Complaint Review: Alamo Rent a Car
My husband and I are frequent renters of Alamo cars. On this trip (11/2/10), we rented a Kia Sedona at Ft Lauderdale airport and it's very dark inside. The car had just been washed and was still wet. There was barely enough room to open the car doors to get inside because the cars are parked to close together. We did not do an inspection of the car because it had just been washed and figured if there was any damage, the car washers would have noticed and made note of it (big mistake to think that).
I drove, my husband was passenger. We drove to the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Weston, so my husband could get checked out because he had just had open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Cleveland, OH the week prior. When I parked the car and went to help my husband out of the passenger side, I noticed a large black scuff mark on the front bumper (passenger side), but I forgot to mention it to my husband and made a mental note to call Alamo when I got inside the hospital to let them know.
One thing led to another, and I forgot to notify Alamo. I saw the scuff mark again when we left the hospital later that afternoon and went to top off the tank with gas (because the car was not at full when we got it), but we were heading back to the airport to return the car, so I brought it to the attention of the attendant when we checked in the car. Alamo never does an inspection of the vehicle when you return the car. They only check the gas and mileage. When the attendant looked at the scuff mark that I showed him, he told me to go to the customer service office and let them know to see if the previous renters had made a note of it on their paperwork, and they would print out our bill. My husband told the attendant that they better have made a note of it, because we didn't do it and it was there when we got to our destination.
The woman in customer service gave us our bill and told us that if anything came of it, they'd send us a letter. My husband, again, told the woman, that they better not send a letter because we did not damage the vehicle. We got it that way. She just laughed and handed us our bill.
On November 11, 2010, I received a letter from Alamo's Damage Recovery Unit asking me to call them because they needed my assistance to determine responsibility for the damage. I spoke to a woman named Susie. I told her exactly what I just wrote. I also told her I'd be happy to take a lie detector test, because we did not cause the damage. Susie told me it could take 10 days to get a letter back with their review findings.
On November 15, 2010, I received another letter from the Damage Recovery Unit with a bill saying their review indicates I am responsible for the damage to a tune of $371.46. I find that was awful fast to turn that around. I had this letter 4 days later. They in no way looked at any other reason than me to cause this damage. Did they bother to see if the people before us caused the damage? Or how about their own employees who move the cars around?
Judging from the mountains of complaints that consumers have filed about National, Enterprise and Alamo about false damage complaints, I am absolutely NOT going to pay this claim. I am going to fight this with all I have. I am an honest, ethical person who has never even had a traffic ticket in the 33 years I've been driving. I've printed out pages and pages of people's complaints, which I intend to send to the Damage Recovery Unit along with my letter explaining why I will not pay. I will also send a copy of my letter and those other consumer complaints, to Florida's Attorney General, and to my local television stations' consumer help advocates.
Ironically, I was a member of a focus group that Alamo created this year called Alamo Avenue. We came together to help them with an advertising campaign and to help them make Alamo a better company. Then, all of a sudden, they ended our group.
I was a loyal Alamo renter and never rented from another company, even if it meant spending a few dollars more. Do not rent from Alamo, National, or Enterprise. They are deceptive. That is the reason they do not do walk-arounds with you when you rent or return the cars! This is the excuse they use, to send you bills for scratches or dents dishonest people put on their vehicles for honest people to get stuck paying for. This practice must stop.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/17/2010 11:52 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/alamo-rent-a-car/dallas-texas-752842264/alamo-rent-a-car-charging-me-for-damage-to-vehicle-i-reported-to-them-but-did-not-do-to-c-663055. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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