Received bill from Viking Billing Service, but person at fault had already taken full responsibility

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Jul 24, 2017
Elliott folks,

I'm looking for some advice (but not legal advice) on how this should be handled. I just received the same type of letter others have received from Viking Billing Services for Budget Rent a Car. The line that has me confused is "Per your rental contract, you are responsible for the costs associated with he damage regardless of fault." Well, let me briefly explain what happened.

My father passed away suddenly last month, so my family rented an SUV from Budget on June 18, 2017 to travel from Nashville, TN to Pittsburgh, PA. On the actual day of the funeral (6/22), while all our cars were parked outside the church, a guy in a medical supply delivery truck drove by and 'clipped' my driver's side- view mirror. The mirror itself wasn't damaged and remained fully functional, but the back cover part of it (which is the same color as the rest of the vehicle) was knocked off. When we left the church and prepared to follow the hearse to the cemetery, that's when we found a note on the windshield along with the piece that had come off. Fortunately, the driver was honest and was taking responsibility for the damage. While en route to the cemetery, we immediately called the number he left, and we spoke to the his company's manager who also said they would take full responsibility for the damages to the mirror. They contacted me the next day with their insurance information; and then, their Travelers' Insurance Agent also called me saying they didn't want to cause me any inconvenience, so I should just give Budget their information once I returned the rental and they would take care of everything. Thank God there are still some honest and decent people in this world!

I then contacted Budget and after finally reaching the right department, I told them everything that had happened. They simply told me to fill out an Incident Report when I returned the vehicle. So I returned the car to them on June 24; and not only did I include brief details on the few lines provided on their incident report, I also typed up a longer report which included all the pertinent details and liable party's Travelers' information. I indicated that Travelers' was taking full responsibility for the mirror damage.

Now, on July 23, I received a letter from James Kealy, Claims Recovery Assistant for Viking Billing Services saying I must pay them $185.84 by check. This is $95.84 for Vehicle damage; $40.00 for Loss of Use; and a $50.00 Administrative Fee. Upon looking over the original Budget rental agreement, I do see in section 13 that it says "If you do not accept LDW (and I did not in fact take this Loss Damage Waiver),... you are responsible and you will pay us for all loss of or damage to the car regardless of cause, or who, or what caused it." It goes on to say, "If your responsibility is covered by any insurance, credit card benefit, travel insurance or any other such insurance or benefits, you authorize us to contact the benefit provider... to recover all consequential and incidental damages..." It seems to me that 'my responsibility' IS being covered by the third party who caused the damage, thus Travelers' Insurance, and that Viking, Budget, or whoever else should really only be trying to contact and collect damages from them.

I'm wondering how this should be handled since the person at fault has taken responsibility for the damage, plus their insurance has also taken responsibility for it and said they would fully cover it? I have no idea if or when Budget, or Viking, or whoever has even contacted them? I'm going to call the Travelers' agent tomorrow and try to find out. Please, also let me know what you would recommend I do? Thank you.

Jim in Nashville

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Hi, Jim:

I am sorry for your loss. This is the last thing you needed at such a time.

Do you know if Budget did anything to contact the other driver? Maybe they tried to contact and never received a response or because the policy is that you are responsible they don't take the time to go after the 3rd party.

I suggest you use our company contacts and contact Budget. Tell them the party st fault agreed to pay and ask if they have put the claim in with their info.

You may have to pay it and then look for reimbursement from the company.

Let us know what Budget says.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
I'm so sorry about losing your father. To remedy this issue, I'd just send Budget a concise, polite email stating what you just told us and repeating the correct contacts for them. Copy the 'billing service'. Keep it as short as possible, one paragraph should do it.