Six reasons not to rent from Thrifty Car Rental in Denver Colorado

A photo of the Thrifty Car Rental parking lot at Denver International Airport on Saturday, June 18th.
Note the lack of rental cars at the rental car agency.

Recently, I was coordinating a trip to Denver Colorado for 14 people. I planned ahead, and reserved rental cars through Travelocity, about a year ahead of our trip. Unfortunately, I went with Thrifty Car Rental, and here’s six reasons I came to regret that.

I’m having to post about experience here because despite me making multiple calls, in-reaches via social media, and filling out their customer survey, I have yet to hear back from Thrifty Car Rental about my experience.

So, if you’re renting a car in Denver, Colorado, and you think you may want to choose Thrifty Car Rental (perhaps it’s the cheapest option on Travelocity), here’s 6 reasons to consider going with a different company instead.

As one of my relatives explained: Yes, Thrifty Car Rental may be cheaper, but if costs you 1-3 hours of your vacation time waiting around for your car to be ready, then it’s not worth it.

1) False promises from 1-800 number and social media: I had reached out to Thrifty on the 1-800 number and via social media before the rental to ask if there was anything I could do to ensure the cars were ready.  I was coordinating 14 people flying into Denver and we counted on the cars being ready, based on the promises from both your Twitter team and the 1-800 number.   Both of them assured me they had noted it in my file, but that clearly wasn’t the case.

2) Cars were more than 90 minutes late: We had reserved two minivans for 12pm. Luckily, I was in the long line at Thrifty by 11:30. Unfortunately, neither car was ready by the time we checked out, and nobody wanted to take responsibility- I heard it was the vendor’s fault for not having the cars cleaned, etc. etc. Then I was told that having a reservation for a set time really didn’t mean anything, and I was lucky to even be getting cars at all. That’s an awfully low bar to set. ūüė¶

3) There is NO local Denver number provided for the Thrifty Car Rental DIA location.  Why not make communication easy for your customers?

4) Oil change adds to delays: After waiting over 90 minutes for the cars, one of them got “flagged” at the exit booth (meaning we could not leave) because apparently it needed an oil change.  Thankfully a manager magically appeared (in the 90 minutes prior to that, I was unable to find any sort of manager who would take responsibility for the situation) and was able to fix this, but it added yet another 20 minute delay to the trip.

5) Desk agent tried to sneak insurance onto our bill: After an extensive conversation with the desk agent we DECLINED any extra insurance. We were very clear about this with him because I remember talking about the fact that both my sister and I have Geico.  So you can imagine my surprise when I looked at the emailed receipt and found that he had tried to add it on.  I don’t know if he is paid on commission for that, but that’s wildly unethical behavior.   Thankfully, I think the manager I spoke with after returning the cars was able to fix the problem.  

6) We also had an “extra driver” fee tacked on for one of the minivans that I had reserved.  I’m not clear how Thrifty thought I’d be able to drive two cars at the same time, so you can imagine that extra charge was also a big surprise to me.

After filling out the customer experience survey from Thrifty Car Rental, I received a one sentence email from a Hertz representative (Hertz owns Thrifty), not addressing any of these issues. I emailed him back, but never heard back.

As a general note to ALL companies. If you’re going to ask for your customer’s time to fill out a survey, it’s good business practice to actually respond to those surveys. And that doesn’t mean sending a 1 sentence response about “sorry, we’ll take this feedback into consideration.”

Have you also had a terrible rental car experience? If I were in Congress, I’d hold hearings on this yesterday. There are horror stories throughout the US of experiences like mine and it’s high time somebody held these companies to account.

Xfinity Customer Service Fails

Are you also an Xfinity customer? I thought I’d share my most recent experience with them.

Our family of four is all at home during the mornings during the pandemic, which can mean four people on zoom calls at any given time.

Last week, our Xfinity internet service was really spotty, prompting me to call Xfinity to find out if there had been service outages, or if there was a problem with our modem/router.

Here’s how that experience went:


Step 1: Try to find Xfinity phone number. It’s not obvious or apparent where it is on the Xfinity website, so I had to google it to find it.

Step 2: Get through to Xfinity’s 1-800 number (here it is, in case you need it: 1-800XFINITY). Xfinity’s system then insists on having me reset my modem, which I tried. Here’s something interesting- Xfinity won’t let you get through to a human being (in their phone system) until after the modem reset has happened and 10 minutes has passed.

Step 3: Finally get through to an Xfinity person. He said he needed to do another sort of reset, but promised he’d call me back afterwards (given challenge I had getting ahold of a human being). He did not call back.

Step 4: Call Xfinity. Next Xfinity rep tells me I should plug an ethernet cable into the modem to try and troubleshoot the problem. Only problem here is that many computers don’t have ethernet ports (luckily my work computer did), and I’d have to guess that in this increasing wireless world, I’m also not the only person to struggle to find an ethernet cord. This representative suggested buying a new router/modem, which I did at Best Buy this afternoon.

Step 5: Set up new Arris modem/router. Xfinity keeps trying to force me to download its app in order to get it going. I finally get it to work by telling the Xfinity website that I’m trying to set up a phone line, and it lets me get past the set-up website.

Step 6: Speak with another Xfinity rep, who tells me I should have bought a DOCSIS 3.1 modem/router (I wish the second rep. had told me that)…After running several speed tests, he suggests that we should still have appointment with an Xfinity representative, so I agree and we schedule an appointment for that weekend.

Saturday (the next day)

I get a phone call from an Xfinity representative, who is now trying to convince me to cancel the appointment. I’m in the middle of something else, so I ask him to call him back. Several hours later, he does, and while he doesn’t want to admit it, his job is clearly to get me to cancel the appointment, so I agree.

I had received an earlier text message, from Xfinity, asking for my feedback, and I’m not making this up, here’s my experience:

First picture is beginning of my text exchange with Xfinity. I have no idea if I was speaking to a real person or a bot.

After receiving the “We’d love to know more!” text, I took the effort to type out 7 ways that I thought Xfinity could have done better with this situation. I received no response for about 5-6 hours.

I’m not making this up. About 5-6 hours later, I get this response from Xfinity, telling me this survey had expired.

So, Xfinity, with the many urgings that I had about “please let us know how we did,” I’m doing that right now. I tried to give you feedback (took time, in fact to do it), and that totally failed.

A few suggestions:

  1. Make it easier to find your phone number on the website.
  2. Think about how many of your customers have ethernet cables and ports – is there another way to test modems/routers?
  3. Don’t ask your customers for feedback and then not have the technology (in this case text messages) to accept it.
  4. Don’t force your customers to do things they don’t want to do (like download your app, or force people to reset their modem, or not allow people to speak with a human being while they wait on the modem reset).

13 Resources For Your San Francisco Nonprofit Job Search

Having just finished a mostly nonprofit job search in the San Francisco Bay Area, I want to pay it forward and share a list of the many email lists and resources that were suggested to me by friends and colleagues or that I stumbled across in my search.

These are mostly focused on the nonprofit world, but a few for profit resources are included too.

Also, one quick suggestion: you may want to start a new email account just for your job search.¬† It makes it easier to not clog up your personal email account and when you’re dedicating time to a job search, also easier if you have an email account that’s only receiving new job emails.

  1. CalNonprofits Job Board (full disclosure: I used to work here). Good resource of nonprofit jobs around the state, and as new ones are posted, you’ll see them on Twitter at #CalNonprofitJobs.
  2. Deciding between for profit, nonprofit, or government work?¬† They all have jobs on Glassdoor.¬† And, if you’re getting further along in the interview process, you may even get to see reviews from current/past employees about the company (though you only get a few “free” views- then the website requires you to share a review about a previous employer).¬† It can be a little annoying to look at a job and then get a follow-up email an hour later asking why you haven’t applied for it yet, but I guess this is “encouragement”?¬† ūüôā
  3. Work for Good (used to be Opportunity Knocks): Strictly nonprofit jobs.
  4. Idealist: Nonprofit jobs, nice ability to customize what sort of jobs you get in your daily email.
  5. ¬†LinkedIn: If there’s particular orgs/companies you’re interested in, see if that company is on LinkedIn, check out the jobs they have listed on LinkedIn (though make sure they’re current), and I believe there’s a functionality where you can let that company know that you’re interested in jobs with them.¬† Also, every time you log-in to LinkedIn, you’ll get a notification (sort of like Facebook) about new opportunities that either match a job search you’ve set up, or if companies you follow have posted new jobs.
  6. craigslist: You can set up alerts to get jobs that match your criteria, like “Communications Director” in San Francisco.
  7. Nonprofit Remote: This handy site lists nonprofit opportunities (jobs) that you can do remotely.
  8. Kimble Group: A search firm.  I like the clean layout of their emails.
  9. Democratic Gain: Looking for more political/advocacy type jobs?  Sign up for this email.
  10. Amanda Ussak Job List. Not sure how I came across this, but lots of roles (including international NGOs).  You can see past issues to get an idea about it and sign up at the bottom of the issue.
  11. David Careers: Also not sure where I found this, and their email formatting could be improved, but also a good option.
  12. Social Enterprise Jobs: A fair number of these job openings aren’t in the Bay Area (they’re international), but some Bay Area jobs.
  13. The Bridgespan Group.  Nicely formatted emails!  Other recruiting firms should take note.

And, also a few temporary firms to check out to keep the $ coming in:

  1. Robert Half International:¬† While I didn’t get any postings through them, I was very impressed with the person I spoke to for my initial intake (over the phone).
  2. McCall Staffing: I worked for them when I first moved to the Bay Area.

I’m likely missing a few- feel free to leave a comment if you have one you’d suggest I add to the list!


Hampton Bay Fans: A Harrowing Home Depot Hassle

Earlier, I wrote about what a hassle it has been to try and take the glass globe off of my Home Depot Hampton Bay Sovana model fan.

A quick update:  Since I could not get the glass cover off (similar to lots and lots of other Home Depot customers who also made the unfortunate decision to buy a Hampton Bay fan), I will now be forced to break the glass in order to replace the light bulb.

I tried calling Hampton Bay last week, was told by a customer service person that they don’t have the part, and the manufacturer would get in touch with me.

Today, I received an email from said Home Depot/Hampton Bay customer care representative, telling me to call a woman named Belinda.  I tried calling Belinda at the number provided, and the operator answered with the name of a random company that was neither Home Depot nor Hampton Bay.

Belinda apparently does work for Home Depot (not sure in what capacity) and was able to help me a little bit by giving me the model number and explaining that the information I received last week was inaccurate.

So, I’m now paying Home Depot $27 for a replacement globe because I’ll have to crack open the glass to get this one off.

Home Depot- this is not a great way to treat your customers.¬† ūüė¶

Keep Your Home California Program is Over

This blog featured a number of posts about the Keep Your Home California program and how its various programs could help homeowners in California who were possibly going to lose their homes.

In case you missed the announcement in August, 2018, the program is over and is no longer accepting applications. (More here)

More than 82,000 Californians benefited from this program.  You can learn more by reading The Economic Impact of Keep Your Home California: A Statewide and Regional Analysis.

Also, quarterly reports about the program are available on its website under the reports and statistics section.

If you’re a homeowner who used the program and have questions, there are still representatives available to answer your questions.

Wells Fargo in the News For Overdraft and Foreclosure Lawsuits and Settlements

Wells Fargo

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Wells Fargo Bank!

On April 4, the LA Times reported that the US Supreme Court declined to hear Wells Fargo’s appeal of a class action lawsuit against the bank that it lost. ¬†After losing this lawsuit, Wells Fargo was ordered to pay $203 million related to overdraft fees it had charged Californians from 2004-2008. ¬†Read more here:¬†Supreme Court upholds verdict against Wells Fargo on overdraft fees in California

Then, on April 8, Courthouse News Service broke the news that the City of Oakland’s lawsuit against the bank can proceed: ¬†Wells Fargo Must Face Oakland’s Lending Suit

And, last Friday, April 8, Wells Fargo agreed to pay the federal government $1.2 billion related to FHA mortgages the bank had underwritten (rather poorly, it turned out). ¬†The irony is especially rich on the heels of a recent Paul Krugman article which suggested that main street banks hadn’t really played a role in the mortgage meltdown. ¬†Or, the Op-Ed from GE’s CEO, lecturing Bernie Sanders about “creating jobs.” ¬†Just don’t remind GE’s CEO about GE’s role in creating the mortgage meltdown with its lender,¬†WMC Mortgage Corp.

David Dayen on CitiGroup’s Late Independent Foreclosure Review Payments

David Dayen has a great new piece (Weak Justice for Wall Street: How a Twisted Double Standard Saved Citigroup Millions) on CitiGroup failing to pay $20 million under the Independent Foreclosure Review:

Did Citigroup have to pay interest or make a late fee on two years‚Äô of missed payments? No. Was its credit rating affected? No. Did it have a lien placed on its headquarters or bank branches, as would many debtors who failed to pay? No. Did the OCC call them in the middle of the night and threaten to garnish their tax refund? No. Were they in any way treated the way ‚Äúdeadbeat borrowers‚ÄĚ are in this country? Nah. In fact, they got to use that $20 million for two years, and profit from it, without punishment.

Read the whole article here: Weak Justice for Wall Street: How a Twisted Double Standard Saved Citigroup Millions

New Announcement About Uncashed Checks for Independent Foreclosure Review

Just the messenger folks, contact Rust Consulting for more information:

Joint Press Release

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
For release at 1:00 p.m. EDT
February 18, 2015

Agencies Announce Reissuance of Checks Related to the Independent Foreclosure Review

Replacement checks are being mailed this week to borrowers eligible for payment under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreements and who have not yetcashed or deposited their check, the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced Wednesday. The checks are being sent by the paying agent, Rust Consulting, Inc., to replaceuncashed checks that have now expired.Agreements reached in January 2013 between federal bank regulatory agencies and 13 mortgage servicers provided $3.6 billion in cash payments to borrowers whose homes were in any stage of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010. The mortgages were serviced by one of the following 13 companies, their affiliates, or subsidiaries: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. The payments ranged from several hundred dollars to $125,000 plus lost equity.

Beginning in April 2013, payments were mailed to all of the nearly 4.2 million in-scope borrowers of these servicers. As of January 2015, more than 3.4 million of these checks, totaling more than $3.1 billion, had been cashed or deposited. This represents approximately 87 percent of the total amount of funds these servicers were required to pay.

Nearly 600,000 checks mailed to borrowers of these 13 servicers remain outstanding, and have now expired. As part of the agencies’ ongoing efforts to reach these borrowers, the paying agent was directed to conduct additional searches of updated addresses. The current mailing represents the third attempt directed by the agencies to provide checks to in-scope borrowers. Borrowers who have already cashed or deposited their checks will not receive additional payment. Borrowers must cash or deposit the replacement checks within 90 days of the issue date or the check will be void.

After January 2013, similar agreements were reached with federal bank regulatory agencies that provided cash payments to borrowers whose homes were in any stage of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010 and whose mortgages were serviced by GMAC Mortgage and EverBank. As of year-end 2014, payments were mailed to all of the in-scope borrowers of these two servicers. Replacement checks for borrowers of GMAC Mortgage who have not yet cashed or deposited their checks are expected to be mailed by Rust Consulting, Inc., by May 2015.

Borrowers whose mortgages were serviced by one of the 13 servicers that entered into agreements in January 2013 or by GMAC Mortgage should call Rust Consulting, Inc. with questions at 888-952-9105, Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. EST or Saturday between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. EST. Borrowers who had a mortgage serviced by EverBank should contact the paying agent for that agreement, Epiq Systems, with questions at 877-819-9754.

Are you a former IndyMac, OneWest, or Financial Freedom customer living in Los Angeles?

Marketplace: IndyMac backdating helped downfall

Marketplace: IndyMac backdating helped downfall


If your mortgage was originated by Financial Freedom or IndyMac, or if your mortgage was serviced by OneWest Bank, then we have an important announcement to share with you.

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced they would hold a public hearing on the proposed merger of OneWest with CIT Group.

If you had an experience with OneWest Bank that was less stellar, you should consider sharing your experience with the Federal Reserve and OCC.  As part of the public hearing announcement, the regulators also announced they were extending the public comment period on the merger until February 26, 2015.

Better yet, if you’re in Los Angeles, consider attending the public hearing. ¬†If you’re not speaking, you can just show up. ¬†But, if you’d like to speak, you need to tell the regulators and information on how to do that is listed below.

If you are in Los Angeles and would like to weigh in on the merger, there is a public hearing being held on February 26th.  All persons wishing to testify at the public meeting must submit a written request no later than 5:00 p.m. PST on February 20, 2015. A request to testify may be sent by mail to: Scott Turner, Vice President, Community Engagement, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 101 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94105; by e-mail to:; or by facsimile: 415-977-4011.

If you can’t make the hearing, but want to share your views, you can send an email to:¬† and¬† ¬†If you have personal experiences with OneWest Bank, CIT Group, or Financial Freedom, it is probably a good idea to mention that in your email.

If you’d like to learn more about this proposed merger, you may want to go to the California Reinvestment Coalition’s website, they have an entire page dedicated to this merger and it outlines the more troubling aspects. ¬†Proposed Merger of CIT Group and OneWest Bank Resource Page.¬†

New Presentation Explains Why Organizations and People Across the US Oppose the OneWest and CIT Group Merger

Did you have a mortgage from IndyMac Bank, OneWest Bank, or a reverse mortgage from Financial Freedom? Federal bank regulators are holding a public hearing about a proposed merger of CIT Group and OneWest Bank. If you’ve had negative experiences with OneWest or Financial Freedom, you may want to take a look at this blog post and consider emailing the Federal Reserve and OCC so they have an accurate picture of OneWest’s servicing practices.