Tuesday, 9 August 2016

USA Itinerary (Orlando) Day 11 - A horrible experience with Dollar Car Rental but the day was saved by good shopping at premium outlets

We arrived at Port Canaveral in the morning, had breakfast, and disembarked into sunny Orlando. We took forever to reach the Dollar car rental shop because the shuttle service took 45 minutes to arrive. The lady driving the shuttle bus was friendly and nice, but appeared severely overworked, and we were completely clueless as to why the shuttle bus took 45 minutes to get to Port Canaveral from the Dollar shop which was about a 10 minute drive away.

Anyway when we reached the Dollar car rental shop we were in for a rude shock. The queue was omfg long, we waited for an hour before it was our turn, and found out that they did not have the full size car which we reserved (and paid for) prior to our trip!


Their attitude was horrible, they were completely unapologetic about the screw up, and absolutely flippant about not being able to provide the car we reserved. Offered an extremely small hatchback and told us in no uncertain terms that it was literally take it or leave it. Amazing. If we were going to settle for any shit car that you are going to provide, what was the whole point of reserving and paying for the vehicle before our trip?! It's like making us pay for a scallop and eventually serving us clams and telling us that it was as good as it gets.

Anyhow, so we managed to squeeze all our luggage into the miserable boot of our small hatchback since we desperately wanted to get moving. We asked for the toll-free package (i.e. we paid a flat fee for tolls and need not go through the toll booths and pay separately) and were told it was included, so in the mess and confusion we left, thinking we are finally done with this horrid place. When we arrived back in Singapore, Zg received a rude shock when Dollar billed him for the tolls PLUS a fine for each toll booth we ostensibly skipped.


It was quite a large sum and I was so furious, I think I could have hit the roof. We wrote to them and filed so many complaints but Dollar simply ignored every single one of them. So I checked all the consumer tribunals in Orlando (lawyer instinct) which was no good because we were literally miles away. Thankfully social media has no boundary, and after a handful of posts on Dollar's Facebook page they refunded the amount and we only had to pay for the tolls. At least there was some justice there. And thank god we can write in English. I can totally imagine being forced to swallow the fine if there was no way to communicate anything to Dollar.

So after a rocky start, we went to the Orlando Premium Outlets (Vineland Premium Outlet and Orlando International) for some retail therapy where we scooped up some awesome purchases. If you visit the premium outlets in US, do remember to drop by the information center for a booklet of discount vouchers that give further discounts on top of the good prices. Had Five Guys for dinner which was good, but my heart belongs to Shake Shack!

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4, Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Day 9, Day 10, Day 12Day 13Day 14Day 15

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