Dollar Thrifty Suspends Kiosk Pilot Program

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. reported Dec. 9 that it will suspend its pilot program relating to the development of self-service kiosks for use by customers in rental transactions. The company expects to record a non-cash pre-tax charge of $4.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2008 to write off all costs relating to the program.

"While we were pleased with some aspects of the pilot program that we implemented in April 2008 at our Houston location, we have concluded that the use of kiosks in the customer service experience reduced our interaction with the customer, detracting from the high level of personal service that our customers have come to expect from us. Additionally, the pilot project did not satisfy our minimum return on invested capital, thus we concluded that continued full-scale development of self-service kiosk was not in our shareholders' best interest," said Scott L. Thompson, president and CEO.

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