nissan Quest was re-parked and rented out to another European customer. He also said somebody already looked at the camera footage and nothing special happened. It was re-parked and driven out by the European. However, he said he already put a notice on that car when it would be returned on June 22nd. to ask if the customer saw that bag.
We have been looking at the list on the lost and found website every day and saw nothing. However, on the 26th, an item was inserted as “bag/purse” but backdated as 23rd. So we thought it was possible that it could have been ours. My son called and Samantha answered, but acted as if she never knew about our lost bag. After our son described the bag as a Tommy Hilfiger sports bag containing a Hermes bag, she said it was not ours, but an Adidas bag.
At the advice of Inglewood police, we filed a small claims suit against Dollar in the hope to subpoena the camera footage because we know all the proof of this suspected theft by Dollar’s employee(s) are in there. We also subpoena Mr. Tutaco Sanchez to appear in court. We also tried to ask for Samantha and Jeremy’s last names to subpoena them, but they refused to give to us and told us to contact Dollar’s legal department.
We tried to contact Corporate Dollar’s legal department. After spending an hour being transferred everywhere but the legal department, we finally got to talk to someone in charge, Ms. Bianca who said they would look into it. However, so far there is no call back from her.
We are now hiring a law firm, Jeff A Mann from Los Angeles to take further legal action against Dollar for gross negligence causing a loss of valuable property because the car never left the premise and still under the possession of Dollar Rent a Car. The loss also happened because a Dollar employee drove off with the car while we didn’t even finish unloading all of our belongings.
1.Why did Yvette text us on Saturday evening that they were still trying to locate the Quest because they didn’t know where it was sent out to since they had 3 other lots for maintenance?
2.Is it really possible a car rental company not knowing where one of their cars is, when it is still in their possession and being sent out to maintenance?
3.Why was a defective car parked as ready for rent?
4.Does Dollar have the “procedural policy” to park a ready for rent, but defective car for customer to choose, but would be told at the gate to return it? What kind of “system” is that?
5.Why did a Dollar employee drive the car off immediately with all our belongings still inside?
6.Do they not have a record of who drove that car when we were trying to find another car? Do they not have record of who drove that car out of the gate and to which lot?
7.However, how could the shift manager say the Quest was re-rented out 3 pm that same day?
8.Why was there absolutely no contact from Dollar if they knew the car was really re-rented out?
9.Why could they rent out the car to another “European” customer, and not to us when our rental period was only 3 days longer? (Was the car purposely quickly rented out to cover up something?)
10.Why did the gate guard say the car had a sticker on it and had to be returned for maintenance because “it had many complaints from the customers”, but why was it parked in the area ready for rental in the first place? And how could it be re-parked ready for rental again 3 hours later? Does it mean Dollar rented out a defective car knowingly?
11.Why wasn’t there a real effort to locate the expensive lost item?
12.Doesn’t Dollar recheck the car before it is ready to be rented out again?
13.In this day and age, how could someone drive the Quest out the lot with an unattended bag in the backseat and not notify someone right away when found? Who would dare to open that bag found near the airport vicinity?
14.If the car was rented out to another “European”, can’t there be a way to contact to ask a gentle question if the bag is still in the car? Don’t people use email, though they may not have a US number?
15.If that was the case, why didn’t they inform us right away that the car was re-rented out after we left? There was absolutely no verbal communication from them at all though they have our numbers.
16.Why did my son have to call again and again when lost and found said they would call back, but never did. My son had to call back every time.
17.How is it possible that Samantha told my son they found the car on the 8th and she personally looked inside and found nothing, before we even reported the loss on the 9th?
18.How could Samantha look into the back of the car when it was already “re-rented” out to another European that same afternoon of the 8th?
19.Why did they tell us Samantha was not working there when she actually was in the back office?
20.How could they not have the key to the lost and found room during office hours on Wednesday 13th?
21.Everything must be recorded by several cameras’ surveillance footage, why can’t they just take a look since they knew the exact time and day? Even if the car was parked in the other line, wouldn’t they see someone carry the bag out by some other cameras nearby?
22.Why did they tell us they spent the whole day looking at the camera footage when they knew the exact time we left? All they had to do was to look at the exit gate camera to find the license plate number of the Quest and just put in the computer to find out where the car was.
23.What was Mr. Jeremy supposedly looking at the whole day when he later said there was no camera footage?
24.Is it possible that a car rental place so near to one of the busiest airports not have a working surveillance system? With thousands of people, some of suspected backgrounds renting cars for whatever reasons, and they say they don’t have the footage? Are they putting customers and general security at risks through their negligence?
25.Why did we get a call from Dollar 6 days later asking for rental contract after the visit with the LAX officer, but no more communication again?
26.Why did Dollar’s employees tell obvious lies to us, their customers in distress?
After we have tried to raise the issue to the police, the court and the corporate office, there has been very feeble attempt to contact us through email that the lost item is not found, and Dollar will continue to monitor for it. Monitor what when we suspect it was stolen from the inside?
We have sent this report to “Customer Care”, but were told that the issue of lost and found is handled locally, and we had to contact the local office manager. How could we contact him/her when all of the people there say they are the manager? And there is an obvious attempt to stonewall us because they think we are tourists and will just go away with no recourse.
With all the conflicting stories we are told, we are convinced there is a crime committed on the LAX Dollar Rent A Car premise. The Hermes Birkin bag is very expensive and holds a sentimental value to us. We demand a thorough investigation by someone of authority looking at the recorded video of the rental area, and the supposed record of the rental to the European. We believe all the proofs of this theft can be discovered in that video, and the rental record and the maintenance record of the surveillance cameras.
We will also take legal actions against Dollar Rent a Car for gross negligence and unacceptable customer care. This is not an ordinary lost and found. The bag was still in a car which was never taken out of the Dollar’s premise and still in possession of Dollar.
Unless all the questions above are answered satisfactorily, we will go with our suspicion that Dollar employee(s) stole our bag. I am a prominent businessman in Thailand and I understand how businesses operate. I am also a reasonable man and was nicely asking the Dollar employees for help. However, the uncaring attitude of every Dollar employee we encountered was absolutely horrible and unacceptable. I will make sure many Thai people will hear about this incident at your company. I will also not rent another car from here ever again.
Anyway, I don’t believe any one at Dollar really cares.
Product or Service Mentioned: Dollar Rent A Car Car Rental.
Reason of review: Suspect theft.
Monetary Loss: $15000.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I didn't like: Customer service, Lost and found service, Customer service at the location.