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Sixt rental car and damage claim

Discussion in 'Car rentals' started by Clint Pressley, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Clint Pressley

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    I'm glad I found this. I have been dealing with this exact same issue from the exact same location.

    We rented a van for a family Disney vacation and returned it undamaged on 6-24-16. Upon return, a Sixt employee inspected the vehicle thoroughly, and said, in effect, that the car was OK, and we were good to go. There are four adult witnesses in our party who will attest to that. In addition, Sixt emailed us a return receipt on 6-26-16, with no mention of any damage.


    18 days after the return on 7-12-16, we recieved an email from Sixt accusing us of damaging the vehicle. I refuted their claim, and asked for photos. They sent blurry photos taken in the dark, of which the date taken properties had been removed from the photo files.


    157 days after the return on 11-29-16, we received an email from Alternative Claims Management asking for $1680.99 for damages. I again refuted their claim that any damage to the vehicle occurred while it was in our care. I received another email on 3-15-17 asking for $1207.68. It included some new photos taken in the daylight, which looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to the vehicle. It was obvious damage to the hood, which would have immediately been noticed upon the vehicle's return.
     
    #1
  2. JVillegirl541

    Staff Member Advocate

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    Oh my these guys are crooks! Did you take before & after pictures?? Check the credit card you rented with to see if it has rental coverage and get them to blow these guys off!

    "Blurry pictures taken in the dark" unbelievable!
     
    #2
  3. Patina

    Patina Moderator
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    @Clint Pressley Sorry to hear about your troubles with the rental agency. Please use the advice on this thread (http://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/) to dispute the claim, following the instructions to a T. The process will most likely be drawn out but there have been others who have had much success using this method. Keep everything in writing, avoiding any phone conversations. If you must deal with anyone via phone, send them an email immediately following the conversation outlining what was discussed. Please let us know your progress, good luck!
     
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  4. AAGK

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    It makes little to no difference to creditors if your file contains a notation that you dispute the item. It still looks bad. Fortunately, on July 1st, the credit bureaus will no longer report civil judgments or tax liens on credit reports, except under certain circumstances, so it may not matter anyway.

    Maybe Chris could take this case, I'm sorry if this was discussed above.

    http://elliott.org/blog/no-damage-to-rental-car-but-they-called-a-collection-agency-anyway/
     
    #4
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
  5. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    This is why you need to take pictures when you pick up a rental vehicle and again when you drop it off.
     
    #5
  6. Clint Pressley

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    Yep. My dad was with us on this trip, and has rented hundreds of cars in the last 50 years (was a salesman), and never had to worry about stuff like this. It's a new world.
     
    #6
  7. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    It is a new world and even I didn't realize how you have to protect yourself when renting a car until I started advocating here.

    And SIXT is getting to be the number one company we have complaints about this blatant rip off.
     
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  8. sas80

    Staff Member Advocate

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    @Clint I just asked the mods to make you your own thread. In the meantime, google "latches" in terms of the law. Latches basically says that they have to bring timely attention to the issue, otherwise proof degrades. In this case, if they had gotten in touch with you in a timely manner, you could have asked for the video tapes from the day you picked up and dropped the vehicle off.

    Follow the advice listed in the forum that you have been pointed to. Ask for all the pieces of information citing the fact that you didnt cause the damage but want to help them get to the bottom of it. Invite them to sue you. if they sue you they HAVE to prove it, and they cant.

    Big inhale, big exhale, it's probably going to be okay.
     
    #8
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  9. AAGK

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    The word you mean is laches.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
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  10. Clint Pressley

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    I don't have a response from Alternative Claims Management, but I did get a response from my BBB complaint...

    I have reviewed the damage claim along with the customers concern. Upon looking through the file, I see the damage was documented at the time of return. The photos provided show the vehicle had not been moved by any Sixt employee prior to the damage being documented. Please see attached photos. I am also providing the rental agreement which shows no prior damage was ever documented on this vehicle. Based on this information, Sixt is continuing to hold the renter responsible for this damage claim. Should the renter be able to provide information showing this damage was either pre-existing or occurred after their rental period, we would re-evaluate the claim

    No names attached. I responded with a similar email to the one I sent ACM last week, requesting all the documentation you all have suggested.
     
    #10
  11. Realitoes

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    I would not recommend following this advice.

    Asking them to sue you could get you referred to their legal department, which will probably stop communications between you and the company. Also, they don't have to prove you caused the damage, only that the damaged happen while the vehicle was rented by you. You don't have to specifically cause the damage to be responsible.

    Continue to dispute the claim and ask for the information in the thread linked above. Also, because of various time limits, you may want to file with your insurance (including any coverage you have with your credit card) in case you will be required to pay.
     
    #11
  12. sas80

    Staff Member Advocate

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    Actually, @Realitoes , do you remember Joe Farrell? Our resident Lawyer? You must have missed this when he posted it. Here is what he said about the car rental company and any damage they claim you did

    You may sign a contract which contains provision that you are responsible for all damage occurring to the vehicle 'while in your possession,' but how do they prove it happened while in your possession? Unless you admit to doing it - or they have visual evidence to the contrary.

    The terms make you liable - if they can prove it. All of these damage claims are not about the technical contract language - they are about what the claimant can prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence. An absolute contract provision that 'damage is your fault pay up regardless of proof' is called a forfeiture clause and those have never been in enforced in US jurisprudence in consumer contracts.


    If they took the poster to a court of law they would be required to prove that the renter committed the damage. Them saying "well, we saw the issue when the person returned and at that point we took pictures" isn't going to cut it. As well, as a matter of preparing for the case, they would have to turn over all documentation that you are asking for, nothing would be allowed to be held back.

    As fr as the BBB goes, what do the pictures that the rental company sent REALLY look like? Pictures of the same color, make and model car but none with the license plate, or date time stamp ON them? If those pictures dont actually prove the damage didnt exist prior to the rental, then I would reply and tell them that. As far as the sixt employee not moving the vehicle - not pictures can prove that but a copy of the FLEET LOGS would! but they wont give them to you, will they?

    There's a lot more that needs to be pursued in this situation, and I believe the LW is pursuing it. Keep us posted!
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  13. Realitoes

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    In any case, legal opinions are just that - opinions. It doesn't mean they are true or will bear out in court, otherwise, attorneys wouldn't lose cases and and all their criminal clients would really be innocent.
     
    #13
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2017
  14. sas80

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    @Realitoes I'm basing my information off of what I have read @Joe Farrell say over and over again. Many of his posts were copied verbatim and saved. What you read above is an actual quote.

    @Joe Farrell has been awesome in donating his time here at Elliott. He has advised, and empowered, readers to advocate on their own behalf - which is truly what this site is all about.

    Here is the link to his linkedin profile. Moving forward I will ask that you have more respect for his livelihood and contributions to this site.

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/joseph-farrell-98119716/

    Thank you
     
    #14
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
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  15. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Ok let's not argue about this. Clint, have you gone all the way through our contact list and written to each executive?
     
    #15
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  16. Clint Pressley

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    Yes. I sent emails to Vivian Castellat and Konstantin Sixt. I will update once I hear back from Sixt, ACM, or the BBB. Thanks again everyone for the advice...even differing opinions.

    I added to the request of wanting the receipt for the repair to show when it was performed. The estimate they sent was dated October 9 (107 days after I returned it). The damage in the daylight photos they recently sent show a significant dent in the hood. I wouldn't rent a vehicle in that condition for a family vacation. Something fishy is going on.

    I suppose worst case we have to take an unplanned trip to Orlando to fight in small claims court. Never been to Universal Studios! Wonder if I could counter sue for travel expenses for my witnesses? :eek:)
     
    #16
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  17. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Worse comes to worth file a complaint with the Attorney General in your state before that. If everyone kept filing with their AG maybe they would be able to stop this practice. The BBB is useless because they have no power to force a resolution. They are a go between and do nothing but ask for a response for the business.

    Our writers can do more than the BBB. If you have written to all
    Executives and its been over a week, click on the help tab on top, report that you have gone all the way up the chain and nothing and that the moderators here advised to to refile. Then they look and see if they can help.
     
    #17
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  18. Clint Pressley

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    At this point I am going to wait for their response(s). Some of my emails aren't even a week old. The first letter from ACM said that I had the option of reporting this claim to my insurance company, which they can assist with. If this isn't dropped, I am definitely filing a complaint with the Florida Insurance Commissioner, among other things.

    I agree about the BBB. I've been on the other side of a BBB complaint, and they are worthless. People still do check with the BBB, though...maybe doubtful for a car rental. However, people do spend a fair amount of time online researching their Disney vacation, and there are a ton of blogs and forums seeking advice...and my parents (who were with us for this rental) are recently retired and have alot of time on their hands.

    Again, I appreciate everyone's time and advice. What a great website!
     
    #18
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  19. Clint Pressley

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    My letter:

    Dear Mr. Sixt:


    We rented a van for a family Disney vacation and returned it undamaged on 6-24-16. Upon return, a Sixt employee inspected the vehicle thoroughly, and said, in effect, that the car was OK, and we were good to go. There are four adult witnesses in our party who will attest to that. In addition, Sixt emailed us a return receipt on 6-26-16, with no mention of any damage.


    18 days after the return on 7-12-16, we recieved an email from Sixt accusing us of damaging the vehicle. I refuted their claim, and asked for photos. They sent blurry photos taken in the dark, of which the date taken properties had been removed from the photo files.



    157 days after the return on 11-29-16, we received an email from Alternative Claims Management asking for $1680.99 for damages. I again refuted their claim that any damage to the vehicle occurred while it was in our care. I received another email on 3-15-17 asking for $1207.68. It included some new photos taken in the daylight, which looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to the vehicle. It was obvious damage to the hood, which would have immediately been noticed upon the vehicle's return.


    I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and someone unnamed from Sixt responded, indicating that they are continuing to hold me responsible.


    I did not damage Sixt's van. I deny I owe Sixt any money. The pictures just sent to me are inconsistent with the pictures sent to me last week by Alternative Claims Management, and this helps prove that the damage occurred after I returned the vehicle.


    If Sixt believes I am responsible, please provide within 10 days:


    - Time stamped and dated pictures or videos of the damage.


    - The rental agreements from the five people who rented the van after me.


    - A picture of the mileage indicator showing the mileage on the van when the damage was noted.


    - A copy of the incident report.


    - A copy of the fleet utilization log.


    - A copy of the receipt showing when the van was repaired and the cost that was paid for the repair.


    I am requesting this information to prove that I did not cause the damage. There was no damage reported when I returned the van by the Sixt attendant who checked me in. The damage to the hood in the daylight photos is obvious, and would have been brought to his attention immediately, had the damage occurred while the vehicle was in my care. Instead, he said that we were good to go and directed us to the Sixt shuttle.


    Thank you.

    Response today:

    Good morning Mr. Pressley,


    May I introduce myself first of all, my name is Marja-Liisa Obst and I am the assistant of Konstantin Sixt.


    Thank you for taking the time to send us your honest feedback, which is the only way to help us improve our service. We are truly sorry about the negative experiences you had to make, this was not Sixt standard. Every rental with Sixt should be thoroughly a good experience, no matter in which country.


    Mr. Pressley, I would like to forward you to my colleague Karina, cc´ed to this e-mail. She is an expert on the US market and will have a closer look at your case.


    We surely want to convince you as soon as possible of our excellent service, quality and standard and hope to welcome you soon again at one of our Sixt stations.


    Please feel free to contact me any time directly for further questions.


    I wish you a wonderful start into the new week and remain with


    my best regards,

    Marja-Liisa Obst
     
    #19
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  20. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Well that's good- if you don't hear from her in a week, write back to this woman and let her know.
     
    #20

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