How to react to Avis car rental claim

Old Mar 4th, 2003, 08:17 AM
  #1  
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How to react to Avis car rental claim

My husband rented an Avis rental car in July 2002. Today he received a nasty-gram from Avis stating when he returned the car, it was damaged. He did not return the car damaged. I find it odd Avis waited so long to contact him. I have a feeling they have been going back with each renter and writing the same letter. What should he do? Throw the letter away? Send a certified letter saying he did not return the car damaged? Anyone have experience in this matter?
sister2 is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2003, 08:39 AM
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I'd send a simple letter stating "PROVE IT." It is odd that Avis sent a letter 7-8 months after the rental. Usually they inspect each car upon return so they know what driver did what to their car.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 08:41 AM
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Lola
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I believe that a car rental agency has to let you know about the damage when you bring the car back, not at later date. By then, who knows what could have happened to the car and it is not your responsibility. I would send them a letter telling them they took the car back with no complaint, that you did not return a damaged car and they cannot do anything about it now. SEnd it certified with a CC to an attnys address. We had something similar a long time ago, not with a car though. One letter stopped the whole issue in its tracks.
Good luck!
 
Old Mar 4th, 2003, 09:38 AM
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I'd ask a lawyer for his/her advice.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 10:17 AM
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I've had a similar correspondence sent to me, and after replying that my examination of the car before and after rental showed no signs of damage the incident was brushed off by the rental company.

However, if a worst case scenario happens, you might want to look into the side benefits of the credit card you used to rent the car with (assuming you used a credit card). Many cards (including the AMEX card that I use for travel) cover incidental damage to rented vehicles provided you used that card for the purchase. If it comes down to this, it would be worth your while to look into.

If you deny the claim and they come back at you again, get an attorney involved to let them know that you mean business and are willing to defend yourself. Good luck.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 10:25 AM
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You should not need a lawyer to solve this.

Avis had a "window of opportunity" to identify damage and make a claim when you returned the car.

I would send a leeter to Avis (certified, return receipt ,as suggested) and state:

1. You believe the damage claim letter to be a mistake.

2. Let them know that when you returned the car, their agent( who checked you in) had an oportunity to observe any damage.

3. Since no damage was observed when you returned the car, any subsuquent damage must be attributed to someone else.

4. Ask that their records be corrected and for them to send you a confirmation letter.

5. CC your local consumer protection division.

I've returned a car damaged (vandalism) and was obligated for damages. My credit card company paid. But when you return a car and it's re-rented ....you are off the hook.

My guess is that the letter is a computer error. If they had a real claim for damages, they would have enclosed reciepts for repair and a bill.

Do not ignore the letter, or you may never be able to rent from Avis again
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 10:30 AM
  #7  
Lola
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"Do not ignore the letter, or you may never be able to rent from Avis again"

After this, I would never want to rent from Avis again! There are plenty of good car rental companies, who wants to risk this happening again?
 
Old Mar 4th, 2003, 10:35 AM
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Sounds to me like a typical "computer generated" form letter sent by mistake. I strongly suspect if you answer with any of the letters suggested above, basically saying you didn't return it damaged, you'll never hear from them again about it.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 12:04 PM
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Lola,

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if all the czre rental firms share info on "non-payers"

It's possible you could have trouble renting anywhere if you just ignore the letter. Many retail companies already share such information.

Don't expect the counter staff to be able to correct the problem at time of rental.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 12:26 PM
  #10  
Lola
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Oh, I agree that sister should send a letter to Avis, but having had this happen once would be enough for me. Recently having rented a car, I noticed there were SO many car rental companies to choose from. They should all be on their toes with that much competition.
 
Old Mar 4th, 2003, 12:54 PM
  #11  
DB
 
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Having recently rented three cars from two different agencies during our vacation, it is definitely important to ask for and fill-out the damage report ticket BEFORE leaving the lot. Two of the cars I rented had bad scratches and some damage, and I was really glad that I did not overlook reporting the damage initially. In at least one instance, I had to ask for a damage claim ticket (that small paper with the figure of a car on it where you put X's to indicate any damaged area). Do not overlook doing this, or think that it doesn't matter -- and, be thorough.

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