Advice on AVIS/Viking Bill for Flat Tire

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
Aug 3, 2016
4
9
39
I have ready through Michael's previous post about his damage claim and am a little unsure how to start my new hobby (I am expecting months) of getting my issue resolved.

My husband and I rented a car out of MYR for a week. We have never had any issues in the past so of course declined all coverage, no photos taken nor any pre-inspection done on the car. We drive to Charleston, SC our true destination. Wake up the next morning and find a flat tire. With no idea what to do in this situation (no jack no spare) we call the Emergency Roadside assistance line and eventually someone comes out to take our car away and replace it with a new rental. I ask during the phone call if this will be an extra charge and I was reassured no. Did I get a name of the person I talked to, no. Did I take pictures, no. So we get our new AVIS car no problems, drive back to MYR and drop it off a week later.

Two or so weeks later I get a letter in the mail noting that there is a charge for Emergency Roadside Assitance to the tune of somewhere around 80.00 and this will be charged to the card on file for my reservation. I was a little annoyed but figured no surprise here since I declined the extra coverage. So no fight from me, I let them charge my card.

THEN, I get the Viking letter. Vague letter, similar to other posts, stating the vehicle incurred 400 or so dollars of damage in my possession and I am responsible for this charge per my rental contract.

Sooo, it is true that damage did occur while in my possession, but I am somewhat suspicious of this being a scam too based on others reports here in this forum. Although, since when does a tire cost 400.00? The rims were not damage because it happened overnight and the car was not driven.

So, should I try and go the route about getting a breakdown from AVIS of the so called damages via certified letter then work myself up the chain? Or should I go straight to the insurance company first (which will ultimately result in me paying the amount secondary to my deductible) though I am much more happy to pay the insurance company over AVIS?

Please advise if you can. Any input appreciated.
 

Carrie Livingston

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Jan 6, 2015
1,661
2,125
48
St Louis
There is a thread on this site (link below) detailing out how to deal with a car rental claim. The first post is from Neil, one of the staff advocates. He has provided you with everything you need to do right now. He also provides a link to the company contacts.

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

When contacting the company, make sure that everything is handled in writing so you have documentation. Also do not write all the contacts at once. Start from the lowest level, wait a week, then proceed to the next level, and so on. When writing to the contacts, try to be as concise as possible and maybe even use bullet points so it can easily be read and then either dealt with or passed on to the person who should deal with it.

Another thought, if you used a credit card to pay for the rental, you might have covered provided through the credit card company. It's worth a check! :)

If you would like, you could post the letter here and let others review it for you. Good luck getting this solved.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AAGK

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
2,098
4,343
@KirstenD8 can you clarify that the damage detailed in the letter from Viking is related only to the flat tire or are they trying to collect on some other damage elsewhere to the rental? The more detail you can gain from them, the more helpful it will be to you. As @Neil stated, find out what the breakdown costs are, this could help you immensely in determining your liability.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AAGK
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,904
New York
This is annoying. I'm so sorry. Who is Viking? If Avis wants to charge then the company should at least have the same name. That letter would have ended up in my trash. Have you tried to ascertain who Viking is?
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,133
29,491
New York
www.promalvacations.com
My wife just got back from a conference where she rented a car. She said when she rented, the first thing she showed the rental agent was her insurance card to decline their insurance and he went on to decline her on everything, including roadside assistance and tire coverage. She said she prayed the whole time that she didn't get a flat tire cause she knew she might be in the position this writer is in.

Maybe we need to add to our tips about adding tire coverage because we are starting to see a few of these issues with flat tires now. I find it utterly ridiculous that a flat tire can cost $400. Our writer must see a breakdown if what is in that $400.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,925
4,037
@AAGK - Viking is the Collection agency Avis turns their Bogus damage claims over to for collection. We gets lots of reports about these very unpleasant people.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
2,098
4,343
My wife just got back from a conference where she rented a car. She said when she rented, the first thing she showed the rental agent was her insurance card to decline their insurance and he went on to decline her on everything, including roadside assistance and tire coverage. She said she prayed the whole time that she didn't get a flat tire cause she knew she might be in the position this writer is in.

Maybe we need to add to our tips about adding tire coverage because we are starting to see a few of these issues with flat tires now. I find it utterly ridiculous that a flat tire can cost $400. Our writer must see a breakdown if what is in that $400.

@Neil, I completely agree that adding the flat tire issue should be added to your tip list. I haven't rented a car for quite awhile now but so far what I have learned here is that rentals do not have spares so you have to call roadside assistance and that the contract holds the renter accountable for any tire damage/repair. If a new tire has to be purchased, it would not be cheap!
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
1,097
1,811
48
@KirstenD8 Last tire I bought was almost $400 mounted so the cost doesn't seem extreme to me. In my case, it was a vehicle specific tire so I could either pay the OEM price or replace the other 3 tires (balance and handling issues otherwise). This could be the case for your rental.

Unlike some other cases, they actually had to replace the tire (or repair it) so they should be able to show you an actual paid invoice for the repair.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sas80

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,925
4,037
Twice I've dealt will flat tires in a rental and neither had a spare. I have AAA and both times I call AAA and got it fixed for free (covered under AAA benefit). Another time I pulled into Les Schwab tires and they fixed a slow leak. Because these things happened in the US an easy fix was available. Would be a totally different story out of the country.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neil Maley

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
2,098
4,343
Twice I've dealt will flat tires in a rental and neither had a spare. I have AAA and both times I call AAA and got it fixed for free (covered under AAA benefit). Another time I pulled into Les Schwab tires and they fixed a slow leak. Because these things happened in the US an easy fix was available. Would be a totally different story out of the country.

I was curious if AAA would handle a rental.....now I know! Would it matter if you are outside "your" area?
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,925
4,037
Can't imagine why it would matter though the subject never came up. The Hawaii flat involved needing a tow and that was a AAA benefit too. Needed to tow it so the rim did not get damaged. Love AAA they get me into my car or house when locked out, jump dead batteries, fix tires and I think I get one or two tows a year ( only used that once on a rental). And I'm pretty sure I get all this for about $100 bucks a year. For me this is priceless as I seem to lock myself out and have dead batteries often ;)

PS I never NEVER told Budget about any of those tire issues as I don't trust those folks!
 
Aug 31, 2015
1,325
2,449
Don't turn around . . . .
@KirstenD8 Last tire I bought was almost $400 mounted so the cost doesn't seem extreme to me. In my case, it was a vehicle specific tire so I could either pay the OEM price or replace the other 3 tires (balance and handling issues otherwise). This could be the case for your rental.

Unlike some other cases, they actually had to replace the tire (or repair it) so they should be able to show you an actual paid invoice for the repair.
1. I doubt seriously ANY rent a car is going to have a suspension requiring matched tires- [unless you rented from the Miami Beach or Beverly Hills locations where they rent exotic cars. And then, CDW is mandatory - so you would not be having this discussion.]

2. If the tire is damaged from abuse - running over rocks and debris at speed, chunking the tread out, etc - then you are responsible for the damage - the value of tire - whats a used tire for a Corrolla worth? They are not entitled to the full value of a new tire - you get credit for the tire tread life they have already used;

3. If the tire is damaged from underinflation - not your problem, - thats poor maintenance;

4. If the tire was nailed - and needs a patch - that can be argued is expected normal wear and tear - and not your responsibility.
 
Last edited:
Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,808
lol, ummmm, no. "Vehicle damage $305.20" lol

dont call, email them and tell you to break that down and send you the invoices that they actually paid that or, if not, the legit estimates for repair
 
  • Like
Reactions: Patina

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,925
4,037
Humm what the heck is the damage from the second letter? I think the $87 bill is totally reasonable, but have they given you any info on what the other billing is about?
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,133
29,491
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Use our thread and ask for EVERYTHING we tell you to ask for. One of those is a full paid bill of what was fixed. Tell them you want a full accounting of how a flat tire caused $396 worth of damage.

Use our thread and again- ask for EVERHTHING
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
2,098
4,343
We have seen so many of these cases recently and one thing seems to be consistent. You will have to ask the rental company or Viking for all the pertinent info (in the thread @Neil is referring to) a few times before they produce any of it or drop the claim. Please don't be intimidated by them when they send you another form letter demanding collection. You have a right to the details. Good luck!