Identical to the situation reported by Norman, from Pelican Rapids, MN above, dated 9-7-06, my family rented a vehicle from the Orlando, FL E-Z Rent-A-Car agency on 9-1-06. We, too, returned the vehicle very early in the morning on 9-4-06, due to an early return flight. Inside, we signed all the check-out paperwork, thank you's were exchanged and preceeded to wait around approx. 30 min. for the shuttle transport to the airport. Nothing else was discussed.
Upon returning home, I too received a letter from E-Z Rent-A-Car Risk Management Services in Orlando, Florida stating that we were responsible for damages to the vehicle in the amount of $880.04, as it had apparantly been wrecked. Included were photos of the car with a huge dent in the bumper - ours supposedly in the front bumper, along with a damage appraisal dated 9-8-06 and an Incedent Report Form dated 9-4-06, completed in handwriting by an E-Z Rental employee, stating that the "Customer left before completing or signing the Incedent Report". If you recall, as mentioned above, we sat around for 30 min. waiting on their shuttle, watched the car be taken from the drop-off area by one of their attendants, and all that time nothing being mentioned to us about any damage to the vehicle. You'd think if it truly were wrecked upon drop off, the attendent who took down the return mileage and checked that we returned with a full tank of gas would have noticed and the company would have taken appropriate steps at that time.
I have just got off the phone with Risk Management Services and they kindly requested that I send my statement to them, a rebuttal letter, via e-mail. Along with this report, I will follow the example set by Norman and file a complaint with the Orlando Better Business Bureau and the Florida Attorney General's Office. We too have an Attorney on hand should things progress to that level.
Norman may be on to something in suspecting that the company has duplicate damaged vehicles which they put a license plate on to take the damage photos, as the photos did appear to be a like vehicle to what we had rented. I also suspect that this may a scam targeting out of state individuals who don't choose to purchase their company's additional insurance. I have always heard and read that if you rent using your credit card, don't purchase the additional insurance as your credit card automatically covers it.
Too much of a coincedence??? I think not.