Damage/Loss Claim With Alamo - Am I doing this right?

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Nov 15, 2017
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#1
I rented a car with Alamo in Late October. The car had mechanical problems, and 2/3 of the way through my trip, I had to turn it in and get a different car, which was later exchanged for a third. Long story, but the car was out of oil and had other problems.

I get a letter from Alamo dated the day I turned the car in, claiming there was damage/loss. No dollar amount, no information, no nothing. Just a form letter and a blank form requesting information for my insurance for a claim.

I Googled, and ended up here. I followed http://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/ and requested specifics: estimates, photos, descriptions of damage, reports, rental agreements, etc etc. I sent it to the email at the bottom of the form letter I was sent.

5 days later I get a voicemail that says "Oh sure, send us your claim information for whoever will handle this for you, and we'll provide the information to them."

Today, I wrote back and politely said I must not have been clear, but that I needed the information personally. I needed to know what was going on with the claim before I could make an informed decision on how to proceed.

With my luck, they will get back to me at the end of the week with another voicemail. But until then, since this forum seems to have a lot of experience with this, am I handling this correctly? I'm being polite, and agreeable to talking to them, but I am being firm I need this info.
 
Likes: Patina

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#3
Did you use our company contacts and write to the Corporate office, not the claim office? A car being out of oil is most certainly not your fault unless the oil indicator light was on when you picked it up.

We advise writing to the Corporate offices, not the local.
Yes, SM, I agree with Neil. Your approach so far has been excellent, but the "claims" people probably have no ability to do anything but hammer you with messages and emails. The executives are the people who can straighten this out. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
 
Nov 15, 2017
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#4
The Alamo "Damage Recovery Unit" are who sent me a letter stating a damage/loss claim had been filed. At the bottom of the letter was an email, which I emailed. The voicemail message was "Hello this is Alamo car rental" and I could talk to "customer contact team" to tell them who I was having handle the claim. So I emailed the same email as before.

At this point, should I use the contacts on http://elliott.org/class/car-rental/ or wait for them to tell me exactly what's wrong with the rental?

As for the out of oil issue, there was no oil light on at any point. We took the car, and about 400 miles into the trip, it claimed stability control problems. We were stopped in traffic, so we didn't worry. The next day, about 300 miles further on, it was claiming engine power reduced, so we pulled over and inspected the car.

That's when we found that it was low on oil (wouldn't register on the dipstick). We were in a location with no phone service, so we drove to the nearest town, purchased oil, put it in, and called Alamo's breakdown service. They weren't super helpful, but did say it was fine to go to the nearest counter to exchange the car. When we went to exchange the car, they marked it out of service to be checked out, and noted the problems on the car, and sent it off.

We stupidly assumed that was all the problems we'd have with that car.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#5
Yes go directly to our company contacts. It sound like you did everything right when you had trouble with the car.

Start with their customer service email. Give them a week to reply, if they don’t help write to the first executive. Repeat weekly.

There is no way you should be held responsible for this- this is a maintenance issue on the location.

We just found out that unless you tell the attendant you are returning a car to that engine light is on- they don’t look. We picked up a car in North Carolina and when we were leaving my wife noticed an engine light on. We pulled the car over to see what the light meant and turned right around a brought it back.

While she went in to get another car, I chatted with the attendant who was a fellow veteran. He marked up the car windows that it needed service and told me they turn these cars around so fast they don’t check the engine lights and don’t know if a light is on unless a client tells them. He told me we did the right thing by bringing it right back.
 
Nov 15, 2017
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#6
Sorry I didn't respond sooner, I have been down with a migraine. Thank you, winter.

It's a bumper. There was a ding in the bumper when we rented the car. They decided to replace the bumper and charge me. I mentioned the ding in the bumper to the person when I checked out, and was told "Oh, it's fine! We had 3 people look over the car before you, so they already saw it. And bnumpers are cheap, so unless it's a scarp bigger than this (waves about the plastic with the silver dollar sized guage) or the bumped is cracked, we don't sweat it."

When I returned the car (when the oil caused problems) I mentioned it to the check out woman there. "Oh yea. bumpers are cheap, so we won't worry about it unless (gave same thing, waved another plastic piece)."

Nothing is noted on my copy of the paperwork, anywhere. So now that I know what's up, do I write customer service and explain I brought it up twice and was told not to worry about it?

I did check what they sent, it's the actual car.
 
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#8
I emailed them the 18th, and never heard back. With the holidays and all that, I forgot about it until I sat down to handle other stuff today. Since I never heard back, I used the email list provided by this site, and contacted customer care. I put a preface to the letter that I emailed and never heard back, and that if they had questions they could email me. Then I pasted the original letter again. We'll see what happens.
 
Likes: VoR61
Nov 15, 2017
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#10
I received an email this weekend that they were escalating the email to their corporate office and upper management.

Tonight, I received an email that they've decided to take care of the costs of the damages. So, it looks like all is resolved.

Thank you all for the help you've given me. I don't think I could have handled it without both the forum, and the post you've made on how to address false claims.
 
Nov 15, 2017
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#12
I'm glad I found the thread, and this forum, before I replied to them. It has been super useful, and now I know where to refer people in case I hear about it happening again/

Thanks again