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Jul 24, 2016
4
4
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July 23, 2016

On March 22, 2016, my 86 year old husband and I landed in Denver due to family emergency. We are on a fixed income - like most senior citizens. We selected EZ Car Rental due to price. We arrived the EZ Car Rental facility and was assigned a car. It had quite a few scratches and a broken bumper, clearly it was damaged. I pointed this out to the attendant and wrote on the form with arrows and words pointing to the various damages. I went back to the desk and asked for another car. The clerk said there was not one in our price range. If he cared about customer satisfaction he would have happily given us another car.

In a slight panic, due to the family emergency, I started the car up and noticed the indicator light was on for low tire pressure. I got the attendants (2) to assist. I was not happy but we had a crisis on our hands and we had to be in Fort Collins pronto!

We drove the car between two houses: where we were staying in Fort Collins and Wellington CO (less than 15 miles on Interstate 25). It was quiet suburban driving. Nothing could have damaged the already damaged car.

We returned the car on March 28, 2016. I gave the attendant the paperwork and he accepted the car. He did not engage in conversation or walk around the car. He took the keys and left us standing there looking for the shuttle stop. We returned home to deal with the family crisis from afar. It still continues today. Incidentally, now precious time is spent dealing with this fraudulent claim instead of doing other more pressing tasks to help our family. I do not appreciate EZ Car Rental’s harassment.

Tuesday May 24, 2016, 5 weeks after we returned home, we received a bill for $568.86. I was flabbergasted!! I called the telephone number and left a message. I never got a call back. I sent an email and said the claim was ridiculous the car was already damaged. There was no evidence merely a bill for $568.86.

Saturday June 4, 2016 I received another email indicating that the damage was not on the bumper but gas lid and hub cap were broken. However, later paperwork clearly states an inspection date of May 6, 2016 and damage to the bumper! Clearly clerks at EZ Car Rental are confused trumping up false claims and got mixed up.

June 20, 2016, we received photos of the car. That is 84 days after our rental. My understanding is that within 48 hours of receipt of a vehicle, time stamped photos and some sort of damage report is supposed to be sent out. This did not occur. I have never received a copy of the form I filled out either, indicating all the damage with arrows and words.

On June 30, 2016 I sent off a long email stating again the claim was fraudulent and there was no proof we had damaged the car because we did not. Even I know how to alter the date setting on a camera when I take a photos! Time stamped photos weeks after the fact is not evidence. An inspection date of May 6 is 44 days after we returned the car on March 28! How do photos time stamped March 28 happen with an inspection on May 6?

Via email I asked for names of supervisors and/management of the EZ Car Rental company. I had contacted our lawyer. I was told by a clerk that she could not give me any names of anyone which again I find it ridiculous in today’s day and age of consumer protection against companies preying on people, especially senior citizens. I thought companies were required to have contact information posted so a consumer could communicate with more a clerk. Again, like many senior citizens we are on a fixed income. Paying for a lawyer is not in our budget. I am loathe to resort to that and frankly would rather help my family who are in dire need than pay for something we are not responsible for.

I notified the Better Business Bureau of Florida. That started a whole new set of back of forth of me saying “No we are not responsible; this is a fraudulent claim “and various EZ car rental representatives saying “yes you are”. Someone said they uploaded my inspection slip on the BBB site but did not. They uploaded all of my previous correspondence to them. This fraudulent claim is completely ridiculous and needs to stop.

My 86 year husband says we were being harassed and I agreed. He is the most honest and upstanding citizen I know. If we are responsible for something we deal with it. We are not responsible for the damage on this car. As I noted on the form, it was already damaged. EZ Car Rental did not have another car for us. We have been married for 30 years and have traveled for both work and pleasure. We have never dealt with a company that appears to have harassing senior citizen as part of their business model.

All we ask is that EZ Car Rental drop this ridiculous claim. Their latest threat is to send us to collections. We have outstanding credit histories because we are honest and responsible individuals. We do not lie or cheat. We are not responsible for the damage to this car and will not pay. At this point the case is outstanding. All I want is for it to go away and for EZ Car Rental to stop harassing us!
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
26,133
29,491
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Hilary, this has nothing to do with you being a senior citizen. This is a new way for car rental companies to make money. This car company has had multiple complaints about the same scam. If you go through our forums, you will see multiple threads about the same thing.

We even have a thread telling you how to handle these complaints. Read this thread and follow the instructions to a T. Then let us know if they drop the claim. You must insist on getting everything we tell you to.

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

We also have a thread telling you what to do to avoid these claims.

Good luck.
 
Jul 24, 2016
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Neil, Thanks for your help! Will do all you suggested. Have also been reading posts on Reddit and following advice there. We did not even know about this site until a few days ago. It is all so ridiculous and infuriating. Thanks again.
 
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May 17, 2016
401
403
Not so E-Z. What a horror story! They should have given you another car, even if it was in another price class. When contacting the company, please refrain from using age/ailments/emergencies/etc. It's irrelevant. The important points are the condition of the car when you picked it up (which should be documented) vs the condition when you returned it. Unfortunately you say you don't have a copy of the rental agent's form indicating the existing damage. These days, it's all about self-defense. I know it's closing the barn door after the horse is stolen, but if you ever rent a car again, have every ding, scratch, dust bunny, whatever, documented at the time of pickup, and demand a copy. If possible, take photos of every inch, inside and out. And, from what I have read in these forums, this should include the roof, undercarriage and trunk. I'm starting to think I'd rather walk than rent a car!
 
Jul 24, 2016
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Just a quick update - after I posted this long long update about their stupid clerical errors trying to rip me off I was ignored. I waited with baited breathe to see if they would try to come after me again .... but no they did. My keeping scrupulous records and notes was essential becuase I screwed up and did not take photos of the car first. Since then I have rented 3 cars and you bet have taken full videos for each one!!

Thank you for the great advice and support!! I really felt supported and appreciate your assistance so much. Well done!!
 

Carrie Livingston

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Jan 6, 2015
1,661
2,125
48
St Louis
I'd also do a check on your credit report and the card you used to rent the car to make sure they haven't filed anything on your credit report or your credit card.
 
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Jul 24, 2016
4
4
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Until you get a letter or email telling you that they have dropped their claim, don't feel like it's resolved. No news is good news but you still might hear from them again. I hope it's that they dropped the claim.
Thanks for the good advice!
 

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
1,187
2,271
KSNA
@Hilary - One comment, mainly for the benefit of others in the same situation. When you correspond with a company, *never* tip your hand by playing the "fixed income" card! That tells them that any legal action you take probably won't amount to much. They can simply sandbag, or respond to your attorney with legal challenges and requests for information that will run you out of money. It may totally be true, but the less they know the better. One of your grandkids could be a high-power attorney....keep 'em guessing! The "senior citizen" card is irrelevant too, unless you were specifically discriminated against solely based on your age.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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In addition to the excellent advice kenish gave you, don't use words when you are dealing with them like fraud, lying, scam, trumped up, or other words like this. It sends a very negative message that you aren't acting in a professional manner and when someone reads your letter, they start focusing on those words and claims rather than on the actual nature of your problem. Also, make sure you keep your messages very short and easy to read. talking about who the most honest person you know, or your income level, why you visited a certain place, etc are not important to the facts of the story and muddy the waters. Just stick to the facts.
 
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Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,808
We have a resident lawyer contributor @Joe Farrell . Every now and then he drops a letter on us that is worded from the perspective of a lawyer. They aren't so harsh that they would be off putting to a rental car company, but they are VERY to the point, and let the person reading know that you intend to play firm. Let me drop one in here you might want to consider massaging and sending over.

The reason I am posting it is because the letter clearly states you are giving them 10 days to get you your documentation, or you will consider this case closed.

Given your particular situation, I feel as if it might be appropriate to send this type of a communication.
 
Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,808
Joes letter in italics.

Dear Person:

I did not damage your client's car. I deny I owe them, or you - any money.


<insert: here is would say I contacted you on X date and have not received a response>

If you believe I am responsible, please provide within 10 days . . . [insert the standard requests here]

I require a signed original of the assignment of claim. This must be executed by a corporate officer of the assignor such that the signature is legible and the person can be located and contacted to verify the document and their status. Please provide the information of the entity which assigned the claim to your company.

If we do not receive all of the above information within 10 business days, I will close my file on this matter.

You have not provided information sufficient to prove loss of use, actual damage or actual liability on my part. I require a photograph of the vehicle when it was picked up establishing your claim of no damage. Otherwise, this devolves into a he said / she said where absent independent and timely evidence you are unable to prove the condition of the vehicle at the outset.

Very truly yours, you
 
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Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,904
New York
You also have rights under the fair credit billing act. Did they charge your card for the damage? While that could still result in collections, the card issuer has more pull than one person.
As more folks dispute these bogus claims, the rental agencies may damage their ability to accept major credit cards and perhaps that will force them clean up their acts.
 
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