Turo: False damage claim

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Dec 14, 2017
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#1
I rented a car through Turo, a peer-to-peer car rental service (like Uber for car rental). I had the car for a day and scratched the front bumper somehow. It was a really minor scratch. I took pictures and I was shocked when they told me the repair was $700, but I paid it.

Now, 2.5 months later, I got another bill from Turo, saying a supplemental inspection showed the damage was $5,000 more and they're trying to bill me another $5,000. Saying the radiator needed to be replaced and all sorts of things including broken headlights.

It's simply not true. I drove the car at night, the lights were fine. It was a newer car and none of the warning lights were on on the dash, as they would have been if there was a problem.

They've literally had the car back more than 2 months and have decided there is all this huge damage, which would have required a real accident or something. It's simply false.

Turois a peer to peer car rental platform so this is a private owner who is probably working a scam with a friend who owns a garage. They file the claim with Turo and Turo is trying to pass the bill on to me because I didn't choose the insurance option.

I didn't have insurance and they're saying I'm liable for this huge sum of money and I know they're lying. I don't think Turo is lying, but they're being lied to and they're not protecting me.

Turo tried to bill me but my credit card rejected the charge. They're threatening to turn me over to collections which would ruin my credit.

Does anyone have any idea of what I can do about this?
 
Likes: Denver Don

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#2
@nowhere500... I think your beyond advocacy and need an attorney for this one. I'm willing to bet a sternly worded letter will probably shut this down. They can also help you make all the required claims under federal law if they turn you over to collections.

Good luck!
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#3
We've had this issue come up before and you will need to take John's advice. Because this is not a normal car rental company, our usual reference to a thread we have in car rentals won't work for you.

I would ignore these people and if they should take you to court later - if they didn't tell you this at the time you paid then I don't know if any court they tried to sue you in would say you are responsible two months later. If there was that much damage the car would not have been driveable.
 
Likes: jsn55

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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#5
@nowhere500 try googling legal aid in your area or reaching out to the local bar association. Some lawyers really hate when companies do stuff this and may take it on pro bono.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jan 6, 2015
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#8
I found some information that may help you:

Their team: https://turo.com/meet-the-team
Emails: My email verifier shows that each member should be reachable at ...
Twitter for their CEO: https://twitter.com/andre_haddad?lang=en

Email addresses may or may not work. If you choose that route, start as low as possible and work your way to the CEO. Provide just enough detail to clarify what did/did not happen, and respectfully request the charges be dropped. I suggest you wait 10 days before moving up the chain (meaning there has been no response) ...
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#9
Sounds like this Turo is learning from the rental car companies. It would be good if you read our advice and previous threads on rental companies pulling this kind of thing. That might prepare you for dealing with these goons. Perhaps a sternly-worded letter from you might scare them off without your having to find legal assistance.
 
Likes: joycexyz

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
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#10
The advice above from my colleagues is excellent, in my opinion.

Just remember to keep copies of ALL correspondence or paperwork received. Don't discuss anything with them via phone ... keep it all in writing.

And please let us know what transpires.
 
Likes: jsn55
Dec 2, 2018
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#16
I'm curious where this went. I'm currently in a back and forth with Turo trying to understand how their "independent assessment" company, SnapSheet, determined the amount of damage I have to pay. Turo shared the estimate with me and encouraged me to call SnapSheet. When I spoke to the SnapSheet rep and asked him what the annotation "Judgement Item" meant, he explained that their estimate was "based on Turo guidelines." More than half the items in the estimate are "Judgement Items."

It seems like the if a supposed 3rd party vendor is conducting it's estimates by the 1st party's guidelines, there is an obvious conflict of interest.

I'm currently emailing body shops in city with the attached pictures to get their guess-timate on the cost to repaint the scratch in an effort to talk down Turo's seemingly inflated estimate of $553.

If anyone has any thoughts or perspectives to share on this situation, I'd very much appreciate it! :)
 

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Oct 9, 2017
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#18
All of this is very much in keeping with my own Turo rental in 2017. The car I rented was defective in many ways, and the gas tank was empty. The owner lied repeatedly about connecting with him, leaving me waiting on a DC corner until near midnight for a few hours. Turns out he did not even own the car.

But the most disturbing aspect of this transaction was learning that Turo itself is not structured to handle such matters. I'm sure there's a word in their industry for a phone tree comprising agents who do not know much about the transaction, and operate in a silo with little more than a tight script of mainly legal disclaimers. They are 'trained' -- from the sound of it, ordered upon threat of dismissal -- to never escalate. Who knows if they can in the first place.

I sent many time-stamped photos on the broken door, the broken mirror, the empty tank with the odometer reading, and so on. As it was they partially reimbursed me, and not at all for a nearly full tank of gas. When I returned the car the dude -- not the owner -- brought a big guy along, presumably as a threat.

Crooks in the world, no surprise. Aiding and abetting them is different. I never got a proper apology from the company for any of this, presumably because that would admit liability. Maybe that's the main thing about Turo. The business model they sell to top investors is limited exposure, and a system that lets them put off customers and keep their own CSRs scared, clueless, and in the dark.

Is this business even regulated? Turo would have been in for big trouble if their vehicle had been involved in personal injury when the courts found out about its loosy-goosy controls and a lessor with no rights to the car who acted like a criminal.

Perhaps they will read this and see a business purpose in adopting some of the transparency I never saw, by responding in detail.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#19
Denver Don the “sharing economy” means write a computer program and pass on any risk and not be subject to any regulation at first, because the regulation tends to be reactive. Serious accident? I am sure Turo has their liability minimized.

I understand why people try out the sharing economy — I used a certain ride sharing app when traveling in the US and there was no taxi service or taxi service stood me up. But I also feel uneasy using said service as it is capitalized my massive investment banks that care about return — and that is it.
 
Likes: Denver Don

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#20
People need to stop buying into this "sharing economy" foolishness. It's a great theory, a good concept, but it only works if all participants are ethical. I cannot imagine anyone naive enough to rent someone's car and drive it without insurance. I'm actually surprised that it took this long for the bad guys to figure out how to scam the system. It's a real shame that honest people think others are to be trusted.
 
Likes: Neil Maley