Payless Car Rental Gave Girls That Roam a Lesson in Not Skimping on Costs When Renting a Car

By Heather Cassell

So, there we were in Atlanta’s airport at the car rental lobby. It was 8 a.m., all other car rental stations were open for business, except Payless Car Rental (800-PAYLESS or 800-729-5377;, which happened to be our car rental service.

Super G and I called the 1-800 phone number for customer service, but we only got stuck in a voice mail loop. We double checked the car rental paperwork for the time the agent was supposed to be at the desk: 8 a.m. We asked the other agents around the Payless Car Rental booth when they normally saw the representative arrive at the booth and they shrugged their shoulders and couldn’t tell us.

There are few things Super G and I are willing to cut corners on (Why waste good drinking, dining, and entertainment money?) car rentals fall under the “cut corners category” as does much of transportation. However, there is a limit and we just hit it.

Our itinerary was being thrown by this delay and my nervous meter was starting to tick as we had people to meet and places to go for our overnight trip to Savannah, Georgia. The agent was nowhere in sight. So, we sat down and waited and waited and waited for 45-minutes. Finally, at 8:45 a.m. an agent showed up. Super G got the keys to the car as fast as possible after giving the agent a piece of her mind, but the agent didn’t seem to care at all and didn’t even apologize. It wouldn’t be the first time during this trip dealing with Payless Car Rental that we would experience a lack of communication combined with poor customer service.

Our next obstacle was getting our car out of the garage. It was blocked on all sides by other cars. Fortunately, a lady came to move the car in front of us, but then she proceeded to simply sit there. When we asked if she could move the car she said she didn’t have the key and pointed out that we could inch out around her. It was tight on all sides, but given we had no choice and needed to get going we successfully got our rental car out of its box with no help from anyone around us.

Definitely not the warm Southern hospitality we were expecting. Clearly, there is still an air of resentment to Northerners in the Peach State … at least in the Payless Car Rental Company.

Once we were on the road we were fine. The car was clean. It drove smoothly. However, it didn’t get a name. We were too bent out of shape to name her. It was just the car from Payless Car Rental.

We took the car from Atlanta to Savannah and back without incident that is until we attempted communication with Payless Car Rental again. Upon our return trip we ran into traffic. We weren’t going to make our deadline to return the car. I tried calling but got stuck in the voicemail loop again. I called a different number on the paperwork and got a human being, but they weren’t too helpful. They only told me that the agent at the desk would deal with it when we returned the car. No update to our record. No telling us if there were going to be any additional costs. Nothing. It caused much stress and tension between Super G and me to the point that I stopped talking to her. Definitely not worth the nearly $50 spent renting the car for two days.

Once Super G got the car back to the car rental lot she had some choice words with the agent, who once again didn’t care and didn’t apologize. We weren’t charged extra, because we had a grace period window for returning the car. It would have been helpful to have known this when we originally called and it would have relieved a lot of stress.

It could have been much worse than difficulty reaching agents and poor agents’ attitudes. We could have really gotten into a jam with an accident or the car breaking down. That’s when we would have REALLY needed easy access to agents and excellent customer service. Given the reception we received I have a profound sense that we would have really been “shit out of luck” if we got into that type of a jam with Payless Car Rental. It’s not worth it. Needless to say, Super G and I won’t ever use Payless Car Rental ever again because its lack of communication and customer service leaves much to be desired.

If you want to maintain your sanity, have a sense of peace of mind or security, or simply to keep your relationship intact, avoid Payless Car Rental. In spite of it being dirt cheap, you “get what you pay for” which amounted to difficulty contacting the company in the first place, no communication, and agents who simply don’t care about the customer.


Payless Car Rental. 1-800-729-5377 (PAYLESS).



(0 = the worst to 5 = the best)

SERVICE: I wouldn’t recommend Payless Car Rental to my worst enemy. Communication with customers and the employees’ nonchalant attitude toward the customers equals the worst customer service ever.

THE RENTAL COST: $$ = $10 – $30

(Average daily rental cost)

QUALITY OF THE CAR: The car was great. It was clean and drove well.

WORTH THE RIDE?: Not worth the drive

To book your trip to Georgia contact Heather Cassell at Girls That Roam Travel at Travel Advisors of Los Gatos at 408-354-6531at or .

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