Overcharge for Hertz Rental - 7 Months Later

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Jan 23, 2019
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#1
On May 24th, 2018, my girlfriend rented a car for our trip from Hicksville, NY to Montreal, CA. After crossing the US/Canadian border (a little after midnight) we hit a raccoon which resulted in one of the fog lights falling out. We called roadside assistance and they told us to call the closest location - that being the airport at Montreal. We called and they said because it was late, our location and the car being movable, we should drive to our hotel and visit the closest Hertz location early in the morning.

We took the vehicle to a Hertz location in Montreal and they said everything was fine. The gentlemen said since the light fell off (but still working) he will switch the vehicle. I asked for documentation and he had me complete a form and give me a copy. I also took a picture of the light which I still have. Nowhere on the form did he note damages. I did however explain on the form what happened. I asked him if there were charges that I'd like to pay now and he said "don't sorry sir, you're good to go".

A woman from Viking Billing, an insurance claims third party for Hertz, called my girlfriend and said she’s calling regarding a $2,034 claim from Hertz. I reviewed the invoice and I’m being billed for Mirror, Door, fender, painting and bumper. I spent 36 mins on the phone trying to explain to this woman that I was being charged for things that did not happen. You're telling me you had to match paint on the car because small splatters of blood was on it? She told me to call Hertz, I did and spent 1hr and 15 mins on the phone being switched to different departments until I was told to contact Rich Hester. Well he doesn't answer the phone. I found out today that Viking has called the insurance company to process the claim. I need a solution ASAP.
 

Neil Maley

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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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#2
Did you buy their insurance? You need to file an insurance claim.

Are you sure there were no other scratches or damage other then the light?

We have a post on how to handle this:

https://forum.elliott.org/forums/car-rental/

You should go to the Corporate contacts and fight the extra damages they are charging you for. Use the information in the post about fighting the excess damage claims.
 
Jan 23, 2019
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#3
I didn't buy their insurance because we added it to my girlfriend's policy. I am absolutely certain there were no scratches that why I asked for documentation. I did reach out to the corporate contacts. No reply yet. Their invoice said they had to repair the door, mirror, door handle, door belt. I am not sure how the light leads to all of that and when I returned the car there was nothing wrong with all of those things. Attaching a photo of the light
 

Attachments

Nov 20, 2015
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#7
The photo you attached shows a split bumper cover in addition to the damaged light. Believe it or not, I also hit a raccoon last fall and cracked the bumper cover on my car. The estimate for parts and labor to replace the cover with an OEM product was over $1100. I was able to have the crack repaired for much less. You likely don't have that option with a rental vehicle.

While repairs to the door, mirror, etc., seem excessive, the damage shown in the photo alone may well exceed your insurance deductible. You could, of course, show your photo to a collision repair expert first, but I would be inclined to pay my deductible and let the insurance company handle the claim.
 
Jan 23, 2019
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#8
The photo you attached shows a split bumper cover in addition to the damaged light. Believe it or not, I also hit a raccoon last fall and cracked the bumper cover on my car. The estimate for parts and labor to replace the cover with an OEM product was over $1100. I was able to have the crack repaired for much less. You likely don't have that option with a rental vehicle.

While repairs to the door, mirror, etc., seem excessive, the damage shown in the photo alone may well exceed your insurance deductible. You could, of course, show your photo to a collision repair expert first, but I would be inclined to pay my deductible and let the insurance company handle the claim.
And I am fine with paying something. I just feel that some of the charges are excessive and do not match the incident. Do you know if my policy could increase because if this?
 
Nov 20, 2015
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#9
Damage caused by hitting an animal is covered by the comprehensive, rather than collision, part of your policy. This usually means little to no increase in future premiums when an isolated claim is filed. Just ask your insurer.
 
Jan 23, 2019
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#10
Thank you! As I said I don’t mind paying something but I do believe the charges were excessive. I also reviewed the bill and noted that the invoice came from a Canadian mechanic and was never converted to USD. They’re charging GST and PST. I know PST is a common tax in Montreal which appears on the bill but was never converted to USD.

And the saga grows. still no reply from anyone and they’ve contacted my insurance 3 times.
 
May 26, 2018
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#11
I didn't buy their insurance because we added it to my girlfriend's policy. I am absolutely certain there were no scratches that why I asked for documentation. I did reach out to the corporate contacts. No reply yet. Their invoice said they had to repair the door, mirror, door handle, door belt. I am not sure how the light leads to all of that and when I returned the car there was nothing wrong with all of those things. Attaching a photo of the light
I think you should have taken more photos from different angles but from what I can see, it would be ridiculous to charge you for all those other things. You could have gotten this part at AutoZone and installed it yourself for less than $300, probably less.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
Thank you! As I said I don’t mind paying something but I do believe the charges were excessive. I also reviewed the bill and noted that the invoice came from a Canadian mechanic and was never converted to USD. They’re charging GST and PST. I know PST is a common tax in Montreal which appears on the bill but was never converted to USD.

And the saga grows. still no reply from anyone and they’ve contacted my insurance 3 times.
PST is from the Provence. GST is Federal sales tax.

I imagine a car repair place in Montreal would only bill in their own currency and not do courtesy conversion — as the rate fluctuates within the day and the rates differ.

Is this something you should let the insurance company fight out? I would think that the insurance company would not want to overpay.