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  #1  
Old 07-03-2007, 08:43 PM
Larry Delor's Avatar
What, Me Worry?
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Sarasota, Fl.
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National/Alamo is trying to scam me!

Last May (little over a month ago), I rented a car in Frankfurt for 10 days. Received the car in good condition and returned it in good condition. The only thing remarked, was a slight scratch on the black plastic air dam, that is the lowest piece on the car. (the check in guy said, no big deal, it wasn't your fault).
Today, I get a bill from National/Alamo for over 466 Euros for repairs!
As I am reading the bill (which is in German), I read that there is painting involved (Lackieren). There is no paint on the black plastic air dam!

The last day of rental was 5/30 - the letter is dated 6/28 - nearly a full month later! Who knows how many more people have rented (and dented) this car!?

This has got me rattled. I was going to use them again the next time I go back, because I was happy with their service and their car. Now, it turns out that either their record keeping is shoddy, and someone else scratched up the car; or they're trying to scam me out of money (since the rental was fairly cheap).

What should I do?
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2007, 08:47 PM
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Presumably the bill is on the credit card.

The only recourse is with the credit card company. State your case as best you can and hope they go to bat for you against the car rental company.

American credit card company..........American customer..........foreign car rental agency..........I don't think you'll have much of a problem.

Now, if they sent you a bill in the mail.........well.........you've got a fireplace..........correct?
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2007, 08:51 PM
Larry Delor's Avatar
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I paid for the rental with a CC. However, for paying the bogus repair bill, they provide a separate sheet of paper, that if I were a complete idiot, I would fill out, and fax/mail to them, so they could charge whatever account I put on there.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2007, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Delor View Post
I paid for the rental with a CC. However, for paying the bogus repair bill, they provide a separate sheet of paper, that if I were a complete idiot, I would fill out, and fax/mail to them, so they could charge whatever account I put on there.
Just ignore them. Deal with the CC company.

I do it all the time with unscrupulous and retarded vendors. I've yet to lose a battle.

It's too bad the CC companies don't cover damages on rental cars that are outside of the country. I'm extra careful when I go to Grand Cayman.........
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:04 PM
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National tried to do that to me on a rental in the US. I called them and told them I did not do the damage. They tried to argue that someone may have hit the car during my rental period but I was in the car for every minute of the rental so they conceded my position and stopped the charges. I'd give them a call. It could be that they have a corporate policy of blaming unattributed damages to customers in the hope of getting some $$ and then dropping the charges if the customer complains.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:05 PM
Jim B.'s Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Delor View Post
I paid for the rental with a CC. However, for paying the bogus repair bill, they provide a separate sheet of paper, that if I were a complete idiot, I would fill out, and fax/mail to them, so they could charge whatever account I put on there.[/I][/B]

So, charge it to the Atlanta Falcons.






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  #7  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:08 PM
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Since the estimate was all in German, I wonder if they are trying to scam what they think is some stupid American tourist.
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:23 PM
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Just ignore it.
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:39 PM
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they should have inspected the car and told you of any damage charges right away. If they accepted the car in the condition it was in they should not be charging you a month later.

Danny
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:48 PM
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Does anyone here use credit card insurance for a rental car? How does it work if you smash the car up. Do you have to pay first then get reimbursed by the credit card. I have wanted to do this in the past but chickened out at the last minute thinking I just might run it of a cliff.
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  #11  
Old 07-03-2007, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMEGAMAN View Post
Does anyone here use credit card insurance for a rental car? How does it work if you smash the car up. Do you have to pay first then get reimbursed by the credit card. I have wanted to do this in the past but chickened out at the last minute thinking I just might run it of a cliff.
i've called my credit card company, confirmed the insurance and used it in the past. You do have to file a claim with the credit card company if something happens. I know the feeling of doubt.
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  #12  
Old 07-03-2007, 10:47 PM
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I used to work as a fleet mechanic at a rental car outfit.

If I ever rent a car, I always pay the extra $15.00 a day for the LDW, loss damage waiver.

You can bring the car back from a demolition derby, and not have to pay a cent or claim anything on your insurance.

That way you don't have to go through any og the B/S by paying for the scratches that the last lazy car washer neglected to note on the check out form.

Always go over the car with an attendant before you take it.

Make sure you note multiple scratches of the smallest porportion and make sure they mark it on the little picture of the car on the contract.
This way if you do or do not get a scratch on the car yourself, nobody will know the difference, and you are covered.

Always take the LDW, it covers stolen items too.
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2007, 11:36 PM
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I deal with rentals every day, I work in a big body shop. The understanding is that you as the renter are responsible for the car, no matter what happens to it. We get frequent hail storms around here...we have had several body shop customers bring their cars in for hail repair, then the rental gets hailed on while it is in their possesssion, and they have a 2nd hail claim on their auto policy. I know hte insurance from the rental company is expensive, but it can pay off in abig way.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2007, 12:06 PM
Larry Delor's Avatar
What, Me Worry?
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
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-IF- I had done damage to any of the painted areas of the car, I would not be so upset. However, the only thing noted were some abrasions on the flexible black air dam, about 6 inches or more, below the bottom of the front bumper. As you can imagine, if you are standing directly infront of the car, you cannot see the black plastic - you would have to step back several feet to even see that portion of the car.
The scam is, that the estimate they included in their letter, includes a charge for painting the bumper. There is NO way the bumper had any kind of mark on it, of any sort! (the scratches were on the black plastic air dam - the one that scrapes against those concrete things at the grocery store parking lot)

Years ago, I was a rental agent - I would not have given the plastic air dam a second thought; a scratch on the paint, maybe...depending on how bad it was; a dent could not be ignored. But the airdam? pffft...that is the lowest part on a car, and abrasions are expected there.

Their claim that I did damage to the car that requires repainting is false. It is a bold faced lie, and probably some sort of scam between the rental company employee/s and the body shop to increase the thickness of somebodys wallet.
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Last edited by Larry Delor; 07-04-2007 at 12:11 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-04-2007, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Delor View Post
-IF- I had done damage to any of the painted areas of the car, I would not be so upset. However, the only thing noted were some abrasions on the flexible black air dam, about 6 inches or more, below the bottom of the front bumper. As you can imagine, if you are standing directly infront of the car, you cannot see the black plastic - you would have to step back several feet to even see that portion of the car.
You're not the first..........nor will you be the last..........person to fall for the front air dam damage issue. Also, many times you rent a car after arriving at the airport after dark. Think you can find the paint damage under the quartz halogen lights of the parking lot? Think again.

It's a tough world. Be careful out there.

The credit card company is your only option.
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Old 07-04-2007, 12:14 PM
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