UpNorth Motors Inc. dba U-Save Auto Rental / U-Save Holds Me Financially
U-Save Auto Rental of 25 Havard Avenue charged me more than $1, 300 for minor damage to the hood and windshield of a 2007 Toyota Corolla that apparently occurred on U-Save's own unfenced and insecure lot at 25 Harvard Ave. in Allston, MA. I dispute their claim that the damage occurred while I was financially responsible, but the franchise evaded my questions for several months and proceeded to charge the full sum to my credit card.
I rented a 2007 Toyota Corolla at 8:02 am on Saturday, 2/2/08. I returned it the same night at approximately 11pm, following U-Save's after hours drop-off procedures. The car was in the same condition I received it in; there was no new damage anywhere on the car, including the hood or windshield.
U-Save paperwork confirms that the car was processed at 7:50am on 2/3/08. U-Save made no effort to contact me to report any damage to the vehicle on Sunday, 2/3/08. The U-Save branch at 25 Harvard Ave. has posted hours of 7am to 5pm on Sundays, and employees confirmed that it was open during those hours on Sunday 2/3/08. U-Save had several ways to contact me, including by phone and email.
On the morning of Monday 2/4/08 (approximately 36 hours after I returned the vehicle and 24 hours after my contract/liability expired), I received the first contact from U-Save related to the claim that the vehicle had been damaged. The caller specified that the car's windshield and hood had been smashed in and claimed that the damage happened while I was financially responsible (presumably between 11pm on 2/2/08 and 7:50am on 2/3/08).
I immediately went to the office at 25 Harvard Ave. to verify the damage. Neither of the employees I spoke with had been in the office on 2/3/08, when U-Save claims the damage was discovered. When I asked to speak with the employees that allegedly discovered the damage, I was told that those employees "don't have phones, and they're not scheduled until Wednesday." This was followed by the oblique threat that "the charges are going to be steeper if you don't cooperate." I asked why I was not notified immediately when the damage was discovered. U-Save's response was that "mistakes happen."
The "Addendum to Rental Agreement" that I signed states that:
"The renter hereby agrees that they are financially responsible for the rental vehicle until U-Save personnel physically check in the vehicle during its normal business hours."
If the damage existed when U-Save physically checked in the vehicle at 7:50am on Sunday, 2/3/08, U-Save had a responsibility to inform me immediately. Their further evasion of my questions when I arrived at their office and failure to make accessible to me the employees they claim discovered the damage undermine their claim.
It took 2 months of concerted effort to get U-Save to respond to my basic inquiries asking for proof of when the damage occurred and why I was not promptly notified. You may save $15 or $20 when you rent with them, but be aware that you risk being charged an EXORBITANT sum. I would have been happy to pay for damage for which I was responsible, but this happened on their property--and who knows when?
I wouldn't have posted this had they handled things differently.
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