ED Magedson – Founder
Alamo Rent a Car1 Airline Drive Little Rock, Arkansas United States of America
I rented a car from Alamo at Little Rock, Arkansas airport for two days. I returned the car to the airport to catch an early flight before the Alamo return station was open. I had been instructed to wrap the keys in the rental agreement papers and drop both keys and papers in the slot provided.
I was the only driver of the car but a friend was with me each time the car was used as well as when the car was returned. We are sure that we did not damage the car and that there was no damage to the car when we returned it.
About a month later, I received a letter from Purco Fleet Service informing me that Alamo claimed that the car I had rented was damaged and that I was responsible for over $1200. for repairs, administrative fees, loss of use, etc. When I demanded proof of the damage Purco sent photos taken two days after I returned the car, none of which was sufficiently clear to prove the extent of damage claimed. The only evidence of loss they provided was an estimate of the cost of repairs and number of days loss of use. I tried repeatedly to contact Alamo, both the Little Rock airport office and corporate headquarters, but they refused to talk to me.
I contacted my insurance company and told them that I was convinced the claim of damage was fraudulent and provided names and contact information for my friend who was with me during use and return of the car and also for two friends who had retrieved sunglasses from the car after the Alamo rental station was open. All were willing to swear that the car was not damaged when it was returned.
My insurance company did not bother to check with my witnesses because they said the (standard) rental agreement I signed gives the rental company the right to claim any amount of damages and related expenses, such as administrative fees and loss of use, and I am obligated to pay. My case was weakened by the fact that I did not have a copy of the rental agreement I had signed or any acknowledgement from the rental company that the car was returned undamaged (because I had dropped the agreement in their slot before they opened and before the car had been checked in).
When I contacted my lawyer he not only said I had no hope of winning a case against Alamo, he also told me that the very same thing happened to him when he rented a car from Enterprise Car Rental in Cinncinnati, Ohio, and returned it before the office opened! I have since heard of other cases of this nature.
Consumers need to be warned not to turn in rental cars before someone is available to check them in and sign off on the rental agreement. It is much cheaper and less hassle to take a later flight than to go through what I did. Besides, car rental companies should not be allowed to get away with this scam! Why are they allowed to force customers to sign agreements that essentially allow them to collect for damages without proving actual losses?!?
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/13/2010 11:30 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Alamo-Rent-a-Car/Little-Rock-Arkansas-72202/Alamo-Rent-a-Car-National-Car-Rental-Co-fraudulent-damage-claims-on-rental-cars-returned-640117. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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