Budget Rent a Car has sent me a false damage claim

  • 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.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Apr 12, 2019
5
1
3
40
#1
I rented a car from Budget in March but ended up not using it. It sat in my parking space until I returned it to the Nashville airport location. I did a face to face handoff at that time. There was no damage to this car when I turned it in. I am 100% sure of this. No damage was noted by the man who checked the car. This was March 22. On April 10 I recieved a phone call from a claims rep at "Viking Billing Service," stating I owe over 1000$ for damages to the rear driver side. I stated at that time that there was no damage to the car when I turned it in and that the car had been parked for the duration of time I had it rented. At this point the claims rep stated, "the damage to the car is consistant with damage that would happen in a parking lot." I agree with her assessment and I believe this damage happened in a parking garage --the rental garage after I turned it in. She of course offered me to no option to contest this and merely acquiesced to send me photos. When I asked about any damage being noted by the attendant at the time I turned it in she stated, "that is not his job." This is crazy and I'm not sure how to proceed. I went to the airport today and took pictures of the concrete supports that proliferate the garage. I also took a photo of the approximate area of where I picked up the car (no supports,) and of the attendents checking over cars being turned in so as to show how obvious seeing any damage would have been when I turned the car in. I also inquired at the Budget desk if there are cameras in the garage and there are. This would certainly show I returned the car in perfect shape if they would pull the tapes. I am including a photo of the damage that was sent to me. Ray Charles could have seen this damage. Am I correct in considering this fraud?
 

Attachments

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
1,420
1,391
113
Maui Hawaii
#4
STOP talking to anyone on the phone. The picture is a typical concrete column sideswipe type damage.
Did you receive a check-in condition paper?
Follow the guidelines below-read all of the instructions before your first email.. Contact Avis/Budget directly via email only.

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.1514/
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/avis-budget/
 
Mar 15, 2018
112
189
43
59
#5
Yes you are correct in considering this fraud. :mad: Unfortunately it's a common tactic of the car rental agencies these days.

The good news is that if you carefully follow the instructions posted above, it's likely you will not have to pay. It's not fair that they do this, but they do and we have no choice but to vigorously fight it.

I'm actually surprised they sent you this photo - I've not heard of too many cases in which they sent photos that actually showed damage. When they send photos at all, they are often blurry and not even distinguishable. But I agree this photo does not prove that it's even the car you drove. And even if they do come up with some photos proving it's that car, you still have a good chance of getting out of it.

In the future, ALWAYS take photos of the car, both before and after you rent it! I take photos of any scratches or dings, even the tiniest ones, when I pick it up. Then I take photos of the car when I drop it off, to show that it has no damage. I leave those photos in my phone for at least a year before I delete them, as they have been known to come back to a renter for a fake damage claim months after the rental occurred.

Good luck!
 
Likes: ginascotton
Mar 15, 2018
112
189
43
59
#7
They did send more pictures and it does appear to be the car. That damage was absolutely not there at turn in however.
Yeah that's significant damage, that would've absolutely been noticed by the guy checking you in. And you have the proof that they DO do walk-arounds...it wasn't a blind drop-off.

Just follow those instructions carefully. Be sure your emails are clear and concise. Leave out any emotion, including anger, as that will not help your case. State clearly that the car was not damaged in your possession, and that it was inspected by their attendant upon drop off. Tell them that you have proof of the attendants at your drop-off point performing vehicle inspections, so if such significant damage was visible it would have been observed and noted at the time of drop-off. Also mention that the damage appears to be due to scraping up against a concrete pillar such as those in the garage where the car would have been taken AFTER you dropped it off, but at no time did YOU drive it in that garage, so this damage must have occurred after drop-off.

Clear, short, concise, emotionless.

Let us know what happens!
 
Apr 12, 2019
5
1
3
40
#9
UPDATE:
I sent my first email to Budget Customer Service. Yesterday I got 2 sort of conflicting responses. Here is the first:

Thank you for contacting Budget Customer Service regarding the letter
that you received from Viking Services. We truly apologize for the
inconvenience that any additional charges may have caused you, we
understand this can be upsetting so we will be more than happy to assist
you.

This request has been forwarded to our Receivable Adjustments team for
investigation. This team will research the matter and advise you of
their findings. Please allow up to 7 business days.

During this time, they may reach out to you for more information or to
ask questions. Please reply in a timely manner so that this matter may
be resolved quickly.

Thanks for choosing Budget, we appreciate your business and hope you
have a great day.


Kind regards,

Kevin Moon
Representative | Email Customer Service
Budget Rent A Car System, Inc.

Here is the second:
Thank you for contacting Budget Customer Service with your inquiry. Sedgwick, The Claims Center and Viking Client Services are authorized representatives for Avis Budget Car Rental primarily in matters of damage claim collections. Please follow the instructions within the letter they have mailed to you. Their direct contact information, mailing address and phone number, are provided in their letter to you. If you no longer have their correspondence you may phone 1-866-446-8376 for assistance.
We apologize for any inconvenience as our Customer Service group is unable to directly assist in these matters. Any questions on this issue should be addressed directly with the processor who sent you the letter.
Sincerely,

Bettina Klamm

Note that Bettina does not have a company header/signature. Both emails show the Budget customer service address. I find this interesting that I got a sort of conflicting response. They were time stamped within 2 hours of one another.
 
Apr 12, 2019
5
1
3
40
#11
Update....I sent an email to the next person up the chain. Silence..... I think Viking tried to call me around April 22 but I did not answer. What do the experts here think might be going on? I read in another thread not to poke the bear. Should I just sit on this and hope I don't hear from them? I would hope what I have submitted is enough to prove I did not damage the car.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
3,460
3,305
113
#12
Update....I sent an email to the next person up the chain. Silence..... I think Viking tried to call me around April 22 but I did not answer. What do the experts here think might be going on? I read in another thread not to poke the bear. Should I just sit on this and hope I don't hear from them? I would hope what I have submitted is enough to prove I did not damage the car.
They have your address. If they want you they can find you.