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Firefly car rental - literally the worst

Wollongong...
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6 posts
42 reviews
16 helpful votes
Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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My friend and I rented a car from Cancun airport through carrentals.com with Firefly for about $86 for 3 days and it was literally the worst customer experience I've ever had in my life. Pretty sure they would be had for false advertising in Australia. Here is a brief summary of the main issues:

* We waited in the airport for them to pick us up but they did not arrive. The guy from Hurtz felt sorry for us and dropped us off at their office.

* The reservation was in my friend's name but I had paid for the car with my credit card. This became a massive problem.

* They further claimed we needed to pay an extra $100 because I hadn't paid for insurance. I argued that the insurance was included. We asked if they could print out the contract (it took him literally 10 minutes to convince him to do so). The contract showed we had purchased 3rd party but not comprehensive insurance. In small writing down the bottom of the contract it said that comprehensive insurance could be purchased for an extra $100 or otherwise I would have to pay a deposit which matched the price of the car.

* I argued this information was not available until AFTER I had already purchased the policy (the website had said $86 was the total price) and on top of that it was not clear (since it was writing in small writing on the last page). The guy claimed comprehensive insurance wasn't "compulsory" and, hence, didn't need to be displayed until after the purchase. Obviously, who is going to put down a deposit that size?

* The guy argued I should have fully read the policy AFTER I had paid the money and if I wasn't happy with it then cancel straight away (despite the fact that he still admitted there was no guarantee of a refund and they would take no responsibility).

* So they refused to give a refund as they claimed it wasn't their fault since I had brought the policy through carrentals.com. Eventually we felt like we had no choice since we were stuck in Cancun in their office.

* When they brought the car to us it was the wrong car. They claimed it was an "upgrade" and they wanted to give us a better car. This was an obvious lie and was particularly annoying given the fact we had endured an hour lecture on "not reading the policy correctly". Apparently neither had they.

* When they brought us the second car the petrol was not completely full. Again, part of the contract is that the petrol is full when you first get the car.

* Finally, after what seemed like ages they brought us the last car. It was a downgrade to what we had originally asked for but by this time we had had enough and wanted to leave.

* On top of all of this nightmare the man was incredibly rude to us. One of my main issues with him was that even though he had good English was refused to speak it most of the time, choosing to speak to my friend in Spanish instead. I think this was done mostly strategically on his behalf so that he could isolate her and bully her into submission easier.

My honest advice is to never go with this company, especially the one in Cancun airport. For the love of god just spend a little more money and go with a recognised company like Hurtz.

Chapel Hill, NC
Level Contributor
189 posts
123 reviews
41 helpful votes
1. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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First, I'm glad I cancelled my reservation with them. Second, you may not realize it but Firefly is owned by Hertz. It really sucks that tourist have to suffer through this BS. It is absolutely no way to start a vacation. I always rent with Hertz and have never had an issue.

Wollongong...
Level Contributor
6 posts
42 reviews
16 helpful votes
2. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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Yes, definitely a good thing you cancelled your reservation.

We suspected that the parent company that owned Firefly was Hurtz because when we got the key to the car it had a Hurtz key ring. Seriously, these people don't even have their own keys! haha

Edited: 6 years ago
Colo Spgs
Destination Expert
for Cozumel
Level Contributor
33,957 posts
2 reviews
11 helpful votes
3. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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Read about Hertz using the search function.

California
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991 posts
1,613 reviews
978 helpful votes
4. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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I always travel by bus, taxi or on foot in Mexico so would not need to rent a car there, but have rented jeeps in P.V. a few times, with no problem. I do read all the T.A. threads about rental cars, and if I've learned anything, it's DON'T RENT A CAR AT THE AIRPORT. Rent a day later in town. At the airport, they know you're tired and desperate and will take advantage of that!

Chilliwack, Canada
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
Level Contributor
51,835 posts
5. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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Beck: Did you research this company prior to renting?

Who told you insurance was included. And what insurance

Car rentals start at $40 a day and up

Edited: 6 years ago
Cancun
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1,421 posts
22 reviews
25 helpful votes
6. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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Have you returned car and check your Card Statement?? There still "surprises" they convert dollars to very bad exchange to charge you in pesos, so another some 10% up of what expected

Horrible experience with car rentals, when I on business in Mexico City I prefer to move by subway. Few times rented car from $8 per day lured in, ended up $108 per day. If rent in hotel, they also add "service charge", location charge, unknown taxes charge on top of the government charges, obligated insurance, while my Mexican Credit Card covers insurance, no one rent company in Mexico ever accepted it.

Cozumel, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Cozumel, Merida
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58,209 posts
168 reviews
136 helpful votes
7. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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I often traveled on business to Mexico City and probably the only place I would not consider a rental car. Otherwise, I have rented all over Mexico with no problems.

'the first problem I see that the OP had was renting a car through a third party. To me, that is asking for trouble. Always rent direct and never a reason to prepay anything. In my experience , to get a legitimate , well insured rental car at the Cancun airport, you will likely pay no less than 40 dollars a day. And that can be done with honest, reliable companies.

Wollongong...
Level Contributor
6 posts
42 reviews
16 helpful votes
8. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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Yes, I think my friend and I both learnt to rent directly rather than through a third party.

I will say that renting a car for the Yucatán made things a lot easier as we were not staying in town and didn't want to go on massive tour groups.

Vancouversundog - the website page and firefly contract said that third party insurance was included. What was not shown, is that comprehensive insurance is basically compulsory (like I mentioned in my original rant). In Australia (as far as I know), third party insurance is the only one that is compulsory. Regardless, Firefly should have made it clear the total cost of hiring the car - it was incredibly misleading.

Palmer, Alaska...
2 posts
9. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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They are liars, the online agreement means nothing once you get in the Firefly office. Expect to pay more. WE have rented cars a total of 22 months in Mexico and this is my worst experience by far!!!!!!! All Mexican car rentals will screw you, beware!

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
19,250 posts
177 reviews
131 helpful votes
10. Re: Firefly car rental - literally the worst
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<All Mexican car rentals will screw you, beware!>

Interesting statement there. Firefly is a subsidiary of Hertz, so I don't think I'd call them a Mexican car rental agency. As noted by the OP, one of the problems they had was that they used a 3rd party booking agency, rather than booking direct. That throws another layer of complexity into the mix and another way for information to be lost or translated incorrectly. While I have not rented for 22 months in a row, I've rented a handful of time and I was not "screwed" at all, by any of them. As noted above and in other posts, one needs to read the quote and terms closely - some include insurance, some don't. Also, don't go expecting a $10/day rental, all-in.

Edited: 6 years ago
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