Hundreds of consumers accuse car rental company of overcharging - Complaints trigger two lawsuits
May 22, 2013 By Katie LaGrone, CBS NewsChannel 5 WPTV
Frequent rental car users like Dr. Allen Friedman know the drill. “I’ve never had a problem before,” he told the Contact 5 Investigators. Not until he arrived at the rent a car counter during a trip to Denver in 2011.
“They attempted to up-sell me and I was not surprised by that,” he said. Allen says he declined the optional insurance and all the extras, but when he returned the car 9 days later he was taken for a spin when, he says, he was charged $215 for insurance and another $53 for roadside protection. Both options, he says, he declined. “I called Dollar rental right away and told them there must be some mistake,” said Allen. Allen claims Dollar refused to remove the fees that doubled his bill. Allen, who lives on Florida’s west coast, didn’t complain to the state, but the Contact 5 Investigators found plenty who did.
Since 2011, more than 180 consumers have filed complaints with the state Attorney General’s Office about Dollar Rent a Car or Thrifty, which are owned by the same company. Most of the complaints involved optional insurance charges and fees for unpaid tolls. Another 42 complaints were filed against Budget and Avis rental cars. The Florida Attorney General’s office is now investigating the companies.
Read more from CBS NewsChannel 5 WPTV
ConsumerWatch: Customers Complaining Of Rental Car “Up Sales”
More from CBS 8 KPIX San Francisco Bay Area
Action 9 uncovers state investigation of rental cars – WFTV.com 9
May 15, 2013 WFTV.com 9
ORLANDO, Fla. — Hundreds of customers claim a big rental car company hit them with insurance charges they didn’t want. So many consumers complained, the state attorney general now wants answers.
Dr. Allen Friedman said he always refuses rental car insurance because he’s already covered. So what happened at Dollar Rent a Car left him ready for a fight. ”This is not what I asked for and I will not let it go,” said Friedman.
His final bill included a $215 insurance charge and he said Dollar would not remove it. Friedman said he could not believe it. ”Something just isn’t right here,” he said. Action 9 searched BBB complaints nationwide and checked with the Florida Attorney General to uncover hundreds of consumers who claim the same thing happened to them. Dollar had more complaints than other rental companies. At least 30 of the complaints were from customers at Orlando International Airport, including Daniel Ringleben. ”I will never use them again,” said Ringleben.
Many consumers said Dollar’s electronic tablet was hard to read and they assumed they declined coverage. It’s not just small screens but tiny print. The printout receipt takes very sharp eyesight to see. Jamal Powell had worked at Dollar’s Tampa office handling customer service and says every day angry customers claimed they were burned for extra
fees. ”If you get 40 or 50 customers a week you can’ put it past some employees doing that,” said Powell. Allen Friedman sued Dollar in Colorado, and in Florida the attorney general is investigating the company for unfair and deceptive trade. The company said it could not comment on pending litigation but denies allegations that it sells products customers don’t want and said it will defend itself vigorously.
We had a volunteer rent a Dollar car. She who declined insurance and she was not charged. Most personal car insurance covers rentals. Just check with your agent before you travel.
Read more from WFTV.com 9
Steve Roberts travels a lot for work. In March, the Olathe man flew to Tampa, Fla. After landing, he went to the Thrifty rental counter to pick up the car reserved by his employer. ”I said ‘I don’t want the damage waiver because I am covered by my insurance and by my credit card,’” Roberts recalled telling the Thrifty employee. Before leaving with the car, Roberts said he asked the employee again to make sure he wouldn’t be charged for the extra insurance coverage. Roberts said, “OK this does not include damage waiver, correct?” She said, “No, it does not.”
After the trip, Roberts was surprised to find a $135 charge for loss damage waiver. Roberts said he called Thrifty twice to dispute the charge, but the calls got him nowhere.
A class action lawsuit filed in November against Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group spells out similar stories from other consumers. The lawsuit covers a broad range of renters, including:
- A doctor in Denver was charged by Dollar an extra $215 for insurance coverage
- A senior citizen in California got a bill for $359
- A retired insurance adjuster who handled claims for another rental car company was charged an extra $259
Read more from 41KSHB.com ActionNews
April 8, 2013, By Pete Bigelow | AOL Autos - Dollar Rent A Car has been charging customers for insurance they never intended to buy, a prominent consumer lawyer alleges. At least 100 customers said they verbally declined buying insurance at the rental car counter, but charges for the insurance nonetheless showed up on their final bill, California-based lawyer John Mattes told The New York Times.
Two lawsuits, which may be combined into a class-action case, have been filed against the parent company, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, alleging the company engaged in deceptive business practices. A spokesperson tells The Times the company will “vigorously” defend itself.
Here’s the crux of the problem: In most of the cases, customers say they verbally declined insurance, including the loss-damage waiver. But they signed for their cars on an electronic tablet, on which they couldn’t confirm whether employees actually followed their verbal requests. The first inkling something was amiss came when they returned the cars – and were billed for the coverage.
In other cases, they had agreed to the loss-damage waiver, believing that they were waiving insurance when they were actually accepting the coverage. Sandra McKinnon tells The Times she received a bill for $944, nearly twice what she expected, for the 15-day rental of a Ford Focus. She had been charged $23.95 per day for accepting the loss-damage waiver. “I was instantly furious,” she tells the newspaper. Most of the complaints involve experiences at Dollar Rent A Car, although a few involve cases at Thrifty, which is owned by the same company.
Read the full article from AOL Autos.
Have you ever run into trouble at the rental counter? Are you a victim of Dollar Rent A Car insurance overcharges? Tell your story by completing the Dollar / Thrifty Rent A Car Overcharge Contact Form.
Hundreds of rental car customers complain of high pressure tactics and tricks – ABCActionNews.com
April 27, 2013 By Jackie Callaway TAMPA -
Frequent rental car users like Dr. Allen Friedman know the drill at the counter. He says he’s never had a problem until he arrived at the rent a car counter during a trip to Denver in 2011. Friedman claims he declined the optional insurance and all extras. Nine days later he returned the car and discovered a 215 dollar charge for insurance and another 53 dollars for roadside protection on his bill. But this customer claims Dollar Rent a Car refused to remove the fees that effectively doubled his rental bill.
Read the full article from ABCActionNews.com Watch the ABCActionNews video report below.
Links from ABCActionNews:
- Civil Case: Friedman and Nellis V. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group by ABCActionNews
- Civil Case: McKinnon v Dollar 2d Amend Suit by ABCActionNews
- Read more from ABCActionNews
NOW, if you have been swindled by this or any other car rental scheme, tell us your story … Complete the Dollar Overcharge Contact Form. Don’t let them get away with this!
Lawsuit Claims Overcharges by Dollar Rent A Car
April 24, 2013 By Dana Fowle, FOX 5 I-Team reporter ATLANTA -
It’s time to start booking vacations, and that means renting a car may be a part of your getaway. But before you sign the dotted line, there are some things you should be aware of about renting a car. A lawsuit claims overcharges by Dollar Rent A Car. The confusion is over something called the collision damage waiver. The suit goes on to claim that even though customers state clearly they don’t want the pricey option to have the rental car company cover potential damage, they’re being charged nearly $25 a day anyway. In an email to the I-Team, the company denies those allegations and says they intend to fight them vigorously.
Read more at MyFoxAtlanta.com
Customers claim Dollar Rent A Car charged insurance even though they declined it – ABC10News
April 26, 2013 By Cristin Severance SAN DIEGO -
By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD Published: April 5, 2013
Sandra McKinnon knew the drill after three trips from Oakland, Calif., to Tulsa, Okla., to visit her elderly father. When she went to pick up a rental car, she would have to decide whether to buy the insurance. Before her most recent trip last spring, she learned that she was covered through her personal auto policy and her credit card. So she made sure the Dollar Rent a Car clerk with the friendly, back-home demeanor knew she did not want any coverage. “She went back to her big screen, which I could not see, and she clickety-clickety-clicked,” said Ms. McKinnon, a 66-year-old retired nurse practitioner. Then, as the clerk instructed, Ms. McKinnon signed her name on the electronic tablet.
But 15 days later, when she returned the silver Ford Focus, Ms. McKinnon said she was handed a bill for $944, nearly twice what she expected to pay. She was charged an extra $23.95 a day for the loss damage waiver, an option that isn’t technically insurance, but that generally “waives” the renter’s responsibility for loss or damage to the vehicle.
Dollar Rent A Car Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Allegedly Tricking Consumers into Purchase of Hidden Additional Insurance The information below is presented as a ‘Community Awareness Communication’. Click to view copy of the Dollar Class Action Lawsuit.
- Are you a victim of Dollar Rent A Car insurance overcharges? Tell your story by completing the Dollar / Thrifty Rent A Car Overcharge Contact Form.
- Do you want to join the fight with others to get your money back and stop Dollar Rent A Car from misleading other innocent consumers? Complete and submit the Dollar Rent A Car Victim Declaration.
- Important Notice: To join the fight for refunds for all consumers, you must complete and submit both the Dollar / Thrifty Rent A Car Overcharge Contact Request and Dollar Rent A Car Victim Declaration, either online or by mail to: John Mattes, 666 Garnet Ave #815, San Diego CA 92109.
Consumers have filed a class action suit in Denver, Colorado against Dollar Rent a Car alleging that the company Dollar Rent A Car / Thrifty Car Rental overcharges renters with hidden fees at locations across the country. Consumers state they were tricked into the purchase of unneeded additional insurance after consumers had verbally declined all additional insurance offered by Dollar. If you believe that you may be one of the many victims, please read more and complete the Dollar / Thrifty Rent A Car Overcharge Contact Request below.
The complaint includes examples of how Dollar agents mislead consumers into believing that they had successfully rejected the purchase of additional insurance, when the agent had actually already inserted language indicating acceptance of the additional insurance into a preformatted electronic keypad form that consumers were required to sign in order to rent a vehicle. The suit will further allege that Dollar agents failed to reveal the unauthorized added charges being incurred by the consumers, so as to earn commissions from the sale of the additional unneeded and unwanted insurance. Dollar Rent A Car is one of the nation’s largest auto rental agencies.
John Mattes is currently advocating on behalf of consumers across the country who allege they are being overcharged for insurance after they decline it. Mattes is currently counsel of record in the case of Friedman v. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
- If you aware of others with a similar Dollar Rent A Car deceptive practices experience, please forward a link to this page for their review: DOLLAR RENT A CAR OVERCHARGE INFORMATION.
- If you believe that you may be a victim of Dollar Rent A Car Overcharges, please complete the contact form below.
- Important Notice: To join the fight for refunds for all consumers, you must complete and submit both the Dollar / Thrifty Rent A Car Overcharge Contact Form and Dollar Rent A Car Victim Declaration, either online or by mail to: John Mattes, 666 Garnet Ave #815, San Diego CA 92109.
John Mattes is an attorney and investigative reporter, and has taken a leading role in many important actions on behalf of defrauded consumers. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you information about qualifications and experience. The information contained in this website is for general information only and is not to be considered legal advice nor does it substitute for the advice of an attorney.