I just want to share with everyone my experience with Alamo Rent-A-Car. I was in Phoenix for work and rented a car from Alamo. Now, I'm not picky about my rental cars. I don't care if they have a scratch. Even if I did, the rental car facility at Sky Harbor International doesn't have the light to see any scratches. I took a quick once-around the car to be sure nothing obvious was wrong with the car. I drove the car a total of about 40 miles over about two days.
Funny thing is, in every single place I parked (three places total so I remember), the car was parked with the front bumper over a curb where the car had plenty of clearance. When I returned the car, the rental agent (or whatever she was called) pointed out damage to the front passenger-side bumper. I explained that I know that I didn't cause it. It wasn't a big enough deal to grab my attention when I rented it so I wouldn't have documented it with them even IF they had provided a form for me to sign-off on, which they didn't.
Now, I get a notice from Alamo saying I am responsible for damage to the car. My only options, according to them, it so send my car insurance claim information or I'll be sent a bill. Of course, if I have any questions regarding my responsibility, I should contact their office. It's Saturday and they're open 9-4 M-F so I'm out of luck.
I looked up the number to their Sky Harbor office, called and eventually ended up speaking with Herman Schilling, the branch manager. He refused to do anything except direct me to the claims department. I asked if he was concerned about people in his office filing fraudulent claims and he says his office did exactly what they should have done.
I started off very polite and professional but when I get an individual that refuses to do anything about my concerns, I start to get upset. I again explained my complaint. He said the same thing. I explained that as a manager, it was his duty to be sure his office did everything correctly and that, really, this scratch couldn't cost more than a couple of hundred dollars (and I didn't cause it) and they would end up losing a LOT more business than that because I'll be sharing this experience with everyone I know.
His response? He understands my frustration but he couldn't do anything about it. Bullhockey! As a manager, I KNOW he has the ability to make things happen. If he doesn't, he's not a manager.
I called the Damage Recovery Unit. They said that despite my letter stating "...based upon our investigation, we must continue to hold you contractually responsible for this loss..." "...please report this claim to your insurance and/or credit card company and provide us your claim information...", that this is a form letter and I should ignore it. They said it was up to the local manager whether or not damage information would be filed. I explained that the local manager said I had to talk to the Damage Recovery Unit. They said again that they couldn't do anything about this.
I explained that they would never receive a cent from me for this, any bad marks on my credit report would be fought until the bitter end, I would never drop this case until they send me something stating I am not responsible, AND I would share my experience with as many people as possible.
I just did a quick search and found two (I know there's more but this was a quick search) site with MANY people having the same problem with Alamo.
I think I'd like a lawyer to take a look at this and check out the feasibility of a class-action lawsuit against Alamo.
They can try to damage my credit all they want but they won't be getting a cent from me. In fact, if any lawyers out there are interested in class-action lawsuit, I think I have your case.