San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Can You Help Resolve My Rental Car Money Dispute?

My wife and I visited your beautiful country last year in May. We loved every minute of it. I am writing regarding a problem with Economy Rent-a-Car in Alajuela. To make a long story short, the car rental was broken into three different contracts.

After four weeks, we returned the car and found extra charges on our credit card totaling $269. The agent explained this was a mistake and that the manager would have to correct it. Roughly two months later, they returned about onethird of what was owed to us.

After waiting for the balance, we eventually solicited help from our credit card company, American Express, and after four months, we were informed that we are on our own. I have yet to get a clear explanation of the change in our agreement.

This is not just about the money. It’s about what’s right. If Economy Rent-a-Car returns the balance owed me, I would be happy to donate it to a charitable cause in Costa Rica. Thank you for listening.

Rob Early

Big Bear Lake, California, USA

The Tico Times contacted Economy Rent-a-Car company vice-president Geysa Muñiz, who, upon receiving our call, immediately reviewed the records with her complaint and accounting departments.

After a subsequent phone conversation with Mr. Early, arranged by The Tico Times, she acknowledged a mistake on the part of the employee with whom Mr. Early had dealt, and the two agreed to a further refund of $96.

Mr. Early said he plans to uphold his promise to donate the refunded money to a charitable cause in Costa Rica.

Situations like this one often arise in Costa Rica – sometimes prompted by misunderstandings due to the language barrier, or innocent, or sometimes not so innocent, mistakes.

Anyone who feels they’ve been mistreated by a business in Costa Rica can always turn to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC). The ministry has a consumer defense department that can be contacted at 800-266-7866; more information is available at

Last year, 27,300 people filed complaints with the ministry, and as many as 80% were resolved.


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