My son rented an electric golf cart during spring break (April 2009). It was supposed to be from 2pm in the afternoon until 10:00am the next day.
My son is only 17 years old, and doesn't know anything about renting a vehicle and unfortunately the ownership/staff of California/Classy Cycles took advantage of a naive teenager.
At the very beginning, the clerk at California Cycles asked the question, "who is driving" and my son said, "I am". At that time the employed said, "sign here", and handed my son the keys to the vehicle. My son did not realize that the paper he was signing was for the inspection of the vehicle, and not for receiving the keys.
Never once did my son realize that he was accepting the vehicle in the current condition that it was in when he signed the paperwork. It was never explained to my son that he need to do a full inspection of the vehicle prior to signing receipt of the vehicle.
He was never given an opportunity to inspect the vehicle, as a matter of fact, the employee had my son sign the papers and he never disclosed any previous damages to the vehicle, even though the vehicle had been rented many times in the past.
Later that night at 9:00pm, my son had to take the cart back to the rental shop to recharge the battery. While he was there, he spoke to an employee named, "Max" and reported that the lock to the storage compartment was broke because my son wanted to use the storage compartment to store his book bag.
He asked "Max" if he could do something to repair the broken lock on the storage compartment. Max said , "I'll get it fixed tomorrow". My son decided to go ahead and place the bookbag in the storage compartment anyway.
The golf cart seats 4 people, but, around 12:30am, my son allowed 2 extra people to ride on the cart. When he drove the vehicle into the Pier park shopping center, an employee of California Cycles, who appeared to be drunk, stopped my son, informed him that he had broken the rules by allowing more than 4 people to ride in the cart and told my son to return the vehicle immediately to the rental shop, and that they would address the extra passenger issue the next day.
When my son and I went to rental shop the next morning at 10:00am, we were told that he had broken the rules by allowing more than the maximum of 4 people to ride and we would lose our security deposit. In addition, California Cycles then told me that there were additional scratches, and damages to the vehicle and they were charging our credit card an additional $400.00 to cover the scratches, and broken lock on the storage compartment. I then discussed the issue with the owner and told her the entire story and she was not willing to reduce the damage charges. I then called the police and had the police file a police report to prove that there were not scratches on the rear bumper as they had stated and that the lock was previously damaged before my son took possession of the vehicle. It became very obvious that we had been "crooked" out of our money and they they were taking advantage of people because they don't think that most people will ever come back to Panama City beach Florida to court to fight the unfair charges against their credit card.
My son is guilty of riding 2 extra people in the cart. We were willing to accept the loss of the $100 deposit, however, we felt that it was grossly unfair for them to charge us the additional $400 in damages to the vehicle that he did not do. It's also a scam because he made the employee aware of the broken lock but they still wanted to stick it to him.
All they are looking for is the opportunity to take advantage of the poor inexperienced teenager and to suck his parents for every dime they can get.
My best advise is "comsumer beware of fraud".