Alamo Rent A Car / damage claim
I recently took a trip back to Hawaii (Oahu) for some personal business and to visit some friends. I had a car booked through Alamo Rent A Car, who I had used on several occasions when I lived in Hawaii, so I expected this to be a very easy experience. I t could not have been further from the truth.
I rented the car on January 24th and returned the car on January 27th. When I was leaving the lot, I asked the individual about making note of the large amount of scuffs and chips in the paint. I was handed a card with a hole cut in it. I was told that any dent, scuff or chip larger than the hole should be noted on the contract. The hole in the template card was a little bigger than a golf ball, which none of the blemishes on the vehicle was bigger than that, so I left the car rental facility.
I returned the vehicle on January 27th. The gentleman that met me when I return the car pointed out the scuffs and scratches. I explained to him that I noted the marks earlier when I rented the car but was told they were smaller than the hole in their own template. I went inside and spoke to a woman at the customer service desk and explain what had just happened outside. She spoke to an individual behind the counter and made a phone call. After the woman got off the phone she informed me that I was all set and printed my receipt. At that point I left the facility and took the shuttle bus to the terminal, not giving the situation another thought. At no point did anyone tell of any physical damage to the car, nor was there any that I witnessed.
On Saturday, February 6th I received a letter from Alamo notifying me of damage to a vehicle I had recently rented. I call Alamo’s Damage Recovery phone number on Monday, February 8th. After being transferred to no fewer than 4 different people I finally spoke to a woman by the name of Letitia, who worked in the Customer Contact Team group. I informed her that I was unaware of any damage to the vehicle I rented other than some scrapes and scuffs in the paint, which were all smaller that the size of the Alamo template for damage. I also told her that I spoke to an individual in the facility who I can only assume reviewed the finish damage and informed me that I was all set and gave me my receipt and told me I was all set. I assumed if there was any damage to the vehicle it would have been pointed out at the time the vehicle was returned. I had a firsthand opportunity to see how the staff reacted to the scratches and scuffs, I pointed out to Letitia. I assume this was all the same issue. Letitia informed me that she would start and investigation to look into the matter. The investigation would take 7 to 10 days and that someone would be in touch with me. If I had any questions I could call the main number and ask for her because she was the only person in that group with that name.
On Friday, February 19th, I received another letter from Alamo Rent A Car. This letter included a bill for $1, 049.39, and itemized list of repairs and photos of a dented fender. I placed a call to Alamo Rent A Car after I opened the letter. After being passed through several different individuals, I finally requested to speak to a manager or supervisor. I was connected to a manger by the name of Lisa. I explained the situation to her and that I had already spoken to a woman named Letitia ad that there was supposed to be an “investigation” going on and that someone would be in contact with me. No one from Alamo Rent A Car had reached out to me (I had given home and cell numbers to Letitia) when I spoke to her. I was not very happy to be getting a bill for a repair for damage I did not cause. I asked her that if there was damage to the car, why it wouldn’t have been pointed out when the car was returned. Would some at the facility make an issue of it or bring it to my attention at least fill out and paperwork? This all sounded far too suspicious for me. Lisa informed me that she would request an investigation into the claim and that it would take 7 to 10 to complete and that someone would get back in touch with me. Sound familiar? I told her that that was the same thing Letitia told me and the next thing I received was a bill. I told her that I will not be held responsible to anything that happened to the vehicle after I returned it to the facility.
I find this a very deceptive practice to try to bill individuals for repairs to vehicles after the individual has left the facility and most likely do not have the opportunity to return to review the claim of damage. There is no way of knowing if the damage happened after the car was dropped of and after the receipt for the rental was issued. The fact the Damage Recovery department does not know what is being done or said by their staff is also a poor reflection on the organization. Every time I speak with someone I have to give them the claim number, you would think there would be a record of the conversation and notes to support the questions and comments. I have yet to see how this plays out.
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