Payless Car Rental / Unconscionable damage claim
I was on business attending a conference in Boulder, Colorado from August 1 to August 6, 2008. On August 1, I picked up a rental car at Denver International Airport from Payless Car Rental. The time during which I had the car was uneventful. However, when I returned the car on August 6, 2008, the people at Payless noted a few indentations on the left front hood of the car, and filed an incident report. Whereupon, PurCo Fleet Services, Inc., Payless’s claims administrator, sent me a claim for $737.88, representing damage repair, loss of use, and an administrative fee.
The damage is minuscule, and it did not occur while I had the car. It is difficult to even see the indentations in the vehicle; they can only be seen in certain light. I believe the vehicle was in that condition when I drove it away on August 1, 2008. Payless’s position is that I should have noted it before leaving with the vehicle; however, it was not visible to me.
The contract provisions which by which they seek recovery from me require an impossibly high standard of scrutiny by the lessee and are unconscionable. It would seem that they make their profit not on actual rental of the cars but by charging people for bogus, wear-and-tear damage at the back end of their trips, when they are rushing to catch planes.
In all of the many times I have rented cars, no other agency has ever looked twice at such a thing as the indentations on the hood of the Payless car. I will never rent from them again. I will stick with major companies from now on.
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