Alamo Damage Charge with NO documents

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Nov 10, 2017
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#1
I rented a car from the Albany airport Alamo in mid-October. Nobody did a walk around with me, this was the first time I've ever rented a car and I didn't think to take a photo. My mistake.


After I returned the car, I received a call from Alamo stating there was damage. They asked me a few questions and said they'd dispute it for me. They quoted me something in the ballpark of 500 bucks, but I've never received an actual letter or bill.

On that phone call, the woman said she'd automatically dispute it for me. Cool, thanks, and we hung up.

Meanwhile... the branch head of Albany sent me an email with undated photos of the car and said he'd "like to chat". Again, I have yet to receive a bill or any actual documentation. I emailed him and requested dated photos but I haven't heard back.

I don't have any idea who I'm dealing with, when this damage occurred, or what the actual bill they're levying at me is - in fact, I have not had one single actual piece of paper float my way.

I'm upset that I'm being taken to task for damage I didn't do, but I'm even MORE frustrated that in the process I'm not actually being assessed in a way I can effectively combat. What gives here? What do I /do/?
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#2
cheer up! the fact that they are being lazy is good news for you.

First things first, let the anxiety of this unknown situation go. The fist goal of these bogus car rental claims is to get you on the defensive. When you are on the defensive you are anxious and reactionary, when you are anxious and reactionary you are more likely to need to / be willing to resolve the drama. This makes you more likely to settle and pay there amount, and they know that.

Secondly, it's convenient that the claim is for under $500. In most cases $500 IS peoples deductibles. They think that, when they price these bogus claims under $500, and they get someone on the defensive, who feels the anxiety and is reactionary, it's going to be much easier/less complicated to get a payout from them.

You did the right thing asking for time/date stamped pictures. Be sure to keep a copy of that email safe. I would wait them out. Most of the time, when they realize they are dealing with someone whom is not going to open tier wallet, but demand documentation, they close the claim.

Always remember to begin your correspondence with "I did not cause damage to the vehicle" or "I deny your claim that I damaged the vehicle". always remember to take the tome and stance that "I didn't damage the vehicle but let's see if I can help determine when the damage occurred" and "I want to help you get to the bottom of this"

Read these pages so you are prepared if they come sniffing around for money again.

http://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/

Be sure to come back and let us know how things are going. We are really good at proofing letters and suggesting letter content and plan of attack.
 
Likes: jsn55
Nov 10, 2017
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#3
Thanks --

I'm pretty ..weirded out by the complete lack of formality here. No bill via the mail at all, just some (seemingly) disconnected phone calls and emails from people who haven't been communicating with each other. Really bizarre and NOT AT ALL the ride I was looking for when I rented a car.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#4
Thanks --

I'm pretty ..weirded out by the complete lack of formality here. No bill via the mail at all, just some (seemingly) disconnected phone calls and emails from people who haven't been communicating with each other. Really bizarre and NOT AT ALL the ride I was looking for when I rented a car.
Yes, it's unfortunate that car rental head come to this.
Just relax. Review the link and get prepared. Keep everything in case you need proof later that they didn't behave professionally. Don't worry, we got your back.
 
Likes: jsn55

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#6
I couldn't possibly add one syllable to the excellent advice my colleagues have given you. Look at it this way: several years ago some accountant figured out that bottom-line revenue could be greatly increased by preying on customers. Why not? The airlines and hotels have been printing money with all their fees and surcharges which goes right to their bottom line ... why not rental cars too? So they just blast these accusations out using some criteria they've made up. They collect enough money from unenlightened people to make the scheme work.

The customers who stand up for themselves and ask intelligent questions are the customers who see these bogus charges dropped.
 
Nov 10, 2017
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#7
Thanks, you guys!

What's the story with receiving all this via email? Is that normal? I would've expected a certified letter of some kind with a bill, so they could prove in court that I received the letter. Emails don't have that.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Sparkle, the fact that we came up with a process for consumers says a lot. This seems to be a new way for car rental companies for fix cars because of their sloppy check in and out practices.

Years ago we never had claims like this when cars were thoroughly checked in and out. Now the process when returning cars is hurry hurry hurry. The kids that check the cars in check two things- mileage and if the tank is full. They don't look for damage.

That's done well after you leave for home. And how well it's documented depends in the employee. Some are thorough, some are not.

This appears to be the case with your car. That chip could have happened five renters before you but whoever inspected the car didn't notice it. Then you return it and someone who is good at their job notices it and bam- you get blamed.

Follow the instructions in the thread to a t. I only recall one or two cases that were not dropped after the consumer followed that thread.
 
Likes: jsn55
Nov 10, 2017
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#10
Roger that.

Right now, my biggest question that I don't think anyone has answered is:

What do I do right NOW? If I haven't received a LETTER, what does that mean? I don't even actually know the $$$ they're asking for. Will I need to actually receive a BILL in the US MAIL for this to matter or are these emails some kind anything?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
12,004
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
How did the last call end? What was the understanding? Knowing this I wouldn't do
anything now.

If this has only been through a phone call, they seem to be feeling you out. If they contact you again tell them again you have a picture of the windshield you took at pick up as proof it was pre-existing and that from now on you will only deal with them via email so you have a written record of your interactions.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,279
6,341
113
San Francisco
#12
Roger that.

Right now, my biggest question that I don't think anyone has answered is:

What do I do right NOW? If I haven't received a LETTER, what does that mean? I don't even actually know the $$$ they're asking for. Will I need to actually receive a BILL in the US MAIL for this to matter or are these emails some kind anything?
What do you do now? NOTHING. They'll either send you a bill or you'll never hear from them again. There's nothing that you can do until there is an actual problem. They've called you to see if you're gullible enough to send them money. Right now, you don't have a problem. Put all this in a little box and set inside a desk drawer; don't give it another thought until there's some real action.
 
Nov 10, 2017
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#13
Here's a pickle:

Alamo has sent NOTHING so far.

I have no real idea, no actual quote, of how much their claiming the damage is. If it's over a certain amount, I'd absolutely have to use my insurance and my credit card offers reimbursement for that deductible.

But.

I have to file with the CC by .. tomorrow.

So ??? What. Do I do.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,279
6,341
113
San Francisco
#14
Here's a pickle:

Alamo has sent NOTHING so far.

I have no real idea, no actual quote, of how much their claiming the damage is. If it's over a certain amount, I'd absolutely have to use my insurance and my credit card offers reimbursement for that deductible.

But.

I have to file with the CC by .. tomorrow.

So ??? What. Do I do.
This is a recording ... you do nothing. You can't file anything with your CC because you don't have anything; you don't know if Alamo is going to act or not.

You should have a nice Thanksgiving weekend, you should come back to us if you ever hear from Alamo. We can help you solve the problem, but you need to have a problem. Right now, you don't have a problem. Happy Turkey Day!
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Nov 10, 2017
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#15
Well, they gave me a reference number -- but again, nothing in the mail, nothing stating the damage amount, just a number and "Damage Recovery" will handle it.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
12,004
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
If they place a charge on your credit card you have a certain time frame to dispute it.
If there is no charge- there is nothing to dispute. The countdown clock starts when and if your card is charged for damage.

How did you receive this new information? By phone, email or letter?
 
Nov 10, 2017
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#18
I haven't seen a charge, but can they just do that? Charge your card without ..telling you?

I received the claim # via email. I have received zero letters, ever.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
12,004
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#19
I haven't seen a charge, but can they just do that? Charge your card without ..telling you?

I received the claim # via email. I have received zero letters, ever.
Yes they can - if you read your contract it most likely tells you that you can be charged for damages.

If you have only received emails and nothing has been charged - don't worry about it. Once something is charged - then you can dispute it. If I were you I would not reply to any more of their emails.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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#20
I'm thinking, if you haven't been charged on your credit card, call your credit card and ask them if there is any way you can prohibit Alamo from charging. let your credit card know that they are attempting to assign bogus damage charges to you and you want to ensure you don't receive a charge.