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100-000miler

car rental collusion in FLA

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Before my very eyes I witnessed price collusion tonight. I was looking at booking a car, with a flight and hotels, when suddenly the AVIS car rental rates tripled before my eyes. The rates went from $300something per week to $900 per week. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS.

What is also outrageous is that all other car rental firms, eg AVIS, ALamo, Thirfty, Enterprise as well as Expedia etc all colluded in this sudden pricing change at the VERY same time. Some furthermore suddenly claimed their cars were sold out. This is utter BS . They have been caught with their pants down and they will deny it to the ends of the universe but the truth is out.

WHO CAN I WRITE TO ABOUT THIS? DO WE HAVE A TRAVEL OMBUDSMAN.

I am so upset that I am not thinking correctly as this has totally derailed my holiday plans. WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?

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I was looking at an Xmas trip to FLL or MIA. Flights were cheap, car rental was not. I think I was seeing prices of $600+ per week.

I think that if you go off airport in whatever City you're in you will do much better. There are plenty of downtown car rental places in most towns in FL. that are much cheaper, so I've been told by friends who go there regularly.

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I could find no such bargains off airport and I did a lot of searching.

As I said the rates suddenly wented nuts one night last week. Best deal I could find was with Hertz around $500 (watch the taxes and surcharges) or redeeming AE points for 24k for a week. Frige it, I have some many AE to burn by 2013, I have lite the matches already!

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I could find no such bargains off airport and I did a lot of searching.

As I said the rates suddenly wented nuts one night last week. Best deal I could find was with Hertz around $500 (watch the taxes and surcharges) or redeeming AE points for 24k for a week. Frige it, I have some many AE to burn by 2013, I have lite the matches already!

Do you have any corp rate codes? that usually solves the problem. and they never ask for ID.

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I have noticed in the last day or two the rental rates have started coming down, somewhat, but still very high as it is screw the customer season. Avis for a 1 wk intermediate is now $357+ charges = $499. This is down from over $600 as of late last week.

Still I find this outrageous especially in such a large and competitive marketplace as southern Florida.

Me thinks the rental companies, like airlines and hotels, engage in a consumer modelling and I would like to more about this practice/philosophy so if anyone knows it, spill forth.....for example. most people making a trip plan this x weeks in advance, so the airlines,etc screw them as much as possible. The occassional travel will book 2-4 or more months in advance in fear of not getting a seat, a hotel or car. Silly fools they are. More experienced travelers book 2 wks in advance. I am sure you too have noticed this pricing pattern. Of course, if you wait too late you can screw yourself! It is all about availability and availability! Car and hotel often do not have any cancellation penalities.

BUT if you wait till the last minute or week, and are fully flexible, I have found bargains relatively speaking most of the time.

In Jan and Feb I will be trying out this practice to earn status miles with my left over paper certs (which I have always preferred BTW) to the max on some good Mileage Runs.

I remember the good olde days when you could rent a car in FLA for $69 a week, and surcharges was a word not yet conceived or better yet coined!

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We've rented many times in the FLL area the past few years, and the one time I used the off-airport location the base rates for all the classes were the same as at the airport, just the lack of the airport surcharges made it a bit less. However, the choice of vehicles at the downtown location was extremely limited. While we waited for our mid-size car to be returned to the rental location (for over an hour) to get washed, fueled and checked out, the only other alternative that was offered to us was a gas hungry Pathfinder, which we didn't need or want. All the other rentals at the airport (Hertz) had plently of choices, and the discount codes that are available brought the prices down somewhat, although if you're in the high season for Fla., don't expect much choices or discounts. I've usually been able to find good discount codes from the airline's websites, and been able to compare rates among many of the rental companies to find the lowest. Also last year I was able to use the AAA/CAA discounts added to Hertz's own dicount promo at the time to drop their base rate from $38/day to $17/day for the same car at FLL, but that may have been a fluke. Than you add in the $27.99 per day LDW and :roll:

Talk about lack of competitiveness? How about the gas prices in the GTA!!! All the majors go up or down at the same times and exactly the same prices to the tenth of a cent for all their stations. What happened to competition, and those "gas wars" of years ago? BTW, gas in the GTA is going up on Tuesday to $1.13 /L from $1.10.9. Glad I filled up this afternoon.

bj-21.

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Talk about lack of competitiveness? How about the gas prices in the GTA!!! All the majors go up or down at the same times and exactly the same prices to the tenth of a cent for all their stations. What happened to competition, and those "gas wars" of years ago? BTW, gas in the GTA is going up on Tuesday to $1.13 /L from $1.10.9. Glad I filled up this afternoon.

bj-21.

Price-matching DOES NOT EQUAL price-fixing. My son works for a gas retailer, there is no magic or collusion to matching by 0.1 cent. The send spotters out to check the competition and adjust accordingly. Gasoline in Canada is almost 100% price driven with extremely little brand-loyalty; lowest-price wins, so they have to match quickly. The problem in Canada is that most retailers aren't truly independent of the integrated oil giants and operate on extremely thin, if guaranteed margins, if they are on a management contract rather than a true independent dealer (very few).

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My gas station operator has a pair of binoculars behind the desk. If someone says that the dealer down the street is cheaper he walks out to the sidewalk and takes a look. If the price is different he telephones the marketing department right away.

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"...extremely little brand-loyalty; lowest-price wins, so they have to match quickly."

What lowest price? They all go up at the same time. How come some politico in TO can tell the day before it happens, and it's usually reported on television, that the prices will be going up by 2.5 cents the following day in the GTA. And sure enough....! So how does that encourage brand loyalty or any reason to use one brand over the other? They're all the same price, so unless you choose convenience or happen to prefer a certain brand, there's no particular reason to choose one over the other. A few years ago, the spread between the different grades was 2.5/3 cents a litre. Now it's 6/8 cents difference per litre.Since no new refineries have been built in recent years and the refining process is basically the same as years ago, how do they explain the spread widening?

Ever notice that fuel prices usually go up lots faster and in larger increments then when they come down? Yep, that's competition. :roll:

bj-21.

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100,000miler,

Your quote above makes it look like I was the one that said "Price-matching DOES NOT EQUAL price-fixing", when it actually was robshaw.

Whatever it's called, there's no indication of competition when all the majors go up or down almost simultaineously to the exact fraction of a cent. Yesterday in my area of the GTA regular was $1.12.3/L. Last night CP24 said it would be up .4 cents today, and sure enough when we were out this afternoon, all the stations we drove by were $1.12.7. in a four block area, the PetroCan, Shell and Esso were all exactly the same price, as were others miles away.

Didn't mean to take your thread about the car rental prices off topic, as I'm sure you know that this time of year is the highest of the high season time in Fla., other then the times around Easter and spring break. Better to keep checking the airline websites for discount codes for the rentals, as some come up with 25-30% discounts for certain classes and length of rental, and the AAA/CAA discount helps if you're a member. My rental example above was for September in FLL, which is the end of the shoulder season down there.

bj-21.

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