The West Self Drive - USA

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Guest's review of Tropical Sky www.tropicalsky.co.uk

★★★☆☆

“The West Self Drive - USA”

Written on: 23/09/2013

I have just returned from a USA west coast self drive booked with American Sky.
We had an amazing time and I thought I would offer some feedback for the good, the bad and the really bad:

The Good;
It was booked fairly last minute and although there were a few issues, the team were really good with most elements in helping getting it sorted.

Upon arrival we received a really useful book on the places we were staying, how to get to them (with alternate routes), what to see along the way and points of interest where we were staying. It became our bible! However, it did miss out getting from the last hotel to the airport!

I was really happy with most of the hotels. A couple I really liked were the Crowne Plaza in LA and Sofia hotel in San Diego. The others, all but one, were ideal for what we wanted and always well located.

The Bad:
Hotels were limited in San Fran and I was provided with The Powell Hotel.
I advised I was not happy with it and asked for an alternative. I do not base all my hotel decisions on feedback/review sites but I do gauge an average fair opinion from them. There had been several changes to my booking so we decided to just get it booked and change any other bits after.
I wasn't contacted about that hotel again and I decided to trust their advice.
Big mistake. The reports were accurate as I expected. Probably the rudest and most uninterested staff I've ever experienced.
After requesting to move twice, we stayed put in our very noisy room which looked like a base ball had been thrown through a window (the hole was large but the cracks were at least taped up!) The mould on the shower curtain and hair that was on the tiles and remained on them for a our stay there.
Should have stuck with my instinct and paid more if necessary which I was happy to do... ho hum... least we had the hire car right?!


The EXTREMELY BAD:
The car hire company; Dollar.
I cannot be the first to have complained about this issue.
I cannot understand why American Sky would continue to use the car rental company, Dollar. I can only assume that is how their price was slightly better then the competitors.
I am not usually someone to complain and can usually see a positive in most issues but they were truly awful.
Absolutely no customer service or interest whatsoever.
They kept us waiting for over an hour at the airport (after seeing every other car rental bus go by at least 8 times).
We then stood in a horrendous queue for 1 hour 20 mins.
This is all after an 11hr flight.
They added options to our order without telling us or explaining what they were. When we returned to ask them to be removed we battled for over 30mins.
There was one car left in our range which I was advised should be a focus or similar. It was a fiesta. We were told to pay more if we wanted to upgrade.
We had to return the Fiesta at our first stop in San Diego as the transmission was failing. They informed us to queue in another horrendous looking queue again in 94 degree heat to exchange it! We didn't!

After a few days the Sat Nav broke. We could not get through on the breakdown number or office number. When we returned the car at the end, there was no apology for the inconvenience, just a stroppy guy telling us we should have called at the time to tell them! We politely advised we did and after another 30 min debate got a refund.

Nightmare part of our holiday. We dreaded the risk of breaking down as didn't think we would be able to contact them and dreaded returning the car more!


My advice... pay the extra few £ and go with a reliable trustworthy car hire company! The trip would have been amazing then!


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