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Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

Old Feb 12th 2020, 8:39 am
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Default Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

Hi

I've posted on cheap car rental several times before, if interested please search my posts, as they are too long to rewrite, with lots of information. I'm no good at searching

I just booked our next rental and got one of the best deals ever.

However I had a slightly 'bitter-sweet' experience. 'Sweet' deal .... but..

I recently upgraded my Firefox browser. Along with the upgrade was an information notice. I hate the fact that we have little or no privacy on the net, with eg cookies etc. In fact I set up private browsing as standard and use VPN to try and limit this abuse of privacy. Not sure if it does anything though!.

Anyway Mozilla Firefox mention that technology is used to profile us all and.... Even.... Give info to companies as to our personal buying behaviour, meaning ... Wait for it... Potentially a different price for the SAME thing with different buyers! I wish I'd kept the link address to share with you.

I was gobsmacked! Then I went to book a car having done the research a few days before, only to find the deal had gone! Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it appears that the system remembered my previous searches and dates etc. With less time before arrival, then tweaked the price! In the meantime I had booked the flight tickets so was committed, and then tried to get the rental.

I use a PC, tablet and 'smart'phone. I am slow and not good with the phone keyboard, and also l don't like leaving credit card details on it. So I hadn't searched car deals on it. It was on the phone that I finally got the earlier deal, so booked it there. The PC and tablet didn't have it!!

So though it might be more time-consuming - here are a few additional tips, based on my personal experience.

Firstly,. If you get a great deal early on, even before booking flight tickets, Book it, AS LONG AS there is a FREE cancellation policy. (Normally up to 48 hrs before, but CHECK this!). If checking around keep the 'good deal window' open and search other deals on another window.

You can change and tweak the deal later.

A reminder, with this cancellation policy in place, always check a few days before flying to see if there's a new better price .. you can rebook / cancel. I've saved €'s before with this.

Delete cookies after each session... and/or do private browsing. Who knows it may just work!! (BTW even though I try and protect privacy, for example Google will send me an email reminding me to check in for flights, even though the airline does it. So they know everything!)

If you have several devices, try them. Likewise if you have another browser.

If you have a VPN try changing country. The UK, Belgium and Netherlands seem good (so far - I haven't tried all). Different countries may have different options, I've found.

I got a month's rental, basic car with AC, Additional driver, Transponder, Spain entry all-in €6.50 per day!

However, whilst price is important if you have had a good service with a company, use them even for a bit more €'s. They have details on file so booking is smoother. If they recognise you, some seem more friendly, I've been let off a scratch or two before. I couldn't get this deal with them however. But there was a slightly cheaper price with a company I don't know, so went with one I do.

Hope this helps - happy hunting!

Jon

PS Next Mondays BBC Panorama has a programme about big companies like Amazon knowing all. I'm recording it.

Last edited by Jon-Bxl; Feb 12th 2020 at 8:45 am.
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 11:59 am
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Default Re: Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

I have noticed the same with accommodation booking websites. I get a much cheaper deal the earlier I book. Suddenly prices go up the night before or day of booking
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 5:14 pm
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Default Re: Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

Always clear your cookies. Websites you visit usually ask you if they can download cookies to your pc . So when you revisit they know what you searched for previously and "tailor" their response to your search using the info on the cookie already on your pc . I'm sure they don't use this info to bump up the price the second time , but clear them all the same .
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Old Feb 12th 2020, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

Concerning Car Rental and the Spain surplus, I stay with LC Rent . I have had it with the big players at Faro airport and the whole broker firms ( cardel mar etc,,,)
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Old Feb 13th 2020, 11:09 am
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Default Re: Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

Originally Posted by shirley and anthony hide View Post
Always clear your cookies. Websites you visit usually ask you if they can download cookies to your pc . So when you revisit they know what you searched for previously and "tailor" their response to your search using the info on the cookie already on your pc . I'm sure they don't use this info to bump up the price the second time , but clear them all the same .
I always use private browsing, which I think clears all cookies on closing the 'window'.

I often also do it manually, but there are never many cookies registered. However I'm not sure if there aren't other back door methods... Like trusted credentials for example.

I got VPN also got further privacy but again 'the powers that be' are always steps ahead!

It's a mess...

But I got a great deal... silver linings!

Jon
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 6:07 am
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Default Re: Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

There is an air travel forum on Trip Advisor. If you mention about the cookies and differing prices for flights, you will get jumped on. I do not understand when so many say they have noticed this, they put it down to the airlines offers, booked classes etc etc and repeatedly say it is a fallacy and not relevant to the changes. A mob mentality.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 7:21 am
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Default Re: Car hire - new 'wrinkle'

Originally Posted by Mark604 View Post
There is an air travel forum on Trip Advisor. If you mention about the cookies and differing prices for flights, you will get jumped on. I do not understand when so many say they have noticed this, they put it down to the airlines offers, booked classes etc etc and repeatedly say it is a fallacy and not relevant to the changes. A mob mentality.
Thanks Mark604, I'm not a huge fan of tripadvisor, or getting loads of mails asking for reviews on anything we've bought or used. In fact I use a separate email address for all this 'marketing'. So it's annoying when I hear this. Unless people are trolling, (itself a big problem) all the posters are doing are relaying real-life experiences, after all. A huge positive!

I bet 'the mob' would quickly change their tune, if they heard that the person they are chatting to got a better price for something paid for on the net!

Again I wish that I'd kept the link from Mozilla confirming 'buyer related pricing'. It caused me to go 'around the houses' in order to get the same great deal I had seen just a few days before. Saving me at least 30% a 3-figure sum over the rental period.

BTW to be fair, there is a TripAdvisor sub site that we have used weekly since the new year. It's called 'TheFork', for restaurants. We've gotten up to 50% discount on the food menu and interestingly tried several new restos. Another silver lining. The internet is not all bad

It's good for restos in the big cities. They have a dedicated app but I use the website. https://m.thefork.com/?cc=15102-e75

In our area there is, for example, a possibility to get 30% off the Parador menu and a Valentine's Day special price menu at the beach club VRSA. I check it most mornings and jump on a good deal. If you are going a tad further out eg Huelva, Faro, Seville etc there are many more choices.

To bring it back on topic, I have proposed some ideas to get around some of these problems when searching for car rentals. I hope it helps.

Jon
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